Meeting an investor for the first time can be daunting – you don’t exactly know what to say or what data to show. Not to mention that there is tremendous pressure in making a good first impression.
The key to presenting your financial data to an investor is illustrating your company while keeping things brief, engaging, and to the point.
Before even prepping for the meeting, you should conduct some background research on the investor.
What is the investor’s area of expertise? Do they have experience in your specific industry? What does the rest of their portfolio look like?
These are just some basic questions that will help you pick which pieces of your company and data need to be highlighted and presented to the investor. Going through a comprehensive fundraising checklist beforehand will help you answer/anticipate any preliminary questions to make sure you have all the needed context and information on hand.
Time and attention from investors is a highly sought-after resource; your company’s pitch meeting is only one of many things on their plate. It’s critical you make the most of every minute you have with them by being thoroughly prepared, convincing, and memorable. Additionally, just because you have a 30-minute meeting scheduled doesn’t actually mean you have 30 minutes of the investors' undivided attention. Assume that you will only have the investors’ attention for around 5-10 minutes—so be strategic about how you utilize them!
Attention is at its peak right in the beginning of the meeting and then starts to wane down as the clock ticks. Make sure to have your most convincing and relevant content in those first five minutes when your audience is really listening—and use that time in a way that will interest them to continue to pay attention.
Given the 5-10 minutes of peak attention, it’s crucial that you keep your data and story brief in order to get all the relevant information within the time span. This isn’t the time to pull up your financial model and start going through every last component. Instead, think of the big picture and include only the most relevant data to back that up.
This is where knowing your financial data comes in handy. Only choose the most impactful and relevant metrics that can paint a good picture of your company and its financial positioning. Metrics like CAC, LTV, COGS are good ones to highlight and doing some research in finding out just what your potential investor values will put you one step ahead.
Remember, investors' main priority is making returns on their investment; highlighting metrics that show how your operations make a profit will leave a good impression.
Aside from just pulling out the key metrics, make sure you know exactly what each metric means, how you calculated it, and what story it tells, in case a question arises or the investor requires further explanation and proof.
Keeping your data simple and brief is one thing; make sure you also understand how to best create and structure your pitch deck to ensure a smooth meeting.
At this point, your pitch deck should only consist of key metrics and relevant financial data points and be presented in a concise, succinct manner. However, what if investors ask to see more?
The last thing you want is to be missing desired data and delaying the investing process. Be prepared with an appendix section including all of your financial data and models in case investors do ask to see more or have further questions. This way, the investor gets their answers immediately, preventing their time from being wasted as well as eliminating unnecessary back-and-forth. In fact, sending over the pitch deck and the appendix with financial models and data beforehand never hurts. This way, if they’d like, the investor can get some context and gain familiarity with your business before your pitch.
Our biggest piece of advice is keeping the investor’s best interest in mind. Presenting your pitch in a way that makes the investor’s life easier is a huge step in setting you apart from the pack. A major part of this is presenting manageable data to consume on the spot. Being prepared, diligent, and engaging can start you off on the right foot and help you establish a better relationship from the get-go.