Want a Pre-seed Check? You Better Have a Product Ready

Ben Bergman

Ben Bergman is the newsroom's senior finance reporter. Previously he was a senior business reporter and host at KPCC, a senior producer at Gimlet Media, a producer at NPR's Morning Edition, and produced two investigative documentaries for KCET. He has been a frequent on-air contributor to business coverage on NPR and Marketplace and has written for The New York Times and Columbia Journalism Review. Ben was a 2017-2018 Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economic and Business Journalism at Columbia Business School. In his free time, he enjoys skiing, playing poker, and cheering on The Seattle Seahawks.

Want a Pre-seed Check? You Better Have a Product Ready

It was not long ago that having a brilliant idea or even a "pre-idea" was sufficient enough to get someone to write you a pre-seed check. Those were the days. Now, according to an analysis released Tuesday of 174 pre-seed companies, founders have to be much more prepared when they're pitching investors.


"The pre-seed round is now more formalized, and investor expectations of pre-seed startups are changing," said Russ Heddleston, co-founder and CEO of DocSend, which released the analysis, in a prepared statement. "Institutional investors are moving downstream and establishing pre-seed funds, and they're bringing their sophisticated and rigorous investment approach with them."

Here are key findings from the report:

  • The average amount raised in the U.S. during a pre-seed round is $500,188
  • 92% of companies with successful pitch decks in the pre-seed round had either an alpha, beta, or shipping product. This is in contrast with the unsuccessful pitch decks analyzed, where only 68% of companies presented the same type of product readiness
  • The average pre-seed pitch deck length is 20 pages.
  • Investors spend an average of 3 minutes, 21 seconds reviewing a deck
  • Investors spend nearly 50% more time on the product slides in successful pitch decks and over 18% longer on the business model in unsuccessful pitch decks
  • Contacting more investors and holding more meetings doesn't yield better results for fundraising in the pre-seed round. The average fundraising round for pre-seed startups lasts 20.5 weeks with an average of 63 investors contacted, which garners 32 investor meetings for successful startups
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Los Angeles’ Wage Growth Outpaced Inflation. Here’s What That Means for Tech Jobs

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

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https://twitter.com/samsonamore
samsonamore@dot.la

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David Shultz reports on clean technology and electric vehicles, among other industries, for dot.LA. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, Nautilus and many other publications.

Energy Shares Gears Up To Bring Equity Crowdfunding to Retail Investors
Photo by Red Zeppelin on Unsplash

The Inflation Reduction Act contains almost $400 billion in funding for clean energy initiatives. There’s $250 billion for energy projects. $23 billion for transportation and EVs. $46 billion for environment. $21 billion for agriculture, and so on. With so much cash flowing into the sector, the possibilities for investment and growth are gigantic.

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Aisha Counts
Aisha Counts is a business reporter covering the technology industry. She has written extensively about tech giants, emerging technologies, startups and venture capital. Before becoming a journalist she spent several years as a management consultant at Ernst & Young.
How These Ukranian Entrepreneurs Relocated Their Startups to LA and Found Success
Joey Mota

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