Sari Azout Bakalarz, an early-stage consumer investor at Level Ventures, gives her take on what investors might be looking for post-Covid.
‘Really defining the problem is step one – the idea of being rooted in a problem is very different to being rooted in a product. Then really articulate what is your unfair advantage. Thinking about customer acquisition is another important element – a lot of founders assume if you build it, they’ll come. Consider distribution: who’s your end buyer? Where are they hanging out? If you’re a consumer brand and your acquisition strategy is Facebook ads, that’s not going to fly.’
‘Operate from the assumption that nobody cares what you’re building – your goal is to make them care. You have to constantly tweak things until you nail that position. So much of that is based on conversation, positioning and narrative story.’
‘The “why now” is the most important question when we’re doing due diligence – the answer to that will be much more compelling now. Incumbents are at a historically weak position, so many of them are focused on their core business rather than innovation. We want to see startups that truly understand why they can take on an incumbent.’
‘Covid has exposed company values and put performance activism front and centre. The 2010s was move fast and break things; the businesses of the future will be move slow and fix things. How will you promote civility? How will you enable transparency? How will you promote healthier behaviours? The next wave of businesses has to be thoughtful about these things from day one.
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