Fundraising insights: Pitch development and storytelling

Written by Matt Law
September 14, 2022
10 min read

In this series we are touching on the essentials of architecting and running the process from end-to-end such that you have the best chance of success. Our investment focused series covers investment readiness, preparing to raise, pitch development and storytelling (this article), and the process of conducting a fundraising campaign.

In this piece, we cover important features of developing your story and preparing pitch deck and data room.

Proposition development

Creating a pitch deck

In creating your pitch deck, simplicity is key. There are a bunch of great resources, so I am not going to tell you how to write a good pitch deck. The classics are the Y Combinator guide, and the Sequoia template. Use your insights from your fundraising strategy to guide your key selling points.

The best meta advice is that you should keep it short, it’s a conversation starter, not a deal closer. Your natural inclination will be to include all the detail and justification for why your idea is the greatest. Remember you are putting a hook in the water.

The second reason you should keep it brief is that you might be worrying about sending all your crown jewels out into the world for anyone to see and maybe even give to a competitor or copy themselves. You should only include anything you would be happy for anyone to see. Do not make the mistake of asking for an NDA before you send the pitch out - instead provide only info in your initial deck you would be happy to share broadly..

Finally, bear in mind your investor deck is never ready. Ship it early and use it as a tool to get feedback. Run some training sessions with people you trust, capture feedback and adapt the story. Think in headlines and keep what is resonating with people and making them think.

Getting good feedback

Run a couple of training sessions for yourself among the founding or company leadership team

Your nominated pitch point person should pitch to the rest of the team, and potentially some friendly externals, any mentors or advisers you have here would be very useful.

Core outcomes for the proposition development phase are

  • Pitch ready pitch deck
  • A practiced team able to tell the story
  • Agreed outreach process

Deal room setup

In parallel to the pitch deck, is what happens after someone says “OK I am interested”. Typically people will be interested or not and possibly there will be another meeting with more questions. Sooner or later there will be a request for access to more detailed information, to conduct “due diligence” on your company.

At this point you want the information to already be ready. In short, use a shared document tool like Docsend / Dropbox to host all the files and set it up in a coherent structure based around the core requirements. A basic overview of what should be prepared is as follows:


  • Company short presentation / “teaser” deck
  • Longer management overview presentation


  • Cap table pre-raise
  • Closing cap table


  • Next period internal business plan / OKR
  • Key team biographies
  • Team org chart
  • Team info sheet & skills analysis
  • Board overview and biographies
  • Current investor overview and biographies


  • Previous year financials
  • Index of monthly management reports and board packs
  • Financial forecast for coming year


  • Overview doc of current partners and customers
  • Business development pipeline
  • Case studies


  • Current and historic lawsuits and legal issues
  • Regulatory and compliance docs (if relevant)
  • Patents and any material IP


  • Platform overview
  • Security policy and reports
  • Any external tech audits
  • Technology roadmap


  • Industry reports
  • Competitive landscape
  • Market size and growth forecast

Note: Before giving access to the deal room, an NDA may be appropriate before giving access to the deal room and most people are OK with that. Some are not still, and you’ll need to make a commercial decision at that point if you want to grant access without one.

Core outcomes of the deal room setup phase are

  • Setup of docsend / dropbox
  • Preparation and collation of documents

Read the other articles in this series

Monthly Bulletin

Sign up for product, growth and GTM development tips for innovators

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.