Have you ever wondered what goes into a pitch deck? Or what slides matter? Here are the 10 slides that seemed to resonate most with VCs we met with our our journey to raising our latest $9 million in funding. Be sure to check the notes for explanations of each slide.
After our title/logo slide, this was the slide we used to kick off the discussion. It’s important to quickly convey what you do and why it’s disruptive, while using visuals as much as possible. Someone should see a slide like this and immediately be hooked and want to hear more.
It’s important to clearly address the problem your product or service solves. The more painful the problem, the better, so make sure people really understand it and that they’re convinced the problem is a big one that is worth tackling.
When you’re first presenting how you can solve the problem you outlined and got everyone on board with, focus more on the Why/mission than technical details. How do you solve for the problem? More importantly, why is your solution exciting? Can it do more than just solve the initial problem? You’ll also notice that we included a quote at the bottom right corner of this slide. We sprinkled in press and customer quotes like this throughout the pitch deck. If you have quotes like this, they can be a great way to let investors know you have some cred and that there are others out there talking about your business.
Here we focused on the size of the opportunity. It’s important to answer questions like: How many people really have the problem that you’re solving? Who are the people that can benefit from your solution? You could make the argument that you should combine the problem and opportunity into one slide (how big is the problem and who has it?). But we split it out because we wanted to emphasize that this is truly a huge, global opportunity, and that our market transcends industry, company size and geography.
Helping people visualize your solution is key. Here, our goal was to give folks something more concrete to better understand how people get started using Canvas and how it works.
The more you can show that you’re a disruptive service/product, the better. When you can point to specific examples of how your customers have been able to experience significant benefits because of your product/service, this is a powerful thing. In our case, we made each of these logos clickable, so that if someone had a question or wanted to drill into more details about a specific customer, it would take them to a separate slide in the Appendix with more information.
Even if you think your product or service blows away the competitors and the the competition isn’t relevant, VCs will still ask you about the competitive landscape. Don’t just tell people that you’re better. Help them understand why.
If you have growth, definitely share these metrics. At the end of the day, this is what matters. If you don’t have crazy growth yet, then use whatever charts you can to show that you are getting traction.
If you’re a SaaS company, then these three metrics are crucial. If you can show that ARPA, or Average Revenue Per Month from an account, is growing steadily, that’s a great thing. At the same time, you want your GMPP (Gross Margin Payback Period) to not be crazy high, as this is how many months it takes to break even on the cost of acquiring a typical customer. More on GMPP here: http://techometerblog.com/2011/05/25/key-saas-metrics-gross-margin-payback-period/. Return on CAC (customer acquisition costs) is a ratio that explains the return on the cost of acquiring a customer. This takes into account churn and the estimated gross lifetime margin of a customer.
VCs will definitely ask you which industries you’re seeing the most traction with, especially if you offer a product or service that could be used by many different industries. Address this head on and if you have the data to back it up, you should share it.
The 10 most interesting slides that helped our SaaS company raise 9 million