Getting ready to meet investors and ask for funding can be daunting, but preparation and proper financials are key as you take this giant step.
Only 2% of pitches are successful. In fact, 60% are rejected within the first 30 minutes.
They say there’s no formula for securing investment, but we beg to differ.
At Envestors, we’ve put together quite a few pitch events, and we’ve advised dozens of companies on their deck and investment proposition.
In fact, we’re holding a live training event on Thursday, September 17, where we’ll go into detail about what makes a perfect pitch deck, discuss case studies, and, as a bonus, go over R&D tax credits and registration for S/EIS.
Whether your goal is to raise money during the meeting, or just secure the next meeting, the first thing you should be worried about is having a compelling story.
Your story is what investors will remember – beyond traction and financials. Your first two slides should tell that story.
They’re your problem/solution slides, and they should detail your company’s vision, your customers’ issues, and how you aim to solve them.
This slide will allow you to succinctly describe the problem you’re solving. Your potential customers might be using several means to solve that problem now, so it’s worth going over current solutions and highlighting how they’re inefficient.
Solution / Opportunity
The opportunity slide allows you to present your solution to the aforementioned problem, and how that’s a viable business opportunity. Remember that, at this stage, you’re not talking about your business. You’re discussing the opportunity that an investor has, so put yourself in their shoes and figure out what would make them tick.
Use this slide to describe your ideal customer. Go over your potential customers’ problems, wants and needs, and use metrics to outline the size of the market.
Every business has competition, whether you’re talking about direct or indirect competitors. Provide a thorough analysis of the competitive landscape, and what makes your product superior – whether it’s your skills, relationships, or the product itself.
Product and underlying magic
Investors want to hear more about your ‘secret sauce’ so this would be the time to take them through a demo of your product. A video of your MVP in work will also do, if you think the product still needs work before a live demo.
Investors will want to know how you plan on charging customers. Describe the value you would bring to customers, how you would charge for services and how you intend to keep customers coming back.
What will your marketing strategy be? Show investors you’ve thought this through by relaying acquisition costs, mediums and channels, potential partnerships and plans that you’ve laid out to attract customers.
Perhaps the most important slide in your pitch deck, the traction slide should include metrics. Investors want to know about your user base, returning users, paying customers, app installs, or any other metrics that you think apply to your business model.
Financial projections are important during this stage – they will show investors they’re on to a good opportunity, and that your team is realistic in how they’ve arrived at their goals. Prepare a sales forecast, an income statement and cash flow forecast.
Investors will want to know how much funding the company has received to date, and from whom. Now is a great time to go over your latest partners and accomplishments – awards, press coverage etc.
Investment and use of funds
Your potential investors need to know how much money you are looking for, why you need it and what you’ll be using their investment for. They will be looking closely at your valuation, and you should be prepared to justify it.
If you want to seal the deal, show investors that you’ve thought through all the way to an exit. Show examples from your sector, bring up metrics and similar acquisitions, and go over milestones that would allow you to get there.
Want to know more?
We’re holding a live training event on Thursday, September 17, where we’ll go into detail about what makes a perfect pitch deck. We’ll be able to discuss financials, case studies, and you can ask a seasoned investment manager questions.