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Startup Funding: What to Ask?

The "ask" in a pitch deck for seed funding should clearly and concisely state the specific amount of funding you are seeking from potential investors.

Bear in mind that with the ask comes also the question of "what do I get in return", the number of shares in your company and thus the valuation. Valuation is a topic for a separate article. Let's start with some key points to consider when describing the "ask" in your pitch deck:

  1. Be Specific: Clearly state the amount of funding you are seeking. Provide a precise figure or a range, depending on your specific funding needs. Avoid using vague terms like "sufficient funding" or "significant investment."

  2. Justify the Amount: Provide a compelling rationale for the funding amount you are requesting. Explain how the funding will be utilized, such as product development, market expansion, team growth, marketing efforts, or operational expenses. Break down the allocation of funds and highlight key areas where the investment will make a significant impact.

  3. Show Financial Projections: Support your funding request with financial projections that demonstrate the potential return on investment for investors. Include revenue forecasts, expense projections, and key financial metrics to give investors confidence in the viability and growth potential of your business.

  4. Highlight Milestones: Clearly articulate the milestones you plan to achieve with the funding. Showcase how the investment will enable the startup to reach specific goals, such as launching a product, acquiring customers, entering new markets, or achieving certain revenue targets. This helps investors understand the potential value created by their investment.

  5. Discuss Investor Returns: Address the potential return on investment for the investors. Outline the exit strategies, such as acquisition or initial public offering (IPO), and the potential timeline for investors to realize their returns. This provides investors with an understanding of the potential upside of investing in your startup.

  6. Be Realistic: While it's important to ask for the funding you need to execute your business plan, it's also crucial to be realistic. Make sure your funding request aligns with the stage and needs of your startup. Setting an excessively high or low funding ask can raise concerns among investors about your understanding of the market and your business's financial needs.

  7. Be Confident and Convincing: Present your funding request with confidence and conviction. Show investors that you have thoroughly assessed your financial needs, conducted market research, and developed a solid plan for utilizing the funds. Use compelling language and persuasive arguments to demonstrate the value proposition of investing in your startup.

Remember to tailor your "ask" to the specific audience and context of your pitch. Different investors may have varying expectations and criteria for seed funding, so it's crucial to align your funding request with their investment preferences and interests.

Pitching your startup and the ask is in essence selling shares of your company. The above discusses the basic points for pitching, however founders rapidly need to evolve their thinking as "valuation" needs to come into the discussion. In this article we discuss valuation.



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