5 Lessons to Turbocharge Your Chances of Getting Funded - Learnt From Pitch Decks Used by Companies like Facebook and Uber.
Let’s be honest.
We’ve all dreamt about the appeal of fund raising at some point or another.
Getting funded is the result of lots of factors..
One of which is your Pitch Deck.
Let’s think for a moment that Investors look at hundreds of Pitch Decks a week.
At that volume, you can imagine that even minor mistakes could easily be a turn-off.
So, what can you do to make them love your deck?
At this point, a lot of startups focus on design and appearance.
But not what moves the needle.
If an investor looks at 100+ decks then yes, a catchy design stands out over a crappy one and might get an initial boost of interest.
We looked at 70+ pitch decks used by companies like Facebook, Uber, Dropbox to get funded. You can Get Access to all 70+ Decks for your Reference Here.
The design for some of those decks was terrible.
Because creating a great deck doesn’t rely entirely on appearance and doesn’t need you to spend thousands of dollars on it.
The real weight of the deck is in its content.
The financial details, metrics and info you share will vary between funding rounds but here are 5 lessons learnt from these decks:
1. Don’t Blurt Out Your Problem and Target Customer:
Make your problem relatable.
Any evidence showing the existence of the problem or examples of where it occurs in the customers everyday life will be useful for providing the investor with necessary context.
Define who your customer is.
Here too, any evidence you can showcase from your customer discovery about how you confirmed this customer segment would be appreciated.
“Everyone” is not a customer segment.
2. Tell a Story
You just explained the problem.
Now talk about the solution you created to solve this problem.
Describe how it works and aim for the investor to visualise the solution in action.
Live demos, images and comparisons against competitor solutions will all increase understanding of your solution.
This will naturally lead into presenting how your solution generates revenue.
If you’re an early stage startup, it is possible for revenue models to change down the road as data backed iterations can be justified.
But when pitching to investors, show how the business is making money.
3. Prove Your Basic Sales Assumption
Show investors that you can deliver and customers will pay.
For Idea stage/Pre-Seed investments this might not be available so you will need to find another way to convince your investors that you can generate sales.
Provide the data you have and be transparent in showing where your company is at.
Is it just a few sales that shows product-solution fit?
Is it month on month growth in revenue, orders or traffic?
Do you have any reviews, testimonials, pipeline orders, case studies etc that provide social proof?
Without some form of traction, it’s possible that investors will think twice about whether you can execute or not.
4. Is It Worth It?
Investors want to know how big is the potential opportunity you’re bringing.
This does not mean using a “Top down” approach of “The available market is $50 Billion. If we get just 1% we’ll be at $500 Million”.
Find a reliable source that shows the size of the market you want to enter.
Then present your Go-To-Market strategy along with how you plan to acquire customers.
Think of it like this:
Investors are interested in the future of your business not the past.
It’s great news that you can show traction or market adoption but how does the investor know if you can grow this?
What happens next? Will your market adoption fall? Will it plateau? How will you answer this?
It will provide the outlook of how you will gain market share.
It also provides a clearer picture of the costs and resources that will be required in order to gain that market share.
Plus, it allows the investor to see where they could possibly support this GTM further.
If you have any “wired up” partnerships and access to target market that gives you a clear competitive advantage, make sure to mention these here for your pitch deck to be even more appealing.
5. Whos Got Your Back
Building a business is a team sport.
The idea of a “one man/woman show” is too frightening.
There’s so many functions in a business from tech, to marketing, finance, sales, customer activation and retention and the list goes on.
It’s crazy to try to address all of them single handedly.
And even if you are great at each of these functions, it’s difficult to argue that you’d be more effective and focused if this was spread across a team.
Show who will be working with you to build and grow the business.
Show that they bring the necessary skill sets required for your business to flourish.
Do they have previous experience in building and exiting businesses? It’s not always a must-have, but there’s no doubt that having a history of generating good return for investors will surely add
credibility to you and your team.
Preparing your funding Pitch Deck can get tricky.
But it doesn’t have to be.
Focus on the things that matter such as your problem, the solution, GTM, financials and team.
The key takeaway:
Investors prefer low risk - high reward. The funds and time they have is finite and so it makes sense to make smart bets.
Show them that you’ve done your homework and you can execute.
You’ll be in a much stronger position than others to make things happen.
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