When I was walking into my first investor’s meeting I was nervous and had no idea what would happen. I thought that would be no problem because it’s my baby - my company - we were going to talk about and that I know everything about it.
In retrospective, I wished I would have prepared a little bit better because there were some questions coming up that I had not thought about before.
In a typical investors meeting, the questions will not follow a certain order and will come out as you are starting to present your pitch deck. In my experience, there are almost the same questions coming up from every investor with just little differences depending on the focus and current portfolio of the investor.
So we decided to put together the most common questions of venture capital and angel investors from our own experience and all the startups we have helped raise money. To make it easier for you to work on them we split them into different categories that match the slides of your pitch deck.
So here we go...
- How and when did you get started?
- Where did you and your co-founders meet?
- How is the company structured?
- Are there any advisors or a board?
- Where is the company registered?
- Can u tell me something about the captable?
- Can you give me the contact to 2-3 partners you have worked with?
- Why is now the right time to start the company?
Business Model Questions
- How are you making money?
- What is your marketing strategy?
- Who is your dream customer?
- What pivots have you already made?
- What makes you special?
- Are there any other revenue streams you are thinking of?
- How big is the opportunity?
- What trends do you see in the market?
- What is the actual addressable market?
- What percentage do you plan to get over what period of time?
- How did you arrive at the sales of your industry and its growth rate?
- Why does your company have a high growth potential?
- Where is the data from?
- What has been the most interesting IPO or acquisition in your industry in the past year?
- Who are the founders and key members of your team?
- What relevant domain experience does the team have?
- What key additions to the team are needed in the short term?
- Why is the team uniquely capable to execute the plan?
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- What are your motivations?
- How big is the team?
- Tell me about your most challenging professional experience?
- When was a time where you succeeded against all odds?
- What do you think about selling the company?
- How did you come up with the idea?
Product & Services Questions
- Why do users care about your product or service?
- What are the major product milestones?
- What are the key differentiated features of your product or service?
- What have you learned from earlier versions of the product?
- What key features are missing?
- If you had to - which features would you delete?
- Who are your competitors?
- What gives you a competitive advantage?
- Are there any entry barriers?
- What advantages does your competition have?
- How are you compared to your competition respect to price, reviews and performance?
- Which competitor is doing the best job and why?
- How much feedback have you received?
- Is there any press coverage?
- What is the best / worst review you got?
- How big is the churn?
- Give me some numbers on your users?
- How many sale users do you have?
- How many users do you have?
- What is your growth rate?
- Is there any recurring revenue?
- What slowed your growth?
- Are there any bottlenecks?
- What are your main assumptions?
- How much are your customer acquisition costs?
- How much is your customer lifetime value?
- What are the 3-5 key metrics you are focusing on?
- What is your monthly burn rate?
- How much debt & equity has been raised?
- How much is spent on your salaries?
The-Ask / Investment Questions
- How much money do you need?
- What are you going to do with the money?
- What would you do with even more money?
- Is a certain amount already committed?
- Which milestones are you accomplishing with the money?
- How long is the runway?
- What if you don’t get the full round?
- What are the biggest risks?
- When are you planning to raise the next round?
- What’s your pre-money valuation?
- How do determine your current valuation?
- Will previous investors participate in the round?
- What would your dream investor bring to the table?
- Do you have an ESOP in place?
- Which companies could be interested in acquiring you and why?
We hope that the questions helped you prepare for your next investor’s meeting. And always remember that every question is a big chance to refine your pitch and idea. It’s one of the most important parts of fundraising.