Evaluation of startups requires an understanding of what you, the investor, are aiming to achieve. The objectives of different investors differ.
As a strategic investor, the main focus is identify technologies that extend the value proposition or provide the corporate investor with a stronger competitive advantage. Your motivation for the investment then, is not to multiply your investment but to outsource your R&D.
Financial investors focus on maximising their returns. This often results in a conflict between these investors and technology startups, which often take much longer to commercialise than platform startups or software driven startups, due to the challenges of achieving scale.
Angel investors are private persons with interest in investing between CHF 100 K to 500K. The time for return varies and the motivation is to enjoy the journey of entrepreneurship from the ‘outside in’, as well as the thrill of enabling an idea to come to life. Angel investors seldom participate in future rounds of funding, but sometimes can bring deep business acumen, particularly when the startup focus is aligned to their previous business.
Family offices have a very long perspective and deep pockets, and impact is as important as return.
Stiftungs or foundations often have the objective of supporting startups that are trying to achieve objectives that the creator of the Stiftung may have mandated supporting. This is often done by non-dilutive funding, but find ethics in the core of their investment approach.