‘The Startup Rating model by Venionaire Capital’ is a proprietary model for investors, which may be applied across different stages, without limitations of pure qualitative or financial models. The model adjusts the average valuation you have calculated or observed from the market and makes it transparent how much you should over- or underpay compared to an average valuation in order to make a fair deal.
Following the first introduction to the pre-revenue startup valuation, in this article we review the other well-known model for pre-revenue startups: the ‘Berkus Method’, named after its inventor, Dave Berkus, a well-known Californian angel investor.
Startup founders and business angels often see external advisors as an unnecessary cost they are not willing to bear. In only very few cases we have seen business angels having a strong enough network, willingness to invest time and resources and skills to support all their startups in multiple rounds. Sometimes this means that they had to raise for five companies at the same time and provide one bridge round after the other themselves. Is that efficient?
Pre-Seed companies sometimes do not even have a minimal viable product yet, their business case is an idea and likely to be changed quite frequently during the first 18 to 24 months until a first product market fit is tested. Numbers and financial plans are worth nothing at this stage. Yet, there are valuation models Business Angels use to evaluate such early-stage startups. The most prominent method one is the “Scorecard” method. Developed by Bill Payne, this top-down approach compares a startup to other typical startups at the same stage (investors benchmark the “standard” value of a pre-seed or early seed company in this case), within a geographic region and startup-sector (regtech, digital health, fintech, SaaS, etc.).
Company valuations – especially startup valuations – remain an art based on experience. We expect to see cuts of over 50% and tougher terms. Higher liquidation-preferences (multiples 2 to 3x) will be the new normal. The numbers about in this article reflect the current market view, based on feedback our valuation and transaction specialists gathered through interviews last week.
The Venture Capital Method is often used for valuing early-stage companies. We show you how it is done.