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What Is A “Pitch Deck” And Why Startups Use It For Fundraising

Do you know what a Pitch Deck is? Do you know how most startups use it to raise venture capital? Do you want to try it out for a running startup or a potential long-term business?

If yes, then you are at the right place because today, we are going to discuss what a Pitch Deck is and how startups use it to raise venture capital.
November 29, 2020

What Is Pitch Deck: An Introduction

If you have a “Startup” and you want to present it to venture capitalists, you can use “pitch deck”. Pitch decks are commonly used by startups when they want to raise money. They do this by creating a presentation and present it to venture capitalists.

A pitch deck, essentially, is a presentation of up to 5-15 slides, where you present your startup/company to potential investors or VCs.

Pitch Deck is not new or unknown. In fact, many well-established businesses that started off as startups used Pitch Deck to establish themselves as well-rounded names in the industry today. Known businesses that have used Pitch Deck as an initial medium to present their company to VCs include Facebook, Airbnb, Buffer, Square, LinkedIn, Mint, MapMe, Castle, Cubeit, Canvas, Fittr, Wealth Simple and others. Pitch Deck, therefore, is a very effective platform to establish your business, to help it get started, to help it earn money and to help it get through.

What To Include In A Pitch Deck

Pitch Deck is used by startups very often to present their company to a Venture Capital Investor or a Prospective Investor. A pitch deck contains about 15-20 slides. The point of the presentation is to ‘showcase your company and its message’ in a right and concise way.

What you need to include in your Pitch Deck is the following:

  • What the company has to offer (its products): An overview of your business
  • The business model
  • The technology it is using
  • Your monetization strategy
  • The team behind the company/products

While it is absolutely not easy to raise capital from investors for a startup and the process is quite difficult and very time consuming, it is possible through the help of a pitch deck. A pitch deck can help you raise from $50,000 to $500,000 to $50 million and the limit is really not that limited.

When it comes to creating a Pitch Deck, it is important to create an articulate and compelling one.  Moreover, if you are going to use Pitch Deck for fundraising, what can help further is an investor database excel (a file of an investors’ contact list), an investor email data base, an angel investors database and an investor contact list which can help you gain access to a list of contacts that you can get in touch with immediately to present your pitch deck.

How To Make An Effective Pitch Deck

Pitch decks are effective if made carefully. They require time, patience and a lot of careful thought to impress a potential venture capitalist.

If you are wondering as to how to make a good pitch deck, here are some points you can follow.

Pitch Deck Cover Page: Company Overview

The first page of the pitch deck should be the cover page. The pitch deck cover page should include a brief copy of what your business is about. It should be creative, contemporary and up to date. It should also be unique, just as your business should be and it should have something that appeals to the audience right away. This means that you design a cover page for your pitch deck that is new age and new school. An effective pitch deck has both content and visuals. Furthermore, it is also important to add this at the bottom left of the pitch deck.

“Confidential and Proprietary. Copyright (c) by [Name of Company]”. All Rights Reserved.”

Mission/Vision Of The Company

The next slide in the pitch deck should be about the ‘Mission and Vision’ of your company. It should showcase the point behind your business; it should show the summary of what your mission is and it should also show the vision of your company. This should tell investors the motive behind your business and the vision it is leading it by in order to deliver the message.

Introduction Of Your Team

As a part of the Pitch Deck presentation, you also need to showcase your ‘Team’ to show who is a part of the business. VCs and prospective investors all need to know who is running a business that they will invest in. Therefore, it is important to showcase all members that are a part of your business or team.

While showing your team, make sure you are creative. VCs need to know how passionate you are about your idea and that it is not a one man show so showcasing your team is important. A strong team leads to a collaborative effort and showcases the brilliance of a start up through the right people and right measures.

The Problem

The next slide should state “The Problem” (which will be the introduction to your pitch deck) and then you need to explain why your product and service is there to take care of this problem and how it solves it.

There are many problems that exist in the world and a business is an answer to that. When delivering a presentation then, you need to showcase the problem and why your business is an answer. This will grab the attention of the audience and will help you get an initial approval by them.

The Solution

After identifying the problem, you come on to the solution. In this part, you tell the audience how your business can solve the problem. In order to do this, you should first highlight the features of the product. Use content and add visual graphics for it. You should also show how your product works.

Presenting a SWOT analysis can also help during a pitch deck presentation, where you identify your product and the competition to give a broader look of the market and where your solution comes in. It is important to get into your competitors to show how alternative solutions fail and how you can remove these failures. The idea is to identify important factors in order to deliver authentic value proposition and then highlight the benefits of your products to investors. Your ideas should be sound, visual, feasible and organic.

The Market Opportunity: What Sets You Apart

You also need to use statistics and observations to define the target audience’s frustration clearly. Be a story teller and tell them how you realized this problem. Share the experience and grab the audience’s attention. Furthermore, you need also to tell them what the common factor is and how you are trying to solve this problem. What makes you unique and how you can answer that problem.

The Product Brief: What Is Your Product About

The next step/slide should be about the product itself. Tell investors about your product. Tell them about the key features of your product, why users will be interested in it, major product milestones, what features make your product stand out and additional features that are going to go in the product. Make sure you use plenty of images, visuals, and other aids in the video so you can just present and not get too involved explaining content to investors. You should try your best to explain the product in an exact and acute way.

Your Proposition: What Are You Proposing

After identifying the problem and solution, you need to show what your value proposition is. Your message should be clear to persuade as to why your company is worth investing in. To do this, make sure you use a simple language and that the meaning of that language is clear, concise and understandable.

Your Competition And Your Customers

Then talk about your competition, how they are dealing with the same problem and their solution and where your products come in. You can do this by the use of visuals. Furthermore, you should also talk about the competitive advantages of a VC choosing you over others. Indicate the unique factors that give your company an edge, what sets you apart and the benefits of choosing you as well.

Identify the unique features of your products and services, the adoption rate, is your product the first to solve this issue, how innovatively you are solving the issue, is it a new issue or an older one, what is your pricing model, what technology will you use, potential partnerships and so on. This will help Venture Capitalists understand why they should choose you over others.

The Technology You Are Using

Investors are also looking at the underlying technology of a product or business. Therefore, it is important to mention yours. In your pitch deck presentation, write about the basic technology backbone, key intellectual property rights that your company has (patents, patents pending, trademarks etc.), why technology is superior and why your technology cannot be replicated. This will give investors a good stance on how your business stands out and why investors should choose you.

Your Product Traction And Business Model

Using key metrics such as monthly active users is also important in a pitch deck presentation. This would include the ARPU (average revenue per user), showcasing your profit margins and so on. The use of these key metrics will show how real you are in your approach and your seriousness to establish the company.

The Marketing Plan

Make sure you brief the audience on the marketing plan as well. Irrespective of how good your product is, you will always need a marketing plan to show case it. In this particular slide, you need to tell the individuals about which marketing channels you will use (paid search, social media, email marketing etc.), which channels have worked for you and your early successes, your preliminary costs for customer for these mediums, your PR and what early buzz have you received.

This will give investors a good idea about where you are heading with your product and what your plans are to market it.

The Financials

Investors always want to know the current financial situation of the company and the proposed future burn rate. What will be the monthly or annual cash loss when the company is making and marketing its products. Financials include a 3-5 year financial projection, unit economics, key metrics which are important to a business, total revenue and expenses, EBITDA and key assumptions.

While presenting financials, you must always be realistic. You don’t want something that the potential investor challenges right away. Create a full plan and avoid short cuts.

The Ask

Finally, the last slide will be to ‘Ask’ what your startup needs to achieve the goals that are there on the deck. You need to tell what will solve your company’s financial issues and what will get the operations started. Here, you will tell about the amount you need, till how long this amount can help you sustain your future actions and using graphics, explain where the investment will be spent. Create a timeline to show the next big steps of your company.

Pitch decks usually have 10-15 slides. You can alternate the above points into a shorter or longer presentation. However, what you need to know is that your presentation should cover the following:

  1. Company Overview
  2. Mission And Vision Of The Company
  3. The Team
  4. The Problem
  5. The Solution
  6. The Market Opportunity
  7. The Product
  8. The Customers
  9. The Technology
  10. The Competition
  11. Traction
  12. Business Model
  13. The Marketing Plan
  14. Financials
  15. The Ask

A pitch deck is an effective way to propose what your startup or business is about. It is an exact way of presenting your product/s to potential investors in order to raise capital. Pitch decks don’t have to be formal or beautiful. They just have to be impactful and have a very strong slogan or introduction that appeals to the masses. Pitch decks should be short and they should have the right analogies to back them up.

Pitch decks can become more fruitful if you have an investor contact list, an angel investor data base, an investor email database or an investor database excel. If you are looking for one, we can help. Contact us and get immediate assistance right away.

Stay tuned.

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