Categories

Newsletter
Newsletter

A (Brief) Anatomy of a Successful Seed Raise

This week's Startup Index Newsletter highlights data from our new report "DocSend Startup Index: The High Stakes and Hard Work of the Seed Round".

Using our data to benchmark Seed fundraising:

As a follow-up to the pre-seed report published earlier in 2020, DocSend studied the fundraising process of 175 startups at the seed stage in 2019 and analyzed data to understand which seed startups were successful in fundraising and why. Through comparing data from our first seed report in 2015, our analysis shows how the seed round has evolved since then and how the process and expectations have become more intensified today. Further insights from our 2020 Pitch Deck Interest metrics also indicate that the experience in the seed round is amplified in an unprecedented market environment.DocSend studied the fundraising process of 175 startups at the seed stage in 2019 and analyzed data to understand which seed startups were successful in fundraising and why. Through comparing data from our first seed report in 2015, our analysis shows how the seed round has evolved since then and how the process and expectations have become more intensified today.

Pitch Deck Slides

The number of slides in a pitch deck used to raise a successful Seed round remains unchanged at 20 slides.

Contacting Investors

Compared to 2015, founders are contacting more investors but netting the same amount of meetings. And while founders who ultimately didn’t receive funding contacted slightly fewer investors (70 as compared to 77), they only averaged 15 meetings.

Investor Meetings

Based on the founders that did receive funding in both 2015 and 2019, an average of 40 meetings were held to close the round. This means that despite successful fundraising founders in 2019 contacting more investors (77 on avg) versus an average of 58 in 2015, founders should aim to have 40 meetings with investors if they want to successfully raise their Seed round.

Investor Time Spent Reading Pitch Decks

In 2019, the average amount of time VCs viewed decks was 3:27 vs. 3:44 in 2015. This could mean VCs know what information they are looking for and what progress they want to see in seed round pitch decks and don’t need to spend a lot of time looking for it. This time spent metric has steadily declined throughout 2020.

Get more insights from the report and a live Q&A with our CEO

Join Russ Heddleston, CEO of DocSend, for our webinar where he’ll discuss data from our new report and share insights on how to raise a successful Seed round.

When: Thursday, September 17th at 10:00 AM PDT (7 PM CET)

Register for the webinar and get the report now

Pitch Deck Interest Metrics Update

Investor interest in pitch decks has dropped 24.56% over the past three weeks to its lowest recorded number since the end of May. (tweet this)

If investor interest continues to drop, founders should not be worried, as it would mean a market correction back to levels we recorded in 2019.

Find out what this means for the health of the fundraising marketplace.

Recommended Reads
Improve your cold investor emails using psychology
Getting a warm intro to potential investors is always a good start to fundraising, writing a cold investor email is sometimes necessary. Cold emails get a bad rap, but it’s good to know how to reach out when you need something. Here’s how to write a compelling one with tips backed by science.

Read the full post on our blog.

“How will the startups created in 2020 be different from startups built before?” – Five notable VCs offer their predictions.
It’s a great time to build a company, but the coronavirus pandemic, economic downturn, and Black Lives Matter movement will shape startups in new ways.

Read the full post on Protocol.

Lessons from a successful founder with multiple failed startups
Building a startup is hard, so it’s a good idea to learn from someone that has had seven exits and multiple failures to know what to look out for when you’re starting your own. Travis Steffen of GrowFlow shares some of his most important learnings.

Read the full post on Forbes.

Are you raising your pre-Seed or Seed round?

Founders, join the DocSend Fundraising Network for complimentary, data-driven pitch deck analysis and warm intros to VC, based on our quality bar and matching criteria. Lead early-stage VCs can apply to receive intros to startups in the program.