Reid Hoffman and LinkedIn recently published their Series B pitch deck from 2004. It's from early in the company's history, before it was generating any revenue.
Now, LinkedIn is a publicly traded company that's worth billions.
The deck is full of invaluable advice and commentary from Hoffman, who reveals exactly how today's entrepreneurs should be pitching investors and what the investing climate was like when LinkedIn was still getting off the ground.
Below, read five pearls of pitching wisdom from the deck:
Prove your business.
"Open with your investment thesis, what prospective investors must believe in order to want to be shareholders of your company," Hoffman writes.
Show one revenue stream.
"The general rule is one business model drives the business. It's tempting to list multiple revenue streams because you're trying to prove that you will be big," Hoffman writes. "Yet when consumer Internet companies do this, investors generally see a red flag."
Sidle up to another successful company.
"When pitching by analogy, anchor your business to other valuable businesses to signal that your business will be valuable, too," Hoffman writes.
Expose your risks early.
"Explicitly identify the risks that could thwart your success and how you will mitigate them," he says. "And instead of waiting until investors ask about your risks, share them proactively so you build trust."
Every investor is not the right investor.
"It's more important to have the right person say yes than it is to have everyone say yes... How do you know if an investor will add value?" Hoffman says. "Pay attention to whether they are being constructive during the financing process."
This article originally appeared in Business Insider.
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