Before putting up the money in any startup, investors thoroughly study both the business model provided by the founders and the market this very startup plans to enter. Ruslan Tymofieiev (Ruslan Timofeev), the founder of the Ukrainian venture investment fund Adventures Lab, explains the criteria the investors select projects by and why they pay special attention to the social skills of the novice entrepreneurs.
The businessman has already managed to launch several very successful projects, including Reface that ranked first in the American AppStore, Salo, and EdoDo. In total, the fund made portfolio investments in the amount of more than $15 million.
How does Adventures Lab select projects for investing?
In 2019, Ruslan Tymofieiev (Ruslan Timofeev) founded Adventures Lab together with his partner Andrew Kryvorchuk who is now the fund’s Managing Partner. Tymofieiev is in charge of scrutinizing each startup and its market prospects. The businessman holds personal meetings with founders and after that decides whether to invest in their brainchild or not. In addition, the fund constantly consults its portfolio companies. The experts help budding entrepreneurs analyze existing problems and eliminate them.
As for the criteria used by the experts to select the startups, special attention is paid to studying the market, industry, and the product’s business model. As a rule, most of the investors study the team first, while Ruslan Tymofieiev focuses on market analysis. According to him, if the market is overheated, then the project will not be able to carve out a niche in it, no matter how well-thought-out the business plan is. A growing market is the key to being successful.
Why is the networking effect so important?
The fund’s team pays special attention to the virality of the startup, as well as focuses on the networking effect, since, according to Tymofieiev, the stronger the networking effect of the founders is, the more likely that their project will “make a hit”. The thing is that strong networking, constant communication with investors, feedback from users, and close cooperation with the media allow founders to get much more important information. And this, in turn, helps them come up with optimal solutions to existing problems and fight off competition. In his opinion, communication is the heart of the issue.
However, according to Ruslan Tymofieiev, introverts can also make their business successful, but in this case, they must have vast experience, and their product must be absolutely exclusive and as user-friendly as possible. Only then will the founders be able to beat off the competition.