Your Series A check sheet ✔️

Augustin Sayer
Nov 28 · 6 min read

If you prefer to download directly the check sheet, download is here.

Make sure you check most boxes to optimize round size and valuation in a future Series A!

Newfund recently announced its 3rd series A refinancing in a row over the last three months. First came FairMoney with Flourish Ventures & DST partners. Then Fairmarkit with Insight Partners. And a few weeks ago, came Young Alfred with Gradient Ventures, Google AI fund.

They all had in common: $10M+ Series A, american VC funds leading the rounds, and their Product Market Fit (“PMF”) validated. Their road to value creation and social success remains long, with plenty of work and roadblocks ahead.

In this article, we share learnings from their experience raising their Series A in order to help all entrepreneurs raise their Seed, Series A, or even Series B. We found 6 criterias common to all three startups that were essential in assessing their Series A readiness and here they are:

1. Repeatable use case

Ask your users how they’d feel if they could no longer use your product. The group that answers ‘very disappointed’ will unlock product-market fit.

You can read more here and I recommend you apply this strategy if you haven’t already.

⚠️ Recommendation: A clear slide on how your users are addicted to your product, and are paying for it.

2. Recruitment

⚠️Recommendation: Be able to show some key hirings over the course of the past few months. A fully staffed C-level is not necessary and you will probably not have the money to fill all positions; 1 or 2 is enough — and it is already a huge feat!

3. KPI driven

Here are some KPIs to focus on:

  1. MRR
  2. Cohorts / Churn
  3. CAC / LTV
  4. Usage of your service (not just MAU but rather usage in terms of minutes or number of daily connects)

The idea behind these metrics is to see if your instruments are ready to scale : if you do not have the data and the right mindset of tracking every area of performance and source of improvement to correct it and enhance your organization, you will not get them later down the road.

⚠️Recommendation: Identify your KPIs and show a clear positive trend. Read this piece by Point Nine Capital if you’re a SaaS business:

4. Growth

⚠️Recommendation: Look for growth before your fundraise, or else get into skeleton crew mode. For more info on skeleton crews, must read by Sahil Lavingia:

5. Equation

Check out this presentation excerpt from a class I give at HEC and Epitech on how to determine valuation and how much you can raise (in France) inferred from current revenues.

⚠️Recommendation: talk to your peers (those who recently did a Series A not wannabe Series A or Seed) to check your feasible round size and expected post-money dilution.

6. Personality

But one aspect we can never really mention is if there is a lack of human compatibility. Venture capital invests in all types of entrepreneur but there are certain aspects, certain traits common to all. Like mentorability. Mentorability is key because as much as investors want someone stubborn, they really mean a stubborn listener. Below are a few more adjectives of the typical entrepreneur :

⚠️Recommendation: If you don’t know if you’re mentorable, you must watch this:

What’s next?

VCs invest in 1% of deals they receive. Statistically you could be facing the same odds. So don’t let yourself down (ever).

Two quick tips:
⚠️ Not all co-founders need to go to first or second meetings.
⚠️ If the VC asks for a fourth and a fifth meeting, and you don’t see the end in sight, then he/she is probably stringing you along.

Good luck, you can do this! And once you do, congrats on graduating your seed class!

Entrepreneurial Resolutions

Knowledge marketplace between entrepreneurs and venture capitalists

Thanks to Henri Deshays

Augustin Sayer

Written by

Principal @ Newfund Mgmt |

Entrepreneurial Resolutions

Knowledge marketplace between entrepreneurs and venture capitalists

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