The first thing we like to look at when an entrepreneur pitches us, is a deck that provides more background on the opportunity and progress of the venture (and we ask for it politely!). This means that we get hit with all kinds of decks at Point Nine: Long decks, short decks, ugly decks, over-designed decks, black & white decks, very colourful decks and decks that were never supposed to be decks in the first place.
Some 3,000 of them move across our desks every year and I have come to appreciate straight-to-the-point decks, which although concise answer the most important questions and lay a foundation for discussion rather than trying to bring across everything that could be relevant for the business.
Granted this format works best as an initial teaser and should always be backed up by detailed KPIs and a few other things. But I do believe that a short and sweet deck is ideal for a first contact, especially for early stage companies.
So here goes a template for what I believe to be a simple, yet solid pitch deck when reaching out to investors. Credit for the great design of these slides goes to Jason and the rest of the team of our portfolio company Honey. Thanks for letting me share this!
TLDR? You can download the Keynote template at the end of this post.
A great place to show off your logo and set the stage for what’s next.
This is where you show off your founding team and how you distribute responsibilities among you. Previous startup or industry experience are big plus!
If there already are angel investors or relevant advisors on board, can’t hurt to include them as well.
The product should be pretty self-explanatory by visiting www.product.com. However it doesn’t hurt to include some actual screens and potentially bullet points that make things clear and give a sense for the UI / UX DNA of the team.
If you are already live and have first customers, this is a great place to show them off. If it makes sense, you can also add a segmentation and / or pipeline to show that there is more goodness coming.
This doesn’t only communicate that you could already win some cool accounts, but also that you understand your customers and the markets you are going after.
The juicy bit! Here you show a graph that, hopefully, is going up and into the right. If you have significant account expansion or won a couple of high ACV contracts, then you can think about adding them to complete the picture.
Actuals only and don’t forget to label your axis. ;-)
You should make a sophisticated estimate on how big the market is that you are aiming for. If there are external sources that provide that data — great, just add the sources and links.
Otherwise you should add a bottom-up or top-down analysis of your target market and include it on this slide.
There are many different ways to visualise competition and the best way will depend on the structure of your industry and your startups’ positioning.
While this can be a tricky one to figure out, it’s important to communicate that you are aware of the incumbents, shakers and movers and potential threats to your industry and can lay out how you have an edge on them.
Especially when you are early in terms of product development, it’s great to get a high-level view of your product roadmap.
This can tie in nicely with the vision for your company, so potentially a place to address both.
This is the ask: How much are you looking to raise and how are you going to spend it?
If you already have first commitments by existing investors and / or new ones, you can point that out to keep momentum.
Since we are polite, we end with a ‘Thank you!’ slide that has all relevant contact information. Done!
And if a light teaser like this is not enough and you are looking for more background on what should be in a proper fundraising deck, check out this Medium post by our Portfolio Advisor Michael Wolfe for a lot more background and additional resources.