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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Advanced Valuation and Strategy - M&A, Private Equity, and Venture Capital by Erasmus University Rotterdam

1,113 ratings

About the Course

Hi and welcome to this course! Would you like to learn about the latest valuation methods that may help you to make better business decisions? Then 'Advanced Valuation and Strategy – M&A, Private Equity, and Venture Capital' by Erasmus University Rotterdam is the right course for you! This course is helpful for executives that need to value complete strategies and for all students interested in corporate finance and strategy. We present the latest tools and show you how to apply them! We will revolutionize your way of decision making, by extending static techniques from corporate finance with dynamic methods to quantify strategic thinking. Traditionally, we assess the attractiveness of an investment as a mature business, where future cash flows mainly result from past decisions. But, in an ever-changing world, strategic decisions determine the firm’s long-term success and market value. Yet managers often have to consider these long-term implications using intuition and experience alone, with little guidance from structured, quantitative analysis. Our treatment goes far beyond the use of standard valuation analysis. We introduce the expanded NPV, which brings together DCF, real options, and game theory. Thinking in terms of options, games, and adaptive strategies may help managers address strategic questions such as: How do you value a leveraged buyout? How can you value a high-tech venture with negative cash flows? When should you invest in new ventures in stages? How can you incorporate rival bidders in the analysis? The tools we provide can improve your decisions in business and in daily life. * Who is this class for? We hope that our course appeals to (graduate) students in finance, economics, and business, as well as to high-ranking professionals and a general audience. This course is particularly interesting for venture capitalists, private equity investors, investment bankers, CEOs, CFOs, and those who aspire these affiliations. We offer this MOOC at 3 levels: 1.Executive Summary: This 1-week module provides critical insights into the principles of corporate valuation and strategy. This is accessible for time-constrained executives and the general audience without any prior knowledge. 2. Student Level: This level involves an understanding of the technical details. This level requires basic knowledge of concepts in corporate finance, e.g., the time value of money, financial statement analysis, capital structure, and the relation between risk and returns. Learners of this level can skip week 1. 3. Honors Level (honors certificate): This level is challenging, engaging, and compelling to an intellectually rigorous student....

Top reviews


May 18, 2020

Boosts your up-to-date understanding of how strategy and valuation come together. It helped me better understand my PE clients' buy & build strategies from a growth option valuation perspective.


Feb 27, 2020

Demanding at times but overall one of the better courses that make you think before you have to answer. I also enjoyed the ability to do some extra work if you are into honorable certificate.

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26 - 50 of 312 Reviews for Advanced Valuation and Strategy - M&A, Private Equity, and Venture Capital

By Alexander M S

Feb 25, 2021

Really not a good course! Topics are bad explained and exercises are calculated without rounding but show rounded numbers. Extremely confusing and not well done!

By Sangam P

Aug 8, 2020

Level of Video Lectures are far below than the level of Final quizes provided here. I'm completely disappointed.

By Lucas C R

Dec 10, 2020

They do not explain everything they ask on the test. You have to lookup by yourself.

By Javier G C

Jan 23, 2020

First of all, I started this course as a complementary activity to my bachelor degree's final project but along the days and weeks I became addicted to the way the course was explained and simplified as much as possible, so ended up giving priority to get the certificate instead of focusing on my project.

Thanks to the teachers for providing me with new and additional knowledge of Real Options trough Game Theory, company's valuation, etc.

I'm really happy of finishing my first Coursera course and hope to pass more in the future.

By Carlos R P

May 26, 2019

The course provides a good framework for option valuation in projects and Private equity, i believe the course is designed either for finance professionals who are already working on private equity , project finance or valuation or for students withthe required background.

the course is practical , given is a 5 week course on a topics that could last more weeks or hours.

Quality of videos is good.

Professor explanation is Very good.

By Bre P

Mar 4, 2020

Really good course, but there are several incongruences on the peer-reviewed grading directions(Honor's portion) and the questions asked. Instructors should be more objective in what information they want in answers and not expect students to guess what to answer. This forces us to waste time correcting answers that are not wrong per se, but have been downgraded by peer-reviewers that followed the grading directions by the letter.

By Loc T V N

Sep 27, 2018

This course is insane!!! Help me get such a deep understanding about Corporate Strategy and its correlation with competitors in the market. It emphasizes on valuing assets/ company by using variety of methods and simultaneously illustrates its impact on management's decision. Very straightforward and highly recommended!

By Jörg P H

Mar 12, 2020

great course for linking valuation and strategy in the mentioned fields, but the knowledge is also applicable in other decisions under uncertainty with major impact with regards to path dependencies i.e. for personal life. I recommend it for finance professionals.

By Filipe C d S

Jul 23, 2019

It was challanging and the first part might get you frustrated, but the course is rich with resourses and I 100% would recomend this to whom ever wants to learn more about corporate finances.

By Abdallah M

Dec 27, 2018

perfect course

By Fábio M V S

May 7, 2020

This course has amazing value for its price.

Professor Hans Smit managed to pack a lot of content into only about 3 hours of videos.

You will still have to supplement the videos with reading and/or online research. In this regard, I suggest reading Chapters 1, 2 and 3; plus, the first parts of Chapters 4 and 5 of the Professor’s “Strategic Investment: Real Options and Games” for a more complete grasp of the theory and concepts discussed in the videos. For more practical examples, I suggest resorting to recent editions of “Principles of Corporate Finance” by Brealey et al. Brealey is especially relevant for those that, like me, never priced options in college or in a professional setting. I have not touched Game Theory in 10 years, but the Professor’s explanations, plus the practice exercises (and some parts of Robert Gibbons’ “Game Theory for Applied Economists”) were enough. Google will also yield decent tutorials.

The course is scheduled for completion in 5 weeks – but I managed to conclude the course in 2 weeks (I skipped the honor assignments), by studying at nights and during my weekends.

The quizzes can be infuriating, because of the rounding criteria – you will get all the exercises right, but the application will rate you with a lesser score, because your rounding is different from the rounding of the instructor. This is especially true in the NPV and ROV quizzes.

The first quiz is incredibly stressful and should not be used as a prelude to the rest of the course. The course is rigorous; but because of the videos, and if you “do your work” (as the Professor says in one of the videos), you will successfully understand the content and how to apply it. So, if the first quiz seems intimidating – do not worry.

In summary – if you love valuation, you will greatly enjoy (and benefit from) this course. The only problems are the first quiz and the rounding problems in the following quizzes.

By Rodrigo G

Nov 10, 2021

Pretty high/quality level of contents. Too fast explanations for complex concepts.

Comprehensive approach to modern valuation techniques

Great learning experience!

By Seyed A J A

Aug 30, 2021



Apr 23, 2020

Excel support would be appreciated

By Janelle L

Jul 5, 2020

While I appreciate the knowledge provided by the course (for which I would rate a 5), the execution in delivery took away from the value of the lessons (for which I would rate a 0), thus resulting in giving the course 3 stars. This is a challenging course and the inconsistencies made it unnecessarily more challenging than it needed to be. That said, I am appreciative for what I learned as it aligned with my learning objectives. To those who will take this course, a great deal of time and patience will be needed to navigate the inconsistencies in order to arrive at the golden nuggets of knowledge.

By Alexander W S

Mar 24, 2021

Han Smith is very difficult to understand in English, even with the subtitles it took some re watching to understand what point was being made. Additionally compared to other finance courses offered by LMU and Yale, this course was more about testing your math and excel skills vs. actually understanding the content. I felt like only about half of what was on the credential quiz was covered in the videos and readings and this required some outside research and studying to actually pass the quiz and understand the content which I did not experience with other courses.

By Carl F

Aug 26, 2020

While the course provides a great alternative perspective on investment decisions, the course structure could use some improvement. At times, there key pieces of information missing for quizzes. Moreover, it also occurs frequently that there are multiple topics in the exams that have not been touched upon during the course. Overall, this course is interesting, but be aware that a fair amount of previous knowledge is required.

By Ramiro V

Apr 1, 2021

The content is interesting and very relevant. The videos are nicely done. However, in the assignments there are questions that are not covered neither in the videos nor the readings, resulting in a lot of time wasted re-visiting the material with no success and frustration. Also there is some unnecessary repetition of concepts and others are covered rather quickly.

By Sofiya L

Dec 30, 2020

The tests are way too hard in relation to the information provided in the course. Many questions are not explained well in the videos or in the reading material

It could be helpful to have a shorter period between test trials

In general, a good course if you are prepared to invest a lot of time in self-learning and looking for additional information

By Njabulo J

Sep 15, 2020

There was a bit of struggle with answering questions related to numbers.

It was not clear if the number should be entered in full e.g $1000 000 Or entered in short $1m particularly in the first assessment towards the certificate on DCF Valuations.

Other than that, the course was fine.

By prateek p

Jun 14, 2020

Lot of examples where explained mechanically without giving 100% clarity, for example while calculation option games , the payoff calculation for example was unclear.

By Mauro B

Apr 20, 2021

I spent all the lesson time reading the subtitles due to the approximate level of English, so I couldn't go through any slide.

By Mustafa Y

Jun 24, 2021

Waste of time

By Thiago N F

May 13, 2020

I am quite impressed by this course. Lots of topics covered in a very simple and comprehensive manner. Challenging sometimes and going deeper in some evaluation methods.

Also, very interesting the way the evaluations are structured, providing good insights. The course also joints strategy and financial aspects, making a fantastic mix of contents and different valuation methods whilst providing some case studies.

The course is really demanding, we can expect more than the duration / dedication reported there.

Videos very didactic, examples practical and some hands-on exercises are really appreciated. Also, as it says, the examples and the knowledge acquired also can be applied in our personal lives and personal investments.

I do recommend this course.

Many thanks and congrats for the framing of this course.

By Carlos N V

Jan 5, 2023

I earned my MBA in 1998, and have performed very little Corporate Valuation work in my career. So it was good to refresh my skills and learn some new things (like option games). However, this is definitely an advanced course. There are simply too many things here that you ned in your toolkit before tackling this course. I found myself digging through my old copy of Brealey Myers to refresh my memory. Also be prepared to answer questions in quizzes and tests on things not covered in the course. Sometimes the slides are blank when you download the PDF. And some concepts are not explained at all. So this course will take some work and some effort. But if you're willing to put in the work, and if you have the proper background, it is a good way to refresh some skills and learn a few new ones.