SEOmoz is a very successful software startup based in Seattle. They provide software, tools, and resources that help their clients with search engine optimization (SEO). They also host one of the most popular and vibrant online communities focused on SEO and in-bound marketing.
They recently tried to secure a major funding round, but failed. Their CEO, Rand Fishkin, covers the ups and downs of the process is an outstanding blog post: Misadventures in VC Funding: The $24 Million Moz Almost Raised.
The post is excellent on a number of levels.
First, it's good to hear stories about the folks that failed to raise money. The press (and blogs like this one) tend to focus on success and don't mention the failures. SEOmoz is a great company (check out their numbers in the post and pitch deck) and one that should have been able to close a big round. It shows just how uncertain fund raising is.
Second, their embedded pitch deck is, in my opinion, a great example of how a company should pitch itself to VCs. That information in the pitch deck is reason enough to read this post.
Third, their explanation of how much time, energy and effort is involved in the fund raising process is spot on. We've advised a number companies on fund raising and no matter how strong the company is the process is not easy.
Kudos to Rand Fishkin for sharing his story with us. I was fan of SEOmoz prior to this, but now I'm a raving fan.