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融资尽职调查制胜秘诀:主动出击

Brad Svrluga 2011年11月24日

如果想在专注于企业经营的同时取得最佳融资结果,就得了解这些东西。

    • 高屋建瓴地描述市场的需求以及本企业的产品满足这种需求的能力(希望在你的故事里早已有了热情洋溢、信心满满的介绍)

    • 市场规模——必须从细处看。不是“美国企业每年的软件支出为多少多少,我们的目标市场是这其中的15%”这样的说词,而是“我们的市场中有250万符合逻辑的潜在客户。我们的产品每年需要每位客户支付2,000美元,因此,形成了一个50亿美元的总目标市场”等等。在此基础之上,再尽可能拿出有见地的观点,阐述市场的细分情况、哪块市场最有吸引力等等。

    • 商业模式/单位经济效益——贵公司具体到单项销售/单个客户上的盈利模式是什么?价格–销售成本=毛利润。那么,销售/客户获取模式是什么?企业这一方需要从细处真正说清楚这些问题,帮助投资者清楚企业的盈利模式。这种模式如何形成庞大的客户群,显著覆盖可变成本和销售成本,以及是企业管理成本,最终赚取利润。

    • 竞争——要实事求是,同时具备扩展性思维。除了显而易见的直接竞争对手,思考一下投资者可能问的其他问题。“凭什么认为谷歌(Google)没有能力采取同样的方法来击垮你们?”“真的是到了非变不可的地步了?”“难道大客户没有能力自行开发这块业务吗?”

    • 市场策略——这一点我们在单位经济效益中已提到过。这部分必须具有说服力,讲清公司如何获取客户,而且最好同时还伴随着单位客户成本的逐渐下降。

    上述这些要求显然会让一些人头疼,但其中每个部分都存在细微的差别。我再次地建议诸位请一位这方面的“专家”,梳理各个环节,综合考量如何用于自己的公司。

    这些工作可能会导致你需要略微调整一下重点。但大部分都不需要。这些努力将为你提供备用分析——一旦做足了功课,随时都可以拿出来,应对投资人的询问。如果风险投资人抛出一个自认为高明而深刻的问题,而企业的团队如果能够马上回答“问得好。这方面我们想过很多。我们一起来分析一下这个个问题。”如果分析精准漂亮,就更好了。我可以告诉你,没有什么能比这个给投资者留下更深刻的印象。如此这般,等风险投资人回到合伙人那里,就会说:“伙计们,这帮家伙不错。我们问了几个深入的尖锐问题,他们早就想在了前面。他们显然做足了功课。他们的确已深思熟虑,对业务有深入了解。”

    • High level description of market need and how the product addresses that need (an evangelist's pitch that is hopefully in your story already)

    • Market size – this has to be bottoms up. Not "American companies spend $6 gadzillion per year on software. We address 15% of that market." Instead, "There are 2.5 million logical potential customers in our market. Our product will cost $2,000/year/customer. That makes for a $5 billion Total Addressable Market." Beyond that, do anything you can to offer insight on how that market is segmented and which segments are most attractive.

    • Business model / unit economics – how does your business actually make money at the level of an individual sale/customer? Price – COGS = gross profit. Then what's the sales/customer acquisition model? You need to really understand this in a detailed way so that the investor can see how the business builds up into something which, with lots of customers, will clearly cover it's variable and selling costs, and then corporate overhead, and ultimately drive profits.

    • Competition – be honest and expansive. In addition to the obvious direct competitors, give some thought to the other questions investors will ask. "Why couldn't Google build this and crush you?" "Is this really a big enough pain point that the status quo won't prevail?" "Can't big customers just build this themselves?"

    • Go to Market Strategy – we alluded to it in the Unit Economics, but this has got to be a believable story about how you acquire customers and, hopefully, do it at ever decreasing costs/customer.

    The above may be painfully obvious to some, but there's nuance within each for any particular situation. Again, I encourage you to get an "expert" on these processes to walk through each of these sections and think comprehensively about how they apply to your business.

    Some of this work will result in you tweaking the arc of your story a bit. But much of it will not. This work will become your "back pocket" analysis – things you'll do the work on and then keep handy, knowing you're likely to be asked. I can tell you that there are few things that impress a VC more than asking what they think is a brilliant, insightful question and then having the team come back immediately with an answer of "Great question. We've thought a lot about that. Let me share some analysis." If it's well-packaged and pretty analysis, so much the better. It's the kind of thing that leads the VC to go back to her partners and say, "Man, these guys are good. We asked a couple of deep dive questions on tough issues andthey were way out ahead of us – they'd already done the work. They've really thought through and deeply understand their business."

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