Joseph Flaherty, director of the Founder Collective, recommends updating a seed pitch deck when a startup goes on to raise a Series A. And, as he expressed on Twitter, momentum is vital. As we don’t want your business to miss out on yours, we created the best series A pitch deck template based on Joseph Flaherty’s suggestions. You can also download or edit for free at Slidebean.
Like we said, Joseph Flaherty is the director of Founder Collective, a VC fund for founders at the seed stage. He also leads the design team at AgaMatrix, a medical device company focused on mobile health. Flaherty furthermore leads a group of people who are working at the intersection of technology and culture.
A series A financing round is the first round of venture capital for any startup. This stage of funding comes after the initial seed kind or an angel investor backing, which makes venture capital firms this round’s usual investors. For it, investment firms customarily work with companies with a more solid strategy, which is why Series A comes to play once companies have an established track record. At this point, companies commonly have a decided business model focused on long term profit, too.
The goal of these rounds is to ensure the company’s growth. And it’s thus typically used to optimize products, further developing a product and getting new talent.
In Series A, the company secures the capital by selling its shares, which is called equity-based financing. You can raise between 2 million to 15 million dollars over a series A round. The tech industry can take a bit more than those sums, though.
As businesses need to show their plans to grow and earn profits, this investment round comes typically in a formal approach. And a well-thought-out pitch deck for potential investors is an absolutely crucial part of the process.
A pitch deck is usually a 10-20 slide presentation that gives a startup’s short summary and its business plan along with its overall vision. It can help in trying to get a meeting with a new investor as much as for an on-stage presentation through each scenario will call for a different structure. A demo day presentation, for example, usually calls for a very visual pitch deck with very little text. The difference here has to do with how it’ll be seen from afar when you do all the talking.
A pitch presentation you email, on the other hand, should be completely self-explanatory. Designed for a laptop monitor or tablet, a small font is more acceptable than a public presentation kind of font size. In these virtual scenarios, it’s also advantageous to track your investor’s activity concerning your presentation. Doing so helps define if VCs actually opened and read 100% of the slides you sent, which can be critical when you sit down to work on follow-up emails. This seemingly small tracing fact was actually key to raising our most recent round of funding.
Care to read more on pitch deck presentations? Our pitch deck presentation guide with examples can certainly help.
Combine the two facts we’ve presented this far, the director of the Founder Collective’s suggestions and pitch decks as a whole. What you get is a winning series A pitch deck template by Joseph Flaherty. We gladly put that together for you with a bit of a hand in terms of superb design. Here’s the list of slides that go into that free and downloadable template, just like any expert would like to see.
As you can see, this template is focused on showcasing momentum. The first three slides are where and how you establish that. From the very beginning, summarize your evolution and growth succinctly. Then, choose the 3 key facts or the 3 most important moments that helped you get where you are.
Frame the pitch as your next step. On this slide, develop just how big the company can get and how fast you can do that through which exact means.
Use the following slide to present the problem you’re solving with your product. Give real-life examples to help you make that point and get the investors even more interested in the story you’re telling.
Move on to the target market next. Truly present this in a way that shows you’ve done thorough research on this matter. Describe the market size of your chosen niche, and define what your target client looks like. You should, of course, be working with a sizable market.
As we included the problem you’re addressing, we now need to present the solution your company’s providing. Make it utterly clear how this solution will solve users’ needs. Hopefully, it’ll do so better and in a way that’s unique compared to any and all existing offers in that market. Here, also clearly show your product. But use the next slide specifically for your product as a whole.
Milestones are also an essential part of Joseph Flaherty’s pitch deck suggestions. Outline those you foresee in the next 1, 3, and 5 years. Now, on to figures, describe funding next. Include how much you have so far and how much you’re looking to raise. Be blunt and direct about it. Also, clarify how these funds will be used.
And the last slide, following this proposed model by Flaherty, should be devoted to presenting your team. For that, show pictures and explain why you’ve got the most ideal team to execute this project.
And there you have it! These slides constitute the best series A pitch deck template with contemplations of Joseph Flaherty’s suggestions.
You’ve started up, and gaining traction. You’ve put your seed money to good use, you’ve got a small but sustainable customer base, made your first couple of million and it feels like you’ve got something good going. It’s time for Series A pitch deck.
It’s time to hone and improve your products, launch marketing and branding campaigns, and expand your team of key personnel. And because you’re asking for more money, the stakes are notably higher. You’re pitching to a different type of investor, and you’re asking them to pour money into helping you scale your business on the foundation that you’ve built.
As with all pitches, you’re going to need a deck for Series A. So how do you create a killer Series A pitch deck? Read on.
Related read: What is a Pitch Deck presentation
These rules apply to any pitch deck you’ll be creating. They are still incredibly important as the fundamentals to what goes into a deck that shows you and your company in the best light.
You’re in love with your product and that’s fantastic. But what investors are really interested in is your business – does your business have what it takes to go the distance? Will it be much more valuable in the future? So that means bringing in the numbers, demonstrating an understanding of performance metrics, showing off data that prove your business is a good investment, and that you are business-minded enough to make the best use of your capital.
Some people put the team slide in the beginning, and some at the end. No matter where you choose to put it, remember that the team would be of utmost importance here because, at this stage, your investors want to know if you’ve got the right people for the job. A charismatic founder with subject matter expertise and an amazing track record may be all you need to secure seed funding.
But Series A investors will want to invest in a high-performance, reliable group of people that can handle the big time. So put the spotlight on your team – show off their skills, strengths, and experience.
If you’ve already got great customer traction, good margins, and growth, then half your battle’s already won. But if you don’t, then be prepared with a plan for the future. Tell your investors what you’re planning to use the money for. Have a financial plan ready for the next 18-24 months that shows how much money you need for what purpose and be as specific as you can. Being very specific about how you’re planning to use the money can help spark an investor’s interest because investors all want to believe that “the only thing standing between this company and success is a cash injection”.
If you’re going to be presenting in a meeting, bear in mind to:
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