If you want to raise capital, one of the many things you need to have is a strong pitch deck…
…unless you are Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos but then you would not be reading this. Also at Paua the deck is the one thing we always ask any entrepreneur to start the investment process. You can really imagine an active early stage VC as a pitch decks highway, in the last three years we had some 4,000 decks hitting our desks and I crunched quite a few of them.
Also being a pro-active investor when it comes to portfolio management, I had often reviewed and helped our companies to build decks. On top of that I was highly involved in building our fundraising deck, FYI VCs raise capital, too!
To help, in my own humble way, the startup ecosystem I would like to put the knowledge that I gathered at your disposal by creating a simple, clean and standard pitch deck template that you can use as a basis to create yours.
Slide 1 — Cover. Let us kick-off with energy and set the tone for the rest of the deck: one beautiful, fresh and shiny cover page with a short catch-phrase that makes the reader just want to hit “Page Down”.
Slide 2— Who we are/ what we do. A simple and clear description of what you are doing. It doesn´t matter if you are a plain vanilla fashion ecommerce or the deepest deep tech company ever; you must be able to convey your value proposition in one sentence in a way that anyone is able to understand.
Slide 3— Pain/ solution. What is the pain that you are solving? It is good to present your company with the angle of pain / solution as it gives a clear reason on why and how much customers will be ready to pay (you can split this topic in 2 slides if you want to: one for the pain one for the solution).
Slide 4 — Market. Just a quick check that your market is “big enough” and hopefully growing. No need to overcomplicate stuff. A good example: “we are creating a solution for small merchants across verticals: we are targeting 25m small and micro businesses in Europe”.
Slide 5 — Product. Now let´s cut to the chase: how does your product look like — right now?
Slide 6— Roadmap. How do you plan to improve your product? I guess this is the only slide where you are allowed to not keeping it simple. Show how complex the product is and how much you are planning to improve. This should be the moment when I feel stupid because I realize how much smarter than me you and your team are.
Slide 7 — Vision. What is your goal down the road? What do you want to achieve? Your vision should be ambitious and people in the room should feel excited when you present it. Don´t forget to explain how you plan to turn your small company in a major powerhouse.
Slide 8— Monetization. So how do you make money with your product? Also how is this going to change moving towards your vision (see slide 7)?
Slide 9— Traction. Now this a key-key slide. We (and most of the early stage funds that I know) will require a small proof of concept as a pre-requisite for a seed investment. While talking about pre-requisite can sound too drastic (we have done indeed pre-revenues deals) at least let me say that traction will make the fundraising process much much easier. Depending on the industry you should either have at least a couple of dozens ks of MAUs (mobile) or a couple of EUR k MRR (SaaS) or a couple of paying customer (enterprise B2B) or a working prototype (hardware)
Slide 10— Customers. So who is actually paying for your product? The slide should look different if you are B2B (customer logos and categories) or B2C (customer personas, demographics etc.)
Slide 11— The team. This is not the time to be shy; show why you are the perfect team to accomplish your mission (see slide 7). Show logos of your previous employers, state clearly what have you done for how long (humbling tip: you are not a banker after one internship in a bank and you are a serial entrepreneur only if you started and brought to success several companies)
Slide 12 — Competition. Another key key slide. Show how your company is different and better than the competition. IMHO a table with features is much more powerful than the usual matrix with arbitrary axes and positioning.
Slide 13 — We are raising. How much do you need and how many months of runway will this buy to your company. How do you plan to use the money?
Slide 14 — Financials. How will you P&L look like in 1,2 and 3 years time?
Slide 15—Contacts. It might sound super trivial, but do not forget to put your full contacts!
So that´s it folks! Good luck building your deck and once you are done don´t forget to contact me if you are serious about raising your seed round and if you have some nice traction! firstname.lastname@example.org