Startup investing can be a lucrative and exciting way to grow your portfolio. However, it’s important to do your due diligence before investing in any startup. In this article, we’ll discuss startup due diligence framework(12 key success factors to look for). From the founding team to the financial plan, we’ll cover everything you need to know to make informed decisions and increase your chances of success in startup investing.
As an investor, you want to look for certain factors while evaluating potential startups. Here is startup due diligence checklist:
A superstar founding team with complementary skills
A great idea is important, but a great team is crucial. Look for a founding team with a diverse set of skills and experience, and ensure they have a strong track record of working together.
An irresistible business concept and model
The best startups have a unique and compelling concept that sets them apart from the competition. Look for businesses that have a clear value proposition and a viable business model.
A massive market size with room for growth
Investing in startups that operate in large markets with plenty of room for growth can increase the chances of success. Make sure the startup you’re considering is targeting a sizable market that can support their growth ambitions.
Impressive traction in terms of revenue and/or user growth
Startups that have already shown impressive traction are more likely to succeed in the long run. Look for businesses that have achieved significant revenue and/or user growth, and ensure that the growth is sustainable.
Smart unit economics
Investors should pay close attention to unit economics, which are the key financial metrics that drive a startup’s profitability. Make sure the startup has a clear understanding of metrics like CAC, CLTV, Marginal Cost of Product, and Product Margins.
The ability to scale distribution and/or production
For startups to achieve significant growth, they need to be able to scale their distribution and production capabilities. Look for businesses that have a plan for scaling their operations, and ensure they have the resources to do so.
Reliable and effective distribution channels
Effective distribution channels are critical to the success of any startup. Ensure that the startup you’re considering has a well-defined and reliable distribution strategy.
Valuable partnerships or contracts
Partnerships and contracts can provide startups with a competitive edge and access to new markets. Look for businesses that have established partnerships or contracts that can help them achieve their growth ambitions.
A deep understanding of the competitive landscape
Startups that have a deep understanding of their competitive landscape are more likely to succeed. Ensure that the startup you’re considering has a clear competitive advantage and a plan for maintaining it.
A well-crafted financial plan
Investors should look for startups with a well-crafted financial plan that outlines their capital requirements and growth projections. Make sure the startup has a realistic plan for achieving profitability.
A reasonable burn rate and enough cash
A startup’s burn rate is the rate at which it spends its capital. Ensure that the startup has a reasonable burn rate and enough cash to sustain its operations while it grows.
Exciting exit opportunities
Investors should look for startups with exciting exit opportunities, such as mergers and acquisitions, private equity, or IPOs. This ensures that investors can potentially earn high returns on their investment
By focusing on these factors during due diligence, you can better assess a startup’s potential for success and determine whether it aligns with your investment goals. Keep in mind that startup investing is inherently risky, but by doing your homework and investing in the right startups, you can increase your chances of success with just limited capital.