Startup guide

Get started with identifying the right investors in just 5 steps

Step 1: Find out your startup's stage

Please note that there is neither universal classification nor established terminology on startup stages. So we did our best to capture and categorize the stages and made it balanced and clear (at least less confusing) for you to use and evaluate where your startup stands.

​Pre-Seed Stage

Characteristics:

  • Pre-funding
  • Pre-product
  • Pre-product-market fit
  • Minimum Viable Product (MVP) development

Typically corresponds to Pre-Seed funding round.

Seed Stage

​Characteristics:

  • Trace of product-market fit “Product-Market fit (PMF) means being in a good market with a product that can satisfy that market” — Marc Andreessen
  • Product gets traction
  • Testing and validating of market assumptions

Typically corresponds to Seed funding round.

Early-Stage

​Characteristics:

  • Working product/Product-market fit
  • Paying reference customers and revenue growth
  • Identified business model
  • Proven product ROI

Typically corresponds to Series A/Series B funding rounds.

​Mid-Stage

​Characteristics:

  • Ability to scale
  • Profitable and scalable distribution model
  • Expansion into different market segments
  • Traction with users
  • Well-defined business model

Typically corresponds to Series B/Series C funding rounds.

Late-Stage/Growth

​Characteristics:

  • Large-scale operations
  • Acceleration of customer acquisition
  • Release of new products and services to cover new segments and markets

Typically corresponds to Series C+ funding rounds.

​Leverage Buyout

​Characteristics:

  • Exit opportunities on the near horizon (3-5 years)

Typically corresponds to Private Equity funding round.

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