You want to raise funding for your startup. You create a complete investor pitch and start sending it to investors. Is this a wise strategy? No.
It is much better to send a short teaser deck to see if the investor is excited. There are two benefits to this approach:
- Your teaser deck is very short and there is a 100% chance that your potential investor will view it.
- You will also protect your confidential information. You do not want to reveal everything about your startup to random investors who might never invest. It is better to share confidential information with the few investors who like your business.
Teaser Decks Are Like Movie Trailers
Have you noticed how good all movie trailers look? Movies can be good or bad but the trailers are mostly good. Movie trailers are crafted very carefully and a 2-3 minute trailer makes you excited about an upcoming film of 120 minutes.
You need to build your teaser deck like a movie trailer. Here’s how you do it:
- Fix the duration to 5 minutes
- Tell the investor why should he care about your startup
- Share 3 most remarkable things about your startup which will pique their interest
Components of a Teaser Deck
Everyone knows what all goes into a full-fledged investor deck. Here is a template which Sequoia has shared on their website.
- Why now?
- Elevator pitch
- Quick facts about your business (traction, past funding)
- Problem and Solution
- Market size
- Business model
- Financials and funding
The teaser deck on the contrary is all about exciting investors. It starts differently and contains less information arranged in a way that excites the investors.
Elevator pitch (1 slide): Explain in one or two sentences what business you are in and what problem you are trying to solve
Remarkable stuff about your startup (3 slides): Highlight the 3 most remarkable things about your startup. Do you have a rockstar founder? A Fortune 100 client? Good traction? Talk about something that’ll blow the mind of your potential investor; something that will make him take notice.
How have you been able to achieve these remarkable things? (3-5 slides): If you have great traction, the logical question is how? The investor will be curious to know. If you have a Fortune 100 client early on, how did you manage to pull this off and what it means for the future?
Business snapshot (1 slide): In one slide talk about what stage the startup is in, who is your target market, funding history, team size, basic numbers (visitors, downloads, revenues), geographical markets you are operating in and so on.
Business model (1 slide): How are you going make money? Explain your business model without complicating matters. If you have four sources of revenue, you might talk about the top two right now.
Team (1 slide): Talk about the founders and any noteworthy advisors. Do not share a simple bio. Instead answer this question, “What makes your team great? Why do you think your team can pull this off?” Read this article for more inputs: What to write on the team slide of your investor presentation?
Funding requirement (1 slide)
Contact information (1 slide)
In around 12 to 15 slides (or 5 minutes) you have presented a good picture of your startup. Remember to customize this template to your unique needs. For a startup in a very new space, a slide on market size would be crucial. For a startup in an over-competitive market, a slide on competition would feature.
Your teaser deck is meant to be your movie trailer. Choose which aspects of your startup are most ‘sellable’ and put those in the trailer. Your objective is to make the potential investor read and express interest. Once he sets up a call or a meeting with you, you can present your entire story to him. A good teaser will land you more meetings.