For many entrepreneurs, having a successful company means facing a tough decision.How do you exit in a way that’s satisfactory to both yourself and your investors?
If you’ve taken money from investors, those investors are going to want to get liquid. But the two most obvious exit options, an IPO or an acquisition, can be let downs.
You can get acquired, but it’s hard to give up control of something you built from scratch. You can go public, but that also changes the way a company is run.
So how can you make investors rich and stay private?
It’s something Chad Dickerson has thought about at Etsy. He wants to keep his company private for as long as possible, so he’s hired a CFO to review all of his exit options. Dickerson is hoping when the time is right, his company will be able to find some sort of middle ground.
“I don’t think [an IPO is] the only outcome you can have,” he tells PandoDaily’s Sarah Lacy. “So when I look at something like what Survey Monkey announced last week, where they basically did a recapitalization of the company and did some debt financing and I think the overall number was $800 million, they were able to pay back their investors without going public and have all the benefits of staying private. So, one of the reasons I wanted to bring on a CFO is so, as Etsy grows, we can think about all of the options for Etsy.”
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