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Can anyone recommend Aranca for a 409A valuation? What was your experience with it?

409A Valuation

Answers

Larry Berran
Title: COO/CFO
Company: iPipeline
(COO/CFO, iPipeline) |

We used Aranca for our 409A valuations. I thought they did a great job and was impressed at how deep they went into understanding our business, capital structure and industry. They are very reasonably priced and provide a nice report. Our contact there was Lisa Davis who came out of SVB.

We used them for an initial valuation and have expanded to do updates and purchase accounting valuation on a recent acquisition.

Jed Daly
Title: President
Company: Infiniti Films, Inc.
(President, Infiniti Films, Inc.) |

I am in the middle of a 409A valuation for a startup. Aranca has been very responsive and delivered good value. Lisa Davis, our contact, is a dream to work with.

David Dahn
Title: Partner
Company: Dahn & Leahy LLP
(Partner, Dahn & Leahy LLP) |

We have had a few valuations done by Aranca, Lisa is certainly a champion for CFOs! Absolutely no problems with the reports, we have a very complicated cap structure and have filed an S-1, and the SEC has reviewed and blessed the results and the supporting report. These were done expertly and at a very competitive price. Would seem tough to justify higher pricing as these are now mandatory compliance.

Austin Sharp
Title: COO
Company: TastingRoom, Inc
(COO, TastingRoom, Inc) |

I would highly recommend Aranca, who were originally recommended to me by our legal counsel as being very solid and price competitive. We had our first 409A valuation conducted by Aranca around 1 year ago and have recently commissioned them to update the valuation. I found the team very thorough, accurate and responsive.

Darren Kimura
Title: Ceo
Company: Sopogy
(Ceo, Sopogy) |

I highly recommend Aranca. They are thorough in their valuation process, responsive and confident in their methodologies.

Mike mozzer
Title: CFO
Company: TraceLink, INc.
(CFO, TraceLink, INc.) |

I used Aranca for a valuation of intangibles related to the acquisition of a company. I can highly recommend them, they were responsive, priced competitively and did a great job.

Stuart Sawyer
Title: VP Finance
Company: Mu Dynamics
(VP Finance, Mu Dynamics) |

Our company has worked with Aranca for the last several years for both the 409a valuation and our FAS123R/ASC 718 work. Aranca has done an excellent job in both areas. They are very responsive, dependable and knowledgeable in their area of expertise and I highly recommend them.

TIM SLAYTON
Title: VP FINANCE
Company: SONOMA ORTHOPEDICS
(VP FINANCE, SONOMA ORTHOPEDICS) |

Great company, did the 409a very quickly and easy to work with.

Andrew Laffoon
Title: CEO
Company: Mixbook
(CEO, Mixbook) |

Aranca is easy to work with and a cost-effective choice for startups on a budget. They get the 409a done well and in a timely manner.

Gleb Budman
Title: CEO
Company: Backblaze
(CEO, Backblaze) |

Currently in process with Aranca on a 409a. Talked with Lisa Davis (previously from SVB) during the consideration process and felt that she was very knowledgeable and personable. Since signing up, the rest of the team at Aranca has been responsive and thorough.

Topic Expert
Darren Cordier
Title: President
Company: FV Specialists, Inc.
(President, FV Specialists, Inc.) |

Everything that I have heard about Aranca has been second hand. So instead, let me give you some points you want to address and be aware of no matter which valuation firm you are looking into.
1) Is the work for 409A or ASC718 (previously FAS 123R), or both? Make sure you are clear and it is clearly defined in the engagement letter. Since the standard of value and definitions are different, I recommend separate reports.
2) Make certain you are getting a valuation (aka appraisal) and not a calculation?
3) If it is for ASC718, check with your auditor and make certain they have not had a bad experience with whomever you are thinking of going with.
4) If it is for ASC718, see if they are familiar with the AICPA practice aid (and if they know a revision is in draft form for comment).
5) Do what your doing. Get references, check the background of who will be doing the work, and talk to them about their process (who really does the work).
Rightly or wrongly, problems with a 409a or ASC 718 valuation may not show up for years. However, with the individual penalties to the employees for a 409a and the reaudit and cheap stock risks of a problematic ASC 718 valuation, it pays to do your homework when you select an appraiser.

Topic Expert
Simon Westbrook
Title: CFO
Company: Aargo Inc.
( CFO, Aargo Inc.) |

I have used Aranca too, and was very satisfied with the results. In researching, I detected an attitude from other local valuation professionals that they regarded Aranca as an upstart and less than professional, but having gone through the experience, I believe that the attitude reflects their uneasiness at the pricing pressure that Aranca applies on what is somewhat of a generic service. They were the cheapest provider I came across, and while the professionals warn you that the results of the valuation may not be apparent for many years, many years is a long time, and a dollar saved today is worth a dollar now when you need it!

Warren Miller
Title: Cofounder
Company: Beckmill Research, LLC
(Cofounder, Beckmill Research, LLC) |

I agree 100% with Darren Cordier. The big thing about 409A is that, if it flies back in some ugly way years down the road, it's the employEE, not the employER, who's on the hook. That, by itself, should signal great caution about low-ball pricing. If it looks too good to be true, it invariably is. And, for the record, our shop does no 409A/ASC 718 work.

Topic Expert
Simon Westbrook
Title: CFO
Company: Aargo Inc.
( CFO, Aargo Inc.) |

Although pretty much all respondents were happy with the service provided by Aranca this does not seem to be favoritism, but simply real users commenting on their experience in response to a question posed by Alexander Haislip.

I think one of the greatest values of a site like Proformative is that it is made up of a cross section of senior and experienced financial professionals who are willing to share their experience with their fellow professionals! In the internet age, the choice of available service offerings is no longer limited to a few local providers, but is opened up to the big wide world, bringing the potential advantages of a wide range of experience, specialisation, and availability, as well as price competition. Of course, making a decision on a service provider selection can be greatly complicated and risk bound, if not meeting face to face and seeing samples of work, hence the value of reaching out to peer Proformative members to get real live feedback on prospective providers. Personally, I would attach far more relevance and weight to unsolicited references from Proformative members, than I would to named references given me by the service provider.

Lets continue to share our experiences! Members are free to accept or reject any advice or comments posted!

Michael Gilburd
Title: President
Company: ValuCorp
(President, ValuCorp) |

As credentialed ASA professionals, we are happy to co-author with Aranca or use their talented personnel as sub-contractors. We have used Aranca with great success. With clients across the USA and in many foreign countries, including, amount others Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, India, Israel, and the Philippines, we find their global perspective quite valuable, and would share assignments for both our private and public company clients. While the employee rather than the employee might be on the hook (barring gross negligence or something worse from the employer), it behooves the employer and their auditors to have confidence in FASB ASC 718 and IRS 409A compliance. Aranca's capability and experience in this area contributes greatly to build that confidence.

Anonymous
(Appraiser - Finance Professional) |

Aranca offshores its production of its valuations to India - often without disclosing this to their US clients. Use cheap junk providers at your own risk.

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