Getting out of acqui-hire stage is a watershed moment for any startup. That's where your reserve price is higher than $xM per founding team member. Usually reaching this stage is driven by traction.
However, companies freshly out of the acqui-hire stage can be left with a lot of paths:
- Do you leverage your traction to ride power law dynamics and raise a ton of money at a super high valuation and go for the huge $1B+ exit?
- Do you raise a a medium amount of money at a low enough valuation to keep high $250M+ exits on the table?
- Do you try to frame yourself for a near-term medium $20-50M exit, that could push higher if you get several strategic bidders?
- Do you go for profitability and fuel future growth with it to turn into a long-term sustainable company?
- Do you go for profitability and turn yourself into a cash machine?
The chosen path depends a lot on whether you're an indie, angel or venture company. I find it fascinating which path companies choose at this stage.