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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Power Pivot for Excel Tutorial: Top Use Cases and Examples

by Ellen Su

With the arrival and growing ubiquity of big data, Excel, as a data-mining and processing tool has been pushed to its limits—reflected in its dated 1,048,576 row hard limit and the application’s processing speed slowing to a crawl. As of 2010, Microsoft released a Power Pivot function that transformed the scope and usefulness of Excel where the extraction, combination, and analysis of large datasets are concerned. Using live cases, Finance Expert Ellen Su explores in detail how to master Power Pivot and explores its hidden advantages as a big data tool.

17 minute readContinue Reading
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SaaS Pricing Models - Pricing Strategy Examples and Best Practices

by Tayfun Uslu

Pricing strategy is one of the most important financial levers that companies have at their disposal to influence the financial success of their business. However, it is not an easy task. This article analyzes SaaS software pricing strategies and finds that several of the operational characteristics of the business model generate some very useful pricing advantages that can help drive financial performance.

19 minute readContinue Reading
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Open Source Software - Investable Business Model or Not?

by Natallia Chykina

Open-source software is a catalyst for growth and change in the IT industry, and one can’t overestimate its importance to the sector. In recent years, there has been a surge in venture capital dollars pouring into the sector. In this article, we analyse whether recent valuations make sense, and whether the open-source model lends itself to the returns profile that venture capital investors look for.

13 minute readContinue Reading
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Snapchat IPO: It’s All About the ARPU, Dummy

by Joe Matta

Ahead of Snap's IPO, we take a look at whether the rumoured valuation makes sense, and find that whilst overall market concerns regarding DAU growth are justified, the market is likely under-valuing the company’s ARPU growth prospects. For us, Snap is a Buy.

16 minute readContinue Reading
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Term Sheet Templates - Clauses to Look Out For During Negotiation

by Alex Graham, CFA

Despite the large increase in resources aimed at helping founders navigate the fundraising process, many still struggle when it comes to comprehending certain term sheet clauses. Such clauses can lead to founders losing control of their company or payout structures upon exit down the road. This post breaks down the term sheet's trickiest clauses and the implications thereof.

19 minute readContinue Reading
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Getting the Most from Equity Research - Lessons from a Former Research Analyst

by Ryan Downie

Equity research provides a very useful function in our current financial markets. Nevertheless, the profession has come under fire in recent years. In this post, Toptal Finance Expert Ryan Downie details how to utilize research reports more effectively. Additionally, he outlines the equity research's main value for both sophisticated and retail investors and highlights the pitfalls of this profession, its causes, and how you should evaluate research in order to avoid these issues.

12 minute readContinue Reading
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Hiring a Startup CFO - When to Hire a CFO and Why You Need One

by Scott Brown

For young companies, the value of a full-time CFO is hotly contested. At the debate’s core, is the trade-off between the sheer expense of an experienced CFO at such an early stage (not cheap), and the value said individual posits to confer where growth, strategy, fundraising, and operations are concerned. Borrowing elements from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and adapting them for this purpose, Toptal Finance Expert Scott Brown introduces a unique framework for how startups might go about thinking through and making this decision.

18 minute readContinue Reading
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The Impact of Brexit on the Financial Services Sector

by Toby Clarence-Smith

Since the historic Brexit vote, much speculation has been made regarding the effects this would have on the UK's economy. In this article, I take a look at what the anticipated impacts of Brexit on the UK financial sector are, assess their merits and likelihood, and see what the long-lasting impact on the financial sector around the world may be.

10 minute readContinue Reading

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