What our due diligence process looks like

Manny Zareh
An innovative idea is critical, but we know the founders’ talents will greatly influence the success of a startup.
What our due diligence process looks like

Working with Emles Venture Partners is likely to be very different from your usual experience with investors. It’s something founders routinely tell us. Much of that stems from the personal relationship partners Gabriel Hammond and Emanuel (“Manny”) Zareh establish with founders and the ongoing support they provide.

When it comes to the due diligence that we conduct to understand a startup’s business, that deeply personal and supportive approach will undoubtedly stand out along with the other two key attributes of our process. We are both fast and thorough.

Quick decisions

We do not want to lose out on deals. So, we work fast. We don’t act hastily or skip over any important considerations, but we do move quickly. In many instances, we get back to founders with our decision within 72 hours of our first conversation.

A thorough process

We will make the effort to get a full understanding of your vision and the business opportunities you see.

Step 1: The first call

Making introductions: We will offer details on our team, history and mission at Emles Venture Partners and explain the value we can bring to startups. In turn, we want to get to know each founder.

Covering the business basics: Details on the company’s business and revenue model are essential information. We will also want to know what the company’s valuation is and what the terms of the round of investment we’re being asked to participate in are.

Learning about the founder: We want to know what drives you, what you’re passionate about, and what sacrifices you’ve made to create this company. In essence, we want to learn your “why.” Given all the paths your life and career could have taken, what is the reason starting this company became your paramount goal? Do you have the audacity and confidence it takes to pull this off? Just as importantly, can you tell the story of your company effectively so that you can attract investors, build a talented team, gain loyal customers, and fend off the competition? For seed investments, the viability and potential of the idea are obviously critical, but much of our focus is on the founder. Do you have the charisma, drive and passion to make this happen?

Step 2: Background checks and research

We will call your references. If any of the other companies we invest in are operating in the same industry or market, we will speak to them about the opportunities available for your business strategy. In some cases, we may speak with the other venture capital firms who have invested in you.

We don’t expect others to have the same vision for the opportunity that you do. Still, this background checking helps us bring additional insight and objectivity to our assessment of the ideas that fill you with enthusiasm and passion, as they should.

Step 3: A second call (if necessary)

We will delve deeper, asking questions like:

  • What is the total addressable market for your product or service?
  • How will this product or service fit into the existing market for similar services?
  • How differentiated is your company’s offerings from any competitors?
  • What is your go-to market strategy for delivering and promoting this product or service?

Step 4: Further research (generally for highly technical offerings)

If you operate in a technical field, such as biotech or technology, and the assessment of your firm requires expertise we do not have, we will likely consult with scientists or industry experts who can offer insights on the viability and market potential of your idea.

All the respect you deserve

Whatever decision we make, you and your team will be treated with all the respect and consideration you deserve. The experience will leave you feeling confident that your firm was given a full, honest and considerate assessment, both for its business merits and for how it fits our vision and purpose as investors.

Manny Zareh is a Partner at Emles

Get in touch with Manny