Obviously, raising seed money is a very hard task and affected by many variables like where the startup is founded, your market segment, available investors/money, competitors etc. Every entrepreneur needs to find what works for him/her, which might be completely different from the “Common Knowledge”.
What might be true for Silicon Valley may not apply elsewhere. Sometimes getting a lead investor will result in quickly closing the rest of the round and sometimes you get a good lead investor and you still need to spit blood for every dollar afterwards. In our case, for example, I was advised by several investors I know that we should only prepare a deck that highlight the team previous experience. No prototype. Truth was our reputation (management team of a studio that made an exit, had f2p game that earned close to $1M monthly etc) indeed got us first meetings and intros to almost any investor we wanted, yet only when we had a working prototype we actually started to see things moving.
Basically, the only rules that apply to you are the ones you discover yourself along the way. What I believe IS common is the fact most of us need to work very hard and have thick skin when raising money.
This is the deck we used in the process of raising a seed round to a new game studio last year. Like every seed deck it went through serious changes along the way. This is simply the last version. I’m not claiming it’s the best. I’m not claiming it’ll win you the round. It is, however, a deck that was built after several cycles of presenting to investors and collecting data. In the past few months I had several entrepreneurs asking it for reference, so after clearing it with everyone involved, I decided to publish it on-line.
I received a lot of help along the way from friends and other entrepreneurs, and this is one way to contribute back a little. Hopefully, this will help someone out there. If you want the PowerPoint version just ping me on twitter (@civaxo).
A few notes on the deck:
- This is the “reading” deck used in the seed round of New Legends. We sent this version (not including the Extra Slides, just about 10-14 slides) to investors over email after they read the 1 pager and wanted to get the deck.
- We used another version for meeting presentation, which had obviously had much less text and some slides were removed / different.
- I did add the Extra Slides part from the presentation version, which contains many different slides used to show additional data potential investors may ask about.
- We used this deck around Q3/Q4 2014 so there should be more accurate/up to date data out there by now.
- We used the term “watchable games” instead of “eSports” as many investors didn’t know the term and understood it completely wrong.
The gameplay video we showed investors (was actually done internally when I wanted to show Eitan I can beat a hard level he designed).
The prototype game we showed investors (originally showed on iPad + iPhone in person. This is a quick Facebook port we did to show facebook integration)
Sources for more updated slides and data:
- Mary Meeker’s 2015 Internet Trends – May 2015
- Gamers on YouTube: Evolving Video Consumption (Research from google. lots of data) – July 2015
- DOTA2’s The International prize pool has surpassed $15,000,000 (and other prizes) – July 2015
- SuperData Gaming Video Content Market Brief [PDF] – July 2015