The six parts of a simple fundraising story

When raising money for a startup, there are several ways to build a pitch deck. I believe it is easier to create a great pitch deck if you build it on top of a simple and attractive fundraising story.

The fundraising story should help an investor understand (and be able to re-tell to colleagues) what you are doing, why it is important, why you are likely to build a large company, present some proof points that it is already working, and explain why you are the team to back. The primary goal is not to describe that a specific trend is important or what the market looks like.

I think the fundraising story for a seed round (or later) can be built using only six parts (which then can become twelve slides in a pitch deck and a large number of supporting documents if needed). The six parts of a simple fundraising story are:

  1. Define the problem, why it is important, and if possible why it is not already solved.
  2. What is your insight about the problem that allows you to solve in a better way than others and how big will the market be when you solve it.
  3. Describe what your product does (in as clear, jargon-free language as possible) and the key advantages users get from using your product, and why it is better than the competition.
  4. What is your current traction (e.g. growth in users, revenue and/or ARR) and what metrics (e.g. retention, renewals, NPS etc) show that your ‘economic engine’ is working already today, even if at a limited scale.
  5. Present the the team and explain why it is the right team to build this startup.
  6. How much are you raising and what you are going to achieve (not what areas of the company you are going to spend the money on) before the next round.

In which order you present the parts can differ depending on setting and medium.

This is an early version/first draft, so feedback is appreciated.

Author: Henrik Torstensson

Partner at Alliance VC. Investing in Nordic early-stage tech startups.

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