How to See More High Quality Deal Flow as a VC

As a VC, you know that getting a high-quality deal flow isn’t always a walk in the park. The newly-launched DocSend Deal Flow Newsletter is here to make it a bit easier.

Over the course of the past year, we’ve proven that we know how to successfully identify high-quality pitch decks. Using our data-driven methodology, we can determine what makes an effective pitch. In fact, since we launched the DocSend Fundraising Network (DFN) just shy of a year ago, we’ve analyzed over 2,000 pitch decks from founders raising capital for their early-stage startups and connected over 300 founders with top-tier investors.

With roughly a 20% acceptance rate of companies into the DFN, we only accept startups that meet our quality bar. This quality bar is not subjective but instead a data-driven process that is based on years of analyzing thousands of pitch decks. Even as we continue expanding the DFN, we remain steadfast in our commitment to maintaining quality over quantity.

Each week, we’re rounding up the best Pre-Seed, Seed, and Series A decks in our network and emailing them to you in a curated list we call the DocSend Deal Flow Newsletter. With just a click, you can request an introduction to the companies that you’re interested in. While we’ve seen a growing supply of startups fundraising and looking to the DFN for help, we have seen a shift in the types of companies, products, and deals coming in. Here are a few of the data-driven trends that have emerged from within the network so far this year:

  • A strong global presence: In Q1 of 2021, about 23% of companies that were accepted into the DFN were outside of the US. We received more decks from Europe and the United Kingdom than anywhere else, constituting roughly 11% and 10% of all non-US submissions, respectively. To meet this growing trend, we’re looking to expand our DFN to include more globally dispersed VCs.
  • Growing female founder representation: About one-third of the teams accepted into the DFN this past quarter had at least one female member on the founding team. By leaning more heavily on our data-driven deck analysis, we aim to even the playing field for founders — whether it’s gender, race, or location as a factor. This is especially important to us as our recent research shows that all-female founding teams raised 70% less than all-male teams.
  • A wide variety of industries: The decks that came through the DFN in Q1 of 2021 were dominated by companies in fin-tech (10% of submissions), consistent with previous quarters. But Q1 also saw an uptick in innovators in the consumer goods space — retail, beauty, etc. — and the e-commerce/marketplace space (making up roughly 9% and 7% of submissions, respectively). But you can expect to see a wide variety of industries from real estate to gaming and from education tech and logistics.

As we scale DFN with quality in mind for founders and VCs alike, we strive to provide tangible data-driven deck advice for founders and high-caliber startups for VCs.

And seriously, DocSend puts together some great deals here, and I get probably a dozen deal newsletters. Yours is by far the best.

– Will Bricker, Principal at Hustle Fund

How to get the DocSend Deal Flow Newsletter

DocSend currently has over 230 VC funds in the DocSend Fundraising Network including Hustle Fund, Cowboy Ventures, Uncork Capital, Lerer Hippeau, and 500 Startups. If you are interested in joining our network as a VC, we encourage you to email us at [email protected].