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On December 9th, Venture Archetypes and Greenberg Traurig pulled together a panel of some of the top entrepreneurs and most active acquirers in Silicon Valley to answer your questions about start-up M&A. So whether you’d like to know what the serious players are looking for or how to position your start-up for a healthy acquisition, you’ll find the wisdom right here!. Read the rules.
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How is the approach used to acquire an international start-up different from the approach taken with a domestic company?
Asked by John Chu

Panel Answers

Amin Zoufonoun
Director, Corporate Development
We tend to look for the same things that we would here. We would structure our diligence pretty much the same and try to find out the same things with respect to fit – but we have to make modifications. For example, I did a deal in Sweden and it was amazing to me that at the 11th hour, what became the critical issue is how much vacation we give. Since they are in Northern Sweden next to the arctic, sunlight is very valuable so for them to get that time off during summer was absolutely critical. Or labor laws in France – so you have to modify things a little bit.
Taylor Barada
Senior Director, Corporate Development
The first question is what’s your definition of an international startup? Dapper was founded in Israel, has a core engineering site there and also has an office right down the block from here. Ultimately it’s an American company at this point and most of their business was there. We essentially viewed that as a global product acquisition and it was run out of here. For a company whose go-to-market business is in an international market, that would be handled by one of our colleagues oversees. The main difference on those deals is that the hit rate is typically lower and the cycle is a little bit longer. The markets are more immature on some levels and things tend to take longer. So the two things I’d say are the conversations take longer and the actual close ratio from starting of conversations might be lower.

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