{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "What questions should I ask to try to gauge the value of the equity being offered by a late-stage startup (series D) about to raise a round and planning to IPO w/in 5 yrs? W/r/t value & dilution plz.", "post_id": "5f26da18aadbf4001a1f0aac", "reply_count": 2, "vote_count": 2, "bowl_id": "5ae4a4f739e7cb001391ec8b", "bowl_name": "Consulting Exit Opportunities" }

What questions should I ask to try to gauge the value of the equity being offered by a late-stage startup (series D) about to raise a round and planning to IPO w/in 5 yrs? W/r/t value & dilution plz.

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Any company that says "planning ipo in 5 years" raises all sorts of red flags. Either they are spinning some serious BS to recruits or management is horrifically incompetent/naive. Before focusing on equity, you need to find out why they are saying something so stupid. No company (especially startups) has any hope of visibility beyond a year at best. Millions of things can happen in 5 years and most likely (and most lucrative) scenario is a sale not IPO. As a former VC, I invested in hopes my portfolio company would be acquired not an IPO, so why is management saying they expect an IPO in 5 years? Why 5 years not 3 or 1? Sounds to me like some HR BS. Speak to the CEO or get one of the VCs on the phone.

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Ok, thank you. Can you please answer the question, if you have tactical advice to give? Your points are well taken but I’ve already thought through them and those are not the parts I need help with. And it’s not the company putting 5 years out there, it’s my own best guess given their history and what they claim to want to do and the money they’ve raised to date.

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