Fundraising check list - tell me what I'm missing
Shared by andrew-miit.co · 41d ago · 22 comments

I'm working on my investor pitch and it seems like there are a few core things they always want to see. I've put these together in a document - tell me what I'm missing.

- [x] Do the founders code?
- [x] Have you built a team?
- [x] Have you validated the need for your product?
- [x] Have you released a product?
- [x] Are people using it?
- [ ] Do you have revenue?

kendsouza · 40d ago

You have to make money or become the shiny object.

Most of the VC money is dumb money and 90% of it loses ..even the YC kind.
It is a monkey sees, monkey does crowd chasing the latest buzz words. Some of them get lucky..not because they knew how to pick a winner . It is always a gamble just like the stock market. Out of the average 10 they invest in.. 9 loses money and the 1 might end up making it up for the losses. Any monkey with money can do that.. But because of that 1 success..they will go on to tout it or write a silly book on how they have a eye on picking the winners..they don’t.

How miit becomes the shiny object is up to you or it is nothing but another one of those social media apps on the block.

Is that not what Rahul Vohra did with email(superhuman)? He charges $30 bucks a month for something which is free..just like you pay for water in a shiny bottle. He made email shiny and he made it exclusive and the suckers fell for it:)

manojranaweera · 40d ago

Love you Ken!

I never found what's so amazing about Superhuman. I remember being invited by Rahul in the early days. I like his previous product, which he flogged and the acquirer simply killed it.

kendsouza · 39d ago

There is nothing amazing about superhuman. It is good marketing to the few who think they are exclusive. The masses are never going to pay for email or a browser. But they raised $120 million and valued at $850 million.
It is one of those 'unicorns' which is at serious risk of dying.

carlosraul · 39d ago

Hi Andrew,

That's a great start, although that list can go on and on depending on a lot of factors such as the market you are going after, the kind of product you are building, the business model, the capital required to get it to the next fundable milestone and more.

I'd definitely include there:

1. Competitors analysis & competitive advantages.

2. Show some sort of traction. If you are not generating revenue yet, it'd be a great idea to show how people are using your product, how many of them are active, how it solves their problems, etc. Sometimes it is just needed to prove that what you built is something some people visibly love.

3. Go to market. Investors normally will need to see the channels you are using to acquire customers on a rolling basis, and how you can discover and get into more channels after securing some funding. That way they can see a clear path to growth after the capital injection.

4. Projections. Even though it is important not to become delusional here, it is important to have big expectations on how your vision can be materialized into the world and your business can become a huge success. This not only get investors excited but if well played out, it could show the size of your ambition and goals in a more clear way. Ideally, investors will need your business to become a $100M+ in ARR.

5. Use of Funds. It is very important to show them how you plan to spend their money. How this money is going to get your business to the next level. How you are going to spend it. i.e Marketing, Product Development (Engineering and Design), PR and brand awareness, Infrastructure, Legal, Customer Support, etc.

There are many great articles about this. I'd recommend you to dig deeper into these 2 websites/blogs/youtube channels.

a) Slidebean (https://youtu.be/iu8d2Kd8e4o)
b) This Week in Startups (https://thisweekinstartups.com/checklist)

Best luck!

andrew-miit.co · 37d ago

Thanks for the tips Carlos. I have a lot of this in my deck & presentation. I guess my question was more about what steps on the staircase do we need to complete before we're in an attractive position to raise funding. Interesting to hear the responses.

ptmn · 36d ago

Hustle Fund has a brilliant check list of questions.

"I’m a former founder who’s reviewed over 30,000 pitches as a General Partner at Hustle Fund and as a former Partner at 500 Startups.

This is a list of questions I regularly ask early-stage founders in order to decide whether or not to invest."

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/u/4/d/1qjKBJtF0iKmJG_4IYx7qHlDNmHoGQKKTw9ab6LsVTbI

andrew-miit.co · 35d ago

This is excellent thanks.

andrew-airbotics · 39d ago

I've heard of plenty of investors ask these kinds of questions as well:
- [ ] What's the long-term vision for it / how does it get really big?
- [ ] Who tried this before and didn't succeed / why was that and what are you doing differently?
- [ ] Why now?
- [ ] What is the product's moat / how is it defensible?
- [ ] Why are you the one to make this work / what's your unfair advantage?
Hope it gives you some ideas and good luck pitching.

andrew-miit.co · 37d ago

Thanks Andrew. As I said to Carlos above I have a lot of this in my deck & presentation. I guess my question was more about what steps on the staircase do we need to complete before we're in an attractive position to raise funding. Interesting to hear the responses.

manojranaweera · 40d ago

Andy

Got a link to Rahul Vohra's product market fit engine methodology?

Where are you getting MAUs? Is this using Google Analytics? Obviously mobile app? I've not bothered even looking at GAs for https://skilledup.life. Not yet started tracking active user numbers. Just built https://www.skilledup.life/metrics/

Ever Googled Pre-Seed pitch deck?

https://www.techcelerate.ventures/the-perfect-pitch-deck/

andrew-miit.co · 37d ago

Hey Manoj, I do indeed: https://bit.ly/3mmVU4Q. We built it using AirTable and TypeForm and surveyed our competitors users which made really big difference in terms of what we put on our product roadmap.

For the MAUs we use Firebase for authentication so it's really easy to get get usage and retention stats straight from the Firebase dashboard.

manojranaweera · 40d ago

How come you are not disclosing actual app metrics in your pitch deck Andy?

e.g.

- app downloads
- number of users
- number of active users
- number activities
- number of meetups

etc. If I am investor, that would be the first slide I would look at and then work backward. Obviously I am not.

andrew-miit.co · 37d ago

They change daily, I include them when actually pitching.

manojranaweera · 40d ago

By the way, as I was not using, Apple disabled the app. And when reloading, I am having to enter the registration data again.

manojranaweera · 40d ago

spoke too soon. Had to select interests etc and it found my account.

manojranaweera · 40d ago

Why do you need the money? If it's hosting, I understand. If it's people power, why can't we help via https://skilledup.life?

andrew-miit.co · 37d ago

Miit has been a side hustle and completely self-funded, plus we all have kids so living on a ramen budget isn't an option. Funding will give us 24 months of runway to work on Miit full time.

dankelly · 40d ago

Growth and usage are important factors which should compliment your product validation statement.

- [ ] Month-over-month growth? (in double-digits?)
- [ ] Daily Active Users? (DAU)
- [ ] Monthly Active Users? (MAU)

Retention/Churn are also important metrics but in a very early stage co (launched X months ago) these numbers sometimes don't paint an accurate picture.

Ex -> You launch on Product Hunt and get a surge of app installs from users curious to play with the app. They try the app once and never return again — Completely hosing your metrics.

Here is some more info on retention : https://www.geckoboard.com/best-practice/kpi-examples/retention-rate/

andrew-miit.co · 37d ago

Really useful thanks. You're spot on about early stage metrics particularly for churn for a network/two-sided marketplace.

mattcrail · 40d ago

Are you asking what should be in your pitch deck, or what stage the company should be at before fundraising?

andrew-miit.co · 37d ago

Exactly this "what stage the company should be at before fundraising?" - thinking in terms of a check list.

mattcrail · 35d ago

gotcha - that depends on the startup/founder and investor I suppose