Before the meeting
Research the investor
Always research investors before meeting with them. Read their blog posts, and interviews, check out their social media, also check out their portfolio companies and their news. Log everything you were able to find in your CRM ().
Try to understand what the investor is looking for in startups, what she/he likes, and what you have in common. Use this information at the meeting.
- Found that this investor wrote a blog post about moats? Make sure to empathize on your defensible moats when pitching.
- She/he just got back from a vacation? Mention that during a small talk to build rapport.
- The investor invested in a startup you know? Mention that too.
- Learn your pitch by heart.
- Know your numbers: revenue, growth rate, retention, etc.
- Know your market: size, competitors and their news, and trends.
- Prepare a FAQ. Have a slide for each question in your appendix part of the deck.
On the meeting
Your main goals at any investor meeting are:
- Understand if the investor wants to invest or not.
- Understand the next steps.
Most of the meetings will follow the same scenario:
- Introduce yourself. Use the info you were able to find on the investor to build rapport.
- Ask if the investor wants to walk through the deck or just talk.
Pitch / Q&A
- Make notes of what questions the investor asked you.
- Be honest about your round size and valuation.
- Be honest who else is investing in you in this round, but don’t mention investors who haven’t signed the SAFE yet — there is still a chance they will pass.
- Be honest about your metrics, cap table, and everything else. Otherwise, you won’t get through the due diligence.
- Interest: How serious are they about investing in you?
- Fund: What is their typical check size? How big is their fund? How old it is?
- Process: What is their investment process? Timeline?
Ask what are the next steps. The most common scenarios:
- Nothing. They are passing on your company.
- You need to send something to them (deck, captable, financial model, etc).
- You need to wait for them to make the decision. Always ask about the deadline and follow up on that day.
- You need to schedule a new meeting with them.
- They want to invest in you. You need to send your SAFE.
Always make sure that both you and the investor are on the same page about the next steps.
After the meeting
Follow up immediately after the meeting, no matter how it went for you.
Check out the guide on how to follow up with investors (Step 4) and follow-up templates.