What is a pitch deck and which components should it cover?

Fundraising Analysis

If you are looking to raise money and capital for your startup, having a pitch deck to introduce your business profile to investors is one of the key components of raising capital. In the world of investment and startups, a PowerPoint file is usually presented to investors at a fundraising session. Having a great presentation file will make a potential investor impressed by your idea, talk to you about the business, and this discussion possibly leads to the next investment. 

Concepts and Methods of Startup Valuation

In this article from Retiba site, we would like to provide you with a formula for what you need to include in your presentation file. This is based on the knowledge gained from listening to hundreds of speeches on launching startups. We have evaluated a large number of pitch deck files and their presentation styles, and we have concluded that there is only one simple formula for preparing a presentation file to an investor. Certainly, reading this article will be helpful for you. 

10 slides to be included in the pitch deck. 

Slide 1: Startup vision and value proposition 

This section of the presentation provides the investor with an overview of your business and expresses the value that you are going to offer to your customers. Explain these issues briefly and simply. A great way to create this slide is to think of it as a short tweet – think of how you should describe your business in 140 words and in a way that even your parents can understand. 

It is common for technology companies to compare their value proposition with another well-known company. For example, you see many presentations that start with the following: 

‘We’re like Uber considering pets.’ 

‘In terms of video games, we’re like Netflix.’ 

This can be effective, but be careful not to compare yourself and use a well-known company like Uber just to express a similarity without any supporting ideas. Your business model should really look like the company you claim resemble. 

Slide 2: Express the problem to be solved or the need to be met 

If you do not solve a problem or meet a need in the best possible way, your business will not last long. 

On this slide, address the problem you want to solve and those who have this problem. You can talk about current market solutions, but don’t spend a lot of time on this competitive vision of your business – you’ll have the opportunity to do it in the next slides. 

Ideally, tell a true story when defining a problem. The more realistic and tangible this problem is, the more investors will understand your business and its goals. 

Slide 3: Introduce the target market and its opportunities in pitch deck 

Use this slide to describe your ideal customers in terms of their population and grouping. What is the size of the whole market and how can you put your company in the market? Investors want to know how many people or businesses there are in the market right now to find out how big the whole market is. This is where you need to talk about the scope and scale of the problem you are solving. 

Be careful that this slide does not tempt you to artificially make your market larger. Sometimes investors want you to target a very specific market that isn’t necessarily big, but its capital may be high or exclusive. 

Slide 4: Solution 

Finally, you need to describe your product or service. Explain how customers use your product and how you are going to solve the mentioned problem on the previous slide. 

You may be tempted to include this slide as one of the primary slides of your Pitch deck, but try to resist the temptation. The order of your slides should be similar to the classic storytelling style, in which you first pose a problem and explain how troublesome it is for many people. On this slide, you state that your product or service, like a hero, has come to help solve that problem. 

Instead of focusing on the customers and the problems that the customers are facing, most entrepreneurs are focusing on their product, and you should be careful not to make this mistake. 

The bottom line about this slide is that if possible, use images when describing the solution. Showing is almost always better than expressing. 

Slide 5: Capital investment model or business model 

Now that you’ve described your product or service, you need to talk about how to make money. You must mention what you spend money on, which activities are sponsored by the investment and what the profit will be in the end? You also need to fully understand what your revenue model is. 

Slide 6: Marketing and Sales Strategy 

What is your plan to attract customers and what will be your sales process? Use this slide to describe your marketing and sales strategies. On this slide, you have to explain in detail the key tactics that you are going to apply in order to sell the product to future potential customers. 

Finding and attracting customers can sometimes be the biggest challenge for a startup, so it’s important to show that you have a deep understanding of how to reach your target market and the fact that you have planned sales channels for them. Also, if your marketing and sales process is different from your competitors, it’s important to emphasize it in this part. 

Slide 7: Introducing the startup team in the pitch deck 

 Why you and your startup team are the right people to launch and develop this company? What experiences do you have that others don’t? On this slide, emphasize the key members of the team, their successes in other companies and their core expertise. Even if you don’t have a full team yet, identify the key job opportunities you still need to fill out and why those positions are so important to the company’s growth in the pitch deck. 

Slide 8: Financial documents 

Investors expect to be informed of your financial situation: sales forecast, profit and loss statement, and cash flow forecast for at least three years. 

However, this section should not be in the form of a spreadsheet full of numbers and figures that are difficult to read and cannot be properly evaluated and validated. Stick to realistic, clear charts illustrating sales, total customers, total costs, and profits. You need to be prepared to explain the basic assumptions about achieving the desired income and the main cause-push inflation factors.  

Slide 9: Competitive conditions 

Considering any market, a business competes with some others in some way. Even if you’re entering a whole new market, your potential customers may soon be using alternatives on another market, or many competitors may be entering your new market shortly. 

The main point here is to explain how different you are from other businesses on the market and why customers will choose you over one of the other businesses on the market. On this slide, you should describe your main and unattainable competitive advantages over existing or potential competitors. 

Slide 10: Required investment and capital in the pitch deck 

Finally, it’s time to ask the investor for money. This has been the reason for preparing the presentation file to the investor from the beginning. Potential investors need to know how much money you are looking for. 

Most importantly, you need to be able to explain how you plan to spend the money. Investors want to know how the money will be spent and what the final revenue will be.

If you are currently looking to raise capital for your startup, but you do not access the items mentioned in this article or you do not know much about some of these items such as profit and loss statement, competitors or the amount of required capital, you should know that you are at the beginning of the path to attract capital. You must first lay down the foundations for preparing a pitch deck; then, meet several potential investors and eventually attract their capital. 

What stage is your startup at?

If your startup has crossed Death Valley, and it has had at least 2 funding rounds, you are advised to use DCF method for valuation. Value your startup online with Retiba’s software free of charge.

If your startup has had at least one funding round, you are advised to use Multiples method for valuation.

If your startup is at pre-seed and seed funding rounds, you are advised to use the Score Cards Method, Risk Factors Summation method to value your startup.

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