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What do seed and series "A" investors look for?

 

"What financial information (and non-financial quantitative information) is most valuable for a seed investment pitch? For a Series A pitch? What do angel investors mainly want from the presenter?"

This question was asked at a recent webinar, now available on-demand:

"Creating a Winning Pitch for Venture Capital Investors"

Please add your thoughts about it below. Thanks!

Answers

Topic Expert
Jeff Chase
Title: Advisory CFO
Company: Hazelcast, Juicebox Energy, and Social I..
(Advisory CFO, Hazelcast, Juicebox Energy, and Social Inertia ) |

I would also recommend you check out this link from Canaan, it's a good primer for pitch decks: http://www.slideshare.net/canaanpartners/canaan-pitch-workbook

In addition, depending on what niche you are in, I would recommend you find resources tailored to you - for example, there is a lot on SaaS, a great blog on this topic is located here: http://www.saastr.com/

Finally, there are a lot of wonderful VCs that have shared their ideas on line. Ones that I have learned from include Gordon Ritter at Emergence,Mike Dauber at Battery, John Balen at Canaan, Rory O'Driscoll with Scale, the guys at Storm (Ryan Floyd for example blogs frequently on cloud etc. see http://ryanfloyd.org/ ), Dave Ascher at Venrock, Mark Andreesen (see http://a16z.com/) etc. Too many to mention. If you dig around the top tier VCs, you will find a plethora of information on this topic. For angels, check out Dave McClure with 500 Startups or Ron Conway with SV Angel.

Finally, just my two bits - I would encourage you to limit the financial and quantitative details to a second round, after they see some high level financial summary in your pitch deck. The initial pitch is never about the numbers, it's about the product, the market, competition, team, what makes you so special, etc. Depending on your business, the pitch deck could include some of your key assumptions to support the high level numbers.

Good luck with your pitch!

Bryan Frey
Title: VP Finance/Corp Controller
Company:
(VP Finance/Corp Controller, ) |

Traction! Things have move forward significantly since 2009 in venture. what used to be series A is no Angel/seed funding. For a "real" series A round VCs expect shipping product and real customer traction. That means sales, not meetings. And you should have more than your first sale. That shows the beginning of "repeatability". Then their series A investment will go towards building a scalable sales model.

John Argo
Title: Consultant
Company: Independent Advisory Services
(Consultant, Independent Advisory Services) |

I echo Mr. Chase's two bits. Remember the pitch is simply to get potential investors interested in sitting down with you. The focus of the pitch is (a) the team, (b) the opportunity, and (c) why your team beats the competition. The opportunity is an ante.

It's all about the team and their ability to execute and pivot. The numbers you should focus on are those that demonstrate how well your team really understands the opportunity and competition. Early-stage revenue and spending projections are unreliable and are as likely as not to highlight blindspots, so you should minimize them.

Focus on how your team is the best to know customers, respond to changing market conditions, and uniquely create value for your customers.

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