This post first appeared on 38 Pitch Deck Examples – How to Improve your Pitch Deck
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A pitch deck is a short presentation that is designed to give your audience a quick summary of your business plan. Typically, you will present your Pitch Deck in personal or online meetings for potential investors, clients, partners, and co-founders. However, the quality of a pitch deck can differ quite significantly. To convince an investor or customer of your idea, there are a few points that can dramatically improve the pitch deck.
You don’t just want a good pitch, you want a great pitch to convince the investors.
Every large, international company started as a start-up and has prepared its pitch deck to present to investors. Even Facebook, Airbnb, and LinkedIn started small and impressed investors with their pitch decks until they finally became unicorns.
A pitch deck should normally have about ten to twenty slides and should provide a summary of the company. When creating a Pitch Deck, there are some things to consider (see “PITCH DECK GUIDE: THE 12 TOP SLIDES YOU NEED”). For the inspiration of your own Pitch Deck, some examples of large companies can also be looked at more closely. Here are some pitch decks from different startups, some of them even became unicorns:
Imagining a world without Facebook today seems almost impossible, but even Facebook started small. In 2004, the 21-year-old entrepreneur Eduardo Saverin had to convince the audience to invest in his company Facebook.com. He and his friend, Mark Zuckerberg, launched the startup. The pitch deck at that time was mainly meant to be a media kit. It was supposed to contain the startup’s value proposition, key metrics, and online marketing services.
At that time Facebook was not focused on revenue traction, because at that time no money was made. They would only, later, figure out how exactly the business model should work and how to improve it. Instead, they relied on numbers, such as user engagement, customer base, and growth metrics for selling their pitch deck to investors.
Airbnb is a platform that enables people to rent, find, and hire accommodation. Fast, easy, and convenient. This is one of the most sought-after references on the Internet, probably because it is a company we are all so familiar with.
The Airbnb origin story is perhaps one of the greatest start-up success stories of our time. Airbnb’s Pitch Deck has even become one of the most popular references for entrepreneurs around the world.
Airbnb’s biggest takeaway is the intro. It’s all about captivating the audience. You have to describe your company in just a few words. Imagine telling a 5-year-old what your company is all about. If you can’t do that, it’s time to rethink your intro for your investors.
The most convincing slide in this presentation may be the “business model” slide because it shows your profit model most plainly. They make a 10% commission on every transaction, period.
The way Airbnb presents the problems is remarkable. 3 simple bullet points are enough to make the problem understandable for everyone.
To mark the ninth anniversary of Uber’s founding, co-founder Garret Camp presented the first slides they had created and presented to their investors at the end of 2008. Initially called UberCab, Uber has evolved from a simple idea into a major platform that has improved the auto service industry.
There is much that entrepreneurs can learn from the pitch deck of Uber. When you introduce a transportation company like Uber, you need a presentation that covers every aspect of the business. That’s what makes the Uber Pitch Deck template so great. It is a comprehensive, full-length presentation that covers all the important aspects of a pitch deck.
Buffer is a social media planning platform that allows you to plan content for social media like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Pinterest.
The startup pitch deck, which Buffer has used to raise half a million dollars, is popular because of its transparency. The founder decided to publish it to help other startups raise capital.
Square is a company that enables merchants to accept mobile credit card payments via a dongle.
Particularly special on their pitch deck is the slide about the team. The experience from large companies that the team brings along can be a great advantage to convince investors.
There is hardly anyone these days who doesn’t have a LinkedIn account in their professional life to promote themselves, find other team members for their company or read the latest business news.
LinkedIn was founded in 2002 and is the leading business-oriented social networking platform.
The company’s pitch deck includes a great deal of focus on the company’s values and how it differs from other social networks.
Mint is a personal financial services tool that helps people track their expenses and find ways to save.
Although this pitch deck example has never been used to raise money, but only for competition, it is a very powerful deck that startups can learn a lot from.
Since the deck is very simple in design, it offers a clear value proposition to customers and investors.
With this deck, a start-up financing of 1 million dollars was raised. The company we’re talking about is MapMe.
With MapMe, users can create universally accessible (i.e., on smartphones, tablets, and computers) maps from anywhere without the need for encoding.
What is special about their pitch deck is that they focus on social proof. The deck showed that the start-up had over 20,000 unique visitors, 18,000 monthly notifications and average 12-minute sessions on the site.
Although the deck has less than 13 slides, it provides investors with information about the pulling power with which the site became known in the social media and its go-to-market strategy.
The pitch deck is for the series-b- funding of Mixpanel. It has helped them raise more than $65 million.
Mixpanel is an advanced analytics platform for mobile phones and the web. Not only does it measure page views, but it also analyzes the actions people take.
What’s interesting about its pitch deck is that it starts with a problem. In the following, the startup presents a solution to the mentioned problem and explains its competitive advantage.
Pretty much every internet user has stumbled across Buzzfeed before. It is a free, open platform for launching buzz. They also offer premium services for paying clients as advertising as content, distributed promotion, premium tools & extras and trend targeting.
As of today, the company managed to raise over 240 million US dollar.
Similar to MapMe, Buzzfeed focuses on its big numbers like the millions of users who visit the site every month.
LaunchRock allows users to create landing pages and quickly promote their startups through social media, even before the launch of their full website.
What’s really striking about this pitch deck is that it has only 15 slides. However, in this small number of slides, all the important points are addressed and it is shown how the product works and how it can be used in different ways. They also use a similar analogy to Linkedin in their decks.
This is the pitch deck of the series-b-funding for Mos. With this pitch deck, they have collected over 18 Million Dollar. The deck contains a lot of information about the company. It was founded five years before this pitch. This enabled them to provide an accurate estimate of turnover, return on sales, average customer lifetime value, cost of pain acquisition, etc.
Moz started out as an SEO company but has turned to support marketers in all inbound marketing strategies.
Foursquare is a mobile platform that helps you find the best places to go in your area.
What makes this deck special is that it uses screenshots of social evidence that the app already has from its users tweeting about being “mayor” of a certain area.
This 18-slide pitch deck earned Dwolla $16.5 million. They offer a payment solution that allows users to send, receive and request funds from other users.
As is so often the case with pitch decks, they tell the story of the company and why it was founded. However, sometimes it is difficult to tell the story so well.
Dwolla told a great story about how the founder paid $50,000 a year in credit card fees and then found a solution to never do it again.
Adpushup has raised more than $632,000 in investments through its funding rounds. The company enables other companies to maximize advertising revenue through advanced A/B testing.
The deck has a very classic structure.
It contains the basic principles such as a great introduction, an overview of problems, potential solutions, market opportunities, products, case studies, milestones, traction and a future plan.
This company, Manpacks, which supplies men’s necessities such as underwear, razors, grooming products and other products through a platform, has raised $500,000 with this pitch deck.
This deck is designed with a lot of wits and draws attention to the product.
There is something special about this pitch deck. You can use it as a template and replicate it by filling in the gaps.
The company, Gusto, has raised $6 million in investments with this pitch deck.
Gusto (formerly ZenPayroll) is a cloud-based solution tool for small businesses to pay employees.
The pitch deck is kept very short but fulfilled its purpose. Wealthsimple is Canada’s first online investment manager. It has raised more than $2 million in start-up financing.
AppVirality is an application that allows app developers to extend their platform using growth methods that have been proven to work for other startups.
SteadyBudget is a budget management software that helps PPC analysts manage different budgets through multiple channels.
Ooomf that changed its name twice after the founding from PickCrew to finally Crew is a marketplace for freelancer. It connects mobile and web developers to work together on projects.
This pitch deck from the startup Castle, that enables rental owners to put their properties on autopilot, raised up to $270,000.
This deck is not filled in with information about the company Sequoia Capital. They are one of the leading investment firms in Silicon Valley. The deck shown above is recommended by them for startups.
A social ask-and-answer platform where users can access continuously relevant, quality content.
WeWork that was founded in 2010 in New York. They create working and living spaces that are responsive to the productivity needs and stylistic preferences of today’s mobile, creative workforce.
The deck is a Series D Deck of the company Sonder. They want to become to world’s largest and most loved hospitality brand.
YouTube is a name to everyone. They wanted to become the primary outlet of user-generated video content on the Internet and to allow anyone to upload, share, and browse this content.
This is a deck of how Amazon pitches itself to agencies.
This Pitch deck was designed for Radiant UV’SDemo Day presentation. The company provides ultraviolet and disinfection technologies for commercial and industrial markets.
uSTADIUM enables interaction between football fans, whether online or offline. It is the first social network for football fans. They can join forces and no longer feel uncomfortable when they publicly bitch about their favourite team. Loneliness during the football season is not an option. uSTADIUM is the solution and arena for football fans, creating instant fan companionship and boosting the fan experience.
Zarfo is an app that makes it easy to create and share videos.
Tega is an app to automate the users’ savings. They will figure out how and where to save the most money based on your lifestyle.
Every start-up that presents its pitch deck to investors also wants to convince with it. However, this is not always that easy (see 7 all-important pieces of Startup Advice). In the following, 10 tips on how to make your pitch deck more attractive for investors.
When presenting a pitch deck, a certain time window is usually given, which must be adhered to. The time of the investors or your audience, in general, is precious.
With your pitch, you should bring your business plan briefly to the point. Only talk about the most important points and compactly present your idea. A short pitch can often be more impressive and be remembered longer.
If the investors are interested, they will ask questions after the pitch.
It only takes a quick look, roughly seven seconds, before someone rates you when you first get together. In that short amount of time, the other person will form an opinion about you based on your appearance, body language, behaviour, mannerisms, and clothing. The first impression is extremely powerful and can determine the rest of your pitch. The first two to three minutes are the most important.
Be prepared to make a good first impression in order to convince your audience.
The goal here is to tell a story of the founders or of the start-up itself to involve the audience emotionally. The purpose is to connect with the listeners to create an image in their mind. Storytelling is a scientifically proven method to attract and hold the attention of the audience. It also makes your pitch unforgettable.
You should highlight the actual pain point and then present your solution, your product, or service.
You want to have each of your listeners at the same level, and you should, therefore, pay attention to a clear structure. Each of your slides should compactly summarise the necessary information.
You must present your pitch in such a way that someone who has no prior knowledge is convinced of it in the end. You should not get too deep into the topics with e.g. tech speak or the use of acronyms.
Pay attention to keep a consistent look in your presentation. Use the same font size, color, and format in all slides of your pitch.
Don’t use too many bullet points as the audience cannot read and listen at the same time. Try to keep the text to a minimum and use pictures to create a visual effect. You should also make sure that the font size is not too small and it is easy for the audience to read. It is advisable to use 32 to 44-point for headlines and not smaller than 28-point for text.
With a business plan, there are rarely any competitors. If you tell investors that you are the only one in the market offering the product or service, they will think that you have not done your research well enough. In almost 100% of the cases, there are competitors usually domestically, but also internationally.
Therefore you should clearly state in your pitch what makes you different and unique.
As always, the team is essential. Your audience, your investors want to get to know you and your team better. They first invest in people and only secondarily in the idea. No start-up can function if the team is not working properly.
Focus on one significant, relevant achievement for each person on your team, including yourself that identifies that individual as a winner.
Numbers speak louder than words. If you have already shown traction, highlight that and fill your pitch deck in with the current numbers. Investors are mainly interested in how they can make a profit from their investment.
The same applies to your revenue model. Identify exactly what type of revenue model you intend to use and how you plan on applying it.
The goal of your pitch is to convince the audience of your business idea. Your concept that you created can be really good and unique, but if you sound uncertain during your presentation or if it seems as if you don’t know what you are talking about, no investor will fund you. Practice your pitch a few times and present it to an audience of 5-10 people, maybe friends or family. This way, you can identify which questions are frequently asked and see what information is missing in your pitch deck. It is also advisable not to just read from the slides but to come across authentically. This way, you will convince the investors of your idea.
Quite often Startups are running way too fast and falling hard. There are different reasons why this keeps happening, but there are several opportunities that allow Startups to start flying instead. For this to happen, we, at NEXEA, have developed the Startup Fundamentals.
Startup Fundamentals include a few different things such as the problem you are addressing, the solution you are offering, the market size, and Monetisation. Without any one of these fundamentals, a Startup may likely fail. Therefore, validating these four fundamentals of a Startup can help avoid much pain from falls. For further information on the startup fundamentals check out our other article on “EARLY-STAGE STARTUP FUNDAMENTALS“.
You hardly ever get a second chance to present your Business Plan, so be sure to take the additional time to improve your pitch. While this may feel like a poor use of your time, it is immensely important because if you can’t captivate your audience from the start, you’ll be fighting a tough battle that will buy you even more time.
The objective of a successful pitch is that investors are begging to invest in your business. Of course, that sounds very far-fetched at the moment, but it is possible.
If you manage to successfully implement what an investor wants, you will have a truly unbeatable pitch.
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