M&A, Before and After: What Founders Need to Know

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Welcome to the a16z podcast. Today we’re talking about the mindsets and frameworks founders should know about when navigating the mergers and acquisitions or M&A process, both before and after – including how to think about the pricing dynamics, factors that go into the decision-making process, and what to expect from the integration once the deal is done.

A16z editorial partner Zoran Basich recently talked to two a16z experts here to give us their big-picture view of the most important things to know – for founders seeking to acquire companies and how they might think about it, or those considering selling a company, or just those deciding to merge with an acquirer.

Blake Kim is a partner on our Enterprise Network team and a former investment banker who works with companies on strategic partnerships; he also recently co-wrote a post on Future outlining all the different exit options and considerations for companies. And general partner Martin Casado discusses common M&A issues and shares his experiences both as observer and participant – including the challenges of integration, which he saw from the inside with Nicira, which he cofounded and was acquired by VMware for $1.26 billion in 2012, and where he remained for years to lead its networking and security business unit.

As a reminder, none of the following should be taken as investment advice. Please see a16z.com/disclosures for more important information.

They start the discussion by outlining the frameworks for understanding M&A dynamics, including the “kingmaking dynamic” and the difference between “selling your company” and “getting acquired.”

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