Tl;dr; A template LP one pager for VCs to send to LPs when you are fundraising. It’s a PowerPoint you can easily edit. NOTE: If you want it, it gets emailed to you automatically. Fill in the download box at the end of the blog!
Fundraising is a pain in the ass and for VCs it’s even worse. Founders complain about raising $2m… try raising $100m.
Whether you raising your first fund or are an experienced manager, you always need to make a great first impression with new LPs. The first piece of information you will use to interact with LPs will often be your one-pager.
Just like you, LPs get pitched all the time from VCs. You need to get their attention and help them triage if you are what they are interested in. To do so, it is critical your one-pager is concise, compelling, and thorough.
It may feel as though a one-pager doesn’t share everything a VC needs to know, and that’s absolutely right! That is exactly the point. Your one-pager has only one objective, to get a meeting. The goal of your first meeting is to get another meeting. It’s the same as startups. LPs only need core information to get hooked and move the process forward. If you follow these guidelines and work to augment the content and presentation of your document, you will be on your way towards creating an LP ready one-pager that highlights the differentiating factors of your fund in a clear, space-efficient manner.
As you know, there is just so little information around to help VCs, so I’ve been making resources (like a collection of VC investment thesis’). Knocking out a one-pager seemed like an easy win since I’ve literally not been able to find one example on the net.
The VC LP one pager template
Here’s what the template looks like in all it’s majestic glory.
What are the core points of an LP one-pager?
- What is this LP looking for in a good fit? Does it meet their mandate?
- How can you share that information in as few words as possible?
- Easy to read & circulate amongst networks
- Sell your firm and thesis to get face time with an LP for a first meeting. It is all about the escalation of commitment; it is not meant to describe your fund in full detail
- Investors will spend 3.5 minutes reading a one-pager at the most so you need to get to the point fast
How you mess up an LP one pager
Under no circumstances should you feel the need to overcrowd your one-pager with too many words. You know you have so much to say… only no one wants to hear it. They don’t care, yet.
Cramming is a surefire way to ensure the LP does not even read your pitch.
- Be succinct. Every word is important. If something doesn’t sell, kill it
- Keep design basic. Do not have crazy ass colors and formatting that will detract attention from the content. This is a communication game, not a design one
- Have someone check your doc for dumb ass errors. Bad grammar and spelling will cut you at the ankles, undermining your credibility immediately
- Keep your one-pager to ONE PAGE! Seriously
As a VC you get to be all judgey to founders and their decks day in day out, but you still do the things you hate that founders do when you go begging for cash. Don’t be that guy.
Edit this template
Every fund is different. You all have different mandates and things to sell. In my template, you can see that I have written a ‘thematic’ investment thesis. Most of that was jacked from Foundry Group. 99.9% of VCs don’t espouse a thematic investment thesis. If you have one, great. Sample done. In my experience most investors invest in ‘cool stuff’ but that makes for a crap investment focus. You need to pretend you have a focus if you don’t. My friend works at the largest FoF in Canada and he told me that a very focused investment thesis one of the key things they look for as they can get specific exposure… and it makes the VC look like they know what they are doing (Credibility).
In the purpose and vision section at the top, I have bracketed out text. This is a good structure you can feel to abuse and build on. Clearly, you need to edit it to suit you (do I really need to explain?). But let’s be honest, all VCs say the same bollox about stage, adding value and the like, so you only really need to adjust for the stage you are at, maybe geography and if you actually have OPs or not?
If you are a global fund, you can swap the ‘senior advisors’ for the location of your offices. If you don’t have advisors, but have OPs, then change that title.
If you are a sole GP, then founding partners loses an ‘s’, and track record loses the ‘joint’. If you have 4+ partners I would kill ‘senior advisors’ and move track record to where ‘senior advisors’ are.
Fund summary is pretty much everything you want to show. So just edit stage, targeted fund size, geo focus, pre-money valuation, holding period etc. I did the thinking for you, just edit it. It’s a no-brainer. One note, for ‘fund commitments’, wait till you have got to about 20-25% before you add that in. That’s about the min I think before it becomes an interesting number.
If you are not thematic, then change thematic to ‘sector’ focus. This could be something like:
- Consumer and e-commerce
- Innovative commerce solutions that forge deeper relationships with customers and deliver a seamless, more personalized transaction experience
- Financial services
- Services that extend consumer financial capabilities, connect institutions to the point of transaction and help consumers make better choices
- Travel and transportation
- Unique business models that seamlessly reduce friction and pain across transportation categories and occasions
- Health and wellness
- Connected products and platforms that take a holistic and tailored approach to health and wellness, enabling informed choices
Icons in investment themes and thesis need to be changed to what you do. I recommend iconfinder.com as a free source. You can pay for Envato too, but iconfinder is generally easier for your needs.
Finally, there is a legal notice at the bottom. It would be a prudent idea to have a lawyer check wording for you, especially if you are in a highly regulated environment.
But let’s face it, if you are raising a fund and are actually going to close it, you aren’t broke. Just reach out to me and I’ll take care of it. I’m not cheap, but you get what you pay for and you clearly have better things to allocate your time to. Having said that, if you don’t understand that, please don’t reach out to me as you are clearly a muppet and life is too short ;).
This is what you show in the early stage of your process raising from LPs.
Fees and return expectations? Yup, no. Why do LPs need to know your industry average terms now? Is that really something compelling they need to know now? No. It’s not. So who cares?
After sharing your one-pager with an LP, you have a long road ahead with a series of meetings before you get a funding commitment. You cover your terms etc in the pitch deck that you send. If you need your deck written, then reach out. I’ve done a few for first-time funds in the US.
Download the VC LP one page template
You can download the LP template by entering your details and it will be emailed to you.
Also published on Medium.