Current trends on deal multiples (Q1 2017)

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Our private company clients often ask what kind of revenue or EBITDA multiple ranges they can expect upon a sale or when determining their enterprise value in connection with a financing. This is always a tricky question as value is driven by ever-changing supply and demand and then-current market conditions. Moreover, with yet-to-be-profitable startups, substantial value often lies with their IP, team and/or future prospects.  Accordingly, for a startup, the answer to this question is subjective at best. With that said, one of the better resources I have found for data on these points comes from PitchBook’s various surveys.  Most recently, PitchBook released their Global PE Deal Multiples Report (2017, Part 1), which can be found here. As indicated in their recent report, median EBITBA multiple for Q1 2017 increased to 7.5X; however, the median revenue multiple decreased to 1.1x (with revenue multiples increasing at the higher revenue levels).  Not surprisingly, in today’s current market, there appears to be an increasing premium on profitability over straight revenue numbers.