There’s been a long standing debate about the best way to send your pitch deck to a VC, which in my opinion detracts from the larger topic of how entrepreneurs and VCs come together to create big companies. While email attachments used to be standard, DocSend links have become the go-to way for many entrepreneurs to take ownership of their pitch decks and streamline their pitching process. We’ve discussed the benefits to the entrepreneurs, but what about the VCs? They actually get quite a bit out of DocSend as well.
It Saves You Time
Let’s all agree that pitch decks serve one purpose, to get you the meeting. (If you want to see a pitch deck example we’ve broken down a few.) A pitch deck doesn’t get you funding, it merely gets you in the room. And that’s quite clear in the numbers. A VC isn’t luxuriating over these decks. In fact, a VC spends on average 3 minutes and 44 seconds on a pitch deck. Our deck was less than that, coming in at roughly 2 minutes. So how can DocSend save VCs time on something they barely spend time on to begin with? We make the entire process more efficient.
DocSend helps VCs avoid clutter in their inbox and makes meetings far more efficient. If a VC gets a pitch she’s not interested in, the entrepreneur using DocSend will know that and won’t follow up, saving that VC’s inbox from a constant barrage of unwanted messages. If a VC gets a pitch he doesn’t like? He can expect his face-to-face meeting with that company to focus on his exact areas of interest rather than wasting time on aspects of the company he’s already on board with. The in-person pitch will be tailored around his exact areas of interest, or open questions, in that company.
There’s also the issue of version control. You should hope that an entrepreneur is refining their pitch and updating their materials as they fundraise. In fact, you should want to work with a data-driven founder who’s using the analytics from DocSend to continually refine their pitch (who wants to work with an entrepreneur who isn’t data driven?). So not only does DocSend ensure you always have the newest version of the deck, it can also be used as a filter to weed out the less savvy, forward-thinking entrepreneurs. Plus you never have to waste another second hunting through outdated PDFs to find the latest version.
I actually like when founders send decks using @docsend. It’s a great product, and I appreciate the accountability.
As a founder I had decks forwarded to competitors. And board members who clearly didn’t read them before meeting 😉
— martin_casado (@martin_casado) June 13, 2019
It Makes You Look Good
Everyone has heard a fundraising horror story. And to be honest, when an entrepreneur is starting their fundraising process, it’s all they’re thinking about. By using a DocSend link, the founder has a sense of control over the pitch deck they’ve been slaving over. This means they’re far more likely to put valuable information in their pitch deck because they trust you, which means you can more easily evaluate the opportunity in front of you because you’re working off better information. Not being someone’s horror story isn’t a great reason to use DocSend, but starting your relationship off on the right foot is.
All Your Favorite Functionality is Still There
There’s a myth that receiving a DocSend link means you have limited functionality. Some VCs worry you can’t forward a link or you can’t download a version so you can have it offline. I have good news for you. DocSend offers all of that. You can forward and download to your heart’s content, as long as the founder has given you that access.
Our lead investor for DocSend didn’t actually look at our deck when we first sent it to him, but he did forward it on to his colleagues. They all read it and then we pitched in person and obviously got the investment. For that meeting, forwarding and downloading were important aspects of getting funding. The only difference between DocSend and an attachment is that the founder gets to control what level of access each VC gets. If the relationship is progressing well, getting access to download the deck won’t be a problem.
There’s also the issue of revisiting old pitches. Many founders turn off their pitch deck links after a successful funding round, but that doesn’t mean you can’t ever see it again. When you try to access that link, the founder will get a notification. You can essentially restart the conversation with little more than a click.
You May Need to Fundraise Yourself
Fundraising isn’t only stressful for founders, it can also be stressful for VCs. Even the most successful VC has to go through the process of raising money, and with all of the features I’ve talked about DocSend can be the tool that helps you streamline your process and gets you back to taking pitches instead of sending them.
A DocSend link saves time and effort on your part, it makes the founder feel safe, and it starts your relationship off on the right foot. Why wouldn’t you insist on a DocSend link?