How to send your pitch deck to a venture capital firm? This is the typical question every entrepreneur asks themselves when they are in the fundraising process.
VCs play a big role in the startup ecosystem. For many entrepreneurs getting funded by them is like the holy grail. For some it seems to be the whole motivation for coming up with a startup idea in the first place. In a lot of cases venture capital is essential for getting a startup off the ground, if not at least helping it realize its full potential.
So, how do you go about sending your pitch deck to a VC firm for funding?
Venture Capital’s Role In Startup Fundraising
VCs are probably the most visible and famous funding sources in this space.
They are not the only sources of financing though. There is private equity and strategic corporate investors. Angel investors and angel groups may even be more plentiful and provide more overall dollar funding for startups. Then there are a variety of banks and commercial lenders who provide debt financing as well.
Venture Capital firms usually come into the picture from Series A to Series C fundraising rounds. This is evolving, and they may invest earlier or later as well. Though the first funding usually comes from friends and family or angels and crowdfunding. With the latest rounds coming from PE and strategics. Often leading to M&A deals.
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.
Start With Why
Before thinking about how to send your pitch deck to a venture capital firm or present in front of them, make sure you really own your why.
Firstly, why raise money at all?
Do you absolutely need to raise money in the form of equity capital to get your business off the ground? Is it really hugely advantageous to raise capital at this stage in business?
It can be, but make sure you are doing it at the right time, for the right reasons. If you are not, then giving up large percentages of your company, without the most efficient uses of that capital can also be destructive.
Be sure to weigh the pros and cons of bootstrapping versus raising, before just leaping because you think it is the status quo.
If raising is the right move, then why VCs?
Are you at the right stage for VC firms? If so, then what do you really want from them aside from money? Some highly successful repeat founders bring in VCs, even when they don’t need the capital. Money can actually be the worst reason to go fundraising. Even if you do just need the money, then what other benefits can you be looking for?
Investors can add a lot of extra value, and you should get as much as you can for what you are giving up in equity and ownership rights. That may include recruiting help, connections, distribution channels, other investor introductions, advisors and board members that will give you more credibility and operating strength.
Know Your Who
While the top 50 venture capital firms are probably responsible for more than 80% of all the VC dollars invested each year, there may be well over 1,000 firms to choose from for pitching. This is key when you are wondering how to send your pitch deck to a venture capital firm.
It is unfortunately not uncommon for startup entrepreneurs to end up pitching hundreds of investors before getting their first yes. Often even going to countless meetings and multiple meetings with some VCs before getting told no.
If you are spending half of your time each week just on fundraising efforts for months or a year, you can imagine the huge drain, and time that could be used actually building a successful business.
Taking the time in advance to do your research and make a much tighter short list of your ideal investors should yield a far more efficient fundraising experience.
This shortlist should be composed of your ideal and best fitting investors. Those who have the most to offer in additional resources and credibility, as well as who are experts in your space, are actively funding your type of startup, believe in your vision and have alignment with your timeline.
Once you’ve got your shortlist of VCs, be sure you polish your pitch deck, and curate and tailor it to fit them best.
How To Send Your Deck To Venture Capital Firms
Connecting With VC
The first step is to connect with your target VC firms and partners. This may include:
- Sending cold emails
- Reaching out via DMs on social media networks
- Asking for introductions
- Using consultants and advisors with connections
- Attending pitch events
- Joining a startup incubator or accelerator
- In person networking
Sharing The Deck
As part of addressing how to send your pitch deck to a venture capital firm, keep in mind that you are probably either going to email the pitch deck as an attachment, or provide a private link for access online, like in Google Drive.
You’ll also accompany your pitch deck with supporting materials, like:
- Your latest investor update
- Executive summary
- One page business plan
When emailing cold connections, pay special attention to the from address you are emailing from, your subject line, and the body. You’ve got to stand out and motivate them to view it.
You may find interesting the video below where I cover in detail how to send a pitch deck to investors.
Follow up. Don’t be afraid to follow up. Make sure they received and made time to view it. You can also use yoru investor updates to add that extra sense of urgency.
Get prepared for investor meetings. Whether in person or via Google Meet, be ready, be in the right mindset, and be ready for the questions you’ll be hit with.
Then keep working your list. Listen and learn from each encounter and use that to just keep making your pitch even better.
Hopefully this post provided you with some perspective as you are looking into how to send your pitch deck to a venture capital firm.
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.