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Tenant Credit: Evaluating Startups

TRA has reviewed over 50 startups that have each raised over $5 million in seed funding, venture capital, and equity financing. As a result, we have developed a proven approach to evaluating their unique characteristics. When an owner takes on a startup as a tenant, they are ultimately buying into the tenant’s business model and management’s ability to execute. In 2016, venture capital funds invested $69.1 billion in 7,750 companies employing 370 thousand professionals. As startups mature beyond co-working environments, their need for office space means that owners are likely to encounter even more of these prospective tenants.

Here are a few of the areas to explore when evaluating startups and venture backed companies.


  • What does the company do, and how do they intend to make money? What need does the company meet, or what gaps does it fill? How large is the total opportunity management plans to capture? What competitors are in the space already?

  • Who are the customers or users, and how will the company monetize its platform? Is there a rollout timeline for the company’s products and services? If so, what is it?

Management Team and Personnel

  • What are the backgrounds of the company’s founders and key managers? What types and how many employees does the company need to hire? What is the proposed timeline?

Investors and Financing

  • How many funding rounds has the company completed? Who are the company’s investors, and what milestones have they implemented to commit additional capital? How are the proceeds used, and how much cash does the company have on hand?

TRA recognizes the characteristics of sustainable venture backed firms and can help our clients do the same. Contact us if you have questions or would like a copy of TRA’s Startup and Venture Backed Tenant Interview Guide at or visit our website at

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