Fund Deck to Pitch LPs when Fundraising

You’ve networked as much as possible, gathered and implemented feedback, and refined your approach—you’re ready to raise your first fund! But, before you can begin pitching LPs, you’ll need a solid deck on hand.

If you’re raising your first private equity fund, you may wonder, “what should be in that deck?”  To answer that question, we’ve put together a step-by-step checklist to help your firm assemble a fool-proof deck so you can effectively pitch LPs.

  1. Start by Setting the Stage

    Before diving into the details, it’s a good idea to start your private equity fundraising deck by setting the stage, areas, and locations of where you want to focus your investments.

    Are you focused on investing in pre-seed or series B? EdTech or VR? US only or EU? Answer those questions, and show why your focus has value. As an example, if you’re going after VR/AR, explain how the market is projected to grow in revenue over time and the big players that are pioneering growth.

    By setting the stage in the first few slides, you’ll make it clear to LPs whether or not you’re aligned with their business goals from the start.

  2. Say What You’re Looking For 

    Next, share exactly what your firm looks for in a future investment. Do you have clear guidelines when it comes to market potential and valuations? Are you looking for specifics in regard to team members and advisors? Are there clear exit opportunities – like a path to M&A or IPO – that you’re going after? Outline all of that for LPs to know first before diving into the rest of your deck.

  3. Share Your  Vision

    From core values and mission statements to commonalities between companies you choose to invest in, private equity fundraising places high importance on shared values and visions. Tell LPs precisely what they can expect from you so they can best determine how your brands’ align. 

    As an example, in Day One Ventures’ fund deck, they clearly outline what the “Day One Spirit” looks like at their firm, which includes:

    – Customer Obsession: Great Companies are built around their customer’s needs
    – Empathy: Great founders appreciate people and treat everyone daily
    – PR Worthy: The company should be at the point where PR and marketing will truly move the needle

    By sharing core values from the get-go, you can help LPs determine if you’re the right partner based on goals, ideals, and future visions.

  4. Layout Your Deal-Flow

    Once LPs have an idea of what a partnership could look like with your firm, it’s time to layout your deal flow in a way that’s easy to follow and comprehend at first glance.

    List out specifics, like the number of opportunities you receive each month, how many move forward to due diligence, and how many investments you close. It’s also helpful to include the channels in which you source your deals (organic inbound, network referrals, and co-investors) so LPs know what they’re up against.



    Image Source: Day One Ventures’ Fund Deck

  5. Prove Your Value

    VCs that don’t provide the right value and support can quickly become an unnecessary middleman. Show LPs the value you can add beyond a check by identifying key signs and effects to consider.

    If your firm is competitive in the deals you enter, list how, and the effects that can have on the LPs you partner with:

Image Source: Day One Ventures’ Fund Deck

  1. Show-Off Your High-Quality PR

    When looking to secure funding, LPs want to ensure they land an investor that not only understands the importance of PR, but can also help them level up their communications to attract new customers, add value for partners and investors, hire top talent, and more.

    If your firm excels in this area, show off a bit here, highlighting examples of press you’ve helped others with, including direct links to stories and features that have driven results.

  2. Outline the Onboarding

    LPs want to understand how you’ll help them during onboarding – and this is your chance to tell them what sets your offerings apart.

    From learning about business objectives and aligning them to core messaging to providing in-depth media pitching, share what your firm does to take an active role in helping your portfolio members grow.

  3. Focus on the Big Vision

    Finally, don’t forget to keep your long-term, “big vision” in mind. Why is your firm in business; what’s your end goal?

    Remind LPs of your core purpose so they have a clear understanding of who you are and why you do what you do. 

Organize Your Fundraise with Altvia

Getting your deck in a good spot is just the start to a successful first fundraise. Next, you need to quickly identify the right LPs to go after and communicate with them effectively throughout the funnel. Altvia can help.

From organizing a database of high-caliber contacts to providing transparency on tracking, conversions, and communications from deal-sourcing through to value-adding and reporting, Altiva’s software can help supercharge your efforts.

To learn more, get in touch with our team to start a conversation. 

A traditional crm was built for general ‘customer’ scenarios

Software platforms have made the world a better place by making work a better place. Indeed the world is better off when people enjoy their jobs even marginally more, and workplace applications on big CRM platforms like Salesforce.com have done that and much more.

But the potential that platforms like these offer presents diminishing returns: once the platform provider has engineered too many industry specific components into its platform, its usefulness for other industries begins to be threatened, and with that so do the usefulness of the component tools built into the platform.

So it is with the CRM category that Salesforce.com has defined: it is generic enough to work for many industries, and yet still offers the potential for others to round off the edges and nail more vertically-oriented and extremely tailored software solutions.

Private capital markets are actually a great demonstration of this dynamic. Where generic CRM platforms simplify — appropriately so — to assume there’s a business, a customer, a sale, and service of that customer, there are a few industry-specific pieces that are missing.

Take for example, that investors become customers by investing through legal entities the GP raises. It’s a subtle but important nuance that just doesn’t make sense at a platform-as-a-service level (because it’s overly complicated for a simple one-time sale that many industries require), but which can easily be added without 10 years or software engineering. Once provided, the rest of the platform’s components become tremendously powerful again and you’re set to take over the world.

As a traditional CRM in our pillars methodology, these nuances must be present to properly account for investors in these legal entities, potential target companies and which are owned by these entities, the context of all interactions with these parties (as well as the appropriate overlap, ie co-investments), and how you’re arriving at finding these opportunities on both sides of the equation, such that you’re able to piece together what’s effective and what’s not. Not just because we say so, but because these are the very relationships and data that are key to the motivation behind a CRM in any industry.

It’s critical, too, that the valuable publicly-available information that helps to enrich CRM systems and save users painful steps of entering it themselves is fully-integrated at the platform level.

Again, look no further than the 3,000+ pre-built integrations that Salesforce.com — the creator of the CRM platform concept — has at a platform level to do so, and which only exists by way of holding just short of overly-specifying certain industry workflows that would present challenges to properly integrate.

Stakeholder reporting and communication (investor relations) draws on a range of datasets

The traditional “customer service” model of CRM systems once again makes overly-simplified assumptions about the customer relationship when applied to private capital markets.

In fifteen years I personally have yet to hear the terms “warranty” or “service call” in this market because it’s just not the same. But make no mistake, as uncomfortable as it may be to say aloud, customer service is more important now than ever and it’s constantly happening; the industry is, after all, considered to be a financial “service”.

As it turns out, that service is primarily information-based — it’s driven by data and takes the form of reports and analysis that drive decisions, and then end up again in investor-facing reports and analysis.

The foundational elements of a private capital markets CRM must be built such that they accommodate this data (like we discussed above), but so too that it can accommodate additional supporting data that investors (customers!) need in the context of service.

Oftentimes this supporting data — financial metrics and time-based values, for example — is believed not to meet the traditional definition of CRM and the natural thought is “well, better do this in Excel!”.

While I happen to believe Excel is still the greatest software application ever built, its introduction to this value chain we’ve discussed herein actually creates the problem many firms suffer from: key data needed to provide customer service (again: effectively the entirety of a firm’s reports and analysis) is now in disparate systems and detached.

Both of those dynamics are important and distinct: not only is this supplemental data disparate, but when brought together there is no logical association that can be made between the two data sets.

Allow me, then, to make the point very simply: not only can this financial and time-based value data (you may be thinking about is as “portfolio monitoring” or “accounting”) be a part of a CRM, it is arguably the most important part of a CRM because it’s at the core of what providing service to the customer entails — information that comes out of data!

Firms need a digital method to engage stakeholders (ie investor portals)

Investor portals are not new; in fact, for many of us — including myself — they conjure up horrifying nightmares in which we’re aimlessly guessing at folders to find the newest document we need.

So in lies the opportunity: not only have the portals we’ve come to hate not simplified the process of acquiring information, they’ve failed to create an entirely new experience that is “customer service” driven.

To be fair, this is not a B2C market where you’d be long out of business for not having focused on customer service and thus the customer’s technology-driven experience. But don’t expect to be around too much longer if you aren’t thinking about this shift.

Today’s institutional investors increasingly expect this same consumer-like experience, and a massive opportunity is being missed by not providing it. It’s not about providing them the experience they desire; it’s more about the ability to measure engagement that is had in return.

Put simply: what’s keeping the market from providing this experience is the availability of the information that’s required to create the service that provides the experience.

If you’ve hung in this long, you know that by focusing on your CRM, you have the data that’s required to manage the customer relationship and the technology-driven experience through which that information is shared to create a differentiated and opportunistic customer experience.