Mergers & Acquisitions

M&A Talk Podcast

M&A Talk is the #1 podcast on mergers & acquisitions. At M&A Talk we bring you exclusive interviews with experts in business sales, valuations, mergers and acquisitions, and more. We talk to the most experienced professionals in the industry to uncover their secrets.

How to Plan the Sale of Your Business from Start to Finish

How to Plan the Sale of Your Business from Start to Finish

Touraj Parang

Exit Planning | Entrepreneur | Author

Experienced dealmaker and entrepreneur Touraj Parang shares his philosophy that an exit strategy, if implemented early, is the surprising secret to ultimate startup success. This wide-ranging discussion covers the differences and parallels between venture capital and corporate development, common mistakes to avoid when selling, planning a successful exit strategy, insights into how to make leverage work in exit planning, and tips on negotiating the LOI and purchase agreement for a successful exit.

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Guest Profile

Touraj Parang is a veteran Silicon Valley dealmaker. He is a seasoned entrepreneur, investor, adviser, corporate attorney, and M&A expert who has sat in almost every seat around the table structuring and negotiating strategic transactions since the late 1990s. Touraj has been a founder, executive, and trusted adviser to several fast-growing technology startups with exits to LinkedIn, Instacart, VistaPrint, Postmates, and Amplify, among others. He has also spent nearly a decade on the acquirer side of M&A deals as a corporate development executive at Webs and GoDaddy.
His new book Exit Path: How to Win the Startup End Game draws on Touraj’s decades-long unique experience involving hundreds of M&A transactions, strategic partnerships, and venture capital investments totaling billions of dollars in aggregate value. He is currently the Chief Operating Officer at Serve Robotics, which he helped spin out of Uber, and an Operating Advisor at Pear VC, an early-stage venture capital firm. He earned his JD from Yale Law School and his AB in Philosophy and Economics from Stanford University.

Topics Covered

  • The Exit Path [1:49]
  • How has the start-up and venture capital environment changed since the 2008-2009 downturn? [3:00]
  • Does the corporate development world slow down when the economy is down? [4:06]
  • What is the difference between venture capital and corporate development? [6:08]
  • What are the challenges of being an entrepreneur? [9:52]
  • How does previous experience as an attorney, venture capitalist, and corporate developer help an entrepreneur? [10:43]
  • What are the parallels between venture capital investing and corporate development? [15:19]
  • What are the most common mistakes entrepreneurs make when selling a company? [18:35]
  • What is an exit strategy?[26:42]
  • What is the difference between the long game and the short game strategy? [33:51]
  • How do you grow your network and build relationships to set up an exit strategy? [35:10]
  • Who should be involved in an exit team? [46:00]
  • What is the importance of leverage in a deal, and what do you mean by creating leverage? [53:28]
  • What is the key to the short game strategy? [1:00:32]
  • What does an entrepreneur need to know when negotiating the letter of intent (LOI)? [1:06:15]
  • What is the most difficult part of negotiating the LOI? [1:11:41]
  • What does an entrepreneur need to know about the purchase agreement? [1:14:46]
  • What is the difference between negotiating the LOI and the purchase agreement? [1:19:30]

Learn More

Resources Mentioned



The Art of Selling a Business With $10 Million to $100 Million in Revenue

Written by Jacob Orosz, President of Morgan & Westfield

For a business to sell for what it’s really worth – or even more – you need to properly prepare. But too many entrepreneurs put off planning the sale of their business until the last moment. Acquired – The Art of Selling a Business With $10 Million to $100 Million in Revenue will help you prepare your business for sale and walk you through the sales process, dodging the pitfalls along the way. With a significant amount of your wealth tied up in your business, planning your exit is one of the most critical initiatives you’ll undertake.

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