Startup Advisory Services

Duff & Phelps works with innovative and disruptive early-stage companies around the world, providing startup advisory services related to valuation, business plan/ financial model review, and preparation of pitch documents and deal support, including vendor due diligence.

Our team members have a diverse and significant track record working with entrepreneurs. As a SEBI-registered Category I Merchant Banker in India, we can provide valuation for various regulatory purposes.

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We Understand the Nuances Pertaining to Early-stage Companies

  • Presence of complex capital structures, ratchets, liquidation preferences, tag along and drag along rights and other terms that are common in early-stage company investments
  • Implication of these terms for the relative value of various layers of preference and equity shares within the capital structure
  • Knowledge of how to apply Black Scholes, binomial lattice and Monte Carlo simulation methodologies as well as the appropriate circumstances in which to apply these methodologies

Our fee structure is suitable for most emerging growth companies and angel-funded startups.

The Duff & Phelps Advantage

  • Largest and growing network of PE and VC clients globally
  • Rich experience and understanding of early-stage companies and their nuances
  • Global firm with operations across 25 countries
  • More than a decade of experience in carrying out valuations for Indian regulatory/strategic purposes
  • Willing to invest in a long-term strategic relationship through proactive service and competitive pricing


Key Services

Valuation Advisory Services

  • Preparation of pitch book/information memorandum IM
  • Financial modelling/financial model review
  • Valuation of intellectual property (IP)
  • Employee share-based payments valuation
  • Other regulatory, tax, reporting and dispute advisory services

To know more about our financial modelling advisory services that are relevant for start-ups, please click here.

Business Intelligence and Investigations

  • Market entry support
  • Competitor intelligence
  • Cyber security and resilience

ESOP Advisory

  • Assistance with structuring of ESOP plans
  • Financial impact analysis
  • Tax implication of ESOP plans

Transaction Advisory Services

  • Buy-side diligence – Quality of earnings/cash flows/working capital analysis, etc.
  • Sell-side diligence – Run rate analyses, independent evaluation of recurring EBITDA, etc.


Duff & Phelps Case Studies

Case Study 1: Equity Valuation for Investment in a Battery Technology Startup

A major electrical appliances manufacturer was evaluating a strategic investment in a startup operating in a technology battery manufacturing space. The startup had developed a prototype of the product and testing was underway. We supported the investor in making informed business decisions with regards to its proposed investment in the startup. Our valuation not only considered traditional approaches to value but also how VCs typically value startups using a combination of quantitative and qualitative aspects.

Case Study 2: Assistance in IM Preparation and Presentation to the Board of an Insurance Startup

The startup was looking to raise funds for future growth. We helped the client prepare the information memorandum (IM), which included detailed industry and company analyses. In addition, we streamlined the IM to be more accessible and visually appealing to prospective investors. We also presented our findings to the board; this included our estimate of the value of the company under various growth and risk scenarios.

Case Study 3: Business Valuation for Fundraising by a Startup in the Coworking space

The startup designs and manages workspaces to create productive and flexible working environments. The company was contemplating raising funds to support its expansion. We helped the client by critiquing its business plan and carrying out detailed benchmarking against industry parameters. We also provided an estimate of the equity valuation under different probable growth scenarios to arrive at an indicative range of values for negotiation with potential investors.

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Other Areas We Can Help

Valuation Advisory Services

Valuation and consulting for financial reporting; federal, state and local tax; investment; and risk management purposes.

Valuation Advisory Services

Corporate Finance

Comprehensive support throughout mergers and acquisitions and other corporate transactions.

Corporate Finance
Transaction Advisory Services

Transaction Advisory Services

Seamless analytical advisory through the deal continuum, from transaction origination to closing.

Transaction Advisory Services
ESOP and ERISA Advisory

ESOP and ERISA Advisory

Helping clients navigate the complex financial, regulatory and tax aspects of ESOP transactions.

ESOP and ERISA Advisory


Webcast Replay

Webinar on Impact of COVID-19 on Startups

Webcast Replay

Duff & Phelps Launches Impact of COVID-19 on Startups Report


Industry Multiples in India Quarterly Report - 13th Edition