This is one of the most requested questions I’ve received since starting Playing with Unicorns. People want to know “How do I build the perfect pitch deck to raise funds?”
Kelly Anne Tully, Head of Platform and Investor at FJ Labs, joins to share her tips. Kelly has helped many of our portfolio companies raise funds. Today, Kelly and I discuss how to create the perfect pitch deck.
The saying “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” doesn’t apply to pitch decks. Visually pitch decks can differ. But content-wise all good pitch deck contain the same things. So it’s important to know what to include in a deck.
Essentially a good pitch deck tells the origin story, the journey, and vision of the startup. Most founders hate storytelling, yet the art of storytelling is an important skill. You don’t have to be Dostoevsky. But you should be able to tell a cohesive and captivating story.
Investors want “a founder who is a visionary who is fantastic at execution.”
When to raise?
Always raise when you don’t need the money. Investors can sniff desperate founders. As a founder, you never want to be in a position where your desperation leads to terrible deals.
You want to have leverage. To do that you need traction. Traction is what separates concepts from execution.
Once you have traction, find investors that invest in your category. Investors will not fund companies that are in direct competition with one of their portfolio companies. Hence don’t spray and pray. Be methodical. Create a pipeline that helps you track what stage you’re at with all the investors.
When raising always aim for 12+ months. I recommend raising for 18 months with a buffer.
A perfect pitch deck will convince investors that you can go from zero to one.
“Winners are not the first entrants, they are last entrants who got it right. Think of Google or Facebook”
No(s) are normal
One important thing to remember is that getting nos are normal. Every successful startup has received more nos than yes.
You must not take rejections personally. The sooner you realize this the easier it will be to move on.
Must have slides
The very first slide should say who you are and what you do. Then start with a team slide to introduce your awesome crew. This immediately familiarizes the investors with the product and the people behind it.
Intro: What do you do.
Team: Who you are and tell your story.
Problem: Contexualize the problem you’re solving.
Market opportunity: TAM should be greater than $5 bn.
Solution: Therefore, we are building X to fix Y.
Traction: Include churn, GVM, MRR, ARR.
How does it work: Have product images showing how it works
Competition: Who are they? And what’s your differentiator? Is this a blue or red market?
Business model: How do you plan to make money today v. tomorrow.
Unit economics: How much value does each unit generate for the company. LTC:CAC should always be LTV:CAC.
Growth & marketing: How do you plan to grow?
Ask: Don’t put valuation. Instead have how much you’ve raised and from who. And how are you planning onspending the money.
For your reference I am including the slides Kelly used during the episode.
If you prefer, you can listen to the episode in the embedded podcast player.
In addition to the above Youtube video and embedded podcast player, you can also listen to the podcast on: