The post covers slide #9, Financial Details, out of 12 total slides (11 + thank you slide) in THIS outline of a minimal investor pitch deck.
Slide 9: Financial Details
Independent of the stage of your company, communicating simple and clear financial details is critical to an investor’s understanding of the current state of your business. What they care about is very simple:
- current revenue and expense trends,
- projections for the same going forward,
- current equity situation (who owns what, option pool, near-term option usage), and
- current cash position.
…Cover these these items clearly and you’ll be answering their questions before they get asked.
For early stage companies, I believe that a “one quarter ago, current quarter, and 4-quarters-out” view presents a reasonably complete set of financial information. With such a time frame, you’ll show a bit of history, where you are today, and a reasonable guess at what is going to happen in the next year. I think a simple auto-generated excel graph help quickly communicate the ramp in both expenses and revenue.
If the company is really early stage and doesn’t have revenue or limited expense detail, it’s still far better to say something is explicitly zero (or unknown) than not mention missing/needing important data.
This example chart is a bit busy as it combines both the graph as well as a screen-grab from the company’s financial model spreadsheet. If you have a longer operating history or feel like you need to communicate more detail, it makes sense to break this into two slides: a graph (the reader’s digest version) and the spreadsheet detail.
Data that investors will always want to clearly understand include: what is your current and future headcount (this equates to your burn rate as headcount is almost always the biggest expense)? what is your current monthy/quarterly burn rate and how does that ramp over time? what is your current revenue and how does that ramp over time? How quickly are you approaching a cash-flow breakeven point? What’s your revenue run-rate 12 months from now? What’s the net loss / gain over the same period?