This week I wanted to share a resource with you that we normally only give to our customers on Angel Investment Network…
It’s a short e-book that sets out in as simple as possible terms what should be included in the pitch deck that you send or present to prospective investors. An important point to be noted here is that ‘what should be included’ is, more often than not, ALL that should be included. In your pitch deck you’re trying to engage and persuade – to blow minds not to numb them. So the details you give should be the ‘minimum effective dose’ to get investors thinking and wanting to find out more.
The purpose of our site is to connect entrepreneurs and investors, so you might say that teaching people about pitching falls beyond our remit; but you’d be wrong.
1. We like to make sure our entrepreneurs are as well prepared as possible for the result of any connections made through our site (or elsewhere), so that down the line they can write to tell us how successful they’ve become.
2. We see so many bad pitch decks and so many good’uns (literally thousands a week!) that we know what gets investors giddy…
Happy New Year everyone! I hope that 2016 brings you all sorts of success and happiness.
As we intrepidly sally forth into the New Year, I thought it would be worth glancing back at the state of startups in 2015 in the hope that a bit of retrospective nous will help us go more boldly into 2016.
San Francisco-based VC firm, First Round, which specialises in providing funding for seed stage tech companies (including Uber, Square and Warby Parker) is my resource for this one. In their concise 2015 review they collect the opinions from hundreds of startup founders with the aim of understanding what it meant to be a member of the community in 2015.
Their insightful review shows what founders think on a variety of questions including:
Will it get easier to raise funds in 2016?
Who is the most admired leader in the startup space?
What’s a startup founder’s biggest fear? And why it’s a mistake…
It doesn’t seem like that long ago that we helped Uncover, which went on to become the UK’s premier restaurant reservation app, fill their seed round. In fact it’s only been 16 months. But on the back of their extraordinary year since launch they have now been acquired by Velocity, the world’s leading international digital hospitality service, for an undisclosed figure.
9 months after launch Uncover had gained 135,000 users and was partnered with 350 of London’s high-end restaurants (incl. Alain Ducasse Restaurants, Coya, LIMA, Restaurant Story, Taberna do Mercado, and The Clove Club). In that period it was recognised by Apple as its “Best App” on over 10 different occasions for its immaculate user experience.
The deal means that the new, refined platform, due to be launched early in 2016, will have a network of 800 venues and over 60 Michelin stars and that Velocity has taken itself another step closer to being a comprehensive hospitality platform all over the world.
Cloudpaging leader, Numecent, have just raised $15.5M in series B funding bringing their total investment accrued to approximately $38M.
We first encountered Numecent back in 2012 when they approached us looking for seed funding for their cloudpaging technology concept that enabled native Windows applications to be delivered from the cloud. We were impressed by the fact that Numecent’s clients would have no need to download or install any software on a PC at all; and, applications would be delivered 20-100x faster than a conventional download.
We raised them £900k in seed funding and are now delighted that their promising technology is continuing to receive the recognition and investment it merits. On top of the Series B funding, Numecent was named a winner of the Red Herring Top 100 North America award, was chosen among the top 20 virtualisation solutions by CIO Review magazine and was cited as one of the 12 data-centre technology companies to watch by TechTarget.
Want to know more about Numescent? Watch the video below:
Over the course of the last year we raised £600k in seed funding for one of the UK’s most promising tech startups, what3words. If you haven’t heard of them yet, you’ll want to watch their video (below) to get in the know about the extraordinary developments they’ve made in geo-location technology, mapping the entire planet into 57 trillion 3m by 3m squares, each with its own three word label.
On the back of the successful seed round, what3words has gained significant traction including contracts with leading geographic information system providers. Their success piqued the interest of Intel Capital who alongside existing Angel Investors have filled a Series A round in the region of £2.5 million.
The most important aspect of writing a business plan or pitching to angels is selling the problem your solution solves. Nobody is going to buy a solution for a problem they don’t have, which obviously means you don’t have a viable business.
The most important thing when writing a business plan or pitching to angels is selling the problem your solution solves. Nobody is going to buy a solution for a problem they don’t have, which obviously means you don’t have a viable business.
I recently saw an entrepreneur pitching for funding, and it had all the right ingredients – a slick pitch, a good PowerPoint presentation and a nice-looking website. All very impressive, except for one thing… Her business solved a problem that didn’t exist. By the end of the evening, I think even she had realised that she was onto a loser.
The pitches that get the investors most excited offer a solution to a problem they have or a problem someone they know has. An avid golfer, for example, will get very excited about a new golfing invention. Or, if an investor is listening to you thinking “My mate Bob was complaining about this last week, and I think this guy’s onto something”, you’ve got them hooked.
The best businesses evolve from an entrepreneur who finds a problem in their life or business and figures out a product or service that fixes this problem for others. However, before you spend your valuable time and money figuring out the solution, you need to find out whether:
1) Other people have the same problem you do;
2) Enough people have the problem to make a successful business.
After selling them the problem, you then need to give a quick and compelling description of the solution. Time is limited and you don’t want to bore the investors, so don’t get bogged down in the technology and technical details behind your solution. Try to keep it as simple and concise as possible and explain what your solution is and what makes it better than the competition. Is it faster, cheaper, more eco-friendly? If the investors want to know more about what makes it is faster and how you can make it cheaper, they’ll ask later.
Your pitch is meant to give an introduction or overview and a pitch – and a short one at that – to capture the attention of a potential investor. If you manage to sell them the problem and then convince them you have a valid solution, you should have them hooked. Then you’ll have their attention for the rest of your pitch, and hopefully you’ll manage to get some business cards and line up some meetings.