History of the company

Give some general information on the history of your company. When did you found the company, what happened until today? Who else invested, when, and how much? Did you invest some of your own money? What were the key achievements and what were the key challenges until today? Are there any important reasons for your good or not that good traction until today?

This information helps potential investors to quickly understand your business and the stage as they might compare it to other startups they have seen or invested in.

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The “Perfect” (Pre-) Series A Pitchdeck: An Investors Wishlist

medium.com

Keep in mind that investors always “invest in teams”, thus, this information cannot be overestimated and is a crucial part of every pitch deck. As a rule of thumb, you can say that the earlier the stage the business is in, the more important the team is. 

Who are you and who are the key people in your business? What’s their CV and why did this CV bring the core team to founding your startup. Why is this team the best possible out there to build your startup and turn it into a rocket ship?

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Try to answer these two questions in an easy way: What’s your product doing (what problem does it solve, through use-case) and why is it better (what’s new about it)? What’s the value proposition and the ROI of your customers? What’s your vision of the product and where should it evolve within the next years?

Investors are interested in a great exit in 4–7 years (at this stage). So, it’s crucial to understand why your company will have a high value in future based on which product and which customers.

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One slide about competition is also essential as it helps investors to quickly understand how founders position their products. 

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There should always be one slide about the market(size) you address. 

Even though these calculations are always debatable, this slide gives investors a good feeling of how the founders position their product within which market (segments)

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How do you earn money? Address this question comprehensively as investors will need to have a profound understanding of your business model (SaaS, transaction-based, commission-based, etc.) 

They will only invest if they believe in a strong (financial) growth, which is directly connected to a working business model.

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Show the growth of your customer base. 

How many customers are using your product? Do you have some lighthouse customers? If you are allowed to show them, do so (investors love logos). What kind of prospects do you currently focus on and has this, or will this focus change over time? What’s a typical customer journey? What promising POCs are currently running? What’s your current pricing and what’s your strategy behind it?

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In B2B SaaS the most important KPI (at this stage) is the MRR. It helps investors to quickly understand where to position your business traction wise. Often the MRR is a good indicator of what has been achieved in the past and what challenges founders will presumably face in the future. 

It’s also an important indicator for valuation. Make sure to explain your calculation (signed or booked MRR, POCs included, etc.). Also highlight your other revenue streams and show the total revenue of your business.

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  • Investors want to invest into a successful business. So, it’s absolutely crucial for them to understand your prediction and the usage of their investment. Show your financial goal for the next 1–3 years.
  • VCs are exit driven. Explain your main thoughts on this financing round and the actual cap table (money raised so far, etc.). If you already know the valuation of this round (e.g. existing shareholders already committed) make sure to highlight this information.

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