Accelerate Your Startup.
Sep 01, 2020 4:33 pm
1. How Investors Value Startup.
As founder you look for maximum funding in return for minimum possible equity stake for the investor. What factors the investors consider when valuing a startup, beyond spreadsheets, presentations, free cash flows and valuation benchmarks?
1) Team - How's the team's experience and credentials? which businesses and sectors they were exposed to? How relevant is it in the new context? Which unique insights the founders have gained? How well they get along with each other?
2) Product/ Market - Is the idea validated? Is there a large market, with potential to grow? How's the current traction and are the existing customers happy?
3) Chemistry - Would we to work with founders every day? What value we will be able to add beyond money? How will the founders take those suggestions?
These are intangibles and hard to quantify. Navigating through these requires lot of perseverance. No one ever said being an entrepreneur is easy!
2. How startup funding has changed
In my last few years of experience of working with startups, one thing stands out- the world of startup funding has changed a lot.
1. The quality of startups looking for funding has improved considerably.
2. There is wide availability of information on startups, thanks to various forums, platforms, events, and incubators.
3. The founders now have access to role models who are willing to share their experience and costly lessons, thus providing an opportunity for other founders to learn from other's mistakes.
4. The reverse brain- drain into India as well as availability of ecosystem has pulled in founders with successful careers. They are willing to work hard with single minded focus.
5. The VCs have improved their deal sourcing capabilities, are clear what type of startup they want to fund.
6. Days of funding idea are long gone; the focus is on execution.
7. Investors are actively helping founders get talent and initial deals.
Ironically, those startups who have the ability to generate revenue and sustain business, are the ones who will be able to secure the funding. Investment will be for scaling, not for basic product development or initial sales.
3. What’s more critical for a startup - Imagination vs Knowledge?
"Imagination is more important than knowledge..." Albert Einstein.
When someone quoted Einstein on imagination for the first time, I was skeptical about this thought.
Knowledge is power. Pursuit of knowledge is in fact, a whole life's mission for most of us who consider ourselves as students for life. Isn't it?
However, in today's fast evolving, or rather, fast revolutionizing world, imagination, is indeed becoming very important.
Most people who are widely respected as visionaries today have powerful imagination. While knowledge is important, we should acknowledge that being imaginative is at least equally important, if not more important.
Make sure you have right business model in place for your startup, so that you continuously innovate and stay ahead of the competition.