Comprehensive Fundraising Guide for Startups: A Checklist

As you begin to consider your first (or next!) round of fundraising, it can feel like there’s so many moving parts. Don’t worry—we’re here to help! Take a look through our complete comprehensive checklist.

What's Inside:

  • Preliminary questions to organize your thoughts and pinpoint your motive
  • The metrics you’ll need to tell the right story to investors
  • What information to include in your pitch and dataroom
  • The data, considerations, and answers investors will want to see
  • The context to explain why each element is important

Follow along below, or download the complete guide to save to your device, take notes, and monitor your progress.


Your Comprehensive Guide to Fundraising: A Checklist

Questions to Ask Before Your Next Funding round

Make sure you're able to answer the following questions to be prepared for investor conversations, align your priorities, eliminate back-and-forth, and identify a clear strategy:

Why do I want to raise?

The big question. Of course everybody would always like more capital. Really ask yourself how this funding round will be used to grow your business. As you raise, you don't want to keep doing more of the same—how will you use your capital to enter new markets, expand your offering, and accelerate your ability to serve your customers?

Exactly how will I use the money?

In addition to why you want to raise (above), how exactly will this round of funding be used? For example, how would you use the funds to build a product or scale your Sales & Marketing team?

What is my sales & marketing strategy?

How are you acquiring leads and customers, and how efficiently are you doing so? How are you interacting with the market, and is it scalable?

How much do I want to raise?

What types of investments do my potential investors make?

  • Size
  • Stage
  • Geography
  • ARR Range
  • Industry

How do I find investors?

Am I looking for expertise or connections from my investors? Or just the funds?

What kind of equity am I willing to give up?

How much are you willing to give over to investors of your company? (15%? 25% share? When they're more "invested", they really are more invested—both in financial ownership and decision making.

Have I considered all financing options (e.g., debt vs. equity)?

Dataroom Considerations for Funding Round

Once you've answered the questions above, you're ready to begin compiling your data and story. Make sure to include the following:

✔ Dataroom Portal Information

✔ Pitch Deck

  • Unique selling proposition
  • Executive/founder bios
  • Sources and uses documentation— make sure you are able to speak to how you’re going to use the money
  • 💡 Learn more about what to include in your fundraising pitch deck here.

✔ KPIs (last 36 months)

  • ARR
  • Churn—include your reasons! Acquisition, out of business, etc.
  • Net Revenue Retention (NRR)
  • Other important SAAS metrics (not sure what to include? Someone from our team can help you.)

✔ User Metrics

  • Number of users
  • Time within platform
  • Average user tenure
  • Customer Satisfaction Metrics—you might not have enough data for this yet. No worries! Include any data you may have on customer satisfaction so far.

MRR by Customer

Cohort Analysis

✔ Functional Profit and Loss (P&L) (last 36 months)

✔ Balance Sheet (last 36 months)

✔ CashFlow Statement (last 36 months)

✔ 3-5 Year Integrated (interactive) Forecast

✔ Total Addressable Market Calculation

  • Current penetration and targets
  • Current verticals
  • Industry reports, including competitors

✔ Sales Process/Cycle Documentation

  • Lead Gen to Cash Metrics—How long it takes to outbound, close the sale, and perform the sale
  • Typical Sales Cycle
  • Annual Contract Value, by Segment

AR/AP Agings

Your Accounts Receivables/Accounts Paid information shows who owes you and how long it's been outstanding. Investors like to see this has it can show risk and cash collection issues.

✔ Pipeline data (e.g., Hubspot, etc.)

✔ Capitalization Table—Who owns how much of your company

✔ Organization Chart

✔ Incorporation Documentation

✔ Customer Contracts

✔ Customer References

✔ List of strategic vendors and significant contracts (if applicable)

✔ Meeting Items

  • Shareholder Meeting Minutes
  • Board Meeting Minutes
  • Board Meeting Materials Distributed

✔ All existing and/or applied for patents, trademarks, copyrights, and domain names

✔ Findings from Previous Professional Services Engagements

  • Accounting Report
  • Market Analysis

✔ Product demo

✔ Tax Returns for 3 Most Recent Years

Operational Considerations for Funding Round

Depending on your type of business, you may need to adhere to certain regulations and guidelines.

✔ Legal Structure Implications

✔ Current Legal Structure

Don't Go it Alone

We’d love to help. We’ve assisted 100+ companies raise over $500 million dollars, so we’re familiar with the process of calculating and aggregating the necessary metrics to prove value to investors. Our team is always here to help guide you along and prepare, analyze, forecast, and connect to investors all within our platform.Set up a time to ask questions or chat with our team below, no strings attached.

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