When we are introduced to promising entrepreneurs and ideas our first response is to ask for information about the company or project, usually an investor deck. The extra information helps us to know whether there’s enough chance of an investment happening for a meeting to make sense. I like to think that’s beneficial to us and the founder because it saves time, although I recognise there can be value in getting feedback even if there’s no chance of investment.
A deck helps in the following ways:
- Shows the entrepreneur is serious about their company and raising money. We invest at the earliest stages and some founders try and raise money before they are fully committed to their projects and/or to raising finance. Not for us.
- Shows us the founder can craft a story and sell their idea/company. Key skills for any entrepreneur. Most of the best entrepreneurs are great story tellers.
- Allows us to evaluate fit with our investment strategy – we are laser focused on idea and seed stage businesses in ecommerce, marketplace and related software, and have a number of other criteria too.
- Writing the story forces completeness of thought. A good investor deck covers all areas of the business and requires the entrepreneur to have good solutions for everything that needs to be done. That’s a good discipline.
A good deck is also super helpful in investor meetings, so it’s best to have one anyway. Bill Gurley explains why here.
And this One Match Ventures guide to writing a good deck is amongst the best I’ve seen.