Now that you're shared your pitch deck with investors, you're anxiously waiting for some replies and callbacks from interested investors.
Let's say you've wooed them enough with your pitch deck that they'd like to set up some time with you to discuss further.
Roughly 1 out of 5 investors would be interested in meeting you. So it's important to be prepared and showcase your best during pitch meetings.
💡 Try to schedule all your meetings within a span of 1-2 weeks. Fundraising is very much like a momentum game that drains all the energy out of the Founder/CEO. Having back-to-back meetings keeps you engaged in the process and during meetings you can always drop other investors' names to create a FOMO effect. It's even better if you already have some commitment you can talk about.
A pitch meeting is an opportunity for you, the founder, to share your venture story with interested investors. It is a two-way discussion between investor and founder to see if there's a mutual fit.
The meetings usually last for about 30-60 mins during which a founder is expected to share their story and plans while the investor evaluates whether it's a fit for them by asking pointed questions aimed to better understand the business.
While each investor may have their unique interview style broadly they ask similar questions. Here's a list of common things that any investor would like to cover in a pitch meeting:
- Quality of team (aptitude and attitude) to understand your motivation to solve the problem at hand
- What's the larger problem you're trying to address?
- How big is the market? Can you create latent demand that didn't exist before?
- What alternatives are people using at the moment?
- Who are your current competitors? Who can enter this space?
- How do you plan to address this problem? What's your USP? Can you show a demo?
- How do you plan to go to market / acquire customers? Do you have an idea of Custom Acquisition Cost (CAC) for different campaigns/channels?
- How many customers (trials?) do you have so far? What's the DAU/MAU ratio? Do you have a revenue? Any prominent users? What's the feedback so far?
- What are your fundraising plans? How much are you looking to raise? How will you use the proceeds? Have you received any commitments so far?
Make sure you are on top of these questions and can respond without any ambiguity. Please refer to more granular questions in this in-depth list from Elizabeth Yin.
When it comes to pitching meetings, just remember these three words ー preparation, preparation, preparation!
Whether you are a seasoned presenter or introvert, preparing for pitches is an intensive exercise that everyone has to go through to woo investors.
Investors review thousands of pitches and decks, so in order to stand out, you have to be succinct, clear, sharp, and engaging.
Other than perfecting your story, there are many little details that go into preparing an awesome pitch.
- Body language
- Tone modulations
Always fix meetings with practice investors first to get a good handle on your story and learn about gaps in the pitch. Once you've had a shot at 5-10 mock pitch interviews you are much better prepared for your meetings with a Dream list of investors.
On the big day even the tiniest of the details matter —
- How well dressed are you?
- Did you have enough sleep the night before?
- Did you have a meal?
- How confident are you feeling on the day?
- And much more.
Even things like how people are seated in the room can affect your fundraising chances.