Every fundraising starts with the investors' presentation, or as we call it in startup world Pitch Deck. Your deck can either open doors for you, or be forever lost in the "look later" folder. Let's learn for the best, and apply it to your startups.
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Core takeaways: 1. Determine growth drivers to increase the number of users. For Facebook, the growth driver is the number of member schools. The increase in users is a consequence of the correct use of a growth driver. Determine your growth drivers.
2. Expansion plan based on growth driver. Very clear mission/goal for the next 4 months.
3. Highlight the purchasing power of your consumers. Monetization is just a matter of time.
1. A short intro that describes the project and gives an understanding of the whole deck is a real art. Airbnb intro gives an idea of the problem, market, and even approximate size of it.
2. The less text the better. Try not to overload the slide with a lot of information and text. Show - don’t tell. Slides like bullets.
3. One core business model. Don't tell you to have three different products and four business models.
4. The simplicity and clarity of the Airbnb’s pitch deck made it one of the most popular references for entrepreneurs around the world.
1. The deck is based on traction and numbers - users, paid users, revenue, growth rates, milestones.
2. Show rapid growth. In Buffer's case, it was a 5% churn and good LTV, that allowed them to acquire new users.
3. Describe your teams' achieved results to date by each core team member. It's always a good idea to show traction as often as you can.
1. The team is a huge asset and leverage. It's wise to show the management team on the first slides if they have a great background in the industry.
2. The deck is focused on a business model with detailed financial assumptions showing their annual revenue and growth rate.
1. The deck focuses on why LinkedIn is different than other social networks and shows extended analogy with other services and how they were transformed into more advanced ones.
2. Impress investors by showing that your previous growth commitments were wrong – you just exceeded them multiple times or achieved them in a shorter time.
1. The clear value proposition for customers and prospective partners.
2. Lots of attention towards competitors, risk, and precautions, defensibility. If you operate at a competitive market with big guys, you should have a clear vision of how to defeat yourself.
3. The deck also responds to the main investor’s concern – the exit strategy.
1. Social proof and traction trumps all. If you have a strong viral effect, do not hesitate to put it in front.
2. The short deck answers the questions about traction, go-to-market strategy, business model.
3. If you have a demo that clearly shows the product - definitely use the demo.
1. If you have great traction put it first.
2. The deck demonstrates how the product works and how it can be used in different cases.
3. Strong accent on viral effect and recommendations. People promote what they like and what resonates with them but also promotes LaunchRock.
1. The first 6 slides are talking about problems, solutions, and competitive advantage but briefly and clearly. The 7th slide vividly confirms that everything said before is a fact.
2. The deck provides numbers of sales KPIs, marketing funnel metrics, and presents clear expansion plan.
3. Financial history affirms the effect by providing the names of the previous investors.
This pitch deck can be used as a template by an already established company.
If you are able to present accurate estimated revenue, revenue run rate, average customer lifetime value, cost of paid acquisition, then follow this template.
1. The numbers are the best attractors. If you have big numbers don’t be afraid to put them on the first slides. Millions of users visiting the website on a monthly basis and reputable quotes are the best signals for investors.
2. Many slides refer to description of the platform and giving information on what is inside.
3. Good projects are born at the intersection of industries. Buzzfeed shows that they operate on the intersection between Media and Ads and thus explaining why competition is not very tough.
This is Youtube’s pitch deck to Sequoia Capital (one of the most established VC investors).
The company goal was to be the primary outlet for video content, and it succeeded in doing just that. Obviously, Youtubes' goal to dominate the niche was strongly supported by traction. This deck is a great example of how a focus on one "North Star" feature can lead you to $1.6 billion acquisition by Google.
1. An outstanding fun design that helps to explain the project.
2. Social proof. Testimonials show that the problem exists and the solution is great.
3. An investor can be a customer and vice versa.
Use screenshots to show how App is working and how users gaining value from it. A picture worth a thousand words.
1. One of the best ways to show that a startup solves existing problems is to put a story or a person who faced it. Dwolla tells a story of how the founder who created the solution not to pay $50,000 a year in credit card fees ever again.
2. When disrupting the existent market be ready to show secret sauce and uniqueness (what can be shown without signing the NDA).
16. Zenpayroll (Gusto)
This isn’t a simple startup deck. It is a holy grail, a template you can use and replicate easily by filling in the blanks. The company raised $6 million with this deck.
1. The deck is simple and short.
2. The description gives full knowledge of what startup is and of what they do.
3. It is important to find a gap in a large market and it really great when the gap is also huge.
4. The additional slides have useful tips regarding fundraising on seed stage.