A growing business needs various resources to reach its full potential, and gathering adequate funding is one of the most crucial steps in this journey. Like a skilled artist carefully selects the finest brushes and colors to bring their masterpiece to life, a business needs strategic planning to secure the funds to turn its vision into reality. Crafting a pitch deck is a necessity when gearing up for fundraising efforts. However, its effectiveness isn’t fully demonstrated until you present an investment memorandum.
What is an investment memorandum?
An investment memorandum, or investment memo, is a document crafted to offer a comprehensive company overview, primarily aimed at attracting investment. The company circulates the investment memorandum in search of investment opportunities from potential investors. It can be thought of as a company’s pitch in a written form.
Who writes an investment memorandum?
The company’s leadership team typically writes an investment memo. However, it’s common for companies to take the help of professionals outside the company to compose the document. These professionals include investment bankers and other intermediaries with extensive experience structuring and articulating the information within the investment memo.
To understand how to write an effective memo, it’s crucial to understand what a memorandum consists of.
1. Executive summary: It must be concise and not span more than three pages. This section encapsulates an overview of the company’s financials, strengths, and future potential. It serves as a reference for busy investors who prefer to get a summary of the entire document succinctly.
2. Business overview: In this section, the writer can typically talk about the problem the company is trying to solve while explaining why the problem is significant and what the company’s offerings are, bridging the gaps in the approaches in the current solutions. This section is where the writer can showcase your unique solution.
3. Industry analysis and market overview: This section should provide insights into the industry’s dynamics and offer a comprehensive overview of the market size. To craft this section, a writer should conduct a thorough market analysis before writing down their findings. The writer can also include why now is the right time to solve the problem, as it adds weight to the product’s use case. The competitor landscape can also be included in this section, where the writer can highlight the competitive advantage.
4. Product: In this section, the writer can start by presenting a brief overview and provide an extensive analysis of how the product will evolve to achieve the desired effect on the market.
5. Financial results and projections: This section should include audited financial statements along with financial projections. These growth metrics help present a quantitative overview of the company’s potential. The writer can also include other relevant KPIs in this section.
6. Use of funds and capital structure: This chapter outlines how the raised funds will be allocated and demonstrates the impact on the company’s capital structure. The depiction of capital structure provides insights into the company’s decision-making process.
7. Team composition: This section is the right place to demonstrate the strengths of each team member. It could be a good idea to start by introducing each team member’s background and how their unique perspective adds value to the business. Investors want to know how your team can handle challenges and how your team can collectively help the business succeed.
8. Risk factors and disclosures: Acknowledging that every venture involves risks, this section should candidly outline the potential risks and include the necessary disclosures. Transparency and awareness of risks portray the company as forthright and mindful, some of the key qualities investors typically seek.
Why does an investment memo matter in an investment pitch?
An investment memo helps an investor gain context for your pitch and provides a comparative analysis to the investors, allowing them to make decisions faster. Investors frequently receive numerous investment memos every week. This document allows them to own companies within their industry and facilitate informed investment decisions. Financial ratios often aid cross-company comparisons.
What did we learn:
An investment memo is a document that succinctly presents business information to investors, allowing them to gain a thorough understanding of the company’s financial standing and growth potential. An investment memo is an important document that complements the business pitch and helps investors decide quickly.