How I Evaluate Companies

  1. Team: It’s almost always team first. When I make an investment, especially at the early stage, I am betting on the team’s ability to lead, execute, and adapt.
  2. Product: The success of a consumer internet company will depend heavily on its ability to get and keep users, which requires a killer product. People have to love it and/or need it.
  3. Traction & Metrics: Usage metrics will give credence to any qualitative assessments of the product. Understand the derivative metrics and how they are changing.
  4. Market: Need to understand if the users represent a big enough market to build a big business on top of.
  5. Business Model: Make sure this is something that could one day generate income, but in the meantime can deliver value to its users.
  1. Team: Team first, as always. At this stage, it’s important to understand if the CEO can truly lead the team, if they can hire effectively at scale, and if they promote a positive culture. The team also gets credit for what they have built so far.
  2. Traction & Metrics: In a business with real financial metrics, they are a high priority. They need to be looked at carefully and from the ground up to understand deeply the derivative trends in the business. It’s also important that the company itself is focused here.
  3. Market: Need to know if they are on the edge of mass market adoption or will stay a niche player. Market size, competitive dynamics, and trends are hugely important at this stage.
  4. Technology & Product: To a large extent, the proof is in the numbers. Everything from support tickets to usage rates help show if it works. A product people love is still very important.
  5. Business Model: Here also, the proof is in the numbers. Either the model is working well or it’s not. If the company is still highly unprofitable, need to understand when and how they can control their cash flow.
Business Category Prioritization by Stage and Sector

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Alex Oppenheimer

Alex Oppenheimer

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Finance Geek in Israel. Former NEA, Morgan Stanley, Stanford. Finance & MechE nerd. Verissimo.vc