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Preparing Your First Fundraising Pitch Deck

Updated on:  

08 min read

A pitch deck is a presentation, usually in the form of slides, prepared by an entrepreneur to be presented to investors at the time of raising finance for their business. Startups use pitch decks to present their company in a profitable manner to prospective investors. 

Raising capital from potential investors is difficult for startups. The pitch deck helps the startups lure the interest of potential investors. It is intended to showcase the company’s technology, products, and team to get the proposed investors interested in financing the company. Thus, it is essential that a startup creates an excellent investor pitch deck.  

Slides of a Pitch Deck

Since the pitch deck is presented to the investors in a meeting or video conference, it is prepared in the form of slides. Every business is different and will have different content in its pitch deck; however, below is the format of the slides of a pitch deck that is most likely to generate interest from potential investors.

Company Overview

The first slide of a pitch deck should be the company overview slide and must contain a quick overview of your business and the value that your company provides to your customers. It should include a concise layout with the company’s logo, name, tagline and mission. A short, simple and straightforward company overview will grab the interest of the investors.

The Team

The investor will want to know your team before investing in your company. Sometimes, the company’s team acts as an important determinant of whether to invest or not. In this slide, highlight your team members, their success and expertise. State the experience of your team and the role they play to build and grow your company.

Include this slide in the pitch deck even if there is no team yet in your company. State the team you intend to build and the positions you need to fill to grow your company. The investors will want to know the skills and experience of your team or proposed team. It will help them build confidence in your team and your company’s success.

The Problem

The problem is the basis of your business idea because the solution to the problem is your product or service. If your company product or service does not provide a solution to an existing problem, the company will not be a success. Thus, in this slide,  discuss the problems that your company intends to solve and the audience who face this problem. Try and state a relatable story while defining the problem. A relatable story will help the investors understand the existing problem and your goals.

The Solution

The next slide after the problem is the solution slide. The pitch deck should state the solution to the problem that your company provides. It must also show the investors why your solution is better than the other solutions in the market. The solution to the problem is the products or services that you provide.

Describe how your solution will help the customers address the problem. State the uniqueness of your company’s product or service and what it consists of. When you are pitching a concept, include pictures, videos and illustrations on the slide. Illustrate how your audience will be able to solve their existing problem using your products or services.

The Customers

You can add your existing customers, if any, on this slide to add credibility. When there are no customers, you can include your ideal customers and how many of them you plan to reach out to. Show the potential customers you are targeting in the market. You can explain the market size relevant to your product and how you position yourself in the industry.

The Market Opportunity

The investors look forward to the market opportunity slide. They want to know the market opportunities of your company’s products or services. Investors are interested in investing in a company’s products or services that have huge opportunities with large addressable markets. Thus, include graphs showing that your company will address a large part of the addressable market.

The Competition

Every business has a competition for some other similar business. Even when you are launching in a new market, your potential customers will be using an alternative solution to solve the problem that acts as your competition. In this slide, state your competitors, how you are different from them, and the current alternatives in the market. 

Investors will always be interested in knowing your competitors. Thus, you need to understand the competitive landscape and be prepared to answer questions about them. If you do not understand your competitors, the investor may conclude that you do not understand the market. 

Demonstrate that you have knowledge of your industry. Provide an honest assessment of how and where your company fits in that industry. Include information on your competitors targeting the same customers. Highlight and focus on your strengths and your competitive advantages. Show the investors that you have considered the potential obstacles and the prepared plans to overcome them.

Traction

Investors view a company positively that has achieved early traction in some way. If you have sales of your product or service or early adopters of your product, mention them in this slide. When you have some traction, it reflects that your solution works to the problem you have identified, thus showing the investors that you have proven some aspect of your business model.

You can also talk about your milestones in this slide. You can state the goals you have achieved so far and the next steps you plan to take. A company or product roadmap that outlines the key milestones will be helpful to gain the interest of the investors.

Business Model

Investors want to understand your business model. This slide should state the details of how you will generate revenue. Some online businesses create more revenue through advertisers than users. 

However, it does not have to include detailed data or financial forecasts. It needs to show that you have earnings, revenues and profit projections to help shape your business model. You can use simple statistics like market share or revenue to highlight the profitability of your business. 

The Marketing Plan

You should have a good marketing plan to gain customers. State your marketing and sales plan in this slide. You need to state the details of the tactics used to make your products reach the target market. State the sales channels that you plan to use. Highlight the marketing and sales process that you are using if it is different from your competitors. Mention the medium you propose to use to promote your products or services to your prospective customers.

Company Finance

Investors will want to know the company’s present financial situation and see your sales forecast, income statement or profit and loss statement and cash flow forecast. Discuss the underlying assumptions that you have made to arrive at the sales goals. State your key expense drivers. However, try to be realistic. You can even use chats and graphs to display your finances.

Investments and Use of Funds

In this slide, state what you need from the investors and what you will provide to them in return. You will need to state the funds you require from the potential investors as they will not be aware of it. However, you need to explain why you need that money and how you plan to use it to drive growth. If you have some investors providing funds, you need to tell about them and why they choose to invest in your company.

Tips for a Successful Pitch Deck

  • While presenting your pitch deck, tell a memorable, compelling and interesting story that shows your passion for the business.
  • Skip bullets on the pitch deck as they do not help to tell a story.
  • Try to use large fonts on the deck and limit the number of words on each slide.
  • Use interesting images and graphics wherever it is possible. It will help to tell your story and build an emotional attachment to your vision and ideas.
  • Keep your slides simple, straightforward, convey high-level ideas and leave room for questions.
  • Send the pitch deck as a PDF file to your investors as it will help them refer to it in future.
  • Use consistent font size, header, title style and colour throughout the slides.
  • Give a demo of your product as part of the pitch deck presentation.
  • Convince the investor of why the market opportunity is huge for your product or service.
  • Cover your points on the pitch deck in such a manner that the investors can understand them when they go through your deck in future. 
  • Ensure that your deck is up-to-date and does not contain any outdated information or content before you present it to the investors.
  • Keep your presentation short so you have time for queries and discussions. 
  • Highlight the key information on your deck. Do not add all the information that you plan to present on the pitch deck.
  • Do not provide excessive financial details since you can provide them in a follow-up.
  • Do not use any jargon or acronyms as the investor may not understand them immediately.
  • Do not underestimate your competition. Be as realistic as possible.

An excellent investor pitch deck can help a startup obtain the required finance and prospective investors. It will help to generate the interest of the proposed investors in financing the startup. However, the pitch deck needs to state the details mentioned above to provide the required information to the investors before they decide on investing or not. A short, simple, interesting story presented with the pitch deck will draw the investors towards the startup.

Disclaimer: The materials provided herein are solely for information purposes. No attorney-client relationship is created when you access or use the site or the materials. The information presented on this site does not constitute legal or professional advice and should not be relied upon for such purposes or used as a substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your state.

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