Our Evaluation Process
Our deal evaluation framework is a consistent model to assess if a founder's business is aligned with our investment strategy.
Given we invest at such early phases, we are screening for the founder's approach, how they communicate their vision, and the potential growth of their business. After our initial evaluation, either by submission or a meeting, we score the pitch using a probability ranking based on five principles:...
  • Vision
  • Resilience
  • Fundraising
  • Design Driven
  • Commitment
Our Process
Founder & Team Screening
The first step in our process is to send our initial screening form to a potential member of our portfolio. Even if a business doesn’t fit our area of focus, we may ask to be added to the investor updates, as we might be interested in investing in the future. Our fund thesis is driven by a founder-first mentality. We evaluate the entrepreneur based on criteria we believe will give them the best chance to succeed. After we’ve evaluated the founder(s), we’ll cross reference the industry to make sure the opportunity exists. Once we’ve completed an assessment using the probability rankings which we have defined, we use the rankings as a historical reference point to calibrate trends among founders, and we’ll use this information to decide if we move forward.
Intro Meeting
After we've evaluated the team and the information they’ve shared with us, we’ll move on to an intro meeting. This is an opportunity to sit down with the founder(s) and dig into the answers we received, follow up on any information that was missing, and ask clarifying questions. The meeting gives us a clearer understanding of the startup and the probability for success. We want to gain an understanding of the team, see if they present a compelling and digestible story, and a founder’s knowledge of their space or problem. We’ll also examine the product and the approach to the tech. Another key factor to address is the level of traction, revenue and brand awareness. We’ll also look for red flags, metrics, and an understanding of how near-future success might be defined.
Due Diligence
The final step in our process is to dive deep into how the team plans to execute towards their vision. While we recognize this is a constantly moving process, we’re looking for a snapshot in time as to how the team is approaching key steps such as product roadmap, tech stack, and team roles and responsibilities. We’ll address future team needs, salary breakdowns and cash flow projections and models. This stage is where we go over market evaluation, current terms and review the cap table. This is also an opportunity to look into references, evaluate the current goal framework a team is using, and look forward to potential future rounds and fundraising projections. We’ll apply a more rigorous stage when leading rounds in Fund II.
Investment Memo
If we’ve decided to invest in a company, we’ll fill out an investment memo that covers our standard form. We’ll reiterate the problem the founder is targeting, the scale of the opportunity, and how their solution can change behavior and become profitable. The memo goes over the terms and what future financing could look like, as well as discussing traction, primary metrics and revenue drivers. Other points addressed include the market and competitive landscape, and how the business plans to overcome any challenges to growth that we foresee, along with risk analysis and a look at future market as the company changes its sector. All of this information is saved for future reference, and historical purposes to continually learn from our decision-making process.
If you want investors that are human-driven, that support you personally as a founder, and are invested in your growth as a company, then Debut is who you want in your corner and on your cap table.
Brittany Chavez
Shop Latinx
Interested in Debut Capital?
Take a moment to fill out our submission form. We’re excited to learn more about you!