How to Get Noticed
We get sent proposals from companies all the time so if you want to get some attention the trick is to make your proposal quick and easy to read. And that means 1 piece of paper – 2 sides of A4. If you send us a presentation deck it won’t get looked at. If you send us a full business plan, well done for producing one but we’re not going to wade through at this early stage.
We’re often asked what private investors are looking for in a proposal, so here’s a simple guide on what to put in.
No more than 2 sides A4, easily readable layout.
Details: Business names, sector, stage, year started, funding sought, pre money valuation
Overview: 1 paragraph succinctly summarising what the business is proposing to do
Current Development: what stage is the business at now, how much work has been completed, is there any sales traction, how much cash has been invested to date
Market: what is the target market for the business, how large is the overall market, how much is addressable, what are the key sectors, what are the trends
Proposition: what need is the business going to fill, how is it differentiated from others, how will the competitive edge be maintained
Plan: how is the business going to develop, what are the key stages and milestones and timelines
Team: who are the key players in the business and what is their background and pedigree
Financials: one simple table, showing actuals, current and next year forecast and future years’ budget
Investor Proposition: how much is being raised, at what pre money valuation. What future funding rounds are anticipated
Exit: how is the investor going to realise a return – sale/IPO/other, who are the likely purchasers, how much does the business expect to sell for, when does the business expect to sell, how much has been paid for similar businesses
A few general points. All sales forecasts are “conservative”, every team is “great”, every product is “unique” so avoid these adjectives. Evidence is much better than opinion or hearsay. And finally, no more than 2 sides A4 [OK, got it].
I'm going to be concentrating on my current portfolio for a while so I'm reluctantly suspending my market commentary. Normal service will be resumed once things (and the markets) have calmed down. Might take a while.
2021 has seen a bounce-back in venture equity investment. Some of this is post 2020 COVID related but is there something else going on?
Innovation has helped us ameliorate the pandemic but the social distancing response may be our downfall. As the world struggles to emerge from the pandemic, arguments rage about whether we can beat it or just learn to live with it. Whatever happens with COVID-19 one thing we can be sure of is that it will not be the last pandemic.