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An exit occurs when an investor sells part or all of his or her ownership. In a healthy or growing company, an investor may exit to gain a return on investment. In other cases, the investor may simply want to access cash to invest elsewhere.

Investors can exit by:

  • Selling shares to another investor (or investors)
  • Merging the company they’re invested in with another company
  • Selling the company to another company
  • Issuing shares through an initial public offering
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