An investor pitch deck is one of the most important documents you will build as a founder.
An investor deck, and associated presentation, can help you secure the funds to grow your business and build a successful, sustainable company. In this article you’ll learn about the important information you need to include, and finally, you can download an investor pitch deck template to make sure you give venture capital firms all the information they need to make decisions. provide information.
how to pitch to investors
It is important to note that each investor in a startup will have different criteria. So do your research and customize your deck every time you ship it.
Also, consider that you don’t want to blindly send your entire deck to every investor on your list. You may be able to tell a better story as you walk them through an investor pitch presentation by phone or on Zoom.
“I will send potential VCs a one-pager that summarizes our company’s story and shows off our proof of concept,” says Heather Margolis, founder of Spark Your Channel, a York IE portfolio company. “It provides enough information to explain the company without having to share all of our cards from the beginning. Your closing line of an email might be, ‘I’d love to take you through the pitch deck when you have some time. ‘”
What to Include in an Investor Pitch Deck?
Follow this pitch outline when putting your deck together:
Cover slide or icebreaker (1 slide) Problem and solution (1-2 slide) Company vision (1 slide) Company description (10-15 slides) Financial verification (1-2 slide) Ask (1 slide) Thank you (1 slide) ) introduction
Like every good story, a pitch deck needs a beginning, a middle, and an end.
According to Docsend, the average venture capital firm used to spend about four minutes viewing a deck, but that number has now come down to two minutes and 24 seconds. And that means you really need to introduce yourself.
The first slide of your investor pitch should include an icebreaker — some sort of fact or brief anecdote that will grab the reader’s attention.
In the next slides or two, provide an overview of the problem your company is addressing and how you are going to solve it. This will naturally lead to a slide about your broader vision: Where do you see your company in three, five or 10 years?
After putting all this into the introduction, it’s time to dig into the flesh and bones of your startup.
Most of your investor pitch deck should cover these pillars:
Company and Team Overview Market Opportunity Products and Intellectual Property GTM and Traction Company and Team Overview
Have you and your co-founders (if applicable) started a company before, or can you prove otherwise that you know what you are doing? And what about the rest of your leadership and other employees?
It’s important to show that your team has the experience — and the diversity of experience — needed to truly disrupt a market. Include relevant professional successes and educational background as needed.
You need to show investors that there are enough customers to pay enough money for your product to justify your target valuation.
Do the same by relying on top-down research from market analyst firms and taking a bottom-up approach: multiplying the expected number of potential customers by the average deal size to calculate your total addressable market.
Products and Intellectual Property
Your product is the key to exploiting the market opportunity you have identified. Clearly explain to investors how it works and how it differs from other products on the market, and demonstrate any intellectual property behind it that investors find particularly valuable.
GTM and Traction
Explain how you market and sell your product. Use sales data and customer stories to show that your go-to-market strategy is working. Highlight key customers and key use cases to demonstrate trust in your company.
Don’t leave your investor presentation wishing you said something else. If there’s something else about you and your company that’s fascinating figures or interesting stories, add them to your deck.
Sometimes these things have the biggest impact on investors.
And at the end of your investor pitch deck, you need to demonstrate financial verification and clearly state what you’re asking for.
Investors will be looking for some proof points of product market fit, and there’s no better way to demonstrate this than by paying customers who generate annual recurring revenue. Other metrics you may want to include are:
Gross Margin Monthly Burn Average Contract Value Net Revenue Retention Customer Acquisition Cost
Investors will also want to see your sales pipeline value, but this request is usually made later during the due diligence process.
Once that’s done, it’s time to get to the whole point of the pitch: asking for money. Specificity is important here. Don’t say, “We’re looking for investors in a $1.4 million seed round at a $9 million valuation.” Instead, say, “We are seeking $900,000 in our $1.4 million seed round from a lead investor at a $9 million valuation in exchange for 10% equity.”
Finally, be sure to end with a thank you slide. The more you can build relationships with investors — even if they pass up your specific opportunity — the more doors that will open to you over time.
investor pitch deck template download
To learn how to properly put all of these pieces together within a complete presentation, click here and download our Investor Pitch Deck Template for Startups.