Exit Path: How to Win the Startup End Game

  • 4h 42m
  • Touraj Parang
  • McGraw-Hill
  • 2022

An exit strategy, if implemented early, is the surprising secret to ultimate startup success. Find out why—and how to develop one—in this comprehensive, practical guide from veteran Silicon Valley dealmaker Touraj Parang.

In 2008, Touraj Parang's award-winning startup, Jaxtr, had 10 million users, raised nearly $20 million from top-tier Silicon Valley investors, and seemed poised to sail straight through the Great Recession. But, by January of 2009, Jaxtr’s only hope for survival was to find a buyer—sadly, it was too late for that.

In Exit Path, Touraj draws on the lessons learned from that chaotic experience and the extraordinary successes that followed once he (and the entrepreneurs he advises) made creating and executing an exit strategy a top priority. For too long entrepreneurs have been failing to establish the requisite relationships and properly prepare for the most important milestone in their life cycle: a sale to an acquirer. But in today’s hyper competitive and interconnected business world, that is no longer an option. In this first-of-its-kind, comprehensive guide, you'll discover the surprising reasons few startups succeed while many fail—and you’ll learn that implementing an exit strategy early will empower you to take charge of your startup’s ultimate fate, maximizing its potential for success while mitigating the risks of failure.

Arranged in four sequential parts, Exit Path walks you through actionable steps to devise and execute an effective exit strategy, starting with a fresh new perspective on the critical importance of creating a viable sale option for your startup. You'll learn why creating your exit strategy is necessary well before you're contemplating an exit, regardless of the stage of your startup. You’ll also discover how to create your own exit plan, how to make your plan a reality through personal and business relationships, and how to approach and negotiate with acquirers for an outcome best aligned with your values and ambitions should the need arise.

Whether you are an entrepreneur, investor, or advisor, the expert advice and insights in Exit Path will inspire you to take charge of your startup’s destiny and unlock its strategic potential and options over time.

About the Author

Touraj Parang is a veteran Silicon Valley insider. He is a seasoned entrepreneur, investor, adviser, and M&A expert who has sat in almost every seat around the table in Silicon Valley since late 1990's, including as a corporate attorney at legal powerhouses Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and O'Melveny & Myers.

Touraj has been a founder, executive, and trusted adviser to several fastgrowing 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. Exit Path 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, a leading early-stage venture capital firm, where he enjoys collaborating with and providing strategic guidance to mission-driven entrepreneurs.

Touraj earned his JD from the Yale Law School where he served on the editorial boards of Yale Law Journal and Yale Journal of International Law and his AB in Philosophy and Economics from Stanford University where he was the founding editor-in-chief of the Dualist Journal of Philosophy and won the Ethics in Society Honors Program award.

In this Book

  • Introduction
  • The Exit Taboo
  • Exit Path as Your Survival Path
  • The M&A Failure Myth
  • Rationale and Timing
  • Step 1—Gather
  • Step 2—Document
  • Step 3—Iterate
  • Focus on Momentum
  • Build Relationships
  • Build Your Exit Team
  • Create Leverage
  • Keep Going by Learning and Tweaking
  • Focus on Every Shot
  • Your Opening Gambit
  • Transaction Phase 1—Term Sheet
  • Transaction Phase 2—Agreement
  • Final Thoughts
  • Notes