8 Ways an Ecom Business Can Prepare For A Venture Capitalist Pitch

Funding venture capitalist

Owning an ecommerce business is no mean feat. With the badge of entrepreneurship comes an innate need to navigate hurdles and overcome challenges at every turn.

One of the most testing parts of owning a ecom business is raising the capital to fund its ongoing growth and development – only made harder as your competition increases and the noise becomes more difficult to cut through.

Challenging as it may be though, raising funds is vital if you’re going to succeed. One of the ways you can go about doing this is by seeking investment from Venture Capitalists or aggregators but this isn’t a process to be taken lightly if you’re going to secure the deal.

In this article, we share eight things you can do to ensure you’re well-prepped to pitch for Venture Capitalist investment, including:

1. Research all potential investment options
2. Do your homework and get to know your investors
3. Scope out the competition thoroughly
4. Streamline your processes and documentation
5. Project realistic forecasts
6. Put an exit strategy in place
7. Be open to advice and ideas
8. Seek the advice of an experienced accountant

1. Research all potential investors

Before you start putting any kind of pitch together, make sure you’ve thoroughly explored all of your available options. Check out the Venture Capitalists who are investing in your industry and in businesses the same size and scale as yours.

This will help you narrow down and prioritise the ones you want to target with your pitch and ensure that you’re communicating to a captive audience, rather than wasting your time on investors who aren’t a good match.

2. Do your homework and get to know your investors

Once you have chosen which Venture Capitalists you want to target for a particular round of fundraising, you should then carry out extensive research into who they are and what they do. Learn about their recent investments, the industries they prefer to operate in, the teams they work with and what values they align with.

In the same way you wouldn’t enter into a job interview without doing your research about the company, you should never enter into a funding pitch without studying with your investors first.

3. Scope out the competition thoroughly

As well as researching the Venture Capitalists you’re looking to target, it’s also critical that you check out your competitors so that you can get your bearings in the competitive landscape you’re navigating.

With a bit of digging around, you should be able to find financial information (such as revenue) and valuations for your competitors – details you can use to influence your own pitch. You should also be able to find information about recent investments your competitors have secured.

At the very least, it will give you a more comprehensive oversight of what’s going on in the investment space within your sector.

4. Streamline your processes and documentation


Fundraising isn’t a one-time event. You’re likely going to need to raise investment for your business on multiple occasions so it pays to make the pitch prep process as watertight and efficient as possible.

Maintain an organised filing process so that you can access information and documents quickly and easily each time you need to prepare a pitch. This includes meticulous bookkeeping and accounting so that you can create accurate financial reports and forecasts.

We would also recommend storing any feedback documentation or internal analysis in the same location so that you can refer back to it and improve your pitch each time.

5. Project realistic forecasts

Honesty really is the best policy, especially when it comes to sharing financial forecasts with a potential investor, such as a Venture Capitalist. It can be tempting to construct a climbing, upward trajectory to lure in investment but further down the line, if you can’t see this through, it could land you in hot water.

The best way to impress is to just be open, honest and transparent about what you genuinely believe the business can achieve. Be optimistic and ambitious – but realistic and authentic – and make sure you know your numbers. Familiarise yourself with projections and statements for the next three, six and 12 months so you can recount and scrutinise these with confidence.

6. Put an exit strategy in place

Explaining to an investor how you plan to exit the business you’re asking them to help grow might seem a little alien but remember, a Venture Capitalist will want you to sell up eventually so that they can realise their ROI.

Demonstrate that you have your business exit strategy in hand, even if you don’t plan on actioning it for another five, ten or twenty years.

7. Be open to advice and ideas

One of the most appealing attributes Venture Capitalists look for in the people they invest in is a willingness to learn. They’re going to want to work with people who can be coached and people who are open to ideas and advice from others.

This means that, when pitching to any Venture Capitalist, you should be humble, honest, willing to listen and rational in your response to any constructive feedback given.

8. Seek the advice of an experienced ecommerce accountants

If you’re looking for professional guidance when it comes to fundraising Venture Capital investment, we’d always recommend scheduling in some time with your accountant.

An accountant will be able to help steer your 18-month plan, shape your exit strategy and of course, help prepare your financial forecasts and valuation. They will also be able to help you understand the process and the lingo, as well as point you in the direction of the right Venture Capitalists for your business.

If you’re looking to grow an eCommerce venture, we recommend working with a specialist eCommerce accountant. To speak to one of our eComm experts, get in touch today.

Ben Sztejka ACA

Ben Sztejka ACA

I am an ICAEW Chartered Accountant with one core belief, make accounting as pain free as possible and focus on adding value to businesses.

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