Financial Model for Startups

01 July 2023

Financial Model

A financial model is simply a tool that’s built-in Excel to forecast a business’ financial performance into the future.  The forecast is typically based on the company’s historical performance, assumptions about the future, and requires preparing an income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement.

Financial modeling is the process of estimating the financial performance of a company or business by taking into account all relevant factors, including growth and risk assumptions, and interpreting their impact. It enables the user to acquire a concise knowledge of the current financial position of the company and its projected growth, and a clear understanding of the financial forecasts.


Startups are concerned about the future of the business, and hence, they keep the financial model handy, which acts as a vision document to drive the business in this competitive environment. It is extremely important to keep an eye on the future growth (or lack of) prospectus of the business to keep the target and achieve the best results for the company.

Every startup is in need of a financial model to calculate the risk and rewards for the upcoming experience. To fulfill this need, they need to consult with the professional/advisors to estimate the future outcome.


To ease the effort, Treelife is sharing a sample format of the financial model, which assists the founders/others to work out the outcome at one go. We believe that a financial model should be clear, self-explanatory, and very pragmatic in its approach.


The output of a financial model is used for decision making and performing financial analysis, whether inside or outside of the company. Inside a company, executives will use financial models to make decisions about:

  • Raising capital (debt and/or equity)
  • Making acquisitions (businesses and/or assets)
  • Growing the business organically (e.g., opening new stores, entering new markets, etc.)
  • Selling or divesting assets and business units
  • Budgeting and forecasting (planning for the years ahead)
  • Setting Targets/KRAs for Employees (especially including for those to whom ESOPs are granted)
  • Capital allocation (priority of which projects to invest in)
  • Valuing a business

Download the Financial Model Worksheet by Treelife here.


It is an Excel based format that asks for the information to be filled in on every particular sheet with ease. The cells highlighted in blue are the ones where the user can put in a manual data feed. The other cells are formula driven and will provide conclusions based on the inputs provided.

FAQs about Financial Models for Startups

Q: How to make a financial model?

A: To make a financial model, founders should think about the key performance indicators relevant to their business model, gather historical data, and create underlying assumptions based on future expectations. Once these components are in place, the founder can use historical and forecasted data to create a financial model that projects future financial performance.

Q: What is a financial model for a startup?

A: A financial model for a startup is an Excel-based tool that forecasts financial performance based on costs, pricing, and volume to calculate revenue, expenses and profitability. Startups use financial models to plan for the future and identify areas for optimization.

Q: What is the best financial model for startups?

A: There's no "one-size-fits-all" financial model for startups. However, basic financial models like discounted cash flow (DCF), simple three-statement models, and revenue models are popular.

Q: What are 6 types of financial models?

A: The six types of financial models are discounted cash flow, merger and acquisition, leveraged buyout, sum-of-the-parts, three statement, and option pricing.

Q: What is financial modeling for startup valuation?

A: Financial modeling for startup valuation refers to the process of using financial models to calculate the value of a startup or early-stage business. This valuation is typically used to determine the amount of equity that investors will receive in exchange for their investment.

Q: Why is financial modeling important to a startup?

A: Financial models help startups plan for the future and make better-informed decisions by projecting financial performance and identifying areas for optimization. A financial model is a powerful tool in fundraising as it gives investors insight into the future expected returns on investment and also an insight to the founders with regards to the Company’s fund requirements for future expansion.

Q: What should be included in a startup financial model?

A: A startup financial model should include projections of revenue, expenses, and profitability for a certain period, along with supporting schedules and assumptions for key metrics like number of customers, employee hiring and payroll plan, CAC, customer retention, and pricing. A sensitivity analysis should also be included to account for different scenarios that may affect the startup's financial performance.


The financial model is utilized in a number of stages in the operations of the entities. It combines finance, accounting, and business metrics to create a mathematical representation of the growth prospects of the entity. Financial modeling is a highly valued tool and benefits the entity in numerous ways

Please feel free to reach out to us in case of any clarification at [email protected] or call us on 9930156000


The content of this article is for information purpose only and does not constitute advice or a legal opinion and are personal views of the author. It is based upon relevant law and/or facts available at that point of time and prepared with due accuracy & reliability. Readers are requested to check and refer to relevant provisions of the statute, latest judicial pronouncements, circulars, clarifications etc before acting on the basis of the above write up. The possibility of other views on the subject matter cannot be ruled out. By the use of the said information, you agree that the Author / Treelife is not responsible or liable in any manner for the authenticity, accuracy, completeness, errors or any kind of omissions in this piece of information for any action taken thereof.

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