37 investors, a mixture of business angels, venture capital providers, incubators and banks were asked to provide information to Ibis on what they commonly incorporated in their summaries of particular investment proposals.

The results were very varied. All investors required details of project, market and management, venture capital providers were also interested in exit, valuation, risk assessment and worst case scenarios. Business angel networks were the least sophisticated in preparing detailed investment case summaries; banks were most interested in levels of security provided, gearing and interest cover.

In total 34 items were mentioned which would be incorporated into an investment case summary. These are listed below with a brief comment of what is normally included.




What it includes


Funding stage


Definition of funding required – seed corn, early stage, second round, expansion capital, MBO,MBI


Purpose of funding


Describes the use of funds


Current and other proposed funding routes


Describes current funding structure of company; includes any other new funding proposed


Key shareholdings


Structure of ownership


Company description


Describes what company does – technology, market it services


Tangible assets


Lists current assets


Intangible assets (inc IPR)


Lists other assets, such as brand value. IPR value


Market size and growth


Order of magnitude of market, rate of growth


Market drivers


Key forces shaping the market and how proposal is influenced


Speed of market change


Identifies diffusion dynamics of market; key buyers


Global potential


Defines how easy it will be to expand the company to service a wider market


Seasonality, long term cycles


Defines stability of market growth and revenues over investment horizon


Pricing/ market profitability


Defines how constrained the company will be in managing pricing and levels of return that can be expected in the market


Management team


Defines how effective the management team is and what gaps need to be filled to implement the company plan


Extent of project development


Describes the stage of project development for companies in early stage investment


Business model


Defines how the company will reach the market; how it will make money; how this compares with other successful models


Business strategy


Describes mixture of strategic options which are currently used by the company and future plans


Competitive advantage


Clear definition of competitive advantage: does it really exist?


Main competitors


Lists main competitors


Barriers to entry


Defines barriers to entry in market and how competitive exclusion can be achieved


Key performance indicators


Defines what performance measures need to be focused on for achievement of the plan.


Key risk elements


Defines what risk exists and how it is managed; includes market beta


Downside potential (break up asset value)


What value would be left on worst case scenario


Cost base


Describes how cost base is managed and how it could be reduced if plan values underachieved


Break even


Describes sensitivity to volume; ease of break-even achievement


Forecast EBIT period end


Defines earnings before tax and interest at planned investment end


Dividend policy


Defines payout policy during period of investment


Valuation at period end


Measures company valuation at end of investment period using agreed price/ earnings ratio


Investment sought


Value of investment and mix of funds required


Interest cover


Revenue cover for interest component




Debt equity ratio over the period of the investment and implications


Equity share offered


Percentage of equity offered


Exit potential


Types of exit available at the end of the investment period




Rate of return to investor through standard investment appraisal methodology

More information on the way in which Ibis can contribute to your business plan development is provided at Advantage Ibis 

More information on the Ibis approach is also available on the FAQ page..