May 31 • 57M

#10 - Mia Wang (M&A Director at Cloudflare) & Oren Falkowitz (Co-Founder of Area 1 Security) - Demystifying the M&A Process, Tips for Founders on Executing a Smooth Process

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Shomik Ghosh
A podcast series exploring all things enterprise software. We'll interview experts from all areas of company building, the enterprise buyer perspective, investors viewpoints and deep dive into specific technology trends.
Episode details

Mia Wang is the M&A & Strategy Director at Cloudflare. Oren Falkowitz is the Co-Founder of Area 1 Security, a phishing security company, which was acquired by Cloudflare in April 2022. In this episode, Mia & Oren demystify the M&A process for startups (founders and employees) by discussing the real steps and decisions that both sides had to make as the acquisition was being contemplated and completed. Tactical advice is shared all along the way for founders to learn from in order to enable the smoothest M&A process possible in the future.

Where to Find Mia:

Where to Find Oren:

Where to Find Shomik:

In this episode, we cover:

(00:44) - Mia’s Background

(02:24) - Oren’s Background

(05:02) - Quick Primer on Ballistic Missile Trajectories and Telemetry (fun tangent)

(06:57) - How Acquirers Approach the M&A Process

(10:03) - Build vs Acquire Decision

(11:39) - What Area 1 Security Does

(13:42) - Starting a Phishing Security Company in an Already Crowded Market

(15:43) - LLMs Impact on Phishing Security

(18:48) - What Happens At and After the First Exploratory Call

(25:34) - The Research & Initial Diligence Process of an Acquirer

(29:31) - Balancing Regular Business and Acquisition Interest as the Target

(33:43) - Getting to the Actual Price & Valuation

(36:54) - Negotiating Price as the Target & Communicating Internally with Board & Teams and Externally with Customers

(45:14) - Navigating Closing Conditions and Accelerating Delivering the Employees and Talent the Acquirer Expects to Bring Onboard

(46:44) - Post Closing Integration

(51:52) - Key Tip from Acquirer’s Perspective on Making M&A Go Smoothly

(53:43) - Key Tip from Target’s Perspective on Making M&A Go Smoothly

(54:47) - Fun Story on Cultural Fit and How Little Things Matter

Additional Show Notes:

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