What do different types of investors look for?
Most founders fail to recognise the reality that when most investors look at an investment deck or presentation, the founder is not there to relay all the additional details missing from the page.
The key message of the proposal must relay very quickly to the reader as if the founder was not absent.
The key points must be weaved in the story narrative, meant to entice the investor to meet the founding team.
The art of explaining concisely what something or someone does is not lost in the Venture Capital ecosystem. It is almost paradoxically that we search for simplicity in a field particularly specialised in complexity.
Most investors have a standard list of items they like to see some macro trends that highlight the assumption upon which the proposal rests. It is not the econometric accuracy that counts but the commercial logic behind who will buy the product and services the company offers to the market.
What problem is the company is solving? How much value is added to market clients?
Another less obvious element investors search for is to understand the stage of development of any given company. Many founders have increasingly complex ways of details the progress and what they have achieved. It does not have to be so. Investors of all types search for transparency and clarity over what the company has to offer and what milestones will be unlocked with the funds.
The management team: the founders and the team around the founders, the board of directors and advisors, are perhaps the most important elements all groups of investors consider. In this ecosystem, it is the human element that counts the most. I, personally, think it goes beyond capabilities, experience and education, in the realm of motivation.
As a founder, when you have taken that step towards the edge of the cliff, sometimes leaving behind prosperous corporate careers, you expose yourself to unimaginable risk, and rewards. It goes beyond financial factors, in the realm of ambition, creativity, rebellion and even curiosity. Sometimes, the narrative is one of personal experience, of frustration and of the fight against the status quo.
Either way, in a measured world, where almost everything is turned into data, the things that matter more revolve around authenticity, in the cult of the person.