Startup's Due Diligence Information Venture Lenders Ask For

Video: What’s the Due Diligence Information Venture Lenders Will Ask for?

Many startups that I work with enter the venture debt process thinking that the diligence process will be the same for raising debt as raising VC funding - but they are wrong. Venture debt lenders are a different beast than venture capitalists! VCs are ok losing all of their investment; lenders take on an entirely different attitude. So the VC due diligence checklist they were expecting ends up being a lot more financially-focused when they talk to the lenders. 

The first thing they’re going to ask for is your historical financials. They want to make sure you spent your money wisely.

Secondly, they’re going to ask for future projections. That way, they can see your cash out dates, they can see revenue inflection points, and they’ll know how long their cash will take you.

Third, they’re going to want a cap table. That way, they can see the ownership breakdown, which VCs own which, and they can also price out their options. They’re also going to want a 409A valuation to make sure they know the exact valuation of both the preferred and the common.

Finally, they’re going to want an investor presentation. That tells them the story of the company. It also shows whether you, the CEO, are good at pitching investors. They’ll evaluate all five of these data points, do their underwriting, and hopefully come back with a term sheet.