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Startups & Venture Capital

Accelerating the next generation of innovators
Startups have led many of the technology, health, and sustainability innovations central to our everyday lives. Fuel, a McKinsey company, was launched in 2014 to help startups reach the future faster and improve their odds of success.
Fuel pairs startup experts with McKinsey’s deep industry and functional expertise and global network. We help founders and their investors accelerate growth with data-driven consulting, capability building, and connections.

Fuel

Fuel helps startups and their investors accelerate growth with data-driven consulting, capability building, and connections. Our market-leading benchmarking tool SaaSRadar helps companies see where they stand against their peers on key financial and operational metrics.

What we do

Pricing excellence

Improve pricing, discount management, and offering design

Growth strategy

Find the next vectors of growth to elevate your trajectory

Consumer acquisition and retention

Implement best practices in digital marketing and loyalty techniques

Rapid market assessment and due diligence

Determine which verticals and use cases to pursue to maximize sales and the total available market

Portfolio benchmarking

Evaluate your portfolio’s performance against relevant venture capital and private equity-backed startups

New-business acceleration

Operationalize concepts and enable rapid growth through comprehensive implementation services

Corporate innovation

Stay ahead of innovation and engage startups on the most critical strategic imperatives

200+

startups served

150+

innovation boot camps

300+

startup experts

Examples of our work

Operations transformation

Helped an e-commerce player with $150 million in revenue, a shrinking subscriber base, and excess inventory increase EBITDA by more than $14 million through improvements in procurement, demand planning, pricing structure, and customer loyalty.

Sales excellence

Doubled growth for a software startup’s enterprise segment by halving the onboarding time for sales and increasing sales-representative productivity by 50 to 100 percent.

Customer acquisition

Grew revenue by 30 percent for a specialty e-commerce retailer by developing a digital customer-acquisition strategy, optimizing organic search, and improving paid search performance.

Market expansion

Defined next markets for a consumer internet startup to enter, identifying candidates to start local offices and identifying and interviewing potential clients; the expansion roadmap became a critical element in the company’s next funding round.

Addressable market insights

Prepared a defensible market-sizing analysis for a B2B software startup to inform conversations with investors for its next round of funding.

New-business building

Helped define a new business based on unique consumer insight and McKinsey design capabilities, leading to an above-average seed-funding round.

Related capabilities

McKinsey Academy

McKinsey Academy accelerates transformations by unlocking the power of people

Design-to-Value

Integrating design and analytics for a step-change in margin growth

Organizational Health Index

Put hard numbers and improvement actions on your organization’s health

Software Product Management & Development

We offer proprietary frameworks, benchmarks and talent development programs to help clients build best-in-class software product and development organizations.

Featured experts

Kabir Ahuja
Partner, London
Drives growth strategy and execution for consumer-oriented companies, with deep expertise serving leaders in media, consumer technology,...
Mitra Mahdavian
Partner, Silicon Valley
Mitra is a leader in McKinsey’s Digital and Marketing & Sales Practices, supporting high-tech companies on growth and go-to-market...
Brendan Gaffey
Senior Partner, Dallas
Provides deep insight into consumer digital behaviors for high tech, media, and telecom organizations
Chandra Gnanasambandam
Senior Partner, Silicon Valley
Helps high-tech companies transform performance by setting business, product, and go-to-market strategies that create sustainable...
Alok Kshirsagar
Senior Partner, Mumbai
Deep experience in helping companies execute globalization initiatives to and from Asia, including new product and distribution...
Eric Kutcher
Senior Partner, Silicon Valley
Leads McKinsey’s global High Tech, Media & Entertainment, and Telecommunications Practices, bringing engineering and enterprise...
Judy Wade
Venture Leader, San Francisco
Brings deep knowledge of start-up funding and execution to help venture-backed companies around the world and their funders accelerate...
Vinayak HV
Senior Partner, Singapore
Leads McKinsey’s work in digital banking in Asia–Pacific, working closely with local, regional, and global institutions on a broad...
Mukund Sridhar
Partner, Singapore
Helps lead the Capital Projects & Infrastructure Practice in Southeast Asia, serving owners, contractors, investors, governments,...

Featured insights

Commentary - McKinsey Quarterly

Building data-driven culture: An interview with ShopRunner CEO Sam Yagan

– Sam Yagan, current ShopRunner CEO, cofounder of OkCupid, and former Match Group CEO, discusses the importance of culture for driving data-based decision making, innovation, and, ultimately, company success.
Podcast

From start-up to scale: A conversation with Box CEO Aaron Levie

– The cloud-service cofounder and CEO talks about innovation, disruption, and harnessing the next big thing.
Article

Thinking inside the subscription box: New research on e-commerce consumers

– We surveyed thousands of US shoppers to understand subscription e-commerce trends. The findings have implications for start-ups, as well as retailers and consumer brand manufacturers entering the market.
Report

How will same-day and on-demand delivery evolve in urban markets?

– Delivery start-ups have struck a chord with consumers. But brick-and-mortar retailers and parcel services could still compete by playing to their strengths.
Interview - McKinsey Quarterly

A machine-learning approach to venture capital

– In this interview, Hone Capital managing partner Veronica Wu describes how her team uses a data-analytics model to make better investment decisions in early-stage start-ups.

New at McKinsey Blog

Blog Post

What do these 12 start-ups have in common? McKinsey alums have turned them into unicorns

– With names like DoorDash, Grab and Go-Jek, these alumni-founded companies are fast on the move and on the rise—they have become... unicorns, valued at $1 billion and more.
Blog Post

SXSW Interactive 2019: The big ideas that got us talking

– Flying cars, disruptive products and winning design are a few of the topics McKinsey experts shared at 2019 SXSW Interactive.

Connect with our Technology, Media & Telecommunications Practice