Do you invest at the pre-MVP stage?
Yes, we can invest in startups at pre-MVP stage. But we strongly recommend, regardless of our investment decision, some level of product validation even before a product launch (user interviews, test marketing, etc). We are happy to discuss this further in detail in our initial meeting.
What do you need for the initial meeting?
We do not require any technical documentation, such as detailed financial models or capital strategy. But, at minimum, we’d love to see:
- Your pitch deck to potential clients or investors,
- Customer feedback (quantitative or qualitative), and,
- Product or prototype demo (if available).
We can help with the technical documentation as we proceed with our investment. In our initial meeting, we’d love to discuss the business model, rather than the funding at first.
What do you look for in startups?
What we look for the most is whether the business can continue to exist for a long period of time and whether Lifetime Ventures can help with this process. While we strongly encourage scalability, we may decide not to proceed with investment if we believe that we cannot add any value. The lifetime component is assessed holistically from many factors, including:
- Customer needs: Do customers have any problems that the product can solve? Can customers easily understand and use the product? Do customers find value in the product? (i.e., Can this product sell?)
- Founder’s experience and vision: Do the founders believe that they have unique experience and/or insights on customer needs? Do the founders have a clear vision and storytelling skill to attract and retain customers, employees, investors, and other key stakeholders? (i.e., Can they execute?)
- Market: Is the market projected to grow or be disrupted over the next 5 to 30 years? Is the market sufficiently dynamic for startups to thrive and grow? (i.e., Can the startup grow?)
- Funding strategy: Is there a clear, detailed goal and action plan for the next half a year to a year to reach the subsequent funding? Can the startup reach the subsequent funding with the proposed pre-seed/seed funding? (i.e., Can the startup survive?)
What kind of support do you provide after investment?
In principle, through weekly meetings + alpha (any ad-hoc support depending on the need), we provide hands-on support to our portfolio companies, from business strategy to execution support most needed at each stage of the company growth.
What kind of exit do you prefer, IPO or M&A?
We are comfortable with any form of planned exit. As long as the exit path is what the founders believe is the best option for lifetime innovation and there is a significant return as a seed VC, we do not have any preference. If the founders wish to exit through an M&A, we will, through continuous discussions with the founders, support the exit process by introducing to appropriate partners, including large corporates and external experts.