Annapurni Hariharan

Annapurni leads the communications initiatives at Unitus Ventures. Annapurni brings over 7+ years of experience across writing, communications (for-profit +non-profit), PR and digital media landscape.

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The Fault in your Pitches: What Investors Don’t Tell You

What helps some successfully raise funds? What was remarkable about their pitch that it stood out from the lot?

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Let’s face it, there’s no one sitting with a pile of money to invest in your startup. Also, not everyone can become an entrepreneur. But those who put forward the effort should be supported in every possible way. This realisation is the first of many important topics for entrepreneurs who don’t have a mentor (through initial stages) and are getting started to get their startups funded.

Keep it real: You are among the many entrepreneurs out there pitching their products or services to market. So, what helps some successfully raise funds? What was remarkable about their pitch that it stood out from the lot?

Pitch Essentials for investor presentations:

Emphasise on the USP and learnings

“A USP allows you to focus on the one thing that you love to do, that you do well, and that your customers truly want.” – Neil Patel

Make your investor understand what your product’s or service’s USP is. A USP is an important feature or a characteristic in your product/service that lets investors know of your winning edge. Focus on what will keep others from copying you, how are you building your business to stand out. This will help you carve the required niche and get your potential investors interested in knowing more about your startup.

What will work for you – to build a compelling USP - identify your target audience and test your USP’s relevance by engaging with potential customers. Be specific; generalisation doesn’t work.

Sell your team but don’t over-promote

“Teamwork makes the dream work.” - Bang Gae

This quote stands true for all startups aiming for success and growth. Investors invest in teams, not just ideas. For stronger credibility, share experience and expertise of team members, their career milestones, and their role in your startup.

What will work for you - Presenting your teammates and their capabilities in relevance to your business growth will go a long way in envisioning the company’s growth.   

Focus on “business unit economics” and “key goals.”

“A lot of people start out with an exciting thing, and they want to take over the world, but really the people who do take over the world have a good plan of how to get there and the steps along the way.” - Pete Cashmore

Be obsessed with unit economics, especially during the initial stages of your business's growth. Present vital details such as – gross margin, customer acquisition cost, break-even, CAPEX, etc.

What will work for you - Being thorough with your business goals and using data to support is a must on a compelling pitch. Investors look for a path to great unit economics which indicates that you are ready to raise additional capital to accelerate your growth.

Present your 12-18 months plan

“Make every detail perfect and limit the number of details to perfect.” - Jack Dorsey

Who doesn’t love a “focused approach”? Have a clear roadmap charted out for the next 12-18 months. It showcases a sense of your vision and an insight into how the investment will be used. Share about ways to make your startup more attractive to the next round of investors. This will let them know that you are serious about growing your business to the next level of funding.

What will work for you – A plan gives clarity to investors about your idea’s growth. A MUST on your pitch is to present how the raised capital will be used to build and grow the business and team resources.

While your pitch is important, focus on getting an introduction. This helps significantly in letting investors get some background information about your idea. Alongside it will also let them know that you are good with networking – a crucial part of growing your business.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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