• Pushkar Singh

How build an early-stage comprehensive investor deck?

Every week, dozens of founders contact us with their pitch decks. They either want us to invest in their seed rounds or help them raise Series A/B capital. Unfortunately, most of these pitch decks are terrible. Some critical information is often missing – sometimes a lot.


Some founders explain their product in detail and ignore the market while others describe the product roadmap and say nothing about traction.


We often have to send a follow-up email to startups asking about important information – something a good pitch deck should cover. We always reply because we don't have a strong pipeline, at least not yet, and we don't want to miss out on good potential leads.


Venture capital funds get hundreds of decks every day. They don't have time for bad decks. We often hear from founders that VCs don't even acknowledge their decks. They don't understand that bad decks don't even deserve an email.


I am always surprised when I receive a bad pitch deck. It shows founders have not done their research. There is so much free information on the internet about building great decks. Hundreds of awesome decks are available online. VCs like FJ Labs and Y Combinator, to name just two, write extensively about building good decks.


There is no excuse behind a bad deck. How can a startup expect money if the founders don't even want to put effort to build a deck?


Here is everything I think a decent deck should cover. Everything here is a crux of what I have read on the internet and in some excellent decks. Hence, I take no credit for the content.


Slide 1 Team: Who we are and what is our story?


Slides 2 Problem: What is the problem we are solving? Why is it important? Who will benefit from it?


Slide 3 Why we should fix it? How large is the opportunity (TAM)? Why should we fix it now?


Slide 4 Current solutions in the market: What are current products in the market? What are they missing?


Slide 5 The Solution: Therefore, we are building X to fix Y. How do you sew everything together?


Slide 6 Results: How do our sales numbers have improved in the past few months/quarters? How many new customers have we acquired in this period?


Slide 7 Product: How does our product work? You can merge this with the solution slide. Your product is easy to use.

Slide 8 Competition: Who are our competitors, and what’s our differentiator? What are the 3 areas where we are much better than everyone else?


Slide 9 How will we make money: What is our current revenue model?


Slide 10 Clients: Logos of existing clients and pipeline


Slide 11 Unit Economics: The results slide (No. 6) speaks about the increase in revenue and the number of customers. Here we need to show the improvement in KPIs. How has our CM1, CM2, CAC, LTV, Payback Period, and Monthly burn changed over the last few months? What are our KPI projections?


Slide 12 Roadmap: How are we going to scale? What will be the future revenue opportunities? Which new markets are we going to launch? How can we increase our contribution margin? How can we decrease our CAC?


Slide 13 and 14 Ask and fund purpose:

  • For example, We are looking to raise $400,000 in this round to build the product and acquire 10,000 customers and a $20,000 monthly revenue run-rate by March 2023.

  • What is the objective of this capital? Customer acquisition through digital marketing, direct sales hiring, product development, etc.

  • How much we have raised so far if anything (Fundraising history)? Pie chart explaining how we have used the money raised so far.

  • Where do we spend this round (Purpose of funds)? Another chart explaining the allocation to categories mentioned in the objective

  • Where will this capital take us in revenue?

  • How long will it last us (Runway)?

None of it is my original thought :). But I hope someone will find it useful.

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