For startups trying to secure investment in a sea of competition, a compelling story can be a life raft. That was one of the major takeaways from an Amplitude community discussion featuring Patrick Thompson, head of product evangelism and strategy at Amplitude and founder of Iteratively (acquired in 2021), and Alex Sandu, product strategy expert at The Strategy Deck.
We followed up with Patrick and Alex to explore how startups can leverage digital analytics platforms like Amplitude to tell a metrics-driven story that validates their product-market fit for investors. We also asked them about the must-have slides for every pitch deck. The following is a recap of our conversation.
Attracting investors with data-driven validation
Product-market fit isn't just a buzzword; it is the foundational step that transforms a startup into a scalable—and investable—business. Patrick and Alex point to several ways digital analytics play a role in providing market validation. For example, Amplitude has helped companies like Instacart, Rappi, BeReal, and Calm scale by offering real-time insights into user behavior. These insights enable teams to enhance user experiences, ensuring products achieve and maintain product-market fit.
Once founders have laid the foundational groundwork, they can channel their efforts into attracting investors through data-backed proof points. Amplitude enables founders to validate user behavior through product metrics like user retention, session length, and feature adoption rates. When users continuously return to and actively engage with your product, it's proof that your product resonates with your target audience, which is a strong signal to investors that user adoption can rapidly scale.
Patrick and Alex advise that early-stage founders would benefit from validating these four areas before fundraising:
- Concrete metrics: Digital analytics platforms like Amplitude generate real-time insights into user engagement, retention rates, and other startup metrics. This data-backed approach reinforces claims of market demand and customer satisfaction.
- Growth potential: Investors seek startups poised for rapid growth. Digital analytics data showcases the scalability of the product and forecasts market capture potential.
- Informed decision-making: Data-driven insights empower founders to substantiate strategic decisions to investors. These insights underscore a startup's proactive approach to business development.
- Risk mitigation: Investors favor startups that meticulously mitigate risk. Data-backed validation diminishes investment uncertainty, highlighting the startup's understanding of market dynamics.
Crafting an impactful pitch deck
Transitioning from product building and customer validation to investor fundraising is one of the most difficult parts of being a founder. Alex explains that a persuasive investor pitch deck that includes these nine components can help:
- Elevator pitch: Open with a summary of the solution you propose to build for a specific market problem and a well-defined customer segment.
- Problem statement: Provide a unique perspective on your target market with a detailed description of the problem you are solving and for whom. Use insights gathered from customer research to show the potential for your target segment and adjacent ones you can target later.
- The product: Highlight the product value proposition, core features, and capabilities that will drive user delight. Give a high-level overview of your one- to three-year roadmap.
- Traction and metrics: Showcase your key metrics around user adoption, engagement, retention, and monetization. Forecast base, good, and ideal case growth scenarios for your product. The key here is having metrics and confidently explaining how you achieved them.
- Validation and user feedback: Add qualitative data with quotes, testimonials, and user feedback to supplement the quantitative metrics. Highlight the top three aspects customers enjoy about your product.
- Competitive differentiation: Describe your product’s unique perspective and value proposition and how it differs from your closest competitors.
- The team: Showcase your team composition and that of your advisors, including their professional background, role at the startup, and location.
- Funding request: Specify how much funding you are looking for and the main investment areas, including the number and type of new hires and major expenses for the next one to three years.
- Conclusion: End with a summary of your product's value, the market potential you plan to capture, and the funding request you are making.
In the dynamic world of startups, the funding journey is far from simple. But your ability to validate your business’s alignment with market needs will help you go a long way. Founders who present a coherent and compelling narrative by deftly incorporating product metrics are the ones who succeed. Passion, strategic storytelling, and a keen eye on the metrics will help you achieve your next goal and realize your vision.
Join the startup community
If you enjoyed this discussion, join the #startups channel in Cohorts, our Amplitude Slack community. Anyone interested in accelerating their product journey can gain free premium access to Amplitude for one year by applying for our scholarship program.