Pitch Deck

You need a pitch deck while you approach the investors for raising funds. You have to show a couple of slides to the investors that depict the necessary details about your startup to the investors.

What is a pitch deck?

A pitch deck is a 12-15 slide presentation that depicts the basic necessary information about your startup to potential investors. It is a structured document that should be made with care as it’s the first document that aims to attract investors.

What is the objective of a pitch deck?

You might be surprised to know that the primary objective of a pitch deck is not to secure funding, it aims to secure a meeting with the potential investor(s). It helps you to narrate the story of your startup.

Do I need a pitch deck?

Yes, you need a pitch deck if you are looking to raise funds. It’s a critical document that you show to investors before an online or offline meeting.

OK! I’m Ready! What’s next?

You will learn to create a perfect pitch deck in this article. Read it completely, step-by-step, don’t skip any step.

How do I prepare the Pitch Deck?

You would need the following:

  • Research: You have to research a lot of information like market size, competitors, industry growth rate, etc.
  • Designing: You have to choose a design style, theme, and palette for your pitch deck design.
  • Content: You have to write less, but depict more. Your content selections are important, each word should be carefully selected for the pitch deck.
  • Financial KPIs: You have to depict the key performance indicators that show your progress and growth in comparison to your competitors and the industry benchmark.
  • Software: You will need the following software:
    • Design: A slide marker like PowerPoint or you may do it in a raster design tool like PhotoShop, or in a vector design tool like Illustrator.
    • Content: Besides a word processor, you will also need a grammar tool like Grammarly.
    • Research: You may need a special market research tool clubbed with digital marketing and data collection, a simple Google search might not be enough.
    • Numbers: You can do this in a spreadsheet tool like Google Spreadsheets.

What is the file format of pitch deck?

A pitch deck should me made in power point, and should be saved in PDF as well. While you send the pitch deck via a form or email, go for PDF, however, while you present in front of the potential investors, use the PPT version.

Can I use a template for making the pitch deck?

No, the answer is absolutely not. Don’t use a template for making a pitch deck. Read out the demerits of using a template based pitch deck:

  • Investors don’t consider you seriously if the design looks to be copied.
  • If an investor has already rejected a similar-looking pitch deck, which is most likely to happen in template-based decks, and then your pitch deck may get rejected by the investors despite the good business model.
  • Every template has its limits when it comes to adjustability and expandability, you can’t be flexible with the ready-made templates.
  • The look and feel of the template will not match your brand’s logo, color, and design.

There are several advantages of a template based pitch deck like cheap price, quick start, structured format and easy availability, however, these itself become the demerits. You can easily get a good looking nicely structured template, but this is also true for others. As per the research conducted by our Investment Banking team, we found that more than 90% of the template based pitch decks used the same template, just the content were different. What looks good to you, may look good to others also, and then everybody end up picking up the best one, that becomes the biggest disadvantage.

Which slides should the pitch deck contain?

Please follow the same structure while you make the pitch deck, as belows:

First Slide:

  • High Pitch: It is like the title of the movie or the title of a book. It should define the entire pitch deck in one line.
  • Elevator Pitch: It is a descriptive summary in 3-5 lines maximum.
  • Logo: The logo of your startup should be on the first slide.
  • Startup Name: The name of your startup should also be there in the first slide itself.

Second Slide:

The second slide should contain the problem statement. It is the problem of customers that the startup is solving. Make sure that it is a real problem and not a made-up problem by the founders. Our team may reject the pitch deck in case the problem slide doesn’t exist or the problem is not satisfactory.

Few Examples of Real Problems:

  • Air Pollution: this problem is real, it is happening everywhere.
  • Rural Transport: some villages don’t have proper connectivity with the cities where hospitals, schools, colleges, and other required facilities exist. This is a real problem.
  • Wastage of Fabric: The fashion industry wastes a lot of fabric in making fashionable garments.

Few Examples of Made-up Problems:

  1. Wedding Videos: nobody wishes to watch the wedding videos of people, this is not a real problem. If the founder creates a website to list such videos, then this isn’t going to work.
  2. Electricity Operated Gym Bike: people go to the gym to burn calories, why would anyone use a bike that runs itself on electricity? Electricity is used in monitoring the stats only, not for the motor.
  3. External Keyboard for Smartphones: It may look like a genuine problem, however, nobody needs a big external keyboard for a smartphone, because it is not handy, the screen will still remain small.

Third Slide: The third slide should be the solution to the problem mentioned in the previous slide. A startup makes no sense without a problem and solution to that problem. Following are the essentials of a solution:

  • Technically Feasible: The solution must technically possible; it makes no sense if someone says that I have a flying car that can go to planet mars because the currently available technology doesn’t allow it. Ask for patents if the founder mentions such kinds of claims.
  • Commercially Viable: The solution must be commercially made available and customers should be paying for the same. If the solution is too expensive, too cheap or the customers won’t be interested in paying for it, then it should be rejected.
  • Legal: The solution should be legal and allowed by Society & Government.

Fourth Slide: The fourth slide should contain the market size in monetary figures. This market size should be supported by the news or other credible sources. It should contain the following:

  • TAM: Total Available Market is the total market demand for a product or service.
  • SAM: Serviceable Available Market is the segment of the TAM targeted by your products and services which is within your geographical reach.
  • SOM: Serviceable Obtainable Market is the portion of SAM that you can capture.

Fifth Slide: After the market size, the traction slide is crucial. Traction is the total action done by the startup to date. It may comprise of:

  • Number of app downloads
  • Number of active users per day at website/app
  • Customers acquired in a survey or marketing activity
  • It can be forms filled for lead generation
  • Any patent, recognition by a scientific body or the Government.
  • Revenue for the last 6 months, mentioning each month clearly.

Sixth Slide: The sixth slide should mention about the milestones achieved till date, in a serial wise chronological order. These could be:

  • Company registered
  • Proof of Concept (POC) done
  • Minimum Viable Product (MVP) ready
  • The first customer acquired
  • Office opened
  • Revenue started
  • Marketing started
  • Everything else that is an important achievement

Seventh Slide:

SWOT Analysis. It is the study of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

Eighth Slide:

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Following important KPIs are there:

  • CAC: Customer Acquisition Cost – The cost of bringing in customers to the business.
  • LTV: Lifetime Value of a Customer – The total revenue expected from a customer in a lifetime.
  • CAC:LTV Ratio: This is an important ratio that depicts that how much revenue will come up from the money invested by the investor.
  • NPM: This depicts the net profit margin, it is in percentage.
  • GMV: Gross merchandise volume, total sale including the amount to be paid outside of the startup to the suppliers.
  • Net Profit/Loss: Depicts whether profit or loss is there.

Ninth Slide:

Competitor Analysis comes as the ninth slide. It should divide the total industry into four categories:

  • Low Price + High Benefits
  • High Price + Low Benefits
  • Low Price  + Low Benefits
  • High Price + High Benefits

The startup must keep itself in low price, high benefits, and the competitors in other three categories.

Tenth Slide:

It should be a product slide mentioning product screenshots or demo images.

Eleventh Slide:

It should mention the funding required and at what valuation or how much equity will be offered against the funding to the investors?

Twelfth Slide:

This slide covers the application of funds. Mention how will you deploy the funds that you raise in the upcoming round of funding. This should be mentioned as per the data from the revenue and cost projections.

Thirteenth Slide:

This is the slide of an exit strategy for the investors. You should mention how investors will be able to exit your startup successfully. This could either be through the next round of funding or the acquisition of your company by a bigger company.

Fourteenth Slide:

This one should mention the team of the startup, mostly the co-founders with their pic, profile description, education, experience, and LinkedIn URL.

Fifteenth Slide:

It should be the contact details with phone number, email id, address. It must be the last slide.

What are the Do and Don’t of a pitch deck?

Here are the Must Do’s:

  1. Original Design: Always create an original design, funding is important for your startup, so is the pitch deck.
  2. Maximum 15 Slides: Limit your pitch deck to 15 slides, if you make more slides, then investors may miss out on the important information because of extra slides.
  3. Clearly Label: Label all the slides clearly.
  4. Balance of Text and Images: Use a mix of text and images, more images are good, keep the text usage low.
  5. Tell a Story: Design your pitch deck to narrate your story, slide after slide.
  6. Visibility and Focus: Keep the focus upon the important information and make sure that the visibility is good. Use a light-dark foreground-background combination with easily recognizable font characters.
  7. All 15 Slides: Make sure that you include all 15 slides, clearly mentioning the problem, solution, traction, revenue, disruption, competition, growth prospects, and market size in USD or INR.

Don’t do these mistakes while you make your pitch deck:

  1. Don’t use too many bullet points.
  2. Don’t use small-size fonts, keep the size to 16 points or more.
  3. Don’t use poor or low-quality images and charts, make sure the pixel size is good and color, contrast, and brightness are good.
  4. Don’t make a poorly designed pitch deck. Avoid cheesy colors, odd-looking contours, and bad alignments.
  5. Don’t stuff too much text.
  6. Don’t forget to mention the sources of your data.
  7. Don’t keep the pitch deck size more than 3 MB.
  8. Don’t use any other format except PDF while sending and PPT while presenting.
  9. Don’t mention wrong information.
  10. Don’t use a complicated language.
  11. Don’t use a template-based pitch deck.

I can’t make a pitch deck myself, what are my options?

You have the following options:

Isn’t Rs. 50000 too expensive?

No, it’s not expensive. Our competitors charge USD 5000 ( INR 3,70,000) for the same. Please don’t compare us with the template based PPT Designers because there is a lot of work that goes in a Pitch Deck.

Following are the features:

  • Original Design: We create the design from scratch. We don’t use the readymade templates. The benefit of this is that your chances of getting funded increases. The investors consider you seriously when you make an original design. On the other hand, if you send a design similar to previously rejected by the investor, then most likely your pitch deck will be rejected, that’s how our subconscious mind works.
  • Extensive Research: Our team does an extensive research for each slide of your pitch deck. The pitch deck should depict the appropriate data that helps an investor take the right decision of investing in your startup, we make sure that your pitch deck contains the validated data.
  • KPIs: This is our specialization, the investors would like to see the key numbers that helps in comparing the investment opportunity with other opportunities, market leaders, competitors and growth indicators. We put in the right kind of KPIs in your pitch deck.
  • Content Reduction: Investors don’t have time, they don’t want to read too much, therefore we work on the content reduction to remove the unnecessary content from the pitch deck. Less is more.
  • Experience: We have more than 6 years of experience in making pitch decks. Our Founder & CEO, Shishir Gupta is ranked 9th in the World (by World’s leading Startup Consulting Platform, Clarity.fm) for Startup and Venture Capital Consulting. We know how to make the best pitch deck for the investors.

Who makes the Pitch Deck in StartupLanes?

The Pitch Deck is made by following 4 teams:

  1. Design: We have an experienced design team that comprises of graphics designers expert in Vector and Raster Graphics. We carefully pick a theme for the pitch deck before starting the design, all the colors, shapes, sizes, icons, pictures, and placements are inserted in the layout as per the theme.
  2. Content: We have a highly skilled an experienced team of content writers who have the command over the words. We carefully write each word to get out the maximum from it. We keep it short and simple.
  3. Finance: The Financial Analysts from our Investment Banking team makes sure that your pitch deck has the right financial numbers. Our team is experienced and skilled in Investment Banking. It is the same team who interacts with the Investors on daily basis, therefore they know that is expected by the Investors.
  4. Research: Our research team research the market size, competitors, industry growth, disruption and future expectations, to put in the right data into the pitch deck.

What are the inclusions of Pitch Deck Design?

We will design the entire pitch deck for you, if you have the content with you. Below are the inclusions of Pitch Deck Design:

  • Original Template: We will design an original template with you.
  • Structured Layout: We will organize the slides as per the best arrangement possible.
  • Validation: We will validate the entire pitch deck

Click this link if you wish to get Pitch Deck Designed by us: Yes, I want my pitch deck to be designed by StartupLanes.

What are the inclusions of Pitch Deck Development?

We will design and develop the entire pitch deck for you including everythig. Below are the inclusions of Pitch Deck Design:

  • Pitch Deck Design: It covers everything mentioned in pitch deck design.
  • Content: We will add the content.
  • KPIs: We will add the KPIs on the basis of raw financial data provided by you.

Click this link if you wish to get Pitch Deck Developed by us: Yes, I want my pitch deck to be developed by StartupLanes.

Now, you have gone through the entire article, you can apply for the funding by StartupLanes.