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  • Writer's pictureShivani Deshmukh

Cost to Replacement Valuation Method: What, Why, How, Advantages, Disadvantages

Updated: Nov 8, 2022

Entrepreneurs and startup owners often struggle with valuing their startups. While they might have an idea of what they would like to be worth, they often have little idea of where to start or if is there enough information available on the topic of valuation that they can use. Luckily, there are plenty of resources available online.

Startups are hard to value. You can give them tons of money and they will grow faster than you want them to, but most don't grow as fast as you hope. In this article, we will outline some general tips on how to approach the cost-to-replacement valuation process.

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What is the Cost to Replacement Valuation Method?

The cost-to-replacement valuation method is a process that involves comparing the current value of an asset with its fair market value. But the market value is different from the replacement cost. Replacement cost involves determining the cost required to replace the asset with an identical, new asset. It's calculated by adding up all the expenses associated with buying and equipping an identical property. This method uses historical costs, current replacement prices, and inflation rates to estimate the value of an asset.

The cost-to-replacement valuation method is often used in situations where there are no other assets or liabilities that are explicitly linked to the startup being valued. The replacement value of an asset is determined by the cost required to replace it with an asset that has the same characteristics as the original asset but is new or improved.

This valuation method tells the investors how much it will take for another company to come up with the same product or technology as the startup or company they are investing in. What entry barriers they can create for some other company coming with the same product or technology?

For example, the Adani Group is entering the telecom business where they will come up with the same technology as the big players in the market are providing. This valuation method will give valuable information about how much cost it will take to build the same technology and what are the entry barriers.

Formula Used for Cost-to-Replacement Valuation

Annual Depreciation = (Cost of Asset – Residual Value) / No. of Years of Life

Why Cost to Replacement Valuation is Important?

The cost-to-replacement method is important because it allows investors to consider the cost of replacing a startup company. This will give them a better idea of whether they should invest in a particular business and whether the investment would be worth it.

This method involves finding out how long it would take to replace your startup or asset with another comparable one, and then comparing this figure to the current value of the startup being valued. If the new asset costs less than it would take to replace your current asset, then it is likely that you can sell your current asset or startup for more than its cost of replacement. This means that you would profit from selling your startup or assets now.

This method can be used when a startup has been purchased or acquired by another company, and the buyer needs to determine how much they should pay for the business. In this situation, it is important to use this method because it allows the buyer to compare their internal costs with those of their competitors. This type of calculation makes it easier for buyers to make informed decisions about whether they should purchase a startup. By comparing the cost of purchasing one company with another, they can determine which one offers them better value for their money or should they build the technology/product on their own.

How to Perform Cost to Replacement Valuation Method?

The cost-to-replacement method is a great way to value your startup if you're looking at selling it, as it can give a much clearer picture of the true value of your startup company.

The basic idea behind the cost-to-replacement method is that you want to know what it would cost to replace your company in its current form with another company that does the same thing.

The following steps are followed for performing cost to replacement valuation method:

1. Select an average useful life for the fixed asset and calculate the depreciation schedule for each year using the appropriate formulae. Identify the replacement cost of the item.

Annual Depreciation = (Cost of Asset – Residual Value) / No. of Years of Life

Replacement Cost = Recoverable Depreciation + Actual Cost Value

2. Calculate the salvage value as follows:


P = Purchase price of the machinery

i = Depreciation

Y = Useful life

3. Subtract salvage value from replacement cost to get replacement value (RV).


Replacement Value = Replacement Cost – Salvage Value

1. Multiply RV by the number of years it will take to replace (asset 1) to get the estimated cost per year until a replacement can be completed.

2. Calculate the Replacement Value for all assets of the company.

3. Add the Replacement Value of all the assets of the company. This will give the total value of the startup.

Example of Cost-to-Replacement Valuation Method

Let’s Consider the current example of Adani Group entering the telecom business market. It will have to compete with the already existing big players’ products and technology such as Jio, Airtel, and Vodafone-Idea (VI). Cost to Replacement Valuation method will provide information about the amount of money required to build the technology like network towers and the entry barriers. The entry barriers will be already existing players who have a huge customer base and customer loyalty. They will have to come up with better innovative technology and products. So, the investors will consider all the factors and decide whether it would be profitable to invest in their startup over time.

Advantages of Cost to Replacement Valuation Method

  • The cost-to-replacement valuation method is useful when considering the purchase or acquisition of a business or startup. When thinking about selling your business, this method can help determine how much you should get for it.

  • If you are going through bankruptcy proceedings, this will help determine how much money should be given out in compensation or how much money should be taken from other assets to pay off debts.

  • It's easy to use—you don't need any specialized skills or expertise in accounting or economics.

Disadvantages of Cost to Replacement Valuation Method

  • It is difficult to apply the cost to the replacement method since there are no standard rules or guidelines that can be followed to perform this valuation method.

  • This method is not realistic because it does not consider future expenses and other factors that could affect the value of an asset.

  • The cost of replacement is based on the value of materials that would be required to replace each component of the old machinery. However, this does not take into consideration the economic benefit that could be gained from using this component in a new way or for some other use than its original purpose.

  • For the Cost to Replacement method to work properly, there should be enough information available about how much money it would cost to replace similar assets at comparable replacement costs. This means that there must be enough information about similar assets that can be used in estimating their replacement cost. If there are not enough similar assets available, then using this method will give inaccurate results because of these missing data points.

Applications of Cost to Replacement Valuation Method

  • The cost-to-replacement method can be used to value real estate and other assets.

  • It is used to calculate how much will it take for another company to come up with the same product/technology and what are the entry barriers.

  • The cost-to-replacement method is used when an investor wants to estimate what a property's worth is today, plus how much it would cost to replace it with another similar asset. The idea behind this method is that every asset has a specific lifespan, and as time goes on, prices will continue to rise so long as demand for the asset remains high.

  • To determine if your business is worth more or less than what other businesses in your industry are selling for.


Cost to Replacement valuation method is used to ascertain the value of a company's fixed assets. The business is made up of various fixed assets, including machinery and other items. The cost-to-replacement method uses the cost involved in buying new machines as a measure of the value of its fixed assets.

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