Secrets of the startup analysis from Adventures Lab and its founder Ruslan Tymofieiev (Ruslan Timofeev)
Not all startups become successful and profitable, even if they were founded in Silicon Valley. Statistics show that, out of hundreds of such projects, only a few will make a hit. At the same time, the majority of them will not “survive” even the initial stages due to their unoriginality, poorly organized management, ill-thought-out business plan, or lack of understanding of how to scale further. As a result, the IT project lacks funding and it simply ceases to exist. That is why potential investors thoroughly verify each startup before financing it. Ruslan Tymofieiev (Ruslan Timofeev), the founder of venture capital fund Adventures Lab, shares the nuances of analyzing projects that compete for obtaining investments.
Adventures Lab was founded in 2019. The main goal of the venture fund is to find promising IT projects and finance them at the early stage. Adventures Lab focuses on education, marketing, and video technology startups. One of the most successful startups financed by the fund is the Ukrainian project Reface.
According to Ruslan Tymofieiev, the startup analysis begins with legal expertise. Its task is to find similar projects all over the world. At this stage, experts find out if the founders have a patent or other documents protecting intellectual property. Such expertise helps avoid possible legal risks. According to the businessman, if you treat this stage with negligence, then there is a risk of being involved in lawsuits and getting a penalty, and possibly more than one.
In addition, examining similar startups that have already entered the market helps analyze the mistakes they have made and avoid them when developing your own business. The founder of the venture capital fund notes that there also can be some negative aspects that cannot be eliminated. Therefore, you should prepare for them, having studied the competitors’ bad experience, and make timely improvements to the further organization of a business. And sometimes, you even have to abandon some projects if their “viability” raises serious doubts.
Verification also includes market research and forecasting. Experts analyze the business attractiveness of the project, how well the founders have thought over its financial part, how competitors and the target audience will react to it. In addition, a large-scale launch of the project on the market is preceded by an audit of the first sales at the MVP (minimum viable product) stage. It is also important for experts to identify potential risks of non-recovery on investment in order to minimize them.
Ruslan Tymofieiev emphasizes that an innovative idea is a key component of any young IT project. It is it that fosters the successful promotion of business and sales. And it is the scientific and technical expertise that determines the novelty of the idea, its ability to solve an urgent problem, and whether this particular idea meets the needs of the target audience. Analysts even take into account the mentality of potential consumers and their behavioral patterns.
In addition, experts thoroughly verify the technological solutions used to implement the startup, structured code and software architecture, and also assess how the team organizes internal processes.
According to the businessman, the product creators praise it all and try to prove its uniqueness and revolutionary nature. But in fact, few projects are truly innovative, and it is the scientific and technical expertise that helps determine this.
Experts also scrupulously analyze the startup team. Ruslan Tymofieiev notes that Adventures Lab pays more attention to the founders of the startup and their experience than to the business idea itself. In his opinion, the success of the projects that the fund finances depends directly on the managers’ expertise.