Q: Dear SaaStr: What Are The Top Things Consistently Missing from Series A Pitches?
The biggest problem I find with Series A pitches is simply that they are still Series Seed pitches. Your company, and time, have moved on. The pitch often hasn’t. It needs to.
In other words, CEOs don’t update the pitch approach to align with what post $1m ARR investors want to see. Maybe that’s OK if your growth has been off-the-charts strong, no one will much care, especially these days.
But in general, as the check size goes up, here’s what I/folks want to see in a Series A pitch … that may not have been as important when you last raised in a seed round or before:
- Team. How good is the team? Which, if any, true VPs have you hired? The post-Series A phase is a lot about hiring the VPs. Have you made any progress here? I’m less interested in how the co-founders met in 3d grade. Leave that behind with the seed pitch.
- Data-driven model. No more crazy models for next year that you just made up. It’s time for a data-driven model, that ties to your trailing growth rate and your current metrics. At a minimum, have a ton of precision for the next 18 months or so. Without this, folks lose confidence at the Series A stage.
- True understanding of customer-acquisition costs and other revenue metrics. It’s still early, but by the Series A, you should have enough data to understand the economics of customer acquisition for real.
- NPS and CSAT. How happy are your customers? Just show me with data. Investors are generally OK-ish guessing at the seed stage. Not at Series A. More here: https://www.saastr.com/i-was-wro…
- Nuanced understanding of competitive landscape (and thus, the market). It would be nice if you understood this on Day 1, but most of us only have a superficial knowledge then. But by the Series A, the best CEOs understand the competitive landscape cold. Not just today’s landscape, but also tomorrow’s. Share this and let your insights here shine. Don’t just put together some simple 2×2 slide. That’s OK for seed. Not good enough for Series A.
- Real product roadmap. By the Series A, you should (maybe finally) have a good sense of what you want to build for the next 24 months. Share those hard-won learnings.
Sorry, I know that was 6.
(note: an updated SaaStr Classic answer)