PURE LAMBDA

Aug 2, 2021

16 min read

How do you create a winning pitch deck to raise funds?

Introduction

Know your audience, think like an investor

Your opening: who are you?

Winning pitch deck — Opening

Your why: what problem are you solving?

Winning pitch deck — Why

Your opportunity: how big is the market your company is targeting?

Winning pitch deck — Opportunity

Your competition: how competitive is the environment where your business operates?

Winning pitch deck — Competition

Your solution: what product is your company building?

  • How does your solution solve the problem for those affected by it?
  • How is your solution better than the competition? What is your competitive advantage? (if you haven’t already showcased that in the previous slides)
  • Why nobody else can build this solution but your team?
  • Why is now an ideal time to build this solution? Is there a core requirement that is now possible, thanks to new technologies, that was not possible earlier?
  • Explain if your solution is an improvement over previous solutions or a brand new disruption to the market. Some investors prefer disruption: the risk is higher, but also the rewards. But others might want to take a low-risk approach. Be sure to know your audience.
Winning pitch deck — Solution

Your business model: how will your company generate revenue with the product?

Winning pitch deck — Business Model

Your traction: how many users are lining up to use your product?

Winning pitch deck — Traction

Your strategy: how will your company grow to the next level?

  • What are the risks and how you are to mitigate them.
  • Layout a detailed timeline.
  • Which key channels are you going to use (for instance: paid search, social media, email marketing).
  • What are the acquisition cost per user and potential total returns per user based on your sales and retention rate.
Winning pitch deck — Strategy

Your team: who is making the magic happen?

  • Limit this slide to the key members of the team, no more than 4.
  • Keep the background of each member brief and relevant to the problem and your solution.
  • Show why your team is the best team to do the job.
  • Investors put more faith into members if they are working full time for the company, including yourself.
  • When there is a talent gap in your team, use a placeholder to show that you are actively looking to hire for this role. It also shows that you are aware of your own weaknesses which in turn shows professionalism.
Winning pitch deck — Team

Your Demand: what are you seeking from the investors?

Winning pitch deck - Demand

Your personal touch: how to customize your pitch deck for your own company, problem, and solution?

  • If you have patents or conducted unique research, you should build a dedicated slide to display the value of your intellectual property.
  • If you already have well-known customers, have a slide with the logos of your current customers.
  • Especially for B2C companies, you can show screenshots of your product if you have a working prototype or wireframes.
  • If your company relies heavily on technology and your audience is composed of technical experts, you can explain your tech stack. Most of the time, this slide should be at the end of your presentation to answer questions, but avoid incorporating it into the main presentation as to not bore the non-technical audience.
  • If there have been news articles or research papers explaining how the market has drastically changed, you can dedicate a slide to answer the “why now” question. This slide would show the evolution of the market and the recent trends.
  • If you already have board members and some who are famous or have a positive reputation in your industry, you can build a dedicated slide to present your board. You can usually insert this slide right after the team slide. If you have a board, but no famous personalities, you can just include this slide at the end of the deck for questions.
  • Furthermore, it can be beneficial to include a slide that presents your exit strategy and timeline, depending on which investment fund you are presenting to. Be careful to make sure your vision aligns with the long-term plans of the investment fund listening to your presentation.

Your success: how to recognize signs that your pitch worked?

Some extra notes

  • Do not forget to add the typical “Confidential and Proprietary. Copyright © by [Name of Company]. All Rights Reserved.” at the end of each slide. Ask your corporate lawyer for the exact formulation you should be using.
  • Consistency in design (font, font size, spacing, color scheme, etc…) across all slides is extremely important as it shows the quality of work you can produce. Investors want to invest in someone reliable, consistent, and accountable.
  • Additionally, ensure that all the numbers have units, all charts have a legend and a title to demonstrate your professionalism.
  • Make sure that each slide has a page number so investors can easily ask specific questions about a section of your presentation.
  • As you meet more investors and refine your pitch, include more slides at the end as an addendum to address their common questions.
  • Send your pitch deck as a PDF to the investors after your meeting. Also, share a read-only link to the live document that you are going to keep up to date so they can keep track of your progress.
  • And most importantly of all: tell a compelling coherent story!

Conclusion

  1. Opening
  2. Why
  3. Opportunity
  4. Competition
  5. Solution
  6. Business model
  7. Traction
  8. Strategy
  9. Team
  10. Demand