The art of investment readiness by Fiinlab

The art of investment readiness by Fiinlab

20-Feb-2019 by Montserrat Bonilla

We spoke with Amanda Jacobson, Assistant Director of Innovation and Corporate Venture Capital at Fiinlab, Gentera’s innovation laboratory.

In an interview for SCALE Chronicles, Amanda shares with us the key elements of investment readiness for Fiinlab, highlighting that the key to a successful fundraise is self-awareness.

Fiinlab’s corporate venture capital team invests in startups that help its parent company Gentera’s customers to pursue their dreams, particularly by addressing their financial challenges. Gentera is a financial services firm that began in 1990 as a non-profit organization under the name “Compartamos.” 

In 2006, it became a bank; in 2007, made its IPO on the Mexican stock exchange; and ten years later, it created Fiinlab with the aim of understanding clients’ needs and innovating for the future.

 

According to Amanda, entrepreneurs must have a great sense of self-awareness and understand all the factors that potential investors evaluate before discussing an investment opportunity. In her Fiinlab, the venture capital team (like many other funds) focusses on the following criteria:

  • Team –

“We evaluate if this team is the best to deliver the value proposition it promises. We consider how well the team knows its customers, self-awareness about gaps the team needs to build around, character of the founders and alignment with our vision for financial inclusion.”

  • Vision –

How will the world be different if your startup succeeds? Where do you want to go and what are you doing to get there? What are you measuring to ensure you make your vision a reality? It’s very important to analyze if that vision is aligned with the objectives of your potential investors.

  • Product –

Can you easily explain your business model, the value chain, the technology? “Be very clear about what your solution offers to the market and how will it evolve over time.”

  • Market –

How have you confirmed (or will you determine) product-market fit?  Do you have in-depth knowledge of the market and industry? Who are your competitors and how will you maintain a competitive edge?

  • Scaling –

What are the future markets (populations or geographies) you plan to enter, and how do we know you will be able to successfully replicate your model there? Investors like to see that you don’t just have a keen understanding of a niche market, but that you have a solution that people across segments can’t wait to have.

  • Deal –

Investors are concerned about the equity participation that they will have in the startup. They want to know that once the deal is closed that the team will stay highly motivated and the fund will be rewarded for the risk it’s taking. For Fiinlab in particular, it’s key to understand the strategic value that Gentera can provide and receive in the deal; the stronger the case that the startup adds value to Gentera’s clients and that we should be the buyer in an exit, theñ more attractive the investment.  

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Marketing and Communications Manager of Startupbootcamp FinTech Mexico City