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

904 ratings
260 reviews

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 262 Reviews for Advanced Valuation and Strategy - M&A, Private Equity, and Venture Capital

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.


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 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 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 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.


Feb 17, 2021

I did not expect this course to be so complete, I am completely satisfied with both the lectures as well as the tests and exercises... I felt quite challenged a lot of times but I definitely learned a lot about strategy and strategic thinking not only in Financial decisions but in any corporate strategic decision, I applied some of this learning to product development and therefore an R&D project and It was very helpful. I highly recommend this course for someone that is hoping to consolidate their financial understanding with strategic applications.

By Mirza D

Dec 13, 2020

Mind opening course that delves into quantitative aspects and teaches how to calculate value beyond standard DCF method. Equally important is a potential paradigm shift in the way we see and think about opportunities and choices we make.

Professor Han Smit is highly knowledgeable of the subject, and excellent professor who knows how to teach and transfer knowledge. The course is however advanced and requires some quantitative knowledge beforehand, and is difficult to complete in a shorter time frame than that indicated in the course description.

By Indika N

Aug 31, 2021

An excellent course for top-level finance professionals to hone their knowledge on Mergers and Acquisition. The only downside is that if you get down a graded quiz, you have to wait for 21 days to redo it. This is too much as time is precious for most of us working in the corporate sector. Further, if we can get answers for questions raised through discussion forum, that would be great. Thanks again for this wonderful course.

By Xuejiao W

Oct 11, 2018

This course is pretty interesting and helpful for me and the professor and tutors are very professional and kind. I really into this class, like the atmosphere in class, the interesting guest lectures. and I also think for international students, the Coursera is very helpful. For me, my English is not that good, I can not follow the class all the time, so I can review the contents here. Thanks!!! Hope I could pass the exam!!


Sep 22, 2021

Great course! I learned a lot and enjoyed the classes. The assignments for honor degree do take some time to do, but are totally worth it. I decided to complete the mandatory tests first and now I will finish the other part, this way I'm forced to review everything that I learned. You have to see which is the best strategy for you, but I encourage you to take the course and improve your financial valuation skills.

By Dheeraj O

Jul 10, 2020

This was an amazing course. Learned a lot of new things when it comes to growth options valuation and other factors to be considered for company valuation. I feel more advanced topics and examples could have been covered or exercise problems for practice would be suggested, but I guess we can get those form textbooks. Also, I loved it when Professor Han jumped up from the bottom during the intro of some videos xd.

By Jose E R C

Jul 5, 2020

Amazing (and tough) course!!!! I can recommend it to anyone interested in the topic not only for the financial side of things but also due to how these metodologies can help you make decisions in your personal life. Prof. Smit explains topics very well. However, the course is certainly not simple and you will have to put in the effort but the reward is absolutely worth the while!

By Diana H

Apr 22, 2020

This curse is well structured and has the perfect mixture of challange, theory and practrical cases. I would assume it would be too difficult for people withouth basic knowlege in investment decision making. The course material, videos and contents are very high-quality. The course itself requires concentration & was challenging enough for advanced learners. THANK YOU!