Startup Excel Model
Originally published: 21/11/2016 15:29
Publication number: ELQ-93159-1
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Startup Excel Model

A startup financial model that can be sent to a Venture Capital, Private Equity Firm or Hedge Fund.

A few words about this model:

1/ It is a real model that I built for a client (prospective clients you can see my work)

2/ It is not a template for you to use (I suppose if you changed all the assumptions it's usable, but...), but the component parts are recommended for capital raising

3/ The model is for a "triple play" telcom business (cable, voice and data) so the cost of sales part of the model is over 100 assumptions and the CAPEX is fairly involved including physical constraints; this "complexity" is designed to show industry knowledge to financing sources;

4/ The model includes the following tabs:
- Sources and Uses
- Assumptions (which also includes the Financial Summary--P&L and balance sheet information)
- Financial Statements (which includes the P&L, balance sheet, revenue detail, COS detail, CAPEX row 178, and debt schedule row 251)
- Cash Flow Statement
- OPEX (operating expense detail and the headcount plan)

5/ The model makes extensive use of named fields (after you open the model press F5); named fields make it easier to understand formulas because you use a name instead of a cell reference in the formula

6/ In addition to being a startup, the strategy called for a series of acquisitions (a rollup) which are modeled

7/ The model uses a customer acquisition cost driver for the organic growth of subscribers

The auditing tool bar in Excel may aid in understanding. Click View>Toolbars>Formula Auditing

Please remember that the complexity of the model serves a purpose--to demonstrate knowledge of a complex industry. Most models can be successfully built with fewer assumptions about revenue and cost of sales.

- Robert Hacker,

This Best Practice includes
1 Excel Model

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Further information

A few things that would have changed the model design include:

1/ If I had a complex debt structure (combination of a line of credit, term loan and mezzanine debt) I would have used a separate tab for the "debt schedule" to make it easier to find

2/ If I had an operating company (instead of a startup) I would have included historical information for at least three years in the "financial summary" and probably have given it a separate tab; if you have a good operating history of revenue growth or a turnaround I would include five years of historical data

3/ If I had historical information on each acquisition, I would have forecasted/modeled each acquisition on a separate named tab (with a separate P&L and a balance sheet) and then consolidated them; such a presentation would have made it easier to understand the economics of each business unit and to evaluate the reasonableness of the purchase price

4/ If the headcount additions were based on time instead of capacity requirements (as shown in the model) I would have used date triggers to drive headcount additions


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Discussion feed for Startup Excel Model

The user community and author are here to help. Go ahead!

  • Fred Parkes, MBA
    unable to download the excel files. Please advise how to do so?
    1arrow_drop_uparrow_drop_downReply reply
  • Gyaneshwar Sahai
    Not able to download the sheet. Please advise.
    1arrow_drop_uparrow_drop_downReply reply
    • Manager Timothée Demoures
      Hi Gyaneshwar!

      Thank you for your question. The process is very simple considering you already have an Eloquens Account.

      Here is the process:
      1/ On this page, click on the big blue button "Download for Free"
      2/ Go to
      3/ Click on the blue link and wait
      4/ Then you will find a big blue button enabling you to download the files
      5/ Your file will then be available in your download folder

      You can then rate and review this startup excel model directly from Eloquens.

      Hope this helps!

      Happy to answer any further questions you may have.

      The Eloquens Team
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    • Ibrahim Hussain
      excellent template
      arrow_drop_uparrow_drop_downReply reply

      4.5 / 5 (477 votes)

      please wait...