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Learn the strategies and tools that you will need to sell your tech or internet business to a Fortune 500 company
Learn how to form strategic partnerships with major companies that will benefit your business tremendously
Understand how you’ll be evaluated when you walk into that boardroom
Building relationships with Fortune 500 companies early on is essential to build credibility for your business. Imagine how many doors will open when you can say that you partner with Amazon, eBay or Google.
Learn exactly how the CEOs, heads of Mergers and Acquisitions and heads of business development companies of Fortune 500 companies evaluate companies to buy, understand what it is that they are looking for.
This course teaches you from my experience running the M&A team at eBay for five years. I met with hundreds of entrepreneurs and invested over a billion dollars of capital. You’ll learn from real life examples and I’ll share exactly what I was looking for in companies and how I evaluated teams.
To illustrate the principles of this course, we’ll look at different type of acquisitions and different ways that entrepreneurs were successful in selling their companies. I’ll also share specific case studies of companies that failed to be bought and explain what went wrong and what the mistakes were so that you can avoid these.
These are all going to be pragmatic case studies, I’m not going to teach you any theory, nothing academic, this is a practical course, I teach the same that I would teach someone who I’d bring on my team at eBay.
I’ll start by teaching you everything you need to know before you’ve even started a company or if you have a small startup already.
I’ll then explain why your leadership will determine the destiny of your company by studying top entrepreneurs who have sold their companies or raised billions of dollars - Elon Musk, former CEO of Paypal, Kunal Bahl, CEO of Snapdeal, the largest eCommerce marketplace in India, and Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb.
Next I’ll dive into why companies get acquired. We’ll look at why eBay bought Paypal and why Google bought Youtube. We’ll look at the synergies and how you can find these for your company.
I’ll also teach you how WhatsApp managed to get bought by Facebook for $19B and what that can teach you about getting the most money for your company, stuff that you won’t find in any finance books.
Finally, I’ll tell you exactly what not to do, how not to pitch your company and the most common mistakes I see entrepreneurs make. We’ll look at why acquisitions fail, what can we learn from eBay’s unfortunate foray into telephony with Skype and eBay’s almost purchase of…well that’s a secret but I can still share the pitfalls with you.
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|Section 1: I've spent $1B investing in and buying startups and will teach you all about M&A|
You will learn the skills to become an M&A professional and to sell your companyPreview
|Section 2: Think like a Fortune 500 CEO or head of M&A when evaluating startups|
In this lecture I will discuss the importance of strategic fit, the key fundamental of M&A for Fortune 500 companies. Fortune 500 and other large companies care most about how a startup can help their business succeed and achieve its strategy. Through my eBay/PayPal case example you will learn how to find strategic fit between a Fortune 500 company and another company.
PayPal was a perfect fit for eBay. eBay ran a marketplace where buyers and sellers were trading goods, but there was no way to make payment on the platform. This was a barrier to eBay’s growth. eBay had developed a payment mechanism of its own but it wasn’t doing well with customers. PayPal was a company with a payment solution that worked and customers were using, so eBay bought it to help accelerate the growth of the marketplace business – and it worked!
This lecture will discuss the key characteristic that make entrepreneurs attractive to Fortune 500 companies : having a vision supported by passion and unyielding commitment. I bring this to life with an example of Kunal Bahl, CEO of Snapdeal, the leading marketplace in India I invested in while at eBay.
You will learn what to look for in entrepreneurs and what traits you should develop as an entrepreneur to be successful and attractive to Fortune 500 companies.
In this lecture I will share the incredible importance of relationships with Fortune 500 companies in making deals happen. 60-70% of the companies I acquired came to my desk because someone within eBay was championing that company or I knew the CEO myself. Aspiring M&A professionals will learn how to use these relationships in your company to find attractive companies to invest in and buy. Entrepreneurs will learn multiple approaches for building these relationships effectively.
This lecture is primarily targeted at entrepreneurs. You will learn the importance of tailoring your message to each Fortune 500 company you talk to and how to tailor your message.
As the head of M&A for eBay, the companies that I was most likely to invest in came to meetings with me already prepared to tell me the strategic fit between our companies and why eBay would benefit greatly from buying their company. Some of them would have already run data tests on eBay data and could show results of the two companies working together, and, even better, a few had already worked with eBay. Those were the ones that increased theirs chances the most of me choosing to acquire them. I will make this clear through a case study of The Gifts Project, a deal I led at eBay.
In this lecture you will learn what level of success a company needs to reach to be acquired. The great news is you don't need to find the next eBay, Facebook or Amazon to make a deal happen. In fact, by the time a company is that size your company is likely too big to be acquired. The companies I would choose and that my CEO would approve eBay buying are often quite small and excel in a niche of great value to eBay.
The example of eBay and Decide.com will bring this to life and teach aspiring M&A professionals what to look for and entrepreneurs what to strive for
In this lecture we will learn about the value of defensive acquisitions through the case of Facebook's acquisition of Instagram. Large companies often have a challenge innovating because all of their attention and money comes from their core business. There is example after example out there of large companies being disrupted by smaller, more nimble competitors. This is the worst nightmare of Fortune 500 CEOs, and now that it’s a well-known phenomenon, it is often a driver of acquisitions – innovation through M&A.
Entrepreneurs want to find ways to be the David and M&A professionals want to catch these David's early.
Corporate buyers often don’t care too much about the financials of a company, especially if it is small. This makes them different from venture capitalists. Strategic fit of the business or technology is most important. Most of the small companies I bought lost money, but this applies to larger transactions too if they are strategic.
That means if you work in M&A you can evaluate companies at all maturity levels and gives you a much wider range of companies to select from. As an entrepreneur, if you know why the company is evaluating you and how you fit together, you know the importance of your financials.
Acqui-hires: Hiring talent through M&A
|Section 3: Learn to find synergies, the reason eBay bought PayPal and Google bought YouTube|
In this lecture I will briefly define what synergies are and the different types and lay out the case examples we will go through to illustrate each synergy. I will provide an overview of the step-by-step process you will learn to identify synergies yourself between Fortune 500 companies and startups
You will learn how to identify different types of customer synergies by examining the eBay/PayPal deal
You will learn how to find synergies related to advertising, content and data from the Google and YouTube deal
In this lecture I will share with you how to identify business segments that are likely to have startups that will have synergies with the Fortune 500 company you work for and share case examples of each. The method also can be used in reverse for entrepreneurs.
Step 3: Learn to find customer synergies with Amazon/Audible, eBay/StubHub deals
Step 4: How to find tech & operational synergies with eBay/Hunch & Amazon/Kiva
|Section 4: Practical Valuation: Get the best price for your deal with the power of options|
The truth about valuation: it's not about Excel, cash flow analysis or multiplesPreview
Options trump discounted cash flow analysis
Example of the power of options: Yahoo's $1B bid for Facebook
Explosive growth creates tremendous options: why Facebook paid $19B for Whatsapp
Groupon's failed IPO teaches us to avoid overplaying our hand
Playing too hard to get: one of the biggest mistakes in Yahoo!'s history
Practical valuation demystified: How exactly to get the best price for YOUR deal
|Section 5: When the honeymoon ends and acquisitions fail|
Breaking up is hard to do: when acquisitions fall apartPreview
eBay’s unfortunate foray into internet telephony with Skype
Why eBay lost China to TaoBao
How Google lost billions of dollars on its acquisition of Motorola
eBay and the almost purchase of... that's a secret but I can share the pitfalls
Two Final Pitfalls
Summary: The pitfalls of M&A
Ian Bednowitz established and led the Mergers & Acquisitions team for eBay's largest business unit for five years. During that time, he and his team invested over $1B in capital in dozens of startups across the world after evaluating and meeting with hundreds of entrepreneurs. He has a deep understanding of entrepreneurs and the challenges they face, as he not only invested money in their companies, but he would also coach them on challenges ranging from growing their business, raising funds and staying healthy while living an incredibly busy lifestyle.
Prior to his role at eBay, Ian worked for over seven years at Bain & Company, a leading strategy consulting firm, where he helped work on strategy, marketing and operational issues in a broad range of Fortune 500 technology, financial services and consumer products companies. Bain sponsored Ian to attend the Kellogg School of Management, where he earned his MBA, focusing on strategy and entrepreneurship. Ian graduated with B.A. in Economics from Cornell University.
Ian realized his greatest passion at eBay was working with and coaching the entrepreneurs. As a result, in 2015 he stepped away from his role at eBay to focus exclusively on coaching entrepreneurs both one-on-one and through his Udemy courses which reach thousands of students worldwide.