Why You Should Always Stay on Acquire When Acquiring or Selling Startups

At some point, someone you meet in the Acquire marketplace might ask you to take your acquisition discussions offline. They might have legitimate (and persuasive) reasons for doing so, but we recommend you discuss, manage, and transact your acquisition exclusively on-platform.

Why?

Number one, it’s safer. You keep a transparent record of all chats and documents, and your workflow includes escrow.

Two, it’s easier. Rather than fumble around with emails, attachments, and folders, everything is built into our Guided Acquisition Process, saving you time and hassle. 

Finally, it’s faster. Most acquisitions can take six months to years¹ to complete. We aim to get you to a letter of intent within 30 days. We’ve interviewed founders who’ve closed in as little as two weeks. Try doing that when managing multiple systems, workflows, and intermediaries.

Our founder, Andrew Gazdecki, created Acquire to help make acquisitions fast, secure, and easy. After three successful exits, he’d experienced the headaches of the traditional process and built Acquire so you don’t have to. It’s all here and built around you. 

Here’s why you should stay on-platform for your next exit or acquisition.  

Your Chat History Helps Prevent Disputes

The platform securely records every acquisition discussion between you and a buyer or founder. Your chat messages are encrypted and allow you to share acquisition documents safely. You can also protect the data you share with NDAs built within the platform. 

If someone challenges your version of events or some detail on a document, refer them to your chat record. It’s permanent and conveniently located in one place. Disputes don’t happen often (that we’re aware of), but resolving them is easier when you stay on-platform.

We Can Help Build Legal Documents

While you should always consult an attorney before signing a legal document, our templates and builders can prepare you for the legal stages of an acquisition to keep your legal fees to a minimum.

You can build non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), letters of intent (LOIs), asset purchase agreements (APAs), and P&L statements from our templates. In many cases, your workflows are built around them, saving you hours of extra work and reducing the risk of error. 

Your Assets and Funds Are Safe With Escrow

You must always use an escrow service to safely transfer acquisition assets or funds. If anyone suggests otherwise, run like the wind. Even if your counterparty (a buyer or founder) appears trustworthy, anything can happen between you giving what they want and getting what you want.

Your Acquire workflow integrates our escrow partner, Escrow.com. As the leading escrow service provider in the US, it protects both you and your counterparty from fraud. First, acquisition funds go to Escrow.com. Then, once assets are approved, Escrow.com will release the funds to the founder.

When you close on Acquire, you enjoy peace of mind that when you fulfill your deal obligations, you get what you want. 

You Always Know What’s Next

Whether you’re a buyer or a founder, the Guided Acquisition Process (GAP) takes you through each stage of your acquisition with resources and professional support.

It standardizes legal documents like NDAs (non-disclosure agreements) and APAs. You no longer need to juggle different systems and third parties to navigate the process. 

GAP also gives you a clear audit trail of your conversations and documents and keeps your deal momentum moving. We expect most GAP transactions to close within weeks, not months.

We Vet the People You Do Business With

One of the biggest advantages of managing your acquisition end-to-end on Acquire is that we help derisk the marketplace. Not only do we vet startups and founders, but we also verify identities and incentivize quality conversations

Buyers Pay a Fee to Contact Founders

Buyers cannot message your business or even see your personal information and webpage until they pay for a Acquire Premium subscription. This paywall helps prevent casual browsers from wasting your time. 

Only Vetted Startups Enter the Marketplace

Our curation team reviews every startup, vets them, and only lists those that buyers engage with. While you should always do your due diligence before making an offer, we’ve taken some of that work off your hands with basic vetting before the startup ever goes live. 

Please note: We can’t guarantee the credibility or quality of any startup that we list on the marketplace. Always conduct proper due diligence and use an escrow service to close your acquisition.

Everyone Must Verify Their ID

When founders or buyers sign up, we ask them to verify their account (using a legitimate email address) and their ID through verification platform, Persona. 

Persona collects buyer information like:

  • Home country
  • Identification documents (driver’s license, passport, and so on)
  • A profile photo

With Persona, you can rest assured that the people you meet on the platform are who they say they are.

Founders Can Connect Their Metrics

To build trust and credibility in the marketplace, we urge founders to connect their financial, customer, and web metrics. This gives you real-time, accurate data to forecast performance and evaluate the acquisition opportunity without worrying about the legitimacy of the numbers. 

Everyone Creates Profiles

While you’ll enter plenty of information about a startup to list it, including numbers, URL, name, tech stack, industry, and more, we also ask you to describe your acquisition goals. 

The same applies if you’re acquiring a company. Buyers can add:

  • LinkedIn accounts
  • The date you joined Acquire
  • The number of acquisitions you’ve closed.
  • Your projected annual acquisitions.
  • The types of businesses you’re interested in acquiring.

Profiles help you match with the right person and business and save time on wasted conversations. 

Get Expert Help When You Need It

If you’re new to acquisitions, encounter a tricky situation, or just want help achieving your goals, our advisors are here to help. We have over 50 approved advisors in our M&A Advisor Directory covering everything from marketing your startup to valuations and due diligence. 

While it might be tempting to take a conversation off-platform, consider the risks. Acquire has been designed and built for transparency, trust, and simplicity. Think carefully about what you’re giving up and what that might mean for your acquisition and long-term goals. 

For the love of startups.

References
¹How Long Does It Take for a Merger to Go Through? (investopedia.com)


The content on this site is not intended to provide legal, financial or M&A advice. It is for information purposes only, and any links provided are for your convenience. Please seek the services of an M&A professional before entering into any M&A transaction. It is not Acquire’s intention to solicit or interfere with any established relationship you may have with any M&A professional.