Whether you are an experienced fund manager or in the process of raising your first fund, you cannot afford to miss the opportunity to make a great first impression when building a relationship with a new investor – and the first tool you will use to engage with an investor is your one-pager. You are competing for the LP’s time, you need to be able to hook their attention right away. To do so, it is critical your one-pager is concise, compelling, and thorough.
First, let’s cover the core principles before we dive into global best practices:
- A one-pager should be easy to read & circulate amongst networks.
- The job of a one-pager is to sell your idea and to get face time with the LP, it is not meant to describe it in full detail.
- Investors typically spend five minutes or less reading a one-pager. Get to the point.
You have been in a position at some point in your professional career where you had to review a document – maybe it was an investment memo or a resume – but at first glance you felt your attention slipping. There was too much information, not enough information, or inadequate information. This is exactly the scenario you want to avoid when engaging with an LP. Do not overcrowd your one-pager with too many words – cramming is a surefire way to make sure your reader does not review the entire document. Remember:
- Be as clear as possible. Every word is important. Don’t be superfluous.
- Aesthetics matter. Do not utilize colors/formatting that will revert attention away from content.
- Do quality assurance. Bad grammar, misspelling and other mistakes not only look unprofessional, it will hurt your credibility.
- Formatting should be simple, yet appealing.
- Keep your one-pager to one page. Sounds simple. Simple is hard.
As you edit your one-pager, think about your fund from an outsider’s perspective. Your document should answer investor’s basic questions before they have to ask you. Ask yourself:
- What is this LP looking for in a good fit?
- How can I share that information in as few words as possible?
To pitch a high-level overview of your fund, it is critical that you sell your management team, highlight your previous investment experience (even if you’re a first time manager), differentiate your investment strategy (you want to stand out from the crowd), showcase your fundraising progress, and paint a vivid picture of how your fund will achieve desired results. To do so, we’ve highlighted key areas below to give you a clear sense of what information to provide in a few areas:
Fund manager’s leadership/management experience
- Relevant business/operating experience
- Years of fund operation
- Investment track record headlines
A. Fundraising status
- Committed investors/amounts to date
- Signals of support from prospective investors, TA providers, etc.
- Expected first and final close dates
B. Strength of fund manager’s local deal flow
- Investments to date
- Follow-on third-party portfolio investments to date
- Exits to date
- Number of deals in pipeline
- Sample deals in portfolio or pipeline
- Key/proprietary partnerships feeding pipeline
Fund strategy and metrics:
A. Fund investment strategy and structure
- Geographic focus
- Sector focus
- Target stage of investees (Ex. Seed, Early Growth, Late Growth)
- Typical initial & fully invested ticket size
- Type(s) of investment instruments (Ex: equity, debt, etc)
- Target fund size and minimum first/next close size
- Your differentiation from others in the market – how are you unique?
B. Impact thesis and metrics
- Target impact themes and outcomes
- Key impact metrics used
You may have noticed that we recommended not including fees or return expectations. Typically, after sharing your one pager with an LP, you have a long road ahead before a deal is closed. This is something you can cover in the pitch and subsequent information requests once the LPs are really bought into what you’re trying to accomplish.
It may feel as though a one-pager cannot accurately capture the complexity and nuance of your approach; but in reality, LP’s 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 effective manner.