Startup founders and entrepreneurs need to be well-prepared while pitching their companies to an investor( either angels or VCs). You should have convincing answers to the questions that they throw at you randomly. The likelihood of your startup getting funded decreases if you fail to give appropriate and convincing answers. The following is a list of 75 key questions asked by investors during your pitch event. For the most part, the questions asked by investors will be the same.
Though, not all questions may be asked, but, definitely, the questions would be from the below list. So go well prepared for the pitch event by finding convincing answers for the below questionnaire.
Keep in mind, your answers should not depict your desperateness for raising funds. If during the meeting you do not know the answer to a particular question, feel free to say – “I don’t know and will surely follow up once I do enough research on that question”. This impresses any person.
List Of 75 Questions Asked By Investors (VC and Angels) :
Questions Asked By Investors [General Company Information]
- What made you start this company (and in this vertical)?
- What is the industry vertical in which your company serves?
- What is the USP (unique selling proposition) of your company?
- What problem does your company solve?
- From which place are you operating from?
- What is your biggest vision for the company?
- How long have you been working on this startup?
- How does your business model work?
Questions Asked By Investors [Team Information]
- Who are the founders?
- Who are all part of your management team?
- Do you have any advisors?
- Do the founders have enough domain experience?
- How many employees are there currently in the organization?
- What makes you feel the company is run by the right team?
- Who is your business inspiration?
- Do you wish to scale your team in the near future?
- What are the shortcomings of your team and how do you address it?
Questions Asked By Investors [Market Information]
- Who is your ideal customer?
- What is the market size?
- How many customers will be really wanting to buy your product/service/solution?
- How frequently your customers will buy your product/service/ solution?
- What percentage of the market do you plan to get over what period of time?
- On what basis did you arrive at the sales of your industry and its growth rate?
- What is the proof for a high growth potential of your company?
- Have you done enough market analysis and do you have the proof of data?
Questions Asked By Investors [Product/Services Information]
- What is the USP (unique selling proposition) of your product/service?
- How are you planning to achieve product feature enhancement milestones?
- How is your product/service different from the ones that are already in the market?
- Do you identify any factors which can cause product failure? And how do you tackle it?
- Are there any initial customers for your product/service? If yes, what is their feedback?
Questions Asked By Investors [Competitor’s Information]
- Who are the company’s competitors?
- What is the difference between you and your primary competitors?
- Who do you think are your secondary customers (or indirect customers)?
- Why should we invest in your company instead of your competitor?
- On what parameters are you competitive compared to your competitor?
- What are your plans to overcome sharp competition from your competitor?
- Do you think there are chances for new entrants to gain a competitive advantage over yours? If yes, how do you tackle it?
- Do you have the first mover advantage?
Questions Asked By Investors [Customer Acquisition Information]
- How do you plan to get your product/service message to your customers?
- What is the marketing strategy used for your product/service?
- What is the plan to create a buzz around your company’s product/service?
- How do you leverage the advantage of social media for launching your product/service?
- What is the cost of a customer acquisition?
- What is the projected lifetime value of a customer?
- What are you advertising plans for your startup, product/service?
- What is the typical sales cycle between initial customer contact and the closing of a sale?
- Does your product/service encourage repeat customers? If yes, how?
- What are your customer engagement strategies?
Questions Asked By Investors [Traction Information]
- What is the proof of early traction for your company (app downloads, sales, traffic to website etc.)?
- How to take this initial traction to the next level?
- What measures were taken to achieve early traction?
Questions Asked By Investors [Risk Related Information]
- Do you have any product reliability risks?
- Do you have any legal and regulatory risks?
- Does your product/service has environmental risks?
- Do you have any proprietary patent-related risks?
Questions Asked By Investors [Financial Information]
- When will you break even?
- How much is the revenue forecast for the next three years?
- How will you use the invested money?
- What round of funding is this for your startup?
- At what rate are you burning cash?
- What will be your burning rate until the company gets profitability?
- Who are your other investors?
- How much of funds have been raised so far?
- Are there any stock options for employees and how much is it?
- How many more rounds of funding do you expect before getting profitable?
- Are there any current business loans?
- When do you think the company gets into profitability?
- What are the milestones that you plan to achieve through this round of funding?
- Are existing investors involved in this investment round?
- How much equity and debt has the company raised and what is the capitalization structure?
Questions Asked By Investors [Exit Strategy Information]
- What is the exit strategy – IPO or M & A (Merger and Acquisition)?
- Do you have a list of candidates who could be the potential acquirers?
- When do you plan to make an exit and what do you think will be the company valuation at the time of exit?
Questions Asked By Investors [Intellectual Property Information]
- Does the company/founder/team member hold any intellectual property like patents, copyrights, trademarks etc.?
- Does that have a competitive edge over your competitors?
If you feel I have missed out on any question, please do comment in the comment section below. I will add it to the blog post appropriately.
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