Updated on by Kate Gordon
Whether you consider it a necessary evil – or perhaps it’s a task you relish – putting together pitch decks for investors is unavoidable if you’re a SaaS solution looking for financial input.
Whatever your feelings about them, there are a number of things you can be doing to present your company in the best possible light and make sure you’re getting it across in the best way to your target audience.
We’ve had a look at a number of investor pitch desks and identified some of their best bits.
Check out these decks from Treeveo, a web-based cost-reduction platform; iCrowdU, an online platform and mobile app for crowdfunding; WeTipp, a tool for community engagement and membership management; and AirBnB’s first-ever pitch deck from 2015.
Sounds obvious, but a clean, clear design is going to be the best thing to get your message across, not least because a noisy, messy design is just really hard to look at and distracts from what you’re trying to get across.
As well as being easy to read, the deck design should also reflect your brand’s design and palette. In their own different ways, the four examples do this.
Find your tagline
The first slide (your ‘cover’ slide) should have a one-liner explaining what you do. Sounds simple but this can actually be one of the hardest things to nail.
It should be a 5-7 word sentence that perfectly explains your service, business model and target audience, written in simple words, without any jargon. Airbnb, unsurprisingly, nailed this.
Set out the problem
Every one of these pitch decks starts with the problem or the challenge. This sets the scene and shows why there is a need for their solution.
You’re not going to solve a problem that doesn’t exist: investors need to know what the issue is before you launch into why you’re there.
Keep it short
WeTipp and AirBnB’s decks are concise at 10-12 slides, iCrowdU’s is 19 (they bring in some press and user testimonials) and Treevo’s is 25 (they use multiple image-based slides to illustrate one point).
The shorter the better though. WeTipp and AirBnB keep it super simple and get to the point with clear, concise information. Less is more.
Break it down
The structure is, of course, key. There are thousands of examples all over the internet but keeping it simple and following some sort of order as follows will put you on the right track.
After establishing what it is you do and who you do it for on the cover slide, you can then present the problem, and follow it with the solution. Explain why the right time for your solution is now (market validation), and the market potential for it. Explain your product, and the business model and list the competition and your competitive advantages.
Lastly, show off your capabilities and expertise. Add press reviews and user testimonials to establish credibility here, if you have them. Finally, give the financial figures – also known as ‘the ask’.This is all summarised perfectly in this Sequoia pitch deck template, from the venture capital firm who have invested in Google, Dropbox, Airbnb, HubSpot, Instagram and many, many more, making them a pretty sound source from which to find out everything you need to know in terms of structure and creating the best investor pitch deck you possibly can.