A prep checklist for startups about to undergo technical due diligence

Previously, the author offered a detailed overview of the technical due diligence (TDD) process investors conduct before injecting cash into early stage startups.

In this follow-up, he offers a detailed checklist for C-level executives and senior managers who are responsible for helping VCs determine whether their “codebase is safe enough for investment.”

Product roadmap

  1. Explain how you collect user and customer feedback.
  2. Provide a sample subset of the most granular user/customer feedback you collect.
  3. Provide the results of the synthesis of user/customer feedback.
  4. Provide the last 12 months of product management data for Engineering (e.g. Jira tickets). How much was spent on new features / functionality compared to maintenance? What are the major items on the list?
  5. Explain the roadmap for the next 12 months.

Code quality

  1. How much does Finance invest in tech debt prevention and remediation? In security risk prevention and remediation? In IP risk prevention and remediation?
  2. Which software languages do you use? Is the use of new languages managed?
  3. Is a refactoring being considered or possibly needed?
  4. Which testing methods do you use and what is their breadth? Do you perform unit tests, automated tests, manual QA testing, and user acceptance testing? Share the most recent results from each type of test.
  5. Is a line-level scanning tool such as SonarQube in place? If yes, share a sample report.
  6. Is third-party code managed through a manager, stored in the code, or both? Why?
  7. Describe your architecture and provide architectural diagrams.

Intellectual property