How to Value a Startup Company With No Revenue

Being involved in valuation becomes headache. In addition to the management team and market trends, there are many other factors to examine, including demand for the product and the marketing hazards that may be associated with it.


Are You Familiar with Startup Valuation?

It’s a technique of evaluating how valuable a startup company in the sense of startup value. Its critical to valuate a company, who has not started the business yet. You don’t have the pas data to make comparison, everything will be based on estimations.

The majority of times owner’s desired to gain the high-value output. However, the investor wish for trh greatest return on investment. All of us wish for good money.  

Using this as an example, how does the value of a startup before it produces revenue compare to the worth of an established business?

For example, in contrast to early stage businesses, a mature publicly-traded corporation will be able to back up its assertions with more solid facts and data. The capacity to assess the value of a business is made easier by the availability of a continuous stream of revenue and financial data.

When determining the value of a company, this is often done via the use of the “Earinig Before Income Tax and Depreciation” technique.

As name shows, it will give you the amount of revenue, which further will help in fulfilling different expenses such as depreciation, and tax.  

EBITDA = Net Profit + Interest +Taxes + Depreciation + Amortization

Because you would not have these data at your disposal, assessing the worth of a new company with no revenue might be challenging.

While most startup valuation methods do not contain information on profits, taxes, and amortisation, you will be able to assess a variety of other key factors over the course of the exercise.  


In average situations starters gets valued in half of the period, which means that founders do not get nearly as much as they had hoped and investors wind up paying more than they had planned to spend in the first place.

Let’s have a look at the most essential factors to consider when determining the value of a business before it begins to produce revenue.

Traction is Proof of Concept

The ability to generate traction is one of the most important indications of the worth of a startup business that has no income. You may learn more about the company’s real history by looking at the following documents:

UserBase — Demonstrating that you already have clients is critical. The greater the number, the better.

Insight into Marketing Effectiveness — Demonstrating that you can acquire high-value consumers at a cheap acquisition cost will draw the attention of pre-revenue investors, who will be interested in your business.

Expansion Rate — A firm successful in achieving the high-profit margin will become also become successful in inspiring more investors to spend money.

The Value of a Founding Team

Investors only give money to businesses, where they are satisfied from the plans. They will take into account the following considerations:

Proven Experience – The team will be more appealing if it comprises individuals who have had previous success with other startup initiatives rather than a company that is comprised entirely of inexperienced first-timers.

Skills Diversity – If all goes according to plan, a startup team will be comprised of a varied collection of experts whose skills will complement one another’s. While even the most talented programmer cannot achieve everything on her alone, if she works in collaboration with a marketing expert, the company’s worth will increase significantly.  

Commitment – Having outstanding employees is just one piece of the problem. Those individuals must be willing to put in the necessary time and effort to ensure that the company has the potential.

Prototypes/ MPV

A prototype, regardless of whatever form of pre-money valuation you choose, is a game-changing addition to any company, regardless of its size. Having the capacity to show pre-revenue investors a fully functional model of your product not only demonstrates that you have the persistence and vision to carry your ideas through to completion, but it also moves the business one step closer to its scheduled debut.

Having a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and a small number of early adopters may enable your company to obtain financing ranging from $500K to $1.5 million.

Supply Plus Demand

In today’s time competition is everywhere and businesses are consistently involved in providing the innovative solutions. If you offered the same product that many other businesses are offering and demand is also low. Welcome to the destruction.

On the other hand, if you are introducing the product which isn’t easily available in the market and demand is also high. The chances to win the market will be higher. 

Capitalist are interested to invest in some prominent business fields such as artificial intelligence or mobile gaming, provided the industry is profitable. It is possible that the value of your company will grow if it is in the right industry, since the digital age is overflowing with possibilities that many believe to be “the next big thing.”  

High Margins

When it comes to low-margin items, profit margins are small, and investors aren’t interested in investing in them. Companies with strong margins and positive projections for future revenue growth, on the other hand, may be able to attract more substantial investments in the long run.


You may be intimidated by the idea of doing a pre-revenue company assessment on your own. Fortunately, you got many supporters can help in accomplishing you goal such as entrepreneurs, and experts suggestions.  

Additionally, you have the startup valuation, which can be very helpful if you give proper attention and follow the steps in the appropriate sequence as defined below:

Method 1: Berkus Method

In five years, according to angel investor Dave Berkus, investors should be able to predict that the company would generate $20 million in sales. His method of evaluating a new company is based on the following five critical elements:

  • Concept.
  • Prototype
  • Quality Ensurance
  • Connections
  • Launch plan

In all, the project has a potential worth of $2.5 million, with each piece being given a grade ranging from $500K to $1 million.

Berkus Method is a straightforward evaluation method that is commonly used by technology companies. However, since it does not take into consideration the market, some individuals may feel that it does not provide them with the range of options that they would like.

Method 2:  Scorecard Valuation Method

When it comes to startup valuation, this is one of the more common techniques utilised by angel investors. Known as the Bill Payne valuation technique, it assesses a startup’s worth by comparing it to similar businesses that have previously received funding.

Strength of the Management Team (0–30%)

The expertise and talents of the founding team, as well as the personal wealth of the founders, will have a significant effect on the value of the company.

While a ten percent share in a digital company may be worth a nine-figure investment to Jeff Bezos or Mark Zuckerberg, your computer-illiterate friend Joe might only be able to get a few hundred dollars for the same part in his company.

Size of the Opportunity (0–25%)

Market Size – Some warm leads can be interested in your pilot product if you have a good sales funnel in place. If you have qualified leads who are ready to purchase, the larger your prospective market, the better off you are.

Revenues in the Near Term and Expected Revenues in the Near Term A lower value will be assigned to your business if you just have a few cold leads who are not yet ready to purchase from you.

The final product will still be valuable, but you should have gained enough momentum with 50-100 clients to demonstrate to investors that you have the ability to generate money in the near term before raising further funds. The fact that one prospective client for a $50,000 product is riskier than ten potential consumers for a $5,000 product should also be considered.

Product/Technology (0–15%)

Competitive Environment (0–10%)

When you enter a area with strong competition, your company’s worth will decrease as a result of the risk you’re taking on. As a unicorn business, you may be able to claim a market sector where there is no competition and therefore demand a considerably higher investment from investors than is typical.

Marketing/Sales Channels/Partnerships (0–10%)

Growth and Engagement – Hopefully, you ought to be able to demonstrate that your user base is growing and that people are actively engaging in your efforts to attract new users.

You will be worth more to your company than 100,000 occasional users if you have an app that has 20,000 dedicated followers that use it on a regular basis. An eroding user base is also a red flag that has to be addressed right away if you want to attract investors to your organisation.  

Need for Additional Investment (0–5%)

Other (0–5%)

All you have to remember is that scalability and the team are the most essential factors to consider.

“When it comes to starting a company, the quality of the people you hire is critical to your success,” says Payne. When a team is able to handle product problems early on, it is a sign of strength, but this is not always the case.”

Method 3: Venture Capital (VC) Method

Pre-money valuation formulae are required for the VC technique, which is a two-step procedure that needs many formulas.

  • For starters, we calculate the business’s terminal worth throughout the harvest season.
  • Second, we start to generalize return on investment and the amount of the investment and work our way backwards. Business people also call it pre-money valuation.   

According to the definition, the terminal value of a business is the expected worth of the company at a certain point in future time. The harvest year is the period in which business angle (actually the investor) expects to earn a return on their investment in the company.

The Sector P/E ratio, commonly known as the stock price-to-earnings ratio in the finance industry, will be another important concept to be acquainted with. In the case of a three-to-one price-to-earnings ratio, the business is worth three times the amount of profit per share earned.  

Calculating terminal value

You’ll need the following calculations to complete your project:

  • Estimated income during the harvesting season
  • Profit margins expected during the harvesting season
  • P/E ratio for the industry

Method 4: Risk Factor Summation Method

The Threats are considered through this method:

  • Management
  • Stage of the business
  • Funding/capital risk
  • Manufacturing risk
  • Technology risk
  • Sales and marketing risk
  • Competition risk
  • Legislation/political risk
  • Litigation risk
  • International risk
  • Reputation risk
  • Potential lucrative exit

In order to give a score to each of these risk categories, we will consider the following criteria:

  • -2 – very negative (-$500,000)
  • -1 – negative for scaling the startup and carrying out a successful exit (-$250,000)
  • 0 – neutral ($0)
  • +1 – positive (+$250,000)
  • +2 – very positive for scaling the startup and carrying out a successful exit (+$500,000)

It is predicted that the pre-revenue starting value will rise by $250,000 for every one point increase in the risk factor summing technique and by $500,000 for every two points increase in the risk factor summation method for every one point increase in the risk factor summation method.

On the other hand, the pre-revenue value drops by $250,000 for every -1 increase in the number of employees, and by $500,000 for every -2 rise in the number of employees.

Using this technique in combination with the Scorecard Method may give a complete picture of the value of a startup. It is especially helpful for assessing the risks that must be addressed in order to accomplish a successful exit.

Method 5: Combo Platter Method

In order to arrive at a realistic three-tier value range, they refined their numbers even more by using the Berkus technique and the Risk Factor Summation method in the next stage.

Gravyty’s potential dangers were allayed as a result of the enormous breadth and depth of study conducted, and Rich and his team were successful in raising a $1 million seed round with a $1 billion market valuation to fund the company’s development.

Method 6: Asset-Based Valuation method (aka Book Value Valuation)

In the instance of a newly formed business with no income, it is possible that the asset-based valuation technique will prove to be the most straightforward way of determining the worth of the company.

When applied properly, this method may provide an accurate evaluation of the true value of a startup’s potential earnings.  

Below steps are crucial in this situation:  

  • The write-offs and depreciation of impaired assets serve to balance the initial costs of the assets that the business has purchased.
  • The total value of physical assets is calculated by adding the total value of all of the assets on the balance sheet. This consists of both cash on hand and receivables from customers, among other things.
  • In order to arrive at an asset-based valuation for your property, any outstanding obligations should be deducted and subtracted from the final amount.

The issue is that this approach considers the startup in its present condition — that is, it considers it to be in the process of starting.

It is impossible to predict how things will turn out in the future. A major disadvantage of asset-based valuation is that it does not take this into account, which is a big disadvantage given that investors are more interested in the latter.  

Method 7: Cost-to-Duplicate

You would use this method to estimate how much it would cost to copy the business’s physical assets, and then you would use it to determine how much it would cost to replicate the company in another location.

When searching for pre-revenue investors, it’s essential to note that no shrewd investor would put more money into an asset than the asset’s current market value would allow. Being aware of this may be beneficial while looking for pre-revenue investors.


Whenever you are learning how to value a new business with little income at the outset, it is inevitable that you will make some errors along the way. The following are the two primary dangers that you should be aware of and take every precaution to avoid at all costs.

Valuation Is Not Always True

Ultimately, the worth of a company is defined by the amount of money that its investors are prepared to put their money into it in the first place. As a business owner, you may or may not agree with each and every value that has been assigned to your company throughout its infancy and early development.

There is no such thing as a simple valuation in company since there isn’t anything straightforward about anything in business.

As a result, even if you get an appealing pre-revenue startup valuation, it is essential that you discuss everything with prospective investors in great detail to ensure that everyone is on the same page about how to proceed moving forward.


Here it is: a summary of the most effective valuation methods for businesses that have not yet produced income from their operations.

By taking into account these variables and experimenting with a variety of techniques, you will uncover fresh opportunities to add value to your company. Making use of this procedure, you can be certain that all of your bases are covered and that your company is seen as a legitimate investment prospect by possible investors.  

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