How to evaluate a startup | Предприниматель

How to evaluate a startup

Criteria startup and how to sell more expensive

The first thing that investors are viewing the future – a business plan for a startup. You’ll need to specify it your assessment of the market, competitors’ activities, the expected profit, and many other indicators. It will not hurt to prepare more than one model, and several options. It is desirable to provide a variant with the most pessimistic forecast. This option will show the possibility of a startup in its minimal success. Typically, investors in the business plan is based on data from other sources, examples of the work of competitors, the average multiplier in this niche.

Financial Criteria

Most often, when assessing the financial parameters of a startup focused primarily on the period of cost recovery (return to EBITDA). The faster the project will pay off, the quieter the investor. There are exceptions, where, above all, pay attention to other indicators – the number of users of the site, for example. Each investor’s own approach to the assessment of a startup.

If your plan states that in the first place will be made to attract customers, and then – their monetization, better use the principle of «proof of idea» (the principle of answers to questions in which an outside person immediately clear how profits will come in What is the value of the project – approx. edition). This is the most appropriate way for projects that go into a new market, even when it is impossible to predict the response of the final consumer product.

Human Resources

Up to two thirds of the value of your company is the potential of its employees. Prepare yourself for what you will be judged on various criteria: if the economic models and schemes of work can be influenced, then the person is almost impossible to change. Try to show investors that you have long-term vision of the situation, you know exactly what to do and how and what your team is a friendly people, all of which are implemented in practice.


You can get a premium on a proven business model. If you position your company as working on innovative schemes, the investor obvious question arises: “Why on it so far no one has worked?”.

Do not be afraid to haggle. Describe the additional capabilities of the enterprise. For example: you have an idea of ??the service, which will work on the B2B market. Do not rush to position itself as a company that is ready to serve 1% of the total population, even if you can do it. It is better to say that there is a big part of the market that can serve, but the calculations did you do for a cleaner and “native” segment. If you expand the target audience of buyers in the process, this will be your bonus.

Receiving awards from investors possible in the case of “letters of confirmation” of your customers first.

Discounts for estimating

Rather, an investor looking at the business plan, the discount will apply to the assessment of your business. It would be better if you ask an investor to send written comments, in your opinion, the business plan. It happens that because of a simple misunderstanding can lead to serious omissions. And if all comments will be recorded, it will be easier to navigate and understand what is missing in the business plan for your business. This type of treatment to the investor will give you the opportunity to find arguments that the investor did not know, or that he simply did not pay attention.

Talks with investors

Go to the negotiations must be carefully prepared. Focus on what matters to investors: the project team (guarantee of the business plan in practice), means (profitability and sustainability of the project), the competition and the market (whether run your business model?) And the value of products or companies the eyes of the consumer. Technological aspects of the investor initially not interested, you can submit them later, if an investor will take an interest.

Try to call the exact numbers, talk about investor understandable terms. Expect the project itself, the investor should not do it for you.

Simple calculations

In the best case, to determine their interest in your startup investors will use three criteria: the amount of funds required, your assessment of the project and the potential of the company in the future. But each fund has its own internal policies. Individual investors will want to take at least 25% 1. Many investment companies have restrictions on the minimum and maximum amount of investment. In addition, they may have limitations related to expertise.

Bargain for more favorable terms will help you as your belief in success. For example, you show confidence in the plans, agreeing to take the money part. Investment tranches can bind both to the size of the profits as well as to the number of clients, or to the completion stages of research and development or scientific research. The indicator should be simple and obvious.

Try to negotiate with the investor on the option. If, say, the investor does not believe in the project and wanted to pick up 25%, and you want to reduce this share, select the option: if an investor picks up 25%, but when the option will return you back 10%.

Also, to convince the investor can use an optional program that your employees not only receive salaries, but have a stake in the business.

Evaluate investors

Do not choose a method of investing solely on the basis of the money invested. Ask the conditions of corporate governance. For a beginner project will be important is what the investor will be able to help businesses succeed, except investments, this may be his means of communication, information on market conditions and more. It would be better to cooperate with the core investor than a portfolio that has a lot of different projects, it will not have to have so much attention.

The best option is to have the investor the synergies of business. Comfort cooperation with investors is essential to the success of the enterprise.

Prepare defenses

An investor has a controlling stake, may abuse their influence. Agree about the “mandatory accession to the sale,” it will give you a guarantee to sell your time share and the investor. Pay attention to the suggestions of additional emissions.

Any investor wants to bring the project to the level of a global company, it can offer you more money and reduce your share of 1%. From his point of view, it is better to own 0.1% of the company «Apple», than 100% of start-up that does not cost anything. Not everyone is so close to the position. In the event of disagreement would be better to start a discussion about the investor’s exit from the company. But the best option would be to convince investors that the best asset of the company you are.

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