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Toptal Finance Blog

The Toptal Finance Blog is a hub for in-depth studies and analysis on all facets of finance, ranging from innovative strategies on raising capital to detailed coverage of new finance trends and technologies.

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The Impending Commercial Robot Revolution

by Francesco Castellano

The field of robotics has seen incredible strides forward in recent years. As a result of improvements in computer vision, dexterity and also overall economics, use of robots has increased in a variety of different fields. However, most of the growth in robotics so far has happened in industrial applications, and thus hidden from the view of the general public. But is this about to change? In this article, Toptal Finance Expert Francesco Castellano focuses on the commercial robotics market. Thanks to recent breakthroughs in the fields of AI, mechatronics, sensors, and batteries, service and commercial robots are likely to see tremendous growth and adoption, likely heralding a new robotics revolution that could transform our daily lives in countless ways.

13 minute readContinue Reading
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Should You Go It Alone with a Single-person Startup?

by Alex Graham, CFA

Popular rhetoric states that you need a team to found a startup. But what if you don’t have the desire or the right co-founders to start a new venture in a team? Contrary to popular belief, there are many successful solo ventures. This guide presents some tactics for solo entrepreneurs to follow when starting a solo venture.

14 minute readContinue Reading
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Making Your Software Work For You: an ERP Implementation Tutorial

by Ted Bartlett

In the life of almost any growing enterprise, there comes a point in time when the existing systems and processes become insufficient. For most enterprises at this key inflection point, implementing enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, which integrates all areas of the business, can help to overcome this issue. This article provides enterprise leaders with the benefits and risks of ERP, as well as a detailed step-by-step implementation guide.

19 minute readContinue Reading
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LTV and CAC: What Are They and Why Do They Matter?

by Ryan Downie

LTV:CAC analysis is one of the most important exercises startup founders must go through to evaluate their business’ prospects and raise external funding. It is, however, frequently misunderstood and misinterpreted. In this article, Toptal Finance Expert Ryan Downie runs through a practical tutorial of how to perform LTV:CAC analysis correctly, and how it should be adapted and interpreted depending on the business model or sector in question.

12 minute readContinue Reading
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What’s My Return on Investment and How Do I Calculate It?

by David Bradshaw

Finding out your return on investment from a project can become a subjective process with the myriad of returns measures and formulas that exist. This overview provides a breakdown and explanation of what type of return you need to measure and how to calculate it. With further guidance on how to use returns data to guide objective decision making.

16 minute readContinue Reading
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Biotech Valuation Idiosyncrasies and Best Practices

by Raphael Rottgen, CFA FRM

Biotech companies with little to no revenue can still be worth billions. Consider the most prominent 2017 biotech M&A deal when Gilead bought Kite Pharma for almost $12 billion. At the time of the deal, Kite had over $600 million in accumulated deficit, but it also had a pipeline of CAR-T cell therapies, which treat cancer. This article examines how to value such pipelines. It also focuses on the risk-adjusted NPV valuation methodology, portfolios of multiple drug candidates, and how value is impacted by the characteristics of the investor or acquirer.

22 minute readContinue Reading
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For Founders Raising Capital: Thinking Through the Implications of Convertible Notes

by Jeffrey Briggs

Convertible notes have become an increasingly popular and common method for raising capital by startups, but how well do founders truly understand the implications of going down this route? In this article, Toptal Finance Expert Jeffrey Briggs outlines the basics of convertible note structures, and runs through the pros and cons of using them to raise money for new entrepreneurial ventures.

15 minute readContinue Reading
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Real Estate Valuation Using Regression Analysis – A Tutorial

by Daniel Barr, CFA, CAIA

Traditional approaches to valuing real estate can lean towards the qualitative side, relying more on intuition over sound rationale. Linear regression analysis, however, can offer a robust model for using past transactions in an area, to provide better guidance on property valuations.

21 minute readContinue Reading

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