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How to tailor your investment pitch to different regions and cultures

Peter Stojanovic

Octopus Investments' Debu Purkayastha passes on his advice on what investors in different countries look for in a startup pitch.

As an entrepreneur, delivering the right pitch to prospective investors is one of the most challenging periods of any startup’s journey.

The benefits of securing your first piece of investment shouldn’t need articulating, but a successful funding round is usually the culmination of hours of planning, product testing, meetings, interviews, first impressions and sensitive networking – and that’s just for one firm.

These nuances expand tenfold however when pitching a startup in different countries and to distinct markets.

Not only do you have to consider cultural differences, but you have to remember that those differences have permeated into their culture of business transactions which in turn determines what they seek.

Entrepreneur-in-residence (EIR) at Octopus Investments, Debu Purkayastha, has personal experience in foreseeing these subtleties and he finds it helpful, when pitching a startup in different countries, to firstly consider the nature of the business and then the region.

“Break up the types of startups first: [you have] horizontally scaling startups that scale across countries like online travel, Expedia for example, and then vertically scaled startups, ones within the fintech industry.”

When considering which region to target, Purkayastha says to “break it up between the US west coast, east coast, the UK and Europe – in terms of investors – and pitch slightly differently depending on where you are.”

He suggests that investors in the London and the UK are more focused on the finseen by Octopus’ EIR as a country that engages with the financials of a startup.

“They like market size figures et cetera…and they’re OK with long sentences”, which is something to avoid if you find yourself in California he goes on to discuss.

To hear more of Purkayastha’s views on tailoring an investment pitch by region, watch the video above.