Nearly every day in technology we hear about another startup team that’s been acquired. Now Exitround is looking to get in on the action by facilitating the search process for founders who might want to put their companies on the block, and helping corporate buyers investigate talent or tech up for sale — all while anonymizing the data to keep discussions discreet.
While an internal marketplace for acquisitions might sound a little wonky or industry-specific, the success of investment marketplaces like AngelList prove that democratizing an industry often dependent on who you know has real potential for success.
The company explained the rationale behind the site:
“Startup founders who are having difficulty raising a Series A round face a series of options: raise additional Seed capital, cut the burn and bootstrap, shut the doors, or occasionally consider a strategic acquisition by a complementary partner. This type of conversation with strategic acquirers is common for larger venture-backed companies, however, not as common or accessible for the large number of seed-funded companies out there. Exitround is the way for founders to more easily explore the strategic acquisition option.”
CEO and founder Jacob Mullins, who is also a senior associate at Shasta Ventures, was very clear that Exitround is not a public database where people can scan companies looking to sell. The site will prioritize privacy for all parties who are interested in participating, and potential buyers and sellers will have to fill out applications to be admitted to the site.
Mullins said the company is mainly looking to make sure the companies filling out profiles have some sort of seed funding, top incubator experience, or strong technology backgrounds that make them a good fit for the marketplace. But he said Exitround is generally open to a variety of companies joining the site.
Founders will fill out information on their companies, employees, technology experience, and funding, and then Exitround will collect the data into one big profile and anonymize it for potential buyer perusal. If the buyer is interested, Exitround will introduce the company and the buyer. Initially, Exitround is focused on small companies with some seed funding, but not necessarily those that have done a Series A yet, for example.
“There should be a place where people who are at least interested in selling their company should be able to discreetly raise their hand and connect with people who are potentially interested in buying that company,” Mullins said.