How to Write Investment Proposals to Get Funded Every Time

Learn how to write an investment proposal that gets you funded. Our expert guide offers engaging examples and ready-to-use templates to ensure your success.

How to write an investment proposal

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Short answer

What is an investment proposal?

An investment proposal is a detailed presentation crafted to persuade potential investors by outlining a business's goals, financial projections, and growth strategies, effectively demonstrating its potential for future success and profitability.

An investment proposal will make or break your business dream

So, you've got a great business idea and you're ready to take it to investors. But here's the hard truth – investors are bombarded daily, making them quick to dismiss anything that doesn't immediately stand out.

A poorly crafted proposal doesn't just risk rejection – it threatens the very lifeline of your business idea.

But don’t worry, I'm here to help you write an investment proposal that breaks through the noise, grabs attention, and gets you funded.

Alongside expert advice, you'll find successful investment proposal examples and a set of practical templates to help you build a proposal that resonates with investors and gets them to act.

Let’s dive in!

What are the main types of investment proposals?

Each type of investment proposal requires a different approach and focus. By understanding these categories, you can craft a proposal that resonates with the right investors and increases your chances of securing the funding you need.

5 main types of investment proposals:

  1. Startup investment proposals: Aimed at securing funding for new ventures, focusing on innovation, market potential, and growth strategies.

  2. Real estate investment proposals: They detail projects in property development or purchase, emphasizing location value, revenue projections, and market trends.

  3. Angel investor investment proposals: Tailored for individual investors, emphasizing personal connection, business vision, and long-term growth potential.

  4. Venture capital investment proposals: Designed for high-growth startups, stressing scalable business models, strong management teams, and significant return on investment.

  5. Equity investment proposals: They offer a share of the business in exchange for funding, detailing equity stakes, business valuation, and investor benefits.

What’s the difference between a business plan and an investment proposal?

The difference between a business plan and an investment proposal lies in their scope and purpose.

A business plan is a comprehensive roadmap outlining a company's business idea and growth strategy, while an investment proposal specifically targets potential investors, highlighting the business's profitability, future growth potential, and funding needs.

What to include in an investment proposal?

Putting together an investment proposal is like crafting a story where each chapter is crucial to winning over your audience – the investors. ‘Here's what you should convey to make your proposal a compelling narrative.

10 essential parts of an investment proposal:

  1. Introduction (UVP + hook): Start with a bang by presenting your Unique Value Proposition and an engaging hook that captures the essence of your business.

  2. Problem: Clearly define the specific problem or need in your market segment that your business addresses.

  3. Solution: Describe your unique solution that sets you apart and is difficult for competitors to replicate.

  4. Market size and opportunity: Paint a picture of the market size and the opportunity it presents, backing it up with data and research.

  5. Business and revenue model: Explain how your business will make money, detailing your revenue streams and business model.

  6. Traction and validation: Showcase any traction or validation your business has received, such as customer feedback, sales figures, or awards.

  7. Marketing/Growth strategy: Outline your strategy for acquiring and retaining customers, and how you plan to scale.

  8. Team (Authority & experience): Highlight the strength of your team, focusing on authority, experience, and how it contributes to your business's success.

  9. Financials: Provide a clear overview of your financials, including past and projected revenue, expenses, and profitability.

  10. Investment and use of funds: Detail the amount of investment you're seeking and how you plan to use the funds to grow your business.

Yes, it's quite a list, but each element is a key ingredient in the recipe for a successful investment proposal. Stick around, and I'll walk you through writing an investment proposal that hits all the right notes with potential investors.

How to write an investment proposal that gets you buy-in

Writing a business proposal for investors is a critical step in securing funding for your business. It's your chance to make a compelling case to potential investors about why your business is a worthy investment.

A well-crafted proposal can be the difference between securing the funds you need and missing out on a crucial opportunity. Let's dive into the key steps to create an effective investment proposal.

1) Know who you’re pitching to

Before penning down your proposal, start by researching your potential investors. Use platforms like Crunchbase or AngelList to understand their investment history, sectors of interest, and investment patterns.

Are they risk-takers or conservative? Do they prefer tech startups or are they inclined towards sustainable businesses? This knowledge will help you tailor your proposal to resonate with their specific interests and investment philosophy.

2) Balance business and emotional needs

Ever noticed how you're more drawn to products or ideas that tug at your heartstrings? That's because our decisions are often influenced by emotions, not just logic.

To create this emotional connection, dive deep into what motivates your investors. Use the "jobs to be done" methodology to frame your product as the perfect solution to their problem.

Think about the "job" your investor needs to accomplish and how your solution is the perfect "hire."

Paint a vivid picture of how your business addresses a genuine problem or enhances lives. This emotional appeal can transform your proposal from just interesting to truly compelling.

3) Create a strong executive summary

Think of the executive summary as your elevator pitch in written form.

In just a few sentences, you need to capture the essence of your business idea, the opportunity in the market, what sets you apart (your unique value proposition), and the investment you're seeking.

This section should be so engaging that investors can't help but want to read on.

4) Address the challenges your customers face

To really hit home with your proposal, you need to show that you get what your customers are going through. Are they frustrated with complicated processes, high costs, or just finding it hard to get things done?

By showing you understand these everyday headaches, you can better position your business as the ideal solution. It's about saying, "We know what you're dealing with, and here's how we can make it better."

This approach not only builds trust but also clearly demonstrates how your business can make their lives easier.

Here's a great example of a problem slide:

Investment proposal challenge slide

5) Tell a compelling story

Imagine you're watching a movie where the main character faces a challenge you've dealt with yourself. You're instantly hooked because you relate to their struggle. That's the power of using a relatable problem in your story.

For example, if your business offers a time-saving app, start your story with the all-too-common scenario of being overwhelmed with tasks and not enough hours in the day.

Then, introduce your app as the hero that swoops in to save the day, ending with a future where time management is no longer a stressor.

This approach turns your proposal into a story that your audience can see themselves in, making your solution not just appealing, but necessary.

6) Simplify your business model explanation

The business model is crucial but can be dry. Keep this section concise, visual, and easy to understand.

Use analogies or comparisons to familiar businesses ("It's like Airbnb, but for office spaces") to make your model clear and relatable. Avoid lengthy explanations that could lose your audience's interest.

7) Showcase your early product

Before an investor reaches for their checkbook, they'll often want to see what you've got up your sleeve.

Have you ever wondered why Apple Stores let you play with all their gadgets? It's all about creating that "ownership experience." Letting potential buyers try before they buy is a powerful way to seal the deal. You can use this same approach in your pitch.

If your product is still in the design phase, you can use design tools to create prototypes or wireframes. It's a great way to showcase your product's functionality and design without needing a single line of code.

And if you're working on a physical product but aren't quite ready for production, no worries. You can hire a designer to whip up a stunning 3-D rendering. It's all about giving investors a taste of what's to come, making them excited to be part of the journey.

8) Focus on benefits, not features

Instead of detailing every feature or the cost, focus on how your product or service will improve lives, save time, or reduce stress.

For example, if your product is an app that helps with budgeting, emphasize the peace of mind and financial control it offers, not just its technical specifications. This approach helps investors see the real-life impact of your business.

Here's an example of a solution slide:

Investment proposal solution slide

9) Present a solid financial plan

Your financial plan should provide a clear and realistic picture of your business's financial health and prospects. Include detailed projections for your income statement, cash flow statement, and balance sheet for the next 3 to 5 years.

Ground these projections in market research and realistic assumptions. This section is crucial to demonstrate that you have a well-thought-out strategy for financial management and growth, giving investors confidence in your business's financial viability.

Here's an outstanding example of a financial plan slide:

Financial plan slide example

10) Articulate why you can beat the market

Now's your chance to show why your business is the one to watch. Talk about what makes you different from the competition. Maybe it's a special technology you've developed, a unique approach you're taking, or a fresh insight into the market.

Also, lay out your marketing plan in simple terms. Show how you'll draw customers in and keep them coming back. This part of your proposal should radiate confidence and show that you really get the market and know how to make a splash in it.

11) Highlight the right team composition

A well-rounded team is often a key factor in a startup's success. Jeff Clavier, a founder and managing partner at Uncork Capital (the company that has funded the likes of Fitbit and Eventbrite) has this piece of advice to offer:

“The best startup teams are made up of one developer, one designer, and one business person. That way, all your bases are covered: You can dream up the idea, build it, and make it look good.”

—Jeff Clavier, Founder and Managing Partner at Uncork Capital

Jeff Clavier, Founder and Managing Partner at Uncork Capital

In your proposal, shine a light on your team's mix of skills. Talk about what each person brings to the table and how together, you're more than the sum of your parts.

This helps investors see that you've got the right people to turn your business dream into reality.

12) Be prepared for objections and tough questions

Think of objections and tough questions as a part of the conversation, not a roadblock. It's like a friendly debate where you get to show off how well you know your stuff.

To get ready, make a list of the tough questions you might get asked and come up with clear, concise answers. Get some friends or mentors to give you feedback on your answers, then practice them until you know them by heart.

Being prepared like this means you can handle any curveballs with ease, showing investors that you're not just passionate about your business, but you've also thought through every angle.

13) Include clear funding needs

When it comes to the funding part, think of it as laying your cards on the table. You need to be crystal clear about how much money you need and what you're going to do with it.

Break it down for them – how much will go into making your product even better, how much you'll spend on getting the word out (marketing), and the day-to-day costs of running your business (operational expenses).

This approach will demonstrate to investors you've got a clear, well-thought-out plan for every dollar you're asking for. It's about building trust and showing them that their investment is in good hands.

Here's a great example of a use of funds slide:

Use of funds slide example

14) End with a strong call to action

Remember, investors are swamped with proposals day in and day out. If they don't take action on yours right then and there, it's all too easy for them to move on to the next one.

So, at the end of your proposal, make it as simple as possible for them to take the next step. Whether it's reaching out for more information, setting up a meeting, or discussing further steps, your call to action should be clear and compelling.

It's like leaving a door open with a welcome sign – you're inviting them to continue the conversation, making it hard for them to walk away without taking action.

Here's an example of a smart CTA:

Investment proposal next step slide

Adding an 'Accept' button to your investment proposals is also a smart move. It's a simple way for investors to say 'yes' right away, making the whole process faster and friendlier.

In the fast-moving world of investments, a quick 'yes' can make all the difference, helping you close deals faster and get your projects rolling sooner.

Here's an example of a proposal with an accept button:

Proposal accept button example

Investment proposal examples investors can’t resist

Your investment proposal is your voice. It needs to speak volumes, not just about your business idea but also about your understanding of the market, your foresight, and your potential for success.

In this section, I'll show you examples of investment proposals that have mastered the art of persuasion, each one a shining example of how to capture investor interest.

AI investment proposal

This investment proposal is a prime example of how to present a tech-based solution in a way that's both comprehensive and compelling, making it an irresistible choice for investors in the AI space.

What makes this investment proposal great:

  • Comprehensive solution presentation: It effectively outlines an AI-powered solution to common market problems, demonstrating both innovation and practicality.

  • Strong market analysis: The deck includes detailed market size and opportunity analysis, positioning the product in a rapidly growing sector.

  • Competitive edge highlighted: The company clearly distinguishes itself from competitors by emphasizing advanced AI capabilities and broader market appeal.

Startup investment proposal

This proposal exemplifies how to effectively pitch a startup's vision and potential in a crowded market, making it an attractive option for investors looking for innovative business automation solutions.

What makes this investment proposal great:

  • Clear problem-solution dynamic: It effectively identifies key business challenges and presents a tailored, innovative solution.

  • Impressive market potential: The deck highlights a substantial market opportunity, backed by solid figures and growth potential.

  • Competitive analysis and differentiation: It provides a thorough comparison with competitors, showcasing unique advantages and superior features.

VC investment proposal

This proposal serves as a prime example of how to effectively pitch a tech enterprise to venture capitalists, emphasizing innovation and market readiness.

What makes this investment proposal great:

  • Targeted problem-solution approach: The proposal identifies specific industry challenges and aligns them with innovative, practical solutions.

  • Highlighting market growth potential: It emphasizes the vast market opportunity, supported by research and potential revenue figures.

  • Distinct competitive edge: It showcases unique advantages over competitors, focusing on scalability, integration, and user experience.

Light mode AI investment proposal

This proposal is a standout example of how to effectively communicate the potential and practicality of AI solutions to investors, making it an attractive option in the rapidly evolving AI industry.

What makes this investment proposal great:

  • Focused AI solution: The proposal highlights a comprehensive AI platform addressing key business inefficiencies and customer experience gaps.

  • Market demand and growth: It demonstrates proven success with increased revenue and customer satisfaction, indicating strong market demand.

  • Competitive positioning: It effectively contrasts its AI innovation and scalability against competitors, showcasing a clear market advantage.

Modern startup investment proposal

This proposal stands out for its innovative approach to solving key issues in the creative industry, presenting a compelling investment opportunity for those looking to support a platform that empowers creativity and innovation.

What makes this investment proposal great:

  • Bridging creative gaps: It highlights how the platform uniquely addresses the overlooked needs of the creative community, offering solutions that go beyond traditional creative tools.

  • Dynamic personalization: The deck utilizes dynamic variables for quick and easy customization of the platform, catering to individual investor preferences and needs.

  • Smart calendar integration: The editor offers an innovative feature to integrate with calendar tools, enabling a smart call-to-action (CTA) that enhances reader engagement and interaction.

Creative investment proposal

This proposal showcases a platform designed to revitalize the creative industry, featuring a unique blend of interactive storytelling and robust data-driven insights.

What makes this investment proposal great:

  • Engaging scroll-based design: The proposal captivates with a scroll-based layout, enhancing readability and engagement through its interactive storytelling approach.

  • Advanced data visualization: It features the option to add sophisticated data visualization tools to clearly communicate market trends, user engagement metrics, and financial projections.

  • Strategic market positioning: It effectively differentiates from competitors by providing a more immersive user experience and diverse funding opportunities.

Startup one-page investment proposal

This proposal is an excellent example of how a startup can succinctly yet effectively convey its vision and potential in the AI space, making it an attractive option for investors looking for cutting-edge technology solutions.

What makes this investment proposal great:

  • Concise yet comprehensive: It effectively distills complex AI solutions into a clear, engaging one-page format.

  • Strong focus on key areas: The proposal highlights the startup's impact on financial efficiency, user engagement, and reducing complexity.

  • Data-driven market analysis: It provides compelling market insights and statistics, showcasing the startup's strong understanding of the AI industry's potential.

Dark mode investment proposal

This proposal stands out for its unique dark mode design and smart incorporation of features like logo customization and reader analytics, presenting a modern and tech-savvy approach to investment proposals.

What makes this investment proposal great:

  • Clear investment and use of funds slide: It provides a transparent and detailed breakdown of funding needs and allocation, building trust with potential investors.

  • Logo placeholders and finder feature: It includes logo placeholders that can easily be customized using the logo finder tool, which allows you to extract logos from any website in just a few clicks.

  • Access to analytics panel: It offers an analytics panel to track how readers interact with the proposal, providing valuable insights for follow-up and engagement.

General investment proposal

This proposal presents a tech startup's innovative approach to revolutionizing financial management and user experiences, highlighted by a data-driven strategy for capturing market growth.

What makes this investment proposal great:

  • Responsive design: It ensures a smooth and consistent viewing experience across various devices, enhancing readability and engagement.

  • Adaptive content layout: The editor automatically adjusts added elements to the layout, so you don’t ever have to worry about accidentally breaking the design.

  • Embedding live data: It comes with the option to integrate real-time data within the deck, providing investors with current, dynamic insights into the startup's performance and market trends.

Investor introduction proposal deck

This presentation for an investment proposal skillfully introduces a new venture to investors, featuring a detailed timeline for strategic development, an engaging scroll-based design, and an innovative, interactive ROI calculator for real-time financial projections.

What makes this investment proposal great:

  • Timeline slide for roadmap: It offers a detailed and chronological roadmap, providing investors with a clear vision of the project's development and key milestones.

  • Scroll-based design: It utilizes a modern, interactive scrolling format that keeps the content dynamic, enhancing readability and investor engagement.

  • Interactive ROI calculator: It comes with the option to incorporate a hands-on tool for investors to calculate potential returns, adding a practical and immersive dimension to the financial aspects of the proposal.

Y Combinator investment proposal

This Y Combinator investment proposal is designed to guide founders in creating effective seed decks, focusing on clear problem-solution dynamics, impressive metrics, and a straightforward business model.

What makes this investment proposal great:

  • Problem-solution clarity: It directly addresses common issues faced by founders in raising seed capital, offering a clear and practical solution.

  • Impressive growth metrics: It showcases strong growth and retention statistics, emphasizing the effectiveness of the approach.

  • Simple yet effective business model: The deck presents a straightforward and scalable business model, making it easy for investors to understand and see the potential.

Interactive investment proposal templates

When it comes to creating the presentation for an investment proposal, there's a ton of pressure riding on this document. After all, it's the key to unlocking your business's future.

And starting with a blank slide? That's enough to make even the most seasoned entrepreneur sweat.

Interactive investment proposal templates can save you heaps of time and effort. They come with the layout, design, and essential sections already in place.

All you need to do is tweak them to fit your story. It's like having a map in a treasure hunt – you still get the thrill of the search, but without the fear of getting lost.

Grab one and see for yourself.

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Dominika Krukowska

Hi, I'm Dominika, Content Specialist at Storydoc. As a creative professional with experience in fashion, I'm here to show you how to amplify your brand message through the power of storytelling and eye-catching visuals.

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