As a Fund Manager looking to raise capital from institutional investors — a pitch deck is a necessity. Pitch decks serve as a quick overview of your fund, your strengths, your investment thesis, and your plan for the fundraise. This allows you to communicate clearly and succinctly with potential investors, while also forcing you to streamline your internal messaging. As Foundry Group Principal, Jaclyn Hester, put it “Fundraising is story-telling… managers often struggle with building a compelling narrative that makes LPs want to dig in and learn more. Your job in the first meeting is to get a second meeting”.
Here are 13 slides to include in a pitch deck to best tell your story, with a sample at the end of this article (note that the following is a general example for alternative investment funds such as venture funds, hedge funds, or private equity):
Who You Are
SLIDE 1. Fund 1-liner. Share a bold statement of what your fund has to offer. It can be an aspiration or a condensed value proposition.
Why You’re Different
SLIDE 2. Gap in the Market. State the gap in the market your fund will address. Mention the special insight you have gained from your experiences, an untapped region, or an opportunity. This gives investors a preview of where you could deliver outsized investment returns.
SLIDE 3. Investment Thesis. Reveal how your differentiator gives you a competitive advantage that other funds do not have. Describe what you invest in, how you have a competitive advantage to understand/access/own these investments, and how this advantage benefits your performance. This will give investors a better sense of your philosophy for investing and expected portfolio composition.
Investment Thesis Template Example:
SLIDE 4. Fund Overview. A snapshot of the most important details of your fund. Give the investor a glimpse of what to expect in the rest of the pitch deck to grab their attention. Your highlights might include fund size, number of investments, stage, initial check size, industry/sector, location, target company ownership, or number of exits/markups (if any). You will likely repeat this information later in other slides.
SLIDE 5. Deal Sourcing. Where your deal flow will come from now, and how you will continue that stream in the future (e.g., Do you leverage partnerships? Do you track companies using software?). Note that many funds receive deal flow from similar, credible channels — so be sure to set yourself apart.
SLIDE 6. Investment Process. Demonstrate how you decide to invest in a company. Condense the explanation of your diligence and selection processes into a few simple steps or a diagram. This shows your investors you will use a thoughtful approach to select winners.
SLIDE 7. Fund Model / Structure. Detail the minimum viable amount of capital needed to achieve your fund’s investment thesis. The portfolio model should answer whether you have enough bandwidth to support the strategy, and how you scale (if that is a goal of the fund). Portfolio models include such items as the size of your fund, the number of investments you will make, the size of each investment, follow-ons, alternative investments, co-investments, and fees and expenses that will reduce your investable capital. Investors will often ask for your portfolio model to understand how their capital will be managed over the lifetime of the fund.
Proof Of Success
SLIDE 8. Track Record / Performance. Data that shows your past performance. Demonstrate that you have made great investments and/or have returns on prior investments. You should also include your number of years investing, prior experience at a fund, or previous angel deals. For many first time fund managers, it is likely that angel and private deals will be most prominent, or companies where you coached and advised them; this works so long as you explicitly state the difference. Ensure that you have permission to disclose references and your track record. If possible, add a financial returns section that shows your past returns — two of the most common measurements are Internal Rate of Return (“IRR”) and Multiple on Invested Capital (“MOIC”).
SLIDE 9. Case Studies / Portfolio Company List. Display the companies where your interaction delivered positive results. Show their logos along with noteworthy metrics such as their growth in revenue, valuation, or customer engagement. Make sure you can speak to how you added value for the founders and made an impact, and where you see the company’s revenue and profit potential.
SLIDE 10. Team and Accolades. This is proof of both your business acumen and relevant domain expertise for the fund. Include general partners and investment partners, with logos of their reputable prior positions and education. For first time fund managers, you may also want to include years of experience in your industry and responsibilities within your fund. Only add advisors if you absolutely need to supplement your general partner resumes, or create an advisor slide in your Appendix.
SLIDE 11. Fee Structure. Inform the investor of their financial obligations to the fund. Although there may be variations across fund managers, most funds generally share a similar structure — the investor typically pays a carry fee to the fund for the general partners (e.g., standard carry is 20%, however some funds take up to 30% based on their specialty and track record); plus a management fee to the management company for providing administrative services to the fund (e.g., standard management fees are 2% or 2.5%). Some fund managers also include expected Return on Investment (“ROI”) for your investor, as they will want to know you can deliver a fund which makes their investment worthwhile (e.g, on average, investor expectations for venture capital are a 3–5x return). This slide can also include specifications on minimum investment amounts and timing for your close.
SLIDE 12. Competitors. Compare your fund to 2–4 competitors in the space. Illustrate this with a table or diagram, and use the same categories previously stated as your differentiating investment thesis (see Slide 3).
SLIDE 13. Contact Info. Include the fastest way to contact you, typically direct email and phone.
APPENDIX. All other more detailed content can be pushed to the Appendix. Use Appendix slides as visual aids when asked relevant questions by investors; as it helps reinforce your points and demonstrate your preparedness. Common Appendix slides include references, more details on sector focus, outside investment committee if any, press, or extra case studies.
Use a pitch deck as your roadmap to successful meetings with investors. Be sure to outline who you are, your investment thesis, and the opportunity at hand to get your potential limited partners excited about investing in your fund.
Sample Pitch Deck for Your Fund
Sample Pitch Deck for Your Fund: Click Here
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