Fairies and Use of Funds - Matters2

Mastering the “Ask and Use of Funds” Slide

A GUIDE FOR FIRST-TIME FOUNDERS

In the fast-paced world of startups and venture capital, a pitch deck is more than just a presentation; it’s a storytelling tool that can make or break your chance at securing funding. Among the various slides in this crucial document, one often overlooked but absolutely essential element is the ‘Ask and Use of Funds’ slide. Surprisingly, many first-time founders neglect to include this slide in their pitch decks (!), a misstep that can severely diminish their chances of success.

WHY DID YOU CREATE A PITCH DECK?

Why is this slide so crucial, especially for first-time founders seeking VC funding? The answer lies in the very purpose of a pitch deck: to communicate not just the vision and potential of your startup but also to make a clear, compelling case for why you need funding and how you intend to use it. Without this slide, venture capitalists are left in the dark about the most critical aspect of your pitch — what you are asking for and why.

In a market where competition for funding is intense, and investor scrutiny is high, the ‘Ask and Use of Funds’ slide serves as a beacon of clarity. It directly addresses the fundamental questions on every investor’s mind: “How much money does this startup need, and what will they do with it?” By articulating your funding requirements and the strategic allocation of these funds, this slide demonstrates not only your business acumen but also your foresight and planning ability.

HOW ARE YOU GOING TO SPEND MY MONEY?

You can think an investor would like to see this question answered… In fact, this slide plays a pivotal role in aligning your startup’s goals with the interests of potential investors. It’s not just about stating a number; it’s about showcasing a well-thought-out plan that illustrates how every penny will help propel your business forward. This level of transparency and detail is what investors look for to determine if your startup is the right fit for their portfolio.

In essence, the ‘Ask and Use of Funds’ slide is not just a component of your pitch deck; it’s a critical communication tool that bridges the gap between your startup’s aspirations and an investor’s decision to fund those aspirations. For first-time founders, including and mastering this slide is not just recommended; it’s indispensable for successfully navigating the world of venture capital funding.

Fairies and Use of Funds - Matters2

DALL-E: AN IMAGE OF A PIE CHART, WITH FAIRIES AND GNOMES ROLLING IT UP HILL

ESSENTIALS

When constructing the ‘Ask and Use of Funds’ slide for your pitch deck, understanding the hierarchy of information is crucial. The slide must be informative yet concise, ensuring that the most critical elements stand out. In this regard, the first two bullet points are non-negotiable essentials, while the latter two, though valuable, could find a better home in a different slide, such as the “Roadmap” slide.

Total Funding Request and Breakdown of Fund Usage are indispensable for this slide. They directly address what you’re asking from investors and how you plan to use the capital. This information is fundamental to any funding discussion, as it lays the groundwork for investors to understand the scale of your project and the thought process behind your financial management.

GOOD TO HAVE

On the other hand, the Timeline for Fund Utilisation and Expected Outcomes/Milestones are indeed important but could potentially be more effective if included in a separate ‘Roadmap’ slide where you show your strategy and next steps. The reason is twofold: firstly, it prevents overcrowding of information on a single slide, ensuring that the critical financial ask doesn’t get lost in the details. Secondly, a ‘Roadmap’ slide dedicated to timelines and milestones provides a clearer, more focused narrative on your company’s future plans and growth trajectory, allowing investors to visualise the progression and potential impact of their investment over time.

In summary, while all these components are integral to the story you’re telling potential investors, strategic placement of information can significantly enhance the clarity and effectiveness of your pitch. If you are not sure about the structure of your deck, have a look at our suggested pitch deck structure here: https://matters2.com/the-pitch-deck/ 

Fairies and Use of Funds - Matters2

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