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How pitch decks change by funding round

, How pitch decks change by funding round

By Alejandro Cremades*

How should pick decks differ at each stage of startup fundraising, whether you are going for an equity round or if you are at the stage when you are wondering what is a safe note?

Investor expectations change at each round of funding. As do the investors you will likely be pitching.

This also means that you’ll need to at least revamp your pitch deck every 6 to 18 months as you prepare to run another fundraising campaign.

While it may be obvious that some of your metrics will change from one round to another, pitch decks can change in various ways too.

, How pitch decks change by funding round

Including the main points, you need to convey, the depth of information to be provided, and the acceptable number of slides to have in your deck.

STARTUP FUNDING ROUNDS

Getting funded doesn’t all come in one big lump sum. Once you accept outside investment and add others to your board and cap table, you start a continuous cycle until you exit.

Startups have evolved to stay private much longer than they used to.

Which means raising many more rounds than before. It is no longer uncommon to see startups go through raising a Series D round before being acquired or going public.

This also means the need to be regularly updating and evolving your pitch deck and other supporting fundraising materials and virtual data room.

As you progress, you will typically engage with different investors at each new stage of business. Each level has its own motivations, expectations, wants, and priorities.

So, how might you need to change up your pitch deck based on the stage your company is at now?

PRE-SEED PITCH DECKS

These are the simplest pitch decks of all. Many entrepreneurs struggle even here. Which can end their aspirations of raising huge sums and becoming unicorns.

However, if you nail it at this stage, it will be much easier to get through each following round.

You’ll have the framework and process down.

Once you bring in some capital, you’ll be able to afford more help and better tools to improve your next deck. Which will also speed up the entire process.

Even if you are not planning on raising any outside money at this point, creating a pitch deck now can help you recruit the best advisors, cofounders, and other talents.

Friends and family you may approach to help get you off the ground will definitely appreciate a professional pitch deck presentation.

This is great to do, even just for yourself. It will help clarify your ideas, get you focused, be able to talk about your business better, and act as a more effective form of a business plan to which you will refer.

10 slides are sufficient for your pitch deck at this point.

SEED ROUND PITCH DECKS

Whether you bootstrapped your startup up to this point, got help from family and friends, or even business angels, and lenders, this is where founders really need to get serious about creating a professional pitch deck.

Most startups are still very sparse on data at this point.

You may still not have any revenues or even sales. You may still be working on perfecting your product and where you fit in the market.

With no historical financials, a simple cap table, and many parts of your business model still unknown, 10 slides may still be enough for your pitch deck. 16 will certainly cover your needs.

Attempt going any longer than this; you might find this startup’s journey is very short.

At this stage, investors are putting most of the weight of their decision on the team and vision.

The problem and size of the market you are tackling are fundamentals that you need to show.

SERIES A PITCH DECKS

At this stage, you have a solid product and some customers.

You may not have much in the way of revenues or net profits, though investors will want to know what you’ve achieved with your previous round of funding.

Hopefully, you have proof of product market fit and need capital to meet that need.

As well as to continue to improve your organization, unit economics, and build out your capabilities.

You should now have more to show prospective investors. Including the milestones you’ve hit, some financials, additional team members, and your product.

16 slides are still plenty at this stage.

SERIES B PITCH DECKS

By this stage, you have seriously de-risked your startup for investors. You will likely raise at least tens of millions of dollars in your Series B round.

You’ve got product market fit and revenues.

This capital will enable you to build out further and expand.

At this stage, you will be able to add more to your pitch deck, including historic financials, new locations, product lines, and revenue streams.

SERIES C PITCH DECKS

Series C financing is about scale. In fact, you may raise both debt and equity capital at this stage.

By injecting it into your already well-oiled machine, you are taking more money to multiply it predictably.

You should be able to justify a 16 to 20-slide deck at this point.

When deciding, investors will pay far more attention to your financials and unit economics.

SERIES D & LATER ROUNDS

Those raising late rounds like these often fund further growth, whether market share, geography, new lines of business, or parts of the supply chain.

Often to increase their position and value to go public, or demand a much higher price in an acquisition.

Funds may also be used to acquire or absorb other companies in mergers.

You will have a much longer pitch deck at this point. Which will be heavily driven by the financials.

You may also be simultaneously working on your pitch book, and keeping the option open to find an exit if the opportunity arises or is more attractive than the capital you can bring in from another funding round.

SUMMARY

Startup pitch decks need to evolve with the company at each funding stage.

They will get longer and more detailed. Though also focus on different aspects of the business as the investors they pitch change.

, How pitch decks change by funding round

*Alejandro Cremades is a serial entrepreneur and the author of The Art of Startup Fundraising. With a foreword by ‘Shark Tank‘ star Barbara Corcoran and published by John Wiley & Sons, the book was named one of the best books for entrepreneurs.

The book offers a step-by-step guide to today‘s way of raising money for entrepreneurs.

Most recently, Alejandro built and exited CoFoundersLab, which is one of the largest communities of founders online.

Before CoFoundersLab, Alejandro worked as a lawyer at King & Spalding, where he was involved in one of the biggest investment arbitration cases in history ($113 billion at stake).

Alejandro is an active speaker and has given guest lectures at the Wharton School of Business, Columbia Business School, and NYU Stern School of Business.

Since its inception, Alejandro has been involved with the JOBS Act and was invited to the White House and the US House of Representatives to provide his stands on the new regulatory changes concerning fundraising online.

 

 

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