· 4 min read

Crucial items for technical due diligence

Every technology company you invest in will have three crucial elements of the product to understand.

In an era characterized by ceaseless technological advancement, the prospect of investing in technology businesses can be both alluring and intimidating. Knowing what to evaluate before making a commitment is imperative for any prospective investor. Many components contribute to a tech company’s potential success, we will focus on three critical components to verify from an investor’s standpoint:

  1. The Technology and Intellectual Property (IP)
  2. The Business Model
  3. The Management Team

Each of these components forms a critical pillar that supports the potential growth and success of a technology business. Understanding how they work and how to verify them is the first step towards making informed investment decisions.

Component 1: The Technology and Intellectual Property

What it is:

The technology itself forms the backbone of any tech company. An investor should be concerned about its innovativeness, scalability, reliability, and unique value proposition. Alongside this, Intellectual Property rights (patents, trademarks, copyrights) play a crucial role in providing a competitive advantage and protecting the company’s core technology from competitors.

How it works:

The technology should be innovative, offering something that existing products or services do not. The more disruptive the technology, the higher the potential for growth. Scalability is also crucial; the technology should have the potential to cater to increasing market demands without significant increases in costs.

IP rights serve to protect the technology. They can include patents for inventions, copyrights for code or databases, and trademarks for the company’s branding.

How to verify:

  • To verify the technology, consider seeking the expertise of a tech consultant or an experienced tech entrepreneur. They can help you understand the tech’s intricacies, potential scalability, and its position within the competitive landscape.
  • For IP, check if the company has secured appropriate patents, copyrights, and trademarks. You can verify patent filings via databases like Google Patents or the USPTO database.
  • Ask for a list of their customers and call a random sampling of them, ask about how they like using the product.
  • It’s also crucial to ensure there are no pending IP litigations against the company that may affect the IP’s validity.

Component 2: The Business Model

What it is:

The business model is the company’s strategy for making money from its technology. It includes revenue streams, customer acquisition strategy, cost structure, and the value proposition for customers.

How it works:

The business model translates the technology into economic value. It should demonstrate how the company plans to monetize the technology, attract and retain customers, and manage costs.

How to verify:

  • A careful study of the company’s business plan can give insight into its proposed business model. Check if the company has a clear and concise explanation of how it plans to generate revenue.
  • Consider the projected cost structure and evaluate the potential for profitability. It’s a good sign if the company has identified potential scalability in their cost structure.
  • Look into their customer acquisition strategy. Ideally, they should have a clear understanding of their target market and a feasible plan for reaching and retaining these customers.
  • Compare the business model to other successful companies in the industry for reference.

Component 3: The Management Team

What it is:

The management team is the group of individuals leading the company. They are responsible for strategic decision-making and day-to-day operations.

How it works:

A strong management team can navigate challenges, seize opportunities, and steer the company towards its goals. They should possess experience, industry knowledge, leadership skills, and a clear vision for the company’s future.

How to verify:

  • Research the team’s background. Check their experience in the tech industry, their educational qualifications, and their previous roles. LinkedIn can be an excellent tool for this.
  • Look for a track record of success. This doesn’t necessarily mean they have to have started successful businesses before but could include successful projects, impactful leadership roles, or significant contributions to their industry.
  • Talk to the team. Engaging them in conversation can give you a sense of their vision, commitment, and understanding of the business. It’s also a chance to gauge their problem-solving abilities and leadership skills.

In conclusion, investing in a technology business involves careful evaluation of several factors, with the technology and IP, business model, and management team being the most crucial. By understanding these components and how to verify them, investors can make more informed decisions, thereby increasing their chances of investing in a technology business that holds promise for the future. Remember that each investment comes with its own risk and potential reward. Therefore, always diversify your investment portfolio to spread the risk. Happy investing!

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