If you need to raise funding from a VC for your startup, the initial step is to craft a pitch deck. An investor pitch deck is a brief presentation that helps investors to understand your business. It should necessarily include your product benefits, your business model, your monetization strategy, introduction to your team, and your plan to acquire users.
A pitch deck is a vital fundraising tool that helps you get investor attention - be it just $50,000, $500,000, or a whopping $50 million.
Pitch decks usually run for fifteen to twenty slides.
And although presentations are a short, concise form of your entire story, creating one isn't an easy task. It's another thing if you've done it before. But if it's your first time, and you're a first-time entrepreneur, it can prove to be incredibly daunting.
To help you with this daunting task, we at Pitch Deck have taken cues from top startups who've raised money from angel investors and VCs with effective pitch decks and went ahead with redesigning them. While you can check out these redesigned pitch decks for inspiration, you can also use these templates as a base for your cake.
“ We want everyone to have a great experience building their pitch decks — and with Pitch Deck they get just that”
AirBnB connects travelers and local home-owners so that home-owners can earn from their properties and travelers can fully immerse themselves in the local culture while enjoying a 'home-away-from-home' experience. Chesky got turned down by 5 investors when they were trying to raise $150,000 way back in 2009. 2 more investors didn't bother replying.
The Airbnb pitch deck from 2009 has become an increasingly popular reference for entrepreneurs around the world. The company founders, Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk used this pitch to raise $600K from Sequoia Capital and Y Ventures. The company has since become a giant in the Travel industry, closing a round in early 2015 on a valuation of over USD 20 Billion.
Cover slides in a pitch deck should stick to the very basics: company name and tagline. The Airbnb pitch deck does precisely that. A tagline is simpler said than done; this should be a 5-7 word sentence that summarizes what your company does. 'Book rooms with locals, rather than hotels', is a perfect explanation of Airbnb's service, business model, and target audience. It's written in simple words without any start-up jargon.
Most start-ups struggle with the problem slide. However, in this case, the Airbnb pitch deck has solved it marvelously. While a common approach to this is showing an image of the pain, or the status quo, the guys at Airbnb went with three simple lines that perfectly explain their approach.
The Solution slide should summarize the three most important reasons why a customer would buy your product; in other words, your core value propositions. For your Solution, it's essential to talk about the benefits of your product rather than the features. Here, in the Airbnb pitch deck too, they've followed the same - instead of writing something along the lines of 'search thousands of places to stay online,' they've summarized it to just 'Save Money while traveling.'
What you want to do here is provide the closest existing reference to a company in your space, to give investors a real idea of your market opportunity. Here, in the Airbnb pitch deck, they used a combination of Craigslist and Couchsurfing for their validation.
With similar importance to the Market Validation side, the Market Size slide should conform to your investors the size of your opportunity and should provide 3rd party proof of the size of your industry and its expected behavior for the upcoming years. The market slide in the Airbnb Pitch Deck makes a massive emphasis on the 2B+ trips that are booked every year worldwide, which happens to be Airbnb's Total addressable market.
Product slides should summarize the core functionality of the product in as few words/images as possible. Someone once said, "If you are the founder, pitch the product slide like a founder." Meaning - When you're talking about the product, show real images of the product - just like how the Airbnb Pitch Deck does it - so that investors can quickly relate to what you're offering.
A business model describes the rationale of how an organization creates, delivers, and captures value in economic, social, cultural, or other contexts. Airbnb explains the company's business model in a single line. The Airbnb pitch deck approach for this slide was to run a simple projection: assuming that they were able to conquer 15% of the market, with an average transaction fee of $25, the company could easily project $200M in revenue between 2008 and 2011.
An Adoption Strategy or a go-to-market strategy (GTM strategy) is an action plan that specifies how a company will reach target customers and achieve a competitive advantage. This slide should compile 2-3 core customer acquisition HACKS that you will use to grow the business. In the case of the Airbnb pitch deck, one of their key growth channels was a hack on Craigslist - they called the 'dual posting feature.'
This slide identifies direct or indirect competitors, and at the same time, it permits the comprehension of their mission, vision, core values, niche market, strengths, and weaknesses.
This slide points out the attributes of the company that proves that the business is outperforming its competitors. In this slide, Airbnb has listed out several qualities that make them better than their competitors. The two-axis diagram that the Airbnb pitch deck has used is one of the best ways to represent the competitive landscape-it's easy to convey the point visually.
The team slide is crucial in a Pitch Deck. Team slides are typically limited to the founders, but can occasionally include critical other team members. This slide should also cover the stuff that makes your team the right team for this challenge. The team slide In the Airbnb pitch deck focuses on the entrepreneurial journey of each of its key members.
Press & User testimonials
Be it a website, a brochure, or your pitch deck, social proof is that final reassuring factor that leads your prospects to have faith in you - because if it worked for someone else, it would work for me. This is precisely what the Airbnb pitch deck has pulled off. These slides are here to provide validation credibility, as long as you have a credible source to quote. Your Press slide proves that your concept is interesting enough to be featured in the article and that your team was intelligent sufficient to get you featured.
Finally, your financial slide or 'the ask' should have the details of your round or fundraising efforts. However, as a general rule, you need to play safe here. It's wise to have a separate pitch deck that has only a broad level of financial data about the company. Because, once the fundraising season begins, you tend to circulate your pitch deck aggressively to get that one meeting with that right investor. Just like how the Airbnb pitch deck has put out their financial growth sans any details, you too should have a version that will turn eyes, while not jeopardizing your company's growth.