Are you currently fundraising for your startup and pitching/thinking about pitching to venture capital (VC) firms?
A few weeks ago, Platform Venture Studio’s Co-founders, @Jeremy Burton and @Tim Connors, held a live pitch deck review where they assessed four separate pitch decks and gave real-time feedback on what exactly makes a deck stand out.
Here are the 4 main takeaways that you can use to ensure that you’re putting your best foot forward.
1. First Impressions Matter: The initial vetting process is short (2-3 minutes max), so it's essential to start with your biggest strengths. Define the problem you're solving and your proposed solution in the first couple slides of your pitch deck.
When it comes to your team slide and where to place it in the deck, ask yourself: “How does the quality of my team compare to the importance of the problem we’re solving and our proposed solution?” Answering this question will let you determine how early you should present your team slide.
When presenting your team, here’s a few good guidelines:
- Headshots are helpful, but don’t make them too big.
- Their experience is useful as it can establish legitimacy, but the most important thing to highlight is their specific role within the company.
2. Keep it Simple: VCs need a clear picture of who your customer is, the problem you're solving, and the unit economics to get a paying user.
Keep your slides short, sweet, and self-explanatory; avoid including videos.
3. Be Specific: Clearly lay out the terms, including how much you're raising and what you're planning on doing with the money.
Describe your best acquisition channel to reach the most end-users with the strongest unit economics.
Instead of only showing the total addressable market, talk about your highest-revenue customer and how much it cost to acquire them, how much they pay, and how many other similar users exist.
4. Demonstrate Traction: VCs care about how your company will get from the current round to the next.
- What are the biggest challenges your company is facing?
- What exciting benchmarks need to happen to solve these challenges and get the next round of VCs to invest?
- What’s your company’s current Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)?
- While this figure varies by industry, pre-seed companies should aim for $40k MRR (monthly recurring revenue), and seed-stage companies looking to raise a Series A should aim for $250k MRR.
By focusing on these four key takeaways, your pitch deck will be more effective in communicating your startup's potential to VCs. Also, and we can’t stress this enough: NO VIDEOS!
Looking for a tool that’ll further enhance your pitch deck success rate?
We strongly recommend that Founders use DeckSend to distribute their pitch decks. DeckSend uses AI to give you feedback on your deck, provides real-time updates on where you are losing investors in your flow, and allows you to conduct Q&A efficiently with interested investors. What's more, it's free!