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Duke University

Startup Valuation Methods

Duke University via Coursera


How do different types of investors think about an investment opportunity? What kind of securities and contracts do they offer? How should a company decide what is a "good deal"? This course is designed to introduce you to the challenges and pitfalls of financing new enterprises. You will learn the basic tools for valuating companies, including using discounted cashflow analysis in Excel and understanding how to apply this model to your entrepreneurial venture. You will then learn how valuation works with different types of securities that investors use to finance startups, from bank loans to venture capital to angel investing.


  • The Basics of Valuation
    • In this module you will learn the general framework for valuing companies: prices as the discounted value of future cash flows. We will focus on how to determine cash flows and how discounting works. At the end of the lectures you will be able to understand the basics of how investors determine the value of a company.
  • Building your First Excel Valuation Model
    • In this module we will apply what you learned in the previous module. At the end of the module you will have built your first financial model of a firm, which you can change to apply to valuing a large firm or a small startup.
  • Valuation of High-growth Startups
    • In this module we will consider how very high failure rates for startups affects what you learned in the previous modules. The short answer is: it doesn’t, as long as we understand what business plans and company forecasts really are.
  • Venture Capital Overview
    • In this module we will review the main sources of capital that founders of startups turn to when they raise capital to launch their business.
  • Angel Investor Overview
    • In this module we will conduct an in-depth analysis of angel investors and the securities they use when they invest in early-stage startups

Taught by

Manuel Adelino and David Robinson


4.4 rating at Coursera based on 643 ratings

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