Case Study – Varda

The seventh session of the Course on “The Business and Economics of Space” was on Monday, Nov 29. This session was a case study on a startup company looking to do In-Orbit Manufacturing , Varda Space.

We were to use the classic Harvard Business School Case Study method to analyze a potential seed investment in Varda. The scenario was that we were a $200M seed-stage VC fund. We were given an early Varda deck for fundraising. Then using the tools and techniques and knowledge we had learned in the course we broke out into teams to discuss the following;

  • Do we invest ?
  • How much ?
  • At What Valuation ?

I wont share the deck or discuss the specifics of Varda here. For that I suggest taking the Course !

Some of the things we discussed in our groups were the ;

  • Market Opportunity ; the Dynamics, the TAM size and growth, and the Attractiveness
  • Technology Advantages : what was the potential for Disruption ? What was their breakthrough tech ?
  • Product Readiness ; How was the Fit to Customers, to the Market ?
  • Product Advantages ; Vision and Roadmap, Category Leadership
  • Growth Readiness ; Was there a Sustainable Competitive Advantage ?
  • Team & Capabilities ; Did they have Domain Expertise ? Was there Founder – Market Fit ?

There was very lively discussion both in the breakout groups and also when we all got back together. There was a wide range of opinions on whether to invest or not and for how much.

The last hour we had a Q&A session with Delian Asparouhov, a Principal at Founders Fund and Cofounder of Varda Space Industries.

It was a very interesting and informative session where we got to use a lot of what we had learned to date.