20VC: Key Questions Entrepreneurs Must Ask in M&A’s, Why Acquihires Come In 2 Different Categories & Why M&A Is Lumpy with Bram Sugarman, Director of Corporate Development @ Shopify

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Bram Sugarman is the Director of Corporate Development & Strategic Partnerships at Shopify, the e-commerce titan that has over 500 merchants in 150 countries on their platform. Prior to joining Shopify, Bram was a venture capitalist with OMERS Ventures, the venture capital arm of one the largest pension funds in the world. As a VC, Bram worked on more than 20 transactions helping the OMERS Ventures grow from 1 investment to 24 investments. Bram helped lead and manage OMERS Ventures’ investments in Shopify (IPO), HootSuite, VidYard, PasswordBox (Acquired by Intel), BusBud, Hopper, League, and AppHero (Acquired by Fuse Powered).

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Bram made his way into the world of VC and then jumped to the other side of the table, buying startups with Shopify?

2.) What does using corporate development as a platform to accelerate product roadmap mean? How does this mean it differentiates from traditional M&A? How does Bram work with product team in the M&A process? What are the benefits of doing this?

3.) How does Bram assess the attractiveness of acquihires? What are the 2 differing types of acquihires? What are the essential characteristics of the individuals in those acquihire situations?

4.) With integration being the biggest risk of M&A, what does the ideal post-acquisition process look like? What must be done on both the side of the startup and the acquiror to make the process as smooth as possible?

5.) With regards to pricing and valuation, why does Bram urge founders to consider the long term and what does that mean? How can founders determine the truth with regards to long term objectives of their acquiror?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Bram’s Fave Book: Einstein by Walter Isaacson

Bram’s Most Recent Acquisition: Oberlo

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Bram on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

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