VC fireside chat invitations are highly sought after among tech founders, marking the initial step in their quest for capital after a pitch captures a VC’s interest. For every founder who secures this chance, nine face rejection. Among those advancing, a mix of self-assurance and nervousness is common, indicative of the high stakes at play. These chats are critical, potentially leading to either a term sheet or a rejection. Founders must skilfully handle the VC’s probing questions. This article offers a comprehensive list of 50 questions, serving as an invaluable tool for founders to assess their venture plans comprehensively and identify any remaining gaps.
Company Vision and Mission
- What is your company’s core mission, and how do you plan to achieve it?
- Can you describe the long-term vision for your company?
Product or Service
- What problem does your product or service solve?
- How does your product work? Can you walk us through the user experience?
- What is unique about your technology or solution?
- How do you plan to evolve your product/service in the next 1-3 years?
- What intellectual property do you have, and how do you plan to protect it?
- How big is the market opportunity, and how did you arrive at that figure?
- Who are your target customers, and why will they care about your product?
- Can you describe your market segmentation and go-to-market strategy?
- What is your revenue model?
- How do you plan to acquire customers?
- What are the customer acquisition costs, and how will these change over time?
- What is your pricing strategy?
- How do you plan to scale the business?
- What traction have you gained so far?
- Can you share some growth metrics or milestones achieved to date?
- How are you measuring success, and what are your key performance indicators?
- Who are your competitors, and how do you differentiate from them?
- What is your competitive advantage, and is it sustainable?
- Can you tell us about the founders and the core team?
- What relevant experience does the team have?
- How do you plan to grow the team in the next year?
- What are your current financials, including revenue, profit, and burn rate?
- What are your financial projections for the next three to five years?
- How much funding are you seeking, and how will you use the capital?
- What is your exit strategy or plans for future funding rounds?
Challenges & Risks
- What are the biggest challenges your company faces?
- How do you plan to overcome these challenges?
- What are the biggest risks to your business, and how are you mitigating them?
Customer and Market Validation
- How have you validated the market and product fit?
- What customer feedback have you received, and how has it influenced your product development?
Sales and Marketing
- What sales channels are most effective for you, and why?
- How do you plan to grow your sales and marketing efforts?
Technology and Development
- What is your approach to product development?
- How agile is your product development process in responding to market changes?
Partnerships & Collaborations
- Are you looking for strategic partnerships, and if so, in what areas?
- Have you established any partnerships, and how do they add value to your business?
Legal & Regulatory Compliance
- Are there any regulatory hurdles for your product/service?
- How do you ensure compliance with laws and regulations in your industry?
Impact & Corporate Social Responsibility
- Does your company have any social or environmental impact goals?
- How does your company culture reflect your values?
- Have you thought about potential exit scenarios or acquisition targets?
- How do you plan to provide a return on investment to your shareholders?
Use of Proceeds
- Can you break down how you will allocate the funds you’re raising?
- How long will the current fundraising round last, and what milestones do you expect to achieve with it?
- What are you looking for in an investor beyond capital?
- How do you see investors being involved in your company?
- What keeps you up at night when thinking about your company?
- How do you stay ahead of the curve with technology trends and customer demands?
Every tech founder and tech investor is attempting their personal Everest climb. Some are getting ready at basecamp, while others are almost at the summit. Cube Capital advises them on the critical aspects of the climb, especially when planning and attempting mergers, acquisitions, capital raising and divestments. We also work on the design, development, and execution of strategies for investing, growing, pivoting, restructuring, and exiting.