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A pitch deck is a presentation that is usually prepared by entrepreneurs looking to raise funds from potential investors. It provides a brief overview of your business, with the goal of presenting relevant information to the investors.
Since the investors' decision depends, among other factors, on how good your presentation is, it is important that your pitch deck is exciting and able to engage the investors in a conversation about your business. The pitch deck should be clear, simple, compelling and easy to act on.
We have distilled our experience in helping startups pitch their ideas to potential investors, into a pitch deck template that you can use for your fundraising needs. We use a 12-slide pitch deck that communicates all the important aspects of your business that an investor is primarily interested in.
This slide is your chance to make a great first impression. It should include a very short description of your company's mission and should be able to instantly grab the investors' attention. The average investor is pitched hundreds of ideas and if done right, this slide can help you stand out.
You can also think of this slide as describing the vision of your company in a 140 character tweet, but in a way that your parents would understand it!
Diving right in, this slide should be used to identify who your ideal customer is. Investors like it when you are focused on a particular segment of the market and are addressing specific pain points. Be as precise as possible about why the problem you are solving is important and who you are solving it for. It is even better if the investors are able to relate to the problem.
Since the previous slide introduced the problem, this slide should naturally present your proposed solution to solve that problem. This is basically an introduction to your product and it is vital that you remain concise and clear. The investors must be able to immediately see how your product will solve the problem you are trying to address.
Another important aspect to touch upon is the scalability of your proposed solution. Investors want to invest in an idea that can have the most impact and by extension, the most growth opportunity.
Use this slide to talk about the underlying magic that makes your solution possible. For instance, if you are a technology company, investors would be interested in understanding the technology that your company has developed or is developing to solve the stated problem. This slide can be really important as it gives the investors an understanding of what they are dealing with. It can also be the basis for product differentiation (competitive advantage) and IP (patents, trademarks, etc.)
After you have described your product or service and how it works, you need to explain your business model. Talk about how you plan to make money. This can include key issues like the intended pricing model, sources of revenue and the associated costs. You can rest assured that any investor would be paying the utmost attention to this particular slide! You must ensure that you are as clear as possible while fleshing out as many details as possible.
Investors love investing in big opportunities that address a large market. Therefore, this slide should outline the current market size and the future growth potential of the product.
Since the market determines the potential exit for an investor, you should make it easy for them to quantify the upside potential and the ROI on their investment. Presenting hard numbers will help in that regard. Talk about Total Addressable Market (TAM), Serviceable Addressable Market (SAM) and Serviceable Obtainable Market (SOM) to provide a general overview of the market opportunity at hand.
Most investors want to know about the secret sauce that gives your company a competitive edge over other players in the market. There may be other startups and established companies trying to address the same problems as you are. You need to communicate clearly the competitive advantage you have over everybody else.
Key things that can be included in this slide are intellectual property such as patents, copyrights, proprietary technology and trademarks. You should also talk about why it will be difficult for any competitor to replicate your technology or product.
A go-to-market strategy is one of the most crucial pieces for any new business. You need to have a well-defined strategy to introduce your product or service to the market. It needs to address how you are going to acquire customers, what the cost to acquire them will be, how you will penetrate an already competitive market, your distribution strategy, what your sales pipeline looks like, etc.
A company that has some proven track record, will fare well in front of investors. It proves to them that the idea works and that it can be sent on a growth trajectory. Use this slide to present relevant metrics such as sales numbers, website traffic, growth rate, etc. You can also mention the hurdles you have faced and how you overcame them.
You also want to demonstrate your plans for the future (1-3 years). How will your product evolve? Which market segments will you enter? How do you plan to acquire and support the increased customer base? What does this mean for your one-time and operational expenses? You can also talk about anticipated obstacles and how you plan to address them.
The team behind an idea is very important and investors pay a lot of attention to it. Even if an idea is brilliant, its implementation is what separates a company from the competition. This slide proves that you have a team that can execute on your idea and your company's potential. It should include the names and pictures of key team members, what they do for your company and their experiences and expertise that make them appropriate for that position.
This is one of the most important slides of the deck. Investors want to understand the current financial health of your company and your three- to five-year projections for the future. Provide information on key financial metrics that are relevant to your business, like burn rate, unit economics, EBITDA, etc. Mention key assumptions related to customer conversion, acquisition cost, market penetration percentages, operational costs, etc. Include a yearly breakdown of customers, revenue and expenses.
It is important that what you present is realistic. The best strategy is to keep your projections modest and not oversell the potential upside. Promote the dream but pitch the business!
Here you state how much capital you are raising, the terms (equity, convertible note, debt, etc), and how you plan to use it. Obviously, the numbers should align with the estimates/projections from the previous slide! Include information on prior fundraising rounds and expectations you may have of your investors ie expertise, network, etc
If you are just starting, you probably have little in terms of market data and the projections will be guesses at best. Mention the "total raise" and then focus on a 6-12 month horizon. Demonstrate what kind of milestones you can hit on a small budget in the short term. The goal is to de-risk the investment.
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