How to Create a Pitch Deck for Investors: Fundraising for Startups

If you’re watching this you are probably
in the process of pitching investors to
raise money for your company.
Did I get that right?
I’m the CEO of a company called Slidebean
I’ve not only managed to raise
funding for our startup,
but hundreds of companies have also
used our templates to do so.
Today we’re gonna dig deep into:
How to Create a Pitch Deck for Investors
This will be a two-part video.
We’ll first look into the pitch
decks structure.
There’s a pretty standardized pitch deck outline
that most presentations follow,
so we’ll look at each slide
and dig into what content
you should include in each one of them.
Then we’ll look at some basic design guidelines
to make sure your slides stand out.
Remember, the pitch stick is
the very first impression
an investor might get on your business,
and it should look stellar.
Let’s not reinvent the wheel here.
Dozens of accelerators, venture funds,
successful startups and internet personalities,
have published their ‘ideal’ contents of a pitch deck.
We took the liberty ofredesigning many of them
and you can download most of them on the links below,
but the truth is,
they all have pretty much the same content.
Pretty much every pitch deck follows this structure:
For most of this section,
I’m gonna use the Uber
Pitch Deck as an example.
Now the original version doesn’t look
particularly good,
so we’ll use our redesign version instead.
Now, we all know the size of the company that Uber
has become,
so naturally this deck from back in 2008,
has become one of the most sought-after
references for Pitch Decks.
Our redesigned version gets thousands of downloads every month
I’ll also quote a few others like our own Pitch Deck
and the Airbnb Deck.
This is where you present your case
your problem and your premise,
And your proposed solution.
This is a critical part of your pitch
because it will determine if you can capture
an investor’s attention
for the rest of the presentation
The cover slide
There’s little to add here on the structure so
we’ll look at some design tips later.
The problem slide.
So this is where you present the status quo.
The founders of Uber made it very clear.
Cabs in 2008 are far from a great user experience:
they use aging and inefficient technology
and hailing is done by a hand or by actual phone calls.
I also love the way Airbnb summarized it
in just three short sentences:
-Price is important for travelers
-Hotels are bubbles
-There’s no way to book a
room with a local
or to host a spare room in your apartment.
This was the reality in 2009
all they had was Craigslist and CouchSurfing
and neither of those was a pleasant user experience.
See how down-to-earth this problem has
been summarized?
No complicated jargon.
No debatable arguments.
100% straightforward verifiable claims.
Creating empathy with your investors
is critical at this point.
If you offer a questionable statement,
then the whole premise of your pitch
will be doubted.
If the problem you’re trying to solve can be applied to them,
then great, take advantage of that!
If you’re solving a problem for an entirely
different audience
then acknowledge it,
and again make sure your premise is solid.
The solution slide.
The solution is quite obviously you
and your company and your product.
Mention three or four core functions of your product,
and how they address the problems you just talked about.
One important tip here is to once
again avoid tech jargon
think of benefits instead of features
instead of saying we have a fully responsive editor
rephrase that to you can edit your
presentation everywhere even on your phone.
This is a killer line right here
The convenience of a cab in New York City,
plus the experience of a
professional chauffeur.
The product demo
There’s a whole thing about product demo.
If you’re presenting live for example,
then the product demo is actually a
double edge sword.
You risk the demo crashing
and ruining your whole pitch,
so maybe sticking with a video could be safer.
If you’re sharing the pitch with
an investor via email,
then a video capture is actually a nice courtesy
and a way to guarantee,
that they will get a glimpse of the product.
You can’t assume
that they’ll just go to your website
create an account and
check it out themselves.
Finally if you’re in an in-person meeting,
following the flow yourself
on the app or the product,
might be the best choice.
Remember in either case your video demo
or your actual demo,
should reach the ‘aha’ moment in 30
seconds or less.
The why will make you rich section.
if you manage to catch
attention in the first minute or so,
now it’s time to prove while you’re
gonna make them rich.
Remember, few investors,
(actually no investors)
will give you money because they like you,
or because they like your team,
or because they like your product.
They’ll do it because they believe
your team led by your vision,
can grasp this market opportunity,
create a sizeable company,
and more importantly,
give them a sizable return on their investment.
The Market Size.
This is where you look at
how large this company can become.
Two ways to tackle it,
with what it’s called
like an Bottom Up or
a Top Down Market Approach.
A Top-Down analysis is calculated by
determining the total market
then estimating your share of that market.
So, a typical Top-Down
analysis might go something like:
If you’re selling rubber ducks to everybody
that can use them,
there are maybe 500 thousand people in your area,
and even if you only managed to land
five percent of that market
it’ll make you twenty five thousand sales.
A bottom-up analysis is
calculated by estimating potential sales
to determine a total sales figure.
A bottom-up study evaluates where products
can be sold,
the sales of comparable products
and the slice of current sales
you can carve out.
While it takes a lot more effort the result is usually much more accurate.
There’s a great article
that you can look into for more details.
So, going back to our example
Uber plan to start as a New York City
and San Francisco service,
which already made a
1.3 billion dollars per year market.
Then they planned to expand to LA,
Chicago, Houston, Pennsylvania and Dallas,
which already makes up 50% of the US taxi market
So based on this information
they estimated three scenarios:
Where they remain like a
10 car company,
100 client service,
just in one city.
Where uber gets 5 percent of the top 5 US cities,
which actually represents 20 to
30 million dollars per year in profit
and then a best-case scenario
where uber would become a market leader
1 billion dollar plus a year in revenue.
Who would have guessed that their
prediction actually fell short of the
type of company they became.
The business model slide.
Now the Pitch Deck Business
Model slide is, in most cases,
a slide that makes or breaks your pitch.
I’m taking Airbnb example for this one
whose business model is just dead simple
they take a 10% commission on each transaction.
That’s it!
Airbnb makes money in many other ways these days,
but the premise remains.
There’s a percentage of each transaction.
When dealing with a 500 million serviceable market,
which is the amount of budget
plus online trips worldwide,
even a small portion of the equation
yields just fantastic economics.
The founders elaborated by making a rough
that’s serving 15 percent of this addressable market
would yield them $200 million worth
of revenue in the first three years.
A bold but eventually accurate prediction.
We are working on a new video dedicated
exclusively to studying
and understanding powerful business model slides,
so check out the link in the comments.
The competition slide
In this case I’m gonna use Slidebean example.
This grid approach to comparing your
company to your competitors was made
famous by Steve Jobs
when he used to compare the iPhone
to any other phone available at a time.
If you have a product that stands far
apart from your competitors
then, this is the best way to make sure
everybody understands that premise.
In our case the horizontal axis
would be represented by time.
Time required to make a presentation or a
pitch deck
and then quality of design we would
put that on the vertical axis.
Traditional presentation software
like PowerPoint would have had an
average design quality with terrible efficiency.
Prezi for example provides
somewhat better results
at the cost of even more time.
All the way up to the extreme,
you can create a top-of-the-line
presentation using Adobe Illustrator
but this is a professional tool
for professional designers.
Slidebean niche is right here,
where high quality meets efficiency,
and with this diagram it’s easy to see
how it stands apart.
Now that you understand how these work
take alook at the Airbnb deck.
In this case their axes are affordability and offline
versus online transactions
this differentiates Airbnb from
or CouchSurfing or Craigslist.
The Underlying Magic or the Competitive Advantage
The underlying magic slide,
also referred to as the competitive advantage slide,
is where you elaborate on the technologies
and patents you’ve developed
to make your product or service unique.
Feel free to get much
more technical on this slide.
Going back to UBER,
this is where they get to brag
about the route optimization system
their reputation tracking and the demand forecasting,
that’s right the surges.
As much as we users hate that
it’s one of UBER’s most powerful innovation.
The Go-to-Market Plan.
The go-to-market slides should refer to your plans
to acquire a mass audience.
Now the reality of any startup,
is that there’s no way to know
how these plans will work,
until you actually try them out.
And you likely need to update this slide regularly,
as you try and fail with different
marketing tactics.
it’s essential, however,
to remember and fake it till you make it.
Always have a plan and pitch it
as if you’re a hundred percent sure that’s the way to go.
The point of this slide is proving that you can figure out
ways to grow your business,
both with a large pool of ideas
and the ability to execute them.
Airbnb slide refers to three alternatives,
Events, partnerships and the dual posting feature.
In the end,
they never managed to make a deal with Kayak,
but they hit the nail on the head
with the dual posting function.
In a nutshell,
they developed a bot that would take any Airbnb listing
reposted on Craigslist
and link back to the original Airbnb post,
thus increasing their
traffic and awareness
as well as the chances of getting a listing booked
when they had fewer customers.
The Team Slide
And we’re almost done now.
This slide should be simple.
Mention your founders and why are you
the right people to grow this company.
Remember the ideal founder combination
is the hustler/hacker/hipster trio
A hustler usually impersonated in the CEO
that can sell the company
and keep investors excited around it.
A hacker often the CTO,
that can lead the product development
for the first few years.
And finally a hipster,
that can build a brand both through
high quality design and marketing.
Do not,
do not talk about your advisors here.
Your first employees
or actually anybody
who is not a hundred percent
dedicated to the company.
Traction and Milestones
The traction or the milestones slide
is another crucial part of your pitch,
actually if you’re pitching in front of an audience
in a demo day type of event,
this slide should probably go first
right after your cover.
This gives you credibility right away
and captures people’s attention
for the rest of your pitch.
In the storytelling arch of your presentation,
click below actually to see our video on storytelling,
the Traction is the lethal blow
and the climax of your story.
If you have revenue,
and if that’s growing,
that should be the only,
the only chart on this slide.
If you don’t have any sales
actually you might want to reconsider
pitching investors at this point in your company.
it’s very very tough
to raise money without income.
If you must then use this opportunity to
talk about your growth,
your monthly or your weekly active users
The Fundraising Information
So both of the Pitch Deck templates
that we’re referencing,
UBER and Airbnb,
have a final fundraising slide with their ask,
how much money they were raising.
in the US, however, the SEC has certain regulations as to
whom can you show your financial data to.
So you should be careful
when sending your deck to people
who aren’t accredited investors.
this is not my expertise by any means,
but a couple of tips here are,
If you’re pitching on stage
in front of an audience,
do not add this slide.
If you’re sending this deck privately to a VC,
then you’re probably okay.
When in doubt,
you can check this article for more info.
All the templates we talked about
are available to use on Slidebean.
Creating an account is free
and you can start editing right away
Slidebean’s algorithm will handle the design for you,
so all you need to care about is the content.
If you want to do this in PowerPoint
or your platform of choice,
well, Shame on You!
But, you can check out our next video,
with some pitch deck presentation design guidelines.
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