top of page

10 Questions Founders Should Ask VC Firms, Post-SVB

The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) sent shockwaves throughout the startup ecosystem, prompting founders to reevaluate their approach to securing investment. In the aftermath of this event, it is crucial for founders to exercise caution and thoroughly assess potential VC firms before signing any agreements. Asking the right questions can provide valuable insights into an investor's track record, investment strategy, and compatibility with your business goals. This article will explore the essential questions that founders should ask VC firms to make informed decisions and secure the best possible partnerships.

Sillicon Valley Bank Crisis

The Silicon Valley Bank collapse has highlighted the need for founders to be vigilant when choosing VC firms. With its significant impact on the startup world, founders must consider various factors before accepting investment offers. By asking pertinent questions, founders can gain a deeper understanding of an investor's alignment with their goals, their investment approach, and the value they can bring beyond financial backing.

The Aftermath of the Silicon Valley Bank Collapse

Impact of SVB on the Startup World

The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank has shaken the trust of many founders and investors alike. Startups that were dependent on SVB faced uncertain futures, emphasizing the importance of diversifying funding sources. This incident has sparked a realization that due diligence is crucial, and founders must ask the right questions to avoid potential pitfalls.

Importance of Due Diligence

Before engaging with any VC firm, founders need to conduct thorough due diligence to safeguard their company's future. Asking the right questions can help identify potential red flags and assess the compatibility of a potential investor with your business. Due diligence should include a deep dive into the firm's track record, investment strategy, and the support they offer to portfolio companies.

Essential Questions for Founders to Ask VC Firms

1- What is Your Investment Strategy?

Understanding how a VC firm approaches investments is vital. It helps you assess if their strategy aligns with your company's vision and goals.

2- Can You Provide References from Previous Portfolio Companies?

Speaking with founders of previous portfolio companies can provide valuable insights into the VC firm's involvement, support, and overall reputation.

3- How Involved Will You Be in the Business?

Understanding the level of involvement a VC firm expects can help you align expectations and ensure a healthy working relationship.

4- What is Your Track Record in Successful Exits?

Evaluating the VC firm's history of successful exits can shed light on their ability to generate returns for their investments.

5- How Do You Handle Conflicts of Interest?

Knowing how a VC firm manages conflicts of interest is crucial for maintaining a fair and transparent partnership.

6- What Value-Add Services Do You Provide?

Beyond capital, understanding the additional support and resources a VC firm offers can greatly benefit your startup's growth.

7- What is Your Typical Investment Timeline?

Knowing the average length of time the VC firm remains invested in companies can help you plan and align your business strategies accordingly.

8- How Do You Assess Valuations?

Understanding how a VC firm determines valuations can help you negotiate a fair and mutually beneficial deal.

9- How Do You Manage Investor Relations?

Understanding how a VC firm handles investor relations can help you anticipate their involvement and communication preferences.

10- What is Your Exit Strategy?

Understanding the VC firm's exit strategy can help align your expectations regarding liquidity events and potential timelines.

After obtaining answers to these questions, founders need to evaluate the responses to make informed decisions about potential partnerships. The following factors should be considered:

  • Aligning with Your Goals and Vision: The VC firm's answers should align with your company's long-term goals and vision, ensuring a shared understanding of the business direction.

  • Assessing Track Record and References: Evaluate the VC firm's track record and reach out to previous portfolio companies to gain insights into their support, involvement, and reputation.

  • Understanding Investment Approach and Fit: Ensure that the VC firm's investment approach matches your company's needs, whether it involves a hands-on or more passive approach.

  • Analyzing Value-Add Services and Support: Assess the value-add services the VC firm offers, such as strategic guidance, industry connections, or operational expertise.

  • Considering the Exit Strategy: Evaluate the VC firm's exit strategy to ensure it aligns with your desired timeline and potential liquidity events.

Sillicon Valley Bank Crisis

The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank has prompted founders to reevaluate their approach to securing investment. By asking the right questions, founders can gain valuable insights into potential VC firms and make informed decisions that align with their business goals. Thorough due diligence and evaluation of the answers obtained will help founders establish successful and mutually beneficial partnerships.


bottom of page