Before approaching investors for the first time, start-ups should always keep the following business plan aspects in mind: product development, customer structure, user growth, marketing and sales strategy, competitor analysis, business modelling and financial planning as well as legal and tax compliance requirements.
Even upon successful proof of concept as demonstrated by company growth, new challenges tend to arise including fomenting new internal corporate structures, increasing company awareness and reputation as well as developing long-term strategies.
The digital transformation of the New Economy is critically questioning the stability and sustainability of a large number of existing business models. New applications and technical opportunities mean that there are hardly any limits to progress in virtually every industry. Those who do not react to the new conditions in time won’t survive the market in the long run. Successful business models always consider the most important core questions such as "How scalable is your business?", "Do you generate recurring revenues?" or "How high is the effort for your customers to switch to one of your competitors?”.
Company investments are generally made for financial and/or strategic reasons. In most cases, the investor supports the company with financial or other means and, in return, is granted a company participation as well as a number of co-determination rights and other protective mechanisms such as anti-dilution, drag-along or tag-along clauses and many others. Some of these rights are indispensable for the investor, while others are simply nice to have.
From the investor's point of view, questions arise about the opportunities and risks of the investment. Unlike classical investment forms, the start-up investor not only has a number of co-determination rights, but also has strategic influence on the development of its’ investment. However, before the investment is made, a few questions regarding the commercial, economic, and legal circumstances must be clarified.
In addition to company participations, there is also the possibility of having a cooperation. The success of a cooperation depends mainly on a well thought-out and complete design of the cooperation agreement. Cooperation goals, the strategic approach, different ways of cooperating, distribution of responsibilities, delimitation of services and much more need to be considered.