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How to present the amount to raise in a pitch deck? Creating a pitch deck is really all about getting funded and asking for the money. There is a lot  of advice available on pitch deck design, and many of the core slides in a deck. Though much less on presenting the raise and ask.

So, how do you position your ask?

How Much Should You Be Raising?

Before you ask, you have to know how much to ask for. Sooner or later you are going to have to justify that number somehow too.

From the headlines it may seem like many startups are raising at very arbitrary numbers. There are good reasons to round up. Yet, any investor who has put in the work and sacrifice and has had the financial wisdom to amass the amount of capital you are asking for is going to obviously have some financial smarts, and will want to do the math. If they have other investors or LPs they are responsible to, then they are legally liable for making sure the math makes sense too.

So, what should your raise be based on?

Reaching The Next Milestone

Exactly what the need is will vary by your fundraising round. Whichever stage that is, this pitch deck is all about getting you to the next milestone. 

This may be building a prototype, getting to market, scaling and expanding, or funding the roll up of other companies ahead of an exit.

There may be hard fixed costs to get there and investments to be made.

Runway

Without a doubt runway is the most critical point to understand before you go into addressing how to present the amount to raise in a pitch deck. Not only may you have to layout capital investments to get to the next milestone, but you will have carrying costs and operating expenses to keep running until you get there as well. This can include software, leased space, communications, insurances, payroll, etc. 

The average time between funding rounds has typically been about 12 to 18 months. In times of crisis and great financial uncertainty the ability to close a new round may be delayed. Meaning raising for a longer runway is wise. While you may be able to raise back to back rounds faster, it is dangerous to bet on it. 

Make sure you are raising enough to get through closing the next fundraising round, without getting so low on capital that your next investors can have the power to take advantage of you. 

Keep in mind that in fundraising storytelling is everything. In this regard for a winning pitch deck to help you here, take a look at the template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.

Remember to unlock the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.

Hiring

Expanding hiring is considered a good use of funds if it is justified by need. After all, having the best team in your space is critical for winning. Sharing your hiring needs in your deck can also lead to introductions to top talent from your investors. 

Comps

How much are your competitors raising at this stage in business? That is a good justification and benchmark to use. 

Cushion

Be sure to include additional funds for a cushion. Everything costs more than you think, and takes longer than you think. It’s far better to have extra, than not enough. 

The Ask Slide

In order to nail it on how to present the amount to raise in a pitch deck, keep your ask slide extremely simple. All you need is a few bullet points laying out the categories you plan to use funds for.

Be wary of asking for money for marketing channels that don’t seem efficient, or asking for less than competitors have been raising at for the same rounds. 

Positioning The Ask

Setting up the ask is done throughout your previous slides.

The Financials Slide

The financials slide demonstrates the potential returns on their investment in a simple way. Early stage startups have very simple, if any existing financials. So, it is about crisply laying out the forecast and projections for profit margins and growth. 

The Problem Slide 

The core of your business isn’t really the product or solution, it is the problem. If you have the right and a strong problem, everything will work itself out. Use your problem slide to show you have clarity on the problem. An urgent one, with demand, that you have proven exists, and you understand the value of in terms of what solving it is worth to your target customers. 

Market Slide

Use this slide to show just how big this market and potential business is. How vast can their investment grow as you expand into this market and the problem grows over the next decade?

The bigger the market the better and this will also support on how you think and address how to present the amount to raise in a pitch deck.

Traction Slide

If you have proven the problem, and have created a solution and product, how is that showing up through actually doing business? This is where you give them something tangible. It’s real. Something that they can take to the bank, instead of only being an inspiring dream. How many sales have you been making? What about revenues and profits and unit economics? If they add their capital how can it simply multiply the great results you are getting already.

Other Investors

What other investors have participated in previous rounds that can give you credibility and make them feel smart about participating in? Which other investors have committed to participating in this round? Which investor has committed to leading this round and can make them feel comfortable and confident about jumping in too? How much are these other investors pledging to put in?

Summary

There is a lot of art to creating a successful pitch deck. When it comes to presenting your ask, you have to be able to back up the math. Your positioning of the ask should start well before the ask slide, and allow them to connect the dots for themselves. This is critical as it may lead you to finding the lead investor

Hope this post provided you with some perspective as you are looking into how to present the amount to raise in a pitch deck.

You may find interesting as well our free library of business templates. There you will find every single template you will need when building and scaling your business completely for free. See it here.

Below is a video where I cover in detail the dos and don‘ts when creating a pitch deck.

 

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