We receive a lot of pitches by emails. By a lot, we mean a lot – some bad, some good, some spectacular. To get to the crux of this post, we will share what exactly we love to get in pitch emails.
1. If you have a warm intro, refer to that person in cc, or be referred by them in the email
You don’t really need a warm intro to receive funding from us. But if you have a warm intro, please make it count. Warm intros are familiar. Mention that person in cc. Or best – have the person write to us with a short brief introducing you to us! If you just say X introduced you – but you were to lazy to do step 1, this makes us doubt if the intro is actually warm.
2. Email the right person on the right email id
We mention our emails almost everywhere. Still, we get some emails on our personal ids (which we have the right to discard without opening). Open our LinkedIn, check our bios, and write an email to the correct id.
3. Guide us to next steps
Please do not say you are looking forward to ‘Fruitful relationships’ or ‘Lets explore synergies’. We are all past MBA-speak. Be open. You are looking for capital. We are looking for equity investments. Simple. Do not expect us to come to you with a time. We will, but at our leisure. Instead, suggest a slot or two, and ask if one can work.
4. Essays are for college applications
Best intro emails are less than a page long, in bullet points, key words in bold, sharing relevant data (but not overly disclosing everything).
5. Please mention your ask
How much do you want to raise? You ARE raising money. We ARE going to ask you. Might as well save some time. Please do not say between X and Y, its not fixed yet – this shows you are unsure. If you’re not sure, how will we be?
6. Attach a short deck
A 10-15 page deck on what the company does, your business model, your ask should suffice. No need for 30 slides when key message can be conveyed in 10. This is an initial deck, not an in depth presentation. Please use Guy Kawasaki’s 10-20-30 rule. It always helps. If this does not help, there are multiple websites online that help you with this information.
7. Please send a PDF
a. Its easier to open
b. Its difficult to modify if in the wrong hands
c. No links to drives please – clicking 3 times does not really incentivize people to open decks
8. Its not highschool, but you’re expected to do your homework
Please know who you are talking to. Please understand the investment thesis of the investor. Mention relevant past investments, try to find similar themes in our portfolio. Best ones we’ve seen already had plans to collaborate with portfolio companies and also asked for introductions.
9. Remind us if we’ve met in the past
If we have met in the past, we can pick it up from there. If we passed in the past, remind us why. Show us how you’ve improved. Pick up from the last thread, don’t create a new one. We love to be proven wrong.
10. Take notes
Always pitch with a co founder or an ally. You can do the talking, the ally can take notes. This is to ensure you note down our body language, questions, comments, all of which can be used to hit us up the next time or proactively address queries.
It is super hard to be a founder. Fundraising is even harder. But simple practices like these will help you stand out.