Different methods of valuation for startups

A company's assets and overall economic value can be used to determine its net worth. When a business tries to acquire capital or go public, one of the most crucial factors that lenders and investors take into account is the startup's value. Strategic planning and ensuring that you are appropriately valuing a firm might benefit from an understanding of the many startup valuation approaches.

For their expansion, new enterprises frequently require outside capital. Valuations are essential to fundraising operations since they help define the amount of money to be raised and the ownership percentage to be provided to investors. Startup business valuations assist investors in making decisions about their ownership equity stake based on expected company prospects, as well as whether or not to invests.

What is a startup valuation?

For every business, business valuation is never simple. The task of determining a valuation is particularly challenging for businesses with little to no income or profitability and uncertain futures. It usually involves valuing mature, publicly traded companies with consistent revenues and earnings as a multiple of their earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) or based on other industry-specific multiples. However, it is much more difficult to assess a startup that is not yet publicly traded and may take years to generate revenue.

In order to assist with funding, administration, and sales, a beginning business is given a value assessment. The predicted growth rate and hazards of a firm may be evaluated, and through valuation, you can forecast its future value. Researching similar businesses is a part of the appraisal process, which frequently makes use of a straightforward structure. When a business is just getting started and in need of assistance with its strategic decision-making processes, valuation is often a good idea.

Why estimate the value of a startup?

A startup's value should be estimated because of the risks and uncertainty that could have an impact on its development. Potential investors can use the startup valuation to determine the potential return on their investment and whether to fund the company. In order to determine whether they are making a profit, entrepreneurs can also analyze their costs and revenues. A startup's worth must be calculated in order for a business to decide where and how best to invest its time and resources.

10 startup valuation methods:

Although valuations are crucial, it can be difficult to determine the value of a start-up company due to a number of obstacles. The following are just a few examples of these difficulties.

1 Berkus method:

The Berkus method, or development stage valuation methodology, is a valuable tool that pre-revenue firms may swiftly utilize to assign value and compare their company's qualities with others to evaluate prospective opportunities. This technique relies its measurements on the startup's concept and evaluates the importance of five important success factors:

1) Basic value, 2) Technology, 3) Execution, 4) Strategic relationships in the core market, 5) Production and sales

You can carry out a thorough analysis and gauge how the entire worth of these factors affects the overall value of the business in terms of quantitative measurements. Investors can learn more about businesses that haven't turned a profit or aren't well-established in their field by using this technique.

2 Book value method:

The book value method links a startup company's valuation to its net worth. The total assets minus the total liabilities make up a startup's book value, or asset-based valuation. To obtain the asset-based valuation, add the total value of physical assets to the balance sheet values, which comprise cash and accounts receivable, after balancing impairment and depreciation, and take out debts and expenses. The company's entire equity, less preferred stock, is divided by the number of outstanding shares to determine book value per share because book value indicates shareholder worth. Additionally, you may utilize book value as a method of valuation and contrast it with market value to evaluate whether a share is overvalued or undervalued.

3 Comparable transactions method:

In order to value a business using the comparable transactions method, one must count how many startups of a similar nature have been purchased recently. Your choice of a suitable value range can be aided by examining these comparable deals. Comparing two startups that offer comparable products or services may be the best way to use this approach.

4 Cost-to-duplicate approach:

The cost-to-duplicate approach method determines how much it would cost to reproduce the same firm by taking into account initial costs and expenses as well as the development of its products. The fair market value of a company's tangible assets is added up to arrive at the startup's value using this procedure. You may, for instance, factor in the expense of creating a prototype and conducting research for a software startup. Investors that utilize this strategy are often unwilling to invest more than market value or at a higher valuation. This approach disregards the company's potential future sales and growth as well as intangible assets like brand value, goodwill, and intellectual property. For the best outcomes in startup valuation, take into account integrating it with additional qualitative techniques.

5 Discounted cash flow method:

This approach uses market analysis to forecast the company's potential future growth and how it can impact its overall profitability. This method of estimating intrinsic value involves projecting a company's cash flow into the future and then discounting it at the weighted average cost of capital. By estimating the investment return rate and calculating the startup's prospective earnings, this method allows you to anticipate value based on various scenarios and determine the potential of the business.

6 First Chicago method:

Using components of the discounted cash flow approach and multiples-based valuation, the First Chicago method forecasts several scenarios for the company. The valuation entails estimating the potential of the company under the best, average, and worst case scenarios. You first determine the valuation using either the discounted cash flow approach or a multiples-based valuation. If you combine the three possibilities and assess the likelihood of each scenario occurring, you can then multiply the probabilities by each scenario's value to obtain a weighted average valuation that includes all three eventualities. An investor could see the potential for a company's growth using this technique.

7 Future valuation multiple method:

This approach of valuation makes use of an anticipated future return on investment. It's possible for these estimates to include ones for sales, costs, and/or growth. You may, for instance, evaluate the startup's value based on growth over the following five, ten, or twenty years and give investors a range of potential returns.

8 Risk factor method:

You may determine a startup's likelihood of success using the risk factor summation approach. It employs 12 variables, including risks associated with management, technology, manufacturing, politics, and competition that can have an impact on return on investment. The scorecard valuation approach or the Berkus valuation method are two examples of additional methodologies you might use to determine an initial estimated value. The final estimated value of the startup is then calculated by deducting or including various risk values from the initial estimated value. Counting the risk factors relies on how many dangers fall into each category and how many have an impact.

9 Scorecard valuation method:

A new approach to evaluating a startup's value is the scorecard valuation method, which compares it other companies in the same industry or location and weighs several factors affecting its value. You might group things into categories like marketing efforts or the caliber of the management team. Each category is given a comparative percentage, which might range from less than 0% to more than 100%. A corporation might get a 100% for being on par, for instance, if the management team was only recently appointed and is still learning.

10 Valuation by multiples method:

The earnings of a startup company are used to help create value in the valuation by multiples technique. A multiple is a ratio formed by dividing an asset's estimated or market value by a certain financial statement item. Using the multiples method, you look at similar purchases that use the same financial indicators and come up with a base multiple for comparison. Investors can evaluate the value of a company based on its current profits before taxes, interest, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA). An investor might believe the company is worth five times its overall EBITDA. The price-to-earnings ratio and other multipliers can also be used.


Conclusion: From the above article we saw that we go over what a startup valuation is, why it's critical to assess a startup's value, and 10 techniques you might employ to do so. Since a company's success or failure is still up in the air when it is in its early stages, it is quite challenging to estimate its true value. There is a cliché that claims startup valuation is more of an art than a science. That has a lot of merit. The methods we've seen, nonetheless, contribute to a slight increase in the art's scientific rigor.

The above article has been written by Mr. Omkar Bandivdekar (CMA Aspirant) and reviewed by Mr. Suyash Tripathi (Chartered Accountant) and they can be reached at mdomkarnitinbandivdekar@gmail.com and tripathi.r.suyash@gmail.com .