This startup for startups helps founders pitch that winning deck
As an investment banker, Vanshika Mangla came across several startup founders with seemingly great ideas. However, they often struggled to make their case in front of investors.
“These startups were being built on great ideas, but they were rejected at the early stages simply because they were not providing the right information to the investors,” says Vanshika, who was earlier associated with Startup Angels Network and SilverMile Capital, a London-based investment banking firm.
In 2020, realising the scope of helping founders crack their first funding pitch, Vanshika and her colleague Simran Paul Singh came together and formed. They began by helping about seven early-stage founders—most of them from their network of family and friends.
According to Vanshika, since Pitch Our Way was officially launched amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, it gave the duo time and space to work remotely. To date, the startup has helped over 750 startups across India, the GCC region, and Canada.
Two years hence, the startup has about 18 full-time employees across customer service, finance, content and marketing, and is based out of a co-working space in Noida. Pitch Our Way now more than just helps founders evaluate their pitches, but also mentors them across different facets of their businesses, and supports them with financial valuations and projections.
Personalisation in the age of information overload
In an increasingly digital world, finding information and resources is not particularly challenging if you know where to look for them. According to Vanshika, this is where personalisation helps.
“Startups that come to us are evaluated based on two things—whether they have a pitch deck and financial valuation, and how much our team can help them. If they already have a strong pitch deck and financial valuation, we connect them with investors. However, if they don't, we have a team of experts who can help them put together funding collaterals at a minimal cost,” the co-founder explains.
Often, first-time founders need one-on-one mentoring to understand the correct way to pitch for their business. “They may also be confused about how to value their startups and fear giving up too much equity during negotiations with investors,” says Vanshika, adding that financial experts can help founders determine a justifiable valuation.
Being a startup for startups, Pitch Our Way is funded by a Canadian HNI. “As we started growing as a team, it became imperative that we raise funds. We went into fundraising knowing the type of investors we wanted on board. We shared prospects based on their investment thesis and ensured not to send random prospects,” the co-founder shares.
While Pitch Our Way charges a minimal fee to onboard a client, it takes a 3-5% success fee once the startup raises funds. “When you consider all of the middlemen involved in the fundraising process, startup founders, generally, end up spending 12-15% success fees. Comparatively, the 3-5% fee is not that high,” remarks Vanshika.
She adds it takes three to four sessions with a founder and his team before they're ready to approach investors for funding.
Citing particularly difficult instances, she says that one of the most tricky aspects of a business is coming up with the right valuation for the startup. For example, it helped edtech startup EzySchooling justify its valuation based on factors beyond revenue. “Although their revenue was quite low at the time, we could see its huge future potential as a tech product with traction in other areas,” she says.
Mayank Jain, Founder and CEO of EzySchooling, says, “Pitch Our Way helped on an end-to-end basis for straight two months when we were seeking pre-seed funding for our startup. Besides helping with pitch decks, they also helped with the financial model, which brought us a lot of clarity.”
“Raising a round is a personal thing. Getting experts to help you through the financial and content aspects will help us go in the right direction. I consider Pitch Our Way as a mentor more than an agency,” he remarks.
Pitch Our Way has worked with startups across 20 different sectors, including companies like Welspun group, Watch Your Health, Parfait, Maate, Monsoon Salon, Vehicle care, Neyyar App, and more.
“Our founders have had varied backgrounds. Some of them have been student entrepreneurs, while others are from Tier II and III regions. We will continue being sector agnostic,” says Vanshika.
Moreover, the young entrepreneurs also have plans to create a tech platform that will connect entrepreneurs and investors, bringing them aboard a common platform.
“Through this platform, we want to become strategic advisors in every aspect and help founders with providing their funding collateral in the form of valuation, mentorship, and investor support,” she concludes.
(This story was updated to correct a typo)
Edited by Suman Singh