raising capital with a pitch deck

There are so many ideas out there, so how do investors judge if yours is the next rocket to take off?

What happens when you send a pitch deck to investors

You just sent an investor pitch deck over email, LinkedIn, or somewhere else. Great! You feel a bit of anxiety over it and how the investor will react. But you are confident. After all the work you put into that deck, it must go well. You believe in your idea, the investors will surely do as well.

A day goes by, another day goes by, a week goes by. Still no reply. You start wondering, why do I not get a reply? Maybe there is too much work, or they are overlooked your message? You sent a follow-up. And wait again.

Another week goes by. Still nothing. You send the last follow-up. Only, a reply you never receive.

This scenario happens again and again to founders. If you are lucky, you get at least a short response. Maybe the investor is more talkative than the one here. But still, you never get a meeting.

Why are investors not replying?

Let’s look at the investor’s side. How did that story play out on their side? They open their mailbox and see your message. 57 new messages. “At least it’s not 104, like last Friday,” the investor might think. Receiving a lot of pitch decks is normal for investors.

Then, the investor sees your email. It looks ok, not overly exciting, but acceptable. She opens your pitch deck and her face turns into a frown. The design looks poor, the tagline doesn’t tell her anything. Usually, she would just close the deck at this point. She turns to the next slide. Too much text, pictures everywhere and it isn’t clear what the whole thing is about.

Your pitch deck is closed and you never receive a response.

If you are lucky, the investor might have flipped a couple more pages, sees you are missing traction, and then writes to you back: “Thanks for the deck. It is a bit early for us, but keep us updated when you have onboarded more paying customers.”

End of the story, neither your contact nor your email is saved and the investor forgets about you.

Why didn’t it work? Simple. There is an abundance of startups and deals out there. But only a fraction is desirable for the investor. Especially as it’s not just about finding a good startup but also one that fits the investor’s thesis. If investments are only into agri-tech, your fashion startup is not gonna fit.

What you can do instead

Instead of blindly sending out your pitch deck you could first understand if you are investor-ready. Do you have the traction investors want? If you are in the ideation or MVP stage and have not much to show for, in most cases investors will say you are too early.

You can network and get to know investors, but you are unlikely to receive money.

What is important is to build that trust between you and the investor. Making sure that over time you are able to convince them.

And when you reach out to new investors, see if you can get an introduction or first get in touch with someone who knows your target investor well. A warm intro can do magic for you.

Also, your deck should be concise, answer the questions investors have and make them excited for more. We at DueDash published a short template, you can use to incorporate the key elements needed in your pitch deck.