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Helping a D2C Prepare for their Seed Round

The pitch deck review and investor vetting saved the founder 4-6 weeks of market iteration and amendments. We allowed them to cut down their time spent reaching out to unsuitable funds and provided real, unbiased feedback on their collateral and metrics that can often be nearly impossible to source from VC and Angel firms.
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The challenge

A D2C business was struggling to cohesively put together a plan to raise seed capital from Angel investors and early VCs. The founder was solely responsible for the fundraise within the business and was finding it difficult to access the holistic support they needed in order to achieve their outcome. There were also secondary concerns relating to sales, marketing and operational challenges.

The business had been on a strong growth trajectory since its inception and had good distribution with a number of key retailers in the UK and abroad, as well as a strong proposition to move cross category with additional funding, yet there was a missing piece required to tie everything together.

Our approach

Invigorate worked closely with the founder to exhaustively break down each step of the fundraising process, in order to identify where gaps existed in the current plan and where we could provide best value.

A large part of the value proposition was from outlining a clear plan and process with a lens on “what good looked like” for each stage. What we found from the process were some clear areas for assistance and support. These were: investor pitch readiness; investor vetting and outreach; and how to think about leading metrics for the business.

Investor Pitch Readiness – To gauge investor pitch readiness, we analysed the pitch deck using a VC-scoring framework and recommended several amendments. There were key considerations missing from the deck, primarily a lack of market-size description and an inability to tie in the future cross category expansion with the digital proposition and customer LTV. This exercise had a visible effect on the founder’s confidence, highlighting key missing parts from the pitch deck and providing a foundation for them to address these absences. As the founder’s perception shifted, to encapsulate elements of their raise readiness identified by the analysis, this exercise provided a wider perspective beyond the specifics of the pitch deck. 

Investor Vetting – The founder had pulled together a list of potential Investment partners. The Invigorate team were able to break this list down into an A/B listing and remove funds that focused on later stage businesses, focusing the business’s efforts on those investors that would be most valuable and profitable. Invigorate then provided warm introductions to a number of angel networks and early stage VC funds.

Outreach and Metrics – When analysing the deck it had become clear that the business was lacking a leading metric to tie the proposition together and make the various cross category expansion plans and revenue metrics sing together. Invigorate talked through some leading metrics that could be useful to the business and got the founder thinking about how best to measure success in the future. 

The impact

The pitch deck review and investor vetting saved the founder 4-6 weeks of market iteration and amendments. We allowed them to cut down their time spent reaching out to unsuitable funds and provided real, unbiased feedback on their collateral and metrics that can often be nearly impossible to source from VC and Angel firms. Providing intros to relevant investors also measurably increased the chance of raising funding quickly.

Analysing not just the deck but the company’s metrics allowed Invigorate to help the founder piece together the various parts of the business into a more cohesive package that made sense for investors and consumers.

Furthermore, providing the founder with a clear plan of where the gaps in their process were, allowed them to step back from the chaos of the fundraise and spend time on the key areas that were going to contribute to getting the money in the bank.

We have plans to work together once again to tackle the aforementioned issues around operations and sales & marketing.

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