Blog Post

100 M&A Deals. 100 Startup Lessons

Our friend Steven Nielsen over at PartnerUp , the online network that helps entrepreneurs find co-founders, sent us a handy index he has compiled of all the major mergers and acquisitions of Web startups that took place in 2007.

Check it out: Steve’s List of 2007 Startup M&A.

Many of these deals have been written about here, or at the mother ship, GigaOM. (For example: Club Penguin by Disney, also here; Photobucket by Fox Interactive; and StumbleUpon by eBay). Steve includes links to many other useful stories on each deal.

This is a list to print out and post on your wall, not least because of one observation Steve makes about last year’s deal making:

An interesting trend that we’ve noticed [is] that smaller acquisitions in the $5-20 Million range are happening much more frequently than in the past. This is likely because acquirers are snapping up startups before they raise substantial capital, making the acquisitions much less costly and providing the ability to do more deals.

Bootstrapping your way to an early sale, rather than raising VC in hopes of ultimately claiming a nine-digit sticker price (or making it on the long haul) can be a very wise and successful strategy — as several Found|READ contributors and entrepreneurs have attested to. See this piece about Scott Rafer. (Rafer has at least one deal on the 2007 list: MyBlogLog, which he sold to Yahoo! for $10 million last January.)

For more “Success Hacks”, also see: Williams, Abrahms & Cerda,; Koppula, Currier & Rafer again.

There are more than 100 deals on Steve’s M&A List. And there is a startup lesson in very single one. Print the list. Study these companies, founders.

Update: See VentureBeat for even more deal data, this time on IPOs, from Thompson Financial.

Steve Nielsen is the founder and CEO of PartnerUp, a site where entrepreneurs can find cofounders, business partners, advisors and other business resources. Read his Found|READ posts about how to refine your startup ideas, and tips for choosing your cofounder. You can read even more at Steve’s StartUp Blog.

9 Responses to “100 M&A Deals. 100 Startup Lessons”

  1. Carleen, it’s great to see Steve’s work getting out there.
    As a fellow Twin Citian who blogged about bootstrapping
    just a week or two ago myself, my hat’s off to him (and you)
    for posting some valuable info for all web entrepreneurs.


  2. Thanks for posting this, Carleen.

    We’re really happy with how this list turned out and we’ve heard from so many people who’ve thanked us for it.

    We’ve also heard from a number of FoundRead’ers with acquisitions that we missed, so we’ll be adding those soon to make this as complete of a resource as possible for everyone!

    I’ll keep you posted.