An Investor’s Dream Cold E-mail

If you’re a startup founder raising money, you’re going to be sending cold e-mails. Lots of them.

So what pitch gets angel investors and VC’s excited, and what turns them off?

Here’s the e-mail I’d like to get:


Subject: UberCab intro – everyone’s private driver

Hi Jim,

Do you hate taking taxis? Me too.

That’s why I started UberCab. UberCab lets anyone get a private driver in minutes, right from their smartphone.

We’re seeing some great early traction with 21% CMGR in the last 3 months.

We’re currently raising a seed round to help us take over the taxi industry.

If you’re interested in learning more, let’s set up a time to talk!


Travis Kalanick

Why is this such a great e-mail?

1) Clear value proposition. It’s right in the subject line. Who wouldn’t want their own driver, if they could afford it? And it’s restated beautifully in more detail in the first two paragraphs.

If you can clearly articulate your startup’s reason for existence, you will do much better finding investors, employees, and customers.

2) Hard data showing real traction. Travis gives us the plan and the big picture “why.” But he also gives us solid data we can’t argue with.

Real people are paying real money for this product. Revenue is growing an average of 21% a month (Compounded Monthly Growth Rate), an outstanding track record.

That chart alone will get a response from almost anyone. And if you don’t have great revenue growth, how about user growth, or even visits to your landing page?

3) It’s short. Investors like me get countless e-mails a day. So if a message is long, it’s not likely to be read.

4) It’s bold. Travis doesn’t talk about modest growth. He talks about completely taking over a major industry.

VC’s and angels are in the business of finding giant successes. It’s the only way to pay for all the losing bets!

You need to show them you will be huge.

4) Company is actively raising money.

Investors are in the business of making investments. While they may be interested in just meeting and talking, they’re probably going to be more interested if you’re actively raising a round.

What isn’t here:

1) Irrelevant details like winning a pitch competition, being in Forbes 30 under 30, etc. Save that for page 7 of the deal memo, if at all. Focus on product and customers.

2) Every fact on the business. You will want to write a detailed deal memo including lots of info on the product, key metrics, future plans, etc. But an e-mail intro isn’t the place for it.

3) Just an idea. No knowledgeable investor is interested in funding an idea alone.

I hope this helps! And if you have questions or thoughts on finding investors, please leave a comment at the bottom!

More on tech:

The Biggest Challenges for Startups Now

Why I Just Invested in Gauge, the Best Way to Sell Your Car

Key Metrics for Startups: Consumer vs. Enterprise SaaS

Photo: “Like A Boss mini dog tag” by ylmworkshop is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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