Once you’ve figured out how to build an app, the next step is to get your first few users and begin growing your audience through marketing. What comes next? Usually, it’s figuring out a way to monetize your app.
But what if you want to take your app idea even further, and turn it into a thriving business? Often, it takes investment. Successfully pitching your app to investors and getting funding isn’t a small feat! That’s what we’re exploring in today’s blog.
How do you pitch your app to investors for funding?
Network with Investors
Before getting in touch with investors, it helps to understand their expectations, capacity, and needs. Some investors don’t invest at seed stage, some exclusively do – you’ll need to find the right investor for your startup lifecycle. As the developer of the app, or CEO, you’ll also be interested in finding out what the involvement of an investor might be based on interests, and demands.
Before communicating with investors, make sure you have a simple write-up or mission statement that you can share with them, along with some information about your user base.
Here are some easy ways to begin:
- Create an AngelList profile for your app, yourself, and team members
- Use Crunchbase to find startups similar to yours. You can also look up investors, see what they’ve invested in, and map out who you’d like to connect with based on this information
- Create a strategic list of potential investors, this can be 20-50 people that have a solid fit for your business from an investment standout
- Attend meetups and industry events to talk to potential investors in person
If you’re considering sending cold emails to potential investors, here are some best practices to follow:
- Personalize your emails by using the investor’s first name, and referencing their work, former investments, or any other information that establishes the fact that you’ve done your research and figured out why they may be a good fit for you
- Experiment with different subject lines and preview messages, and keep your emails short and to the point
- Don’t send too many follow-up messages, but you can politely ask for feedback or follow-up once if you haven’t heard back within 7 to 10 days
Work on a Pitch Deck
A pitch deck is a captivating, informative and brief representation of your app business idea. It defines the purpose, problem, market, solution, and financials of your app idea. Pitch decks always include a mission statement which describes why your app exists, why investors should pay attention to your business idea, what you want to accomplish with their investment, and what you’re anticipating in return.
Everything about a pitch deck should scream ‘OPPORTUNITY!’ 🎉
A pitch deck is the introduction to not just your app, but to you, your team, the business model, and the scope for a return on investment. It’s one of the most important parts of raising investment, and it can be a gamechanger in your funding journey.
The thing to remember is that most investors receive plenty of app pitches in a day. To make your app stands out, make sure your pitch deck contains the following sections:
- Names and idea title
- Team and their skills
- The problem you are going to solve (with numbers!)
- Your unique solution
- A description of your app (show a prototype if possible)
- Competitive advantages
- The business model around your app
- Market size and opportunity
- What your competitors are doing
- Investment opportunities and financials
- Contact information and the ask
If you’ve heard of the phrase ‘elevator pitch’, it’s an easy way to sell your app idea in under a minute. An elevator pitch does three things: it explains what the app does, conveys its USP or the gap that it fills, and talks about why that matters to people (your target market). Without clearly articulating the problem you’re solving, it will be difficult to sell your idea to investors.
Want some app pitch deck inspiration? Here’s how Uber did it in 2008, and how AirBnB pitched their idea!
Live Presentations (AKA: The Pitch!)
This is the moment. Once you’ve sent across a pitch deck and arranged for a meeting, the final defining stage is delivering a live presentation about your product and business plan to investors.
This often takes place in person, but can also happen virtually over a video call. Remember to always tailor your pitch to the specific investors that you’ll be meeting, if not the deck, then the script. Practice your pitch over and over. Script it out. Make sure you deliver it with confidence and ease!
In general, your presentation should try and answer the following key questions:
- Does your app address a large and growing market need?
- Can your app scale sufficiently to take advantage of the opportunity?
- Does your app have a significant competitive advantage?
As far as presenting your pitch goes, storytelling is your best friend and secret weapon. You’ll need it to shake people out of familiar routines and presentations. You can use interesting industry facts, an exciting market prediction, a unique short personal story, or a case study.
Your goal should be to make your investors truly understand and relate with the customer pain point that you intend to address with your app idea. Communicate how your app is different from all the other available fixes for the problem, why your idea is better than all the others, and why your investors should care about this.
At the end of your presentation, don’t forget to transition smoothly into the next steps: Exchanging business cards with any new people in the room, setting up a follow up meeting or call, or making more introductions. Keep the momentum going with the investors, remember that you’re playing a long game here!
We hope this gives you the information you need to find investors, work on a pitch deck, and pitch to investors with confidence.