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Games Invest: Pitch your company, not your product
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Games Invest: Pitch your company, not your product


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Investors are falling over themselves to invest in games, but UK games companies are failing to get their money. The reason? Too many companies pitch products, not companies. …

Investors are falling over themselves to invest in games, but UK games companies are failing to get their money. The reason? Too many companies pitch products, not companies.
In this talk, I explain the different stages of a compy, what investors look for and the biggest mistakes that I have seen startups making when talking to investors.

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  • 1. Nicholas Lovell
    GamesInvest, London
    September 22nd 2011
    RAISING MONEY FOR GAMESPitch your company, not your product
  • 2. Nicholas Lovell, GAMESbrief
    Author, How to Publish a Game
    Director, GAMESbrief
    Clients include Atari, Channel 4, Channelflip, Firefly, IPC, nDreams, Rebellion and Square Enix
    @nicholaslovell / @gamesbrief
    With Nic Brisbourne of DFJ Esprit, writing 50 questions you should ask when raising venture capital
  • 3. Subscribe to the blog
  • 4. Come to my masterclass
    How to make money from social games
    Early bird price: £325 + VAT (until 28th September)
    Bring a colleague for half price
  • 5. Some definitions
  • 6. Seed capital
  • 7. Series A
  • 8. Series B
  • 9. What’s the point of a startup?
  • 10. Steve Blank says:
  • 11. We used to know the business model
    Put a game in a box. Sell it.
  • 12. Now we don’t
    Pricing model?
    Whales and true fans?
    Conversion rates?
  • 13. So what is the business plan?
    I don’t care about your year 3 revenues
    I care about the levers that will move your business
    I don’t want a “feature list” that shows that your product has everything your competitors have
    They’re normally better funded than you
    I want to see that you:
    Have identified one to two things that your market really wants
    That you can show how CPA < LTV, preferably lots less
  • 14. The biggest mistake I see
    Pitching a PROJECT, not a COMPANY
    Creatives pitch businesses like they’d pitch a TV show or game
    All about making money from the investment, not using the investment to create wealth
    Corporate types pitch businesses like new divisions:
    All “risk mitigation” and “competitive analysis”
    Business plans become arse-covering exercises
    Show investors a plan that :
    identifies the market need,
    shows the funnel that will fuel it,
    and the levers you need to pull to get there
  • 15. Why funding is the last resort
  • 16. Funding is expensive
    6-12 months
    Lawyers, bankers, PR agents, travel expenses
    Revenue is MUCH cheaper
  • 17. Are you funding for the right thing
    Many funders just aren’t right for your stage of business
    No matter the stage
    Too big, too small
    Too tech-heavy, too marketing-heavy
    Too domestic, too international
    Can you take all that effort you would have put into raising money and build a damned product instead?
    Particularly true for web-focused businesses
  • 18. So what have I learned
  • 19. My learnings
    Start-ups are fun (even failed ones)
    Although failed ones are *incredibly” stressful
    Spend as much time as possible talking to investors
    The more you can learn about how they think, the better
    Your plan is a guide, not an answer
    Never be fooled into believing it
    Know what stage your business is at, and hence what investors will look for
    Pitch a company, not a product
  • 20. Thank younicholas@gamesbrief.comFollow my blogwww.gamesbrief.comCome to my