Before you begin looking for investors, it’s well worth doing the ground work first. If you come across a potential investor and you do not have the materials that they may reasonably ask for, you may well lose their interest and ultimately the chance to secure funding.
Here’s an overview of the resources you should consider preparing before the funding round:
Keep it concise (no more than 20 pages) and make sure it is easy on the eye and properly proof read.
Typically, the first thing an investor would want to see is a summary or a deck. They don’t want to delve in to the full plan straight away so a teaser is the best first step.
You need to encapsulate your offering in a short 1-2 minute descriptor that you can deliver to anyone you come across.
Make sure you have a full suite of financials, including P&L, balance sheet and cash flow forecast. The financial forecast should be based on sound, researched assumptions and justify the need for investment.
Template term sheet
The term sheet is an overview of the deal offered to the investors and is the starting point for negotiations. Find a good template for a term sheet which you can adapt when needed.
You may have one in place for your existing shareholders, make sure there is nothing contentious in the agreements. New agreements are often prepared when it is your first sizeable round of investment from external sources.
Articles of association
If your business is already incorporated you will already have a set of articles in place. The standard articles often need changing when bringing in new investment from external sources. This doesn’t have to happen before you secure investment, but you do need to be mindful of it.
Key due diligence documents
Before the investors invest, they will conduct due diligence on your business. The longer you take to supply the documents they request, the longer you will have to wait to secure investment. You also run the risk of putting investors off by giving the impression you are disorganised or ill-prepared.