- Product development: For pre-Series A, we expect that you’ll have completed commercial scale pilots, and/or have corporate engagement such as JDAs or other joint-research agreements, with a clear focus on a commercial applications. For Series A and early growth, we expect that the product/offering is matured and validated through multiple transactions.
- Revenue: For pre-Series A, we expect that you will have early revenues from commercial pilots, or commercial application focused NRE or JDAs with corporate partners. There should be clear thinking about your ideal target customers, market segmentation, and a pipeline of sales targets. For Series A onwards – we expect a mature sales and BD function, with a well managed pipeline, ability to demonstrate key metrics, and a credible sales plan.
- Market segmentation and focus: We understand the need to focus on a 1st area of application – where you get your first breakthroughs. We also want to know about the other market segments you can target with your product/offering – can you grow across multiple market segments.
- Valuation: We are looking for realistic and well thought through valuation models. Achieving a high valuation for its own sake is a turn-off for investors and stores trouble for the company and its investors. Instead we are looking for an intelligent conversation around value drivers for your business and roadmap, current and forthcoming achievements and how these underpin a valuation.
- Investment needs: The investment amount you are raising is driven by the funding needs of your business plan. But you also face real-world constraints in raising the amount that you need, and different scenarios of what you can achieve. We are looking for different scenarios in your business plan – so that you don’t run out of cash early!
- Focused and credible team: The management team is never complete or perfect – neither is your business. But we do expect a core team with dedicated and incentivised founders and employees. We also want to see a willingness to work with your investors in evolving the team, identifying and filling the gaps.
What we look for:
- Technology development: We expect you’ll have a well-proven technology, which has been tested in the field with customers for a number of years. You will also have a proven business model and good traction in the market.
- Revenue: You will have revenues but the business will need external capital and strategic advice, in order to power the growth of the company and take it to the next stage.
How we help you:
- Partnership opportunities: We look to draw on our networks and industry partnerships to facilitate corporate relationships, and act as the bridge between disruptive technology start-ups and established corporations. We help strategic investors to find startups, and help startups to find strategic investors, providing advice to both parties.
- Co-investment and structuring for growth: helping you build the right financial and organisational structure for the business to grow.
Investing in start-ups and early-stage businesses involves risks, including illiquidity, lack of dividends, loss of investment and dilution.
Investments made in investee companies via funds managed by Sapphire Capital Partners LLP are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). For more details, please contact us or refer to their website: https://www.fscs.org.uk