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Written by: Marc Halpin


It was London, 2004.

Back then my co-founder and I were raising $10M for our bootstrapped company and honestly didn’t have much of an idea what we were doing! It was the first time I’d ever met a VC, we’d been heads down and built a good business. We were maniacal about selling which I subsequently found helps a lot!

We closed the round but it felt like the process ran us as opposed to us running the process. On reflection I don’t think I realized what VCs actually looked for when evaluating a startup. I had some general ideas from what I read and what some smart folks around me told me but it was all very generic. In reality I was in the dark!

16 years, 3 startups and $60M of raised capital later Janine Kick and I started Kerosene with the intent of helping great founders raise capital. 

On day one we realized something really fundamental: If we’re going to help founders raise capital then we need to start looking for patterns that can guide us and in turn, guide them.

We looked at our own experience, asked angel investors and founders for their input and we read up! We started listing characteristics of successful startups, tracking what VCs told us they were looking for, and then started measuring every startup we worked with against these characteristics. In 2022 we finally settled on 12 indicators and then weighted them based on importance.

By 2023 every founder we met was asked a rigid series of questions. This essentially helped us score a startup against data that has now been completed by thousands of founders.

The evolution continued and last month for the first time we translated all of these inputs into a fundability analysis (and score) for startups raising Series Seed and Series A rounds of capital ($1-$10M). We share the report with the founders.

This analysis is free to complete and is accessible HERE. If you’re interested in finding how your  startup’s fundability looks against thousands of others, complete the questionnaire and you’ll receive a confidential analysis in 24 hours.

Maybe it will help, maybe you’ll be less in the dark than I was 20 years ago. Give it a go, and find out your score.


Kerosene Ventures: Helping Great Founders Raise Capital