In many ways, the parallels between emerging fund manager decks and founder pitch decks are quite striking. At the core they share a similar purpose: both founders and investors want to raise money in order to make more money. With these commonalities comes a competitive advantage for emerging fund managers, who can repurpose elements from founder pitch decks within their own decks.
Below are three “lift-and-shift” components commonly used in startup pitch decks that emerging fund managers can use to build a more compelling, convincing narrative. (Plus, all the details Limited Partners want to see inside them.)
Explain why you’re the right person with a “Team” slide
The team slide gives you a direct opportunity to tell the LP why you’re the right person for the job. In other words, of all the people they can invest money in, why you? What makes you different from the next 10 fund managers to cross their path? Or the 10 that came before you?
Here, you should elaborate on the specific reasons why you can get this fund off the ground and drive attractive returns. Back this up with any relevant domain experience and/or unique access to deal flows. For example, perhaps you exclusively invest in supply-chain startups or have access to avenues that will help you secure the very best opportunities for the fund.
Establish urgency and credibility by answering “Why now?”
Similar to the founder pitch deck, nailing the “Why now?” slide is critical to convincing an LP to invest in you. As a general rule of thumb, the more niche the fund, the easier it is to secure capital. So, double down on relevant market urgency or timeliness while demonstrating your credibility. For example, maybe the rise of remote work means your fund focuses solely on companies that solve problems for a post-pandemic world.
As an emerging fund manager, you’re also competing against 20- to 30-year old funds with deep, often global, experience across verticals and geographies. Emphasize what makes your fund unique and different from the rest. LPs want to know why your fund is the best and that you focus exclusively on a particular area, be it a specific geography, vertical, or otherwise.
Prove you can source deals and drive returns by showing traction
Meaningful traction is another essential component LPs want to see, and something commonly found in a founder pitch deck. Typical examples here should include notable investments from your professional and personal track records. For example, spotlight any syndicated deals, as well as successful investments you’ve made as an angel investor or as part of another fund.
What LPs want to see here is two-fold: They need to know you not only source lucrative deals but also drive attractive returns in the end. Use the traction slide to showcase the biggest winners in your portfolio and amplify successful companies you’ve invested in.
Finally, as more universal guidance, don’t underestimate the influence of a well-designed pitch deck. Most of the decks I see look fairly old-school, so a well-designed deck can be a competitive tool to stand out in a crowded space.
Draw inspiration from the founder decks that cross your desk. What are the best decks you’ve seen as a GP or angel investor? What types of design elements catch your eye? Apply similar attributes to your own deck to present a more impactful, captivating story.