In the information age, good ideas often come along faster than you can pitch them! At some point, it may happen to you — you’ll have an amazing idea, but you’ll need a lot more funding to grow the idea out of infancy. What you need is a killer pitch presentation to help attract the funding of VCs who are looking for the next big startup and clearly illustrate why your idea will be a massive success.
So what is a pitch deck?
Think of a pitch deck as the window to your idea. It provides the audience a glimpse at the vision that you’ve conjured up in your mind and shows the lucrative potential that your idea holds. It’s a brief presentation that should knock the sock off of potential investors. It needs to stand out and leave a lasting impression on the audience.
It should tantalize your potential investors by providing them an overview of your business, your target market, and its revenue potential. It needs to be quick and convincing enough to make them eager to whip out their checkbook.
What makes a good pitch presentation? Where do you start?
Given the nature of the information age, you might be tempted to try to get your idea out there as quickly as possible for fear of losing out. But striking a balance is key — you shouldn’t dawdle, but you shouldn’t rush into your deck and produce a second-tier presentation either. Slow and steady wins the race. Proper planning and good design are what will set your pitch presentation apart.
Luckily, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to make a mesmerizing presentation. All you need to do is to borrow some wisdom from companies that have succeeded. With any luck, you’ll be able to capture those “Aha!” moments and design that pitch deck that will take your big idea and turn it into a reality.
What do winning VC presentations look like?
Below we’ve compiled 30 pitch decks that successfully convinced investors to put their money into helping companies become leaders in the modern technological era. Have a look!
You must be living under a rock if you haven’t heard of Facebook. Its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, decided to take his dorm room pet project and turn it into a global business. He did it by playing the numbers game. Statistics are a powerful tool and the numbers don’t lie.
They didn’t have an investor’s pitch deck per se, but rather a media kit that detailed the company’s numbers. These included user traffic and growth and key metrics. This pitch deck earned them their first outside investment of $500,000.
Have you ever seen a presentation that took forever to get to the point that it actually wanted to make? Airbnb did just the opposite. In their deck, the first two slides spilled the beans. They didn’t beat around the bush or take the scenic route to explain their idea. They just got straight into the problem and their solution. The rest is history.
In the social networking era, Buffer found an innovative way to regulate social traffic. It helps its users schedule publishing content on a variety of social media platforms. Their pitch presentation was also based on the numbers that their users generated. Similar to Facebook, they took the transparency route and raised almost half a million dollars.
A good reputation goes a long way. If you have experienced and highly regarded members in your development team, it helps to reassure your investors. Promoting the head honchos in your team promotes confidence in your potential investors. Couple a sterling reputation with a detailed plan and you are sure to turn a few heads your way.
Nearly all professional networkers are active on the world’s biggest business-oriented social networking platform. Their pitch deck emphasized the value of networking and how their social network catered to the professional, combining the power of social networking with solid business values and quality. In short, their deck emphasized how current trends could be used to promote business networking.
Everybody wants to save money and keep track of how they spend money. Not everybody is good at it though. It often happens that a simple idea becomes unnecessarily complicated, but Mint kept it simple and provided a clear value proposition for both customers and investors. In this case, less is definitely more.
Another company that opted for a quick-fire deck that got the message across quickly. MapMe took a great idea and coupled it with simplicity and social-proofed it. Showing investors how the company grew when they went viral was a great way to emphasize its potential. The lesson to learn: show investors the tip of the iceberg.
Launchrock is a company that allows users to create landing pages for their own startups, getting the word out before the launch. Their creative deck focused on their company’s potential, how their product works, and how the versatile their product is. A clear-cut rundown of their company from start to finish.
Mixpanel is an analytics platform that provides detailed web use. Their hard-hitting and explicit introduction got the attention of investors — so much so that they raised $65 million! With excellent research (and a little help from a presentation design agency) they achieved their goals. Once they got the attention of investors, they focused on past success and how they were planning to build on that success. The perfect a balance between what is and what is yet to come.
Some startups are already up and running and need something to help them rise above the crowd. Moz’s deck used their history to their advantage and was able to present accurate numbers and predictions. If you want to go for detail, be sure not to waffle.
It almost seems unfair if you have a website or social media platform that literally has millions of users and visits. Buzzfeed used this to their advantage and used the powers of numbers to persuade their investors to give them over $240 million so far. Lesson to be learned: social-proof your deck…if you can.
YouTube needs no introduction, and it’s clear that they have achieved everything they set out to do on their pitch presentation. The ultra minimal presentation style might look underwhelming today, but they clearly stated their vision and what they wanted to become. What’s more, they provided a roadmap of how to get there. Today they are the world’s biggest video platform online helping entertain billions each day.
Manpacks is the one-stop shop for all men’s essentials. This company is very much aware of who their target audience is and focused their whole pitch around this. They spoke to the heart of men who just couldn’t be bothered to make an effort to go out and buy the “essentials”. Lesson to be learned: know your target market.
This company is an excellent example of taking the social world and current trends and combining them to create a super-social app. Their pitch deck took you through a journey with real footage that showed the true versatility of the app. There are few things that impress as much as authenticity.
Although Flowtab closed down, their pitch still got them the money they needed to develop their product. Their pitch did a remarkable job of simplifying the complicated by clearly stating a problem, solution, and business model. Again, less is more.
If you want to move money seamlessly, Dwolla is for you. The success of their pitch deck lies in telling a great story. They gave great detail to a problem and their unique solution. Add some visual creativity and speak in layman’s terms and you have a winning recipe.
17. ZenPayRoll (Gusto)
Small companies looking to pay employees without having to fork out thousands for payroll software should look no further. This deck, which is also a template, is short and concise, giving only the bare minimum information and relying on the presenter to fill in the blanks.
Bliss is a company that provides metrics for coders and allows for seamless collaboration. The deck raised $400,000 using Angel List. They were capable of doing so by giving a clear description of the product and painting a vivid picture for investors.
Adpushup raised over $632,000 in investments for their company, which optimizes ad revenue. Their deck was simple and clear. Stating a problem, possible solutions, how their product can address the problem, and a future plan.
This was Canada’s first online investment manager, and their pitch raised over $2 million in just two weeks. Their deck was short, sweet, and directed at the right investors. Their secret was making sure to play to the ears of the people who had the money.
AppVirality enables app developers to grow and spread their app faster. Their deck was superb in stating a problem, showing proven solutions, and ultimately describing how their product would incorporate those solutions. What sets them apart is the focus on the convenience of using their product.
SteadyBudget enables analysts to optimize pay-per-click budgets. The power of simplicity is sometimes underestimated. Their deck made a complicated world much easier, and promises to save valuable time. They also have a list of massive companies who are already invested to back up their claims. If you have traction, use it!
Podozi is a Nigerian-based e-commerce platform. If you are lucky enough to already have working partnerships with leading brands, it can give your product some serious traction. Combine the big names with keeping it short and sweet to keep the interest of investors.
Fittr is your digital fitness training program consultant and designer. They start off by stating what their product does, then shed light on the problem that the product seeks to address. Finally, they lure investors in with the current market and where it is heading.
There are hundreds of productivity manager and planner apps out there. What made Swipes so good? For a small startup, they used social proof to back their idea. Together with the proof, they gave a clear timeline of where they were and where they wanted to go.
Canvas is your digital process developer. Their pitch deck helped them raise over $9 million. Using very few words, they opted instead to go the visual route and showed investors what they were all about — and it worked!
27. Ooomf (Crew)
Crew is a freelancing platform that connects web developers to projects. Their company’s mission isn’t complicated, and they played up the simplicity in their deck. Their deck flowed nicely and was easy to follow… all the way to the bank. Their pitch deck raked in over $2 million!
Cubeit is a mobile application that enables users to aggregate content. Besides being only 13 slides long, the key to their pitch presentation’s success was the introduction. On the opening slide, they made a bold statement about a problem that desperately needed a solution. That was all they needed to get the investors’ attention.
Castle is a rental property management app that takes the hassle out of renting a property. Their pitch raised $240,000, thanks largely to the simplicity of their message. Their deck was easy to follow and clearly stated their purpose and potential for the investors.
30. Sequoia Capital
Coming from one of the leading investment firms in Silicon Valley, Sequoia Capital played up its pedigree in its deck. They took the guesswork out of what they wanted and just laid out what they expected from investors. It couldn’t get any easier than that!
Whatever startup you are planning to launch or expand, there are certain things that you can do to improve your pitch deck:
- Keep it simple and professional
- Know your market
- Show a problem and solution
- Show financial potential
- Show actual figures
- Add social proof
- State why you are different than the rest
- Focus on accurate research over flashy style
Interested in more presentation topics?
We hope these samples inspired ways for you get inside the heads of your investors and persuade them to invest in your dream!
If you’re still hungry for presentation knowledge, get inspired with our 35 Unique Ideas for a PowerPoint Presentation or brush up on your presenting skills by checking out our Tips for Better Public Speaking: Are You Losing the Room with These Common Mistakes? Or if in the mood to visually amaze your audience, explore our list of the hottest presentation design trends in 2018.