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Venture Capital

A VC on the things you need to do when email pitching to investors

- June 2, 2024 2 MIN READ
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"Dear investor, I am currently working on my MVP..." Photo: AdobeStock
It’s easy to get these basic things wrong and easy to get them right, so let’s get them right!

First up: videos are sometimes an investor deterrent.

Unless you’re a video startup or there’s something visual about your customer experience that is essential to understand, don’t send investors videos instead of decks — they are harder to navigate than a PDF and almost never as brief as an investor would like them to be.

If you do want to send them videos, don’t send them links to Google Drive video files, because it’s way too easy to forget to grant them security permissions to view the video, and way too likely that the investor will have to login to their Google account first before they can view it.

Instead, use a private or unlisted YouTube video, or even better, a private or unlisted Vimeo video (which allows you to serve a video without the viewer being served ads or further content once your video ends).

You don’t need to attach a deck when you attach your deck

If you really want to send investors a video, attach a deck as well. Even better (since deck PDFs can get so big so fast and your email server will spit the dummy) use something like https://brieflink.com/ — free to use, includes reader analytics and if the deck is forwarded to someone who wants to read it, it captures their email address before allowing them to view it.

Most importantly, it gives you an URL to send rather than an email attachment and with no tricksy Google Drive security permissions to forget to change.

Repeat the deal terms

I repeat: repeat the deal terms.

Investors see hundreds of deals a month and will not remember you or the deal, even if they seemed really interested last time you interacted.

Always restate in every email to each investor (no matter how many times you’ve already spoken to them): How much you’re raising, how much you’ve got committed so far, the stage of investment (pre-seed, seed, seed extension, series A, etc) and type of investment it is (priced equity round, convertible loan, SAFE,loan, etc) and the minimum commitment amount (how small a cheque you’d be prepared to accept from this investor).

If you’re embarrassed because you think you’ve repeated this too many times already, put this info down the bottom of the email as a “PS” or something but keep it in.

These are all mistakes I make myself

Nobody is immune — I break forget one of these things at least every month.

I’m wrote this post now because I forgot the deal terms rule just now.

I always kick myself when I forget, because I know from being on the investment side of the interaction how much it helps me when founders remember these things.

  • Alan Jones is a partner at M8 Ventures. He was a founding investor in Pollenizer, Startmate and Blackbird Ventures. He also prints some cool t-shirts to help refugees and tweets as @bigyahu
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