There are many different stages of your SaaS firm’s development at which you may need to raise funding. If you need to reach out to a VC to get that critical finance, your first step is to create a pitch deck.
A pitch deck is a short presentation aimed at convincing investors to part with their cash. The presentations are often ten slides in length or shorter. In spite of their brevity, they’re crucial to persuading an investor of your firm’s potential and viability.
It’s essential, therefore, that you get your pitch deck right. To give you an idea of how to do that, let’s look at some examples of real pitch decks. The following are 27 pitch deck examples that worked wonders for the businesses that created them.
It’s hard to imagine a world in which Facebook isn’t a household name. That was the case back in 2004, though, when Mark Zuckerberg was looking for funding to get his social network off the ground.
The original Facebook pitch deck is an excellent example of using quantitative data to convince investors. Many of its slides focussed on traffic, users, and user engagement. Those kinds of measures displayed the site’s potential.
Today, we’re all pretty used to the idea behind Airbnb. Before the business got up and running, though, the concept was almost unthinkable.
The pitch deck Airbnb used to get finance is a widely shared example. The magic of it was how effectively it established the key principles behind Airbnb.
Buffer is a platform to help users schedule social media content. It works with the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. After the Buffer pitch deck had helped net the firm $500,000, the startup’s owner made it available as an example for other business owners.
As with the Facebook pitch deck example, Buffer’s used compelling numbers to make their argument. The slide titled ‘Traction’ succinctly showed how the platform was succeeding in getting a foothold in the market.
Square is a modern payment provider. The business lets merchants accept mobile credit card payment for goods via a dongle. Amongst our pitch deck examples, Square is notable for how the firm highlighted its management team.
The startup rightly identified its management team as one of its main strengths. They’d held positions at firms like PayPal, Twitter, and Google, after all. The pitch deck put that impressive prior experience front and centre.
The next of our pitch deck examples was used by LinkedIn when they were looking for Series B funding. It succeeded in netting the social network significant funding, two years after its initial launch.
The main crux of this pitch deck was to set up LinkedIn as ‘Professional People Search 2.0’. To drill that home to possible investors, LinkedIn used a range of analogies. They showed how many successful firms represented the second generation of previous tech or solutions. As such, LinkedIn aligned themselves with those earlier success stories.
Mint is another company from the financial services industry. The tool offers a new way for users to track spending and so save money. Their pre-launch pitch deck was never actually used to get investment. It was, however, a notable entry in a major competition.
The most interesting aspect of this example is how it speaks directly to investors. The pitch deck addresses many of an investor’s prime concerns. Most notably, it suggests to them a range of possible exit strategies.
If you’re looking for successful pitch deck examples, a presentation that raised $1m seed funding fits the bill. That’s just what the MapMe pitch deck achieved. It helped get the accessible map creation tool really get rolling.
What made this pitch deck so successful was how well it leveraged social proof. The presentation displayed clearly how the news of the tool had gone viral. That succeeded in demonstrating the existing interest in the business. It also showed how it could grow, given the right investment.
LaunchRock is a tool to aid the promotion of websites. It helps startups build landing pages and market themselves via social media. Their pitch deck is one of the most aesthetically pleasing on our list of examples.
As well as being easy on the eye, LaunchRock’s presentation also put their product front and centre. In just a few slides, the pitch deck managed to explain how the product worked and why that made it a good investment.
An advanced analytics platform, Mixpanel works on both mobile and desktop. The tool lets users measure pageviews and assess users’ on-page actions. They used this Series B pitch deck to raise more than $65 million.
The presentation used a simple concept but delivered it exceptionally well. It first presented a problem, being that site owners often guess their analytics. The pitch deck then explained how Mixpanel helped solve that problem, as well as how it did it better than its rivals.
If you’re in any way familiar with SEO or content marketing, you’ll know the name Moz. Starting as only an SEO firm, Moz later pivoted toward the broader world of marketing. To support that move, they used a Series B pitch deck.
One of the longer of our pitch deck examples, the presentation is packed with info. It lays out a vast amount of detail about the first five years of Moz’s operation. If yours is a more established SaaS firm, this example may be the best template to follow.
One of the most recognisable names on the net, BuzzFeed has enjoyed massive fundraising success. Through various pitch decks, like this one, the firm’s managed to secure over $240 million.
As you may expect from BuzzFeed, the key to their success comes from social proof. Their presentation exemplifies the website’s millions of monthly users. It also showcases a quote from CNN in support of the company.
Manpacks is one of the lesser-known startups on our list of pitch deck examples. Via a unique and effective presentation, though, the firm managed to raise a cool $500 million. That’s a lot of cash to help them sell their products pitched at men!
What stands out about this pitch deck is its tone. Manpacks applied the humorous, informal tone it uses to market its products. That was a risky move, but it paid off as it showed investors that the firm had a clear identity.
Foursquare’s first pitch deck from 2009 is another example of the utility of social proof. The mobile platform helps users to find local attractions and places to go. In their presentation, Foursquare used screenshots of Tweets from users of the platform.
The effectiveness of those screenshots was two-fold. Firstly, it demonstrated that people were already engaged with the platform. Second, it proved that the platform did work in practice as it was designed to do.
In just 18 well-designed slides, Dwolla managed to snare $18.5 million of investment. The business provides a new kind of payment solution. That solution lets users send, receive, and request funds from one another.
As is the case for many startups, the idea behind Dwolla came from its founder’s personal experience. What this pitch deck did well was to tell the founder’s story and explain how it helped shape the company.
Gusto is a cloud-based solution to help SMEs to pay staff more efficiently. Back when the firm was still called ZenPayRoll, it used a simple pitch deck to raise $6 million of investment.
After the success of its presentation, Gusto shared the slides they used. Rather than showing the exact content it used, the firm put out an informational template. Check it out if you need ideas for how to structure and arrange your pitch deck.
In 2015, Bliss.ai used a 14-slide pitch deck to persuade investors of the viability of its service. Bliss offers both metrics and a community for pro coders. The presentation used by the company helped it to accrue $400,000 in investment from a group of 61 investors.
What made this pitch deck so compelling was its perfecting pitching. It was clear from the content that the decision-makers at Bliss were experts. They understood both their users and the investors to whom they were presenting.
AB testing is a vital process for any firm with an online presence. Adpushup helps businesses boost ad revenues by applying advanced AB testing. The company kept things simple with their pitch deck and reaped the rewards.
Eleven slides in length, the Adpushup presentation followed a format that it’s easy to copy. It featured an introduction, and then presented problems faced by advertisers. Then, the presentation showed how Adpushup solved those problems. Finally, it displayed current products, traction with users, and plans for the future.
The first of our pitch deck examples from Canada, Wealthsimple’s slides were superb at swaying investors. The online investment management firm brought in over $2 million in 2.5 weeks from 15 investors.
A significant part of why this pitch deck was successful was due to how it displayed the firm’s expertise. In only a few slides, Wealthsimple showed a firm grasp on its industry, its products, and its customers.
AppVirality is a toolkit for aiding mobile apps to grow and develop. The slides of the company’s pitch deck keep things simple when it comes to design. As far as content goes, they delivered precisely what was needed.
The pitch deck does a great job putting investors in the shoes of potential customers. It lays out the needs and desires of app developers. It then works through how AppVirality can satisfy those needs.
Our list of pitch deck examples has included lots from firms in the financial sector. That should come as no surprise, given the financial expertise of those businesses. SteadyBudget offers budget management software for PPC analysts.
Their seed funding pitch deck from 2015 is an excellent template to follow if your startup has got good early traction. SteadyBudget used the initial interest it had generated to convince investors of the long-term viability of its app.
An ecommerce company from Nigeria, Podozi sells beauty products for women. It’s well worth taking a look at the pitch deck used by the company to raise investment in 2016.
Podozi’s presentation is testament to the effectiveness of keeping things simple. Their whole pitch lasts only ten slides. Many of those slides include very little text and a reasonable degree of white space. Still, the firm manages to display its main strengths. Most notably, Podozi highlights the valuable commercial partnerships the firm’s already secured.
Fittr is an online platform to support users’ efforts to get fit. It designs custom workouts to best suit each individual and their circumstances. The firm’s pitch deck from 2012 offers some great clues for any other SaaS companies looking for smaller investments.
Unlike many of our pitch deck examples, Fittr’s slides tell investors how much funding they want. More importantly, the company also lays out what it plans to do with the finance. That helps to show prospective investors that their money won’t be wasted. It also displays clarity of thought and planning from the company.
Task manager app, Swipes, gives yet another example of how a simple pitch deck can bring success. The firm used its app’s design elements and colour scheme for the presentation but kept text to a minimum.
The copy that did get included exemplified all that was good about the platform. Key features and metrics displaying traction played a big part. Notably, too, Swipes was able to include positive quotes from both Lifehacker and Next Web.
If you own a SaaS startup that uses disruptive technology, you need to check out the Canvas pitch deck. Canvas is a SaaS firm that helps replaces traditional, paper-based processes. Instead, it offers easy-to-use mobile apps and forms.
In 2014, Canvas succeeded in raising $9 million via a simple but stunning presentation. The firm shared ten of the most important slides from that presentation. What many of those slides have in common is a scarcity of text. Canvas used loads of images and infographics to make info as digestible as possible.
The firm now known as Crew had the name Ooomf when it presented a pitch deck that netted over $2 million in finance. The mobile freelancer marketplace secured that cash by creating a presentation with a natural flow.
As you navigate Ooomf’s slides, you get the sense of being told a story. The presentation takes you step-by-step through a tale. That tale ends with the conclusion that you should invest in the company.
Founded in 2014, Cubeit is a mobile app for aggregating and sharing content. The company used a much-admired pitch deck in 2014 to secure the seed funding it needed to grow. Comprising only 13 slides, Cubeit’s presentation got them $3 million in finance. That came from Accel Partners and Helion Venture Partners.
One of the best things about this pitch deck is its first slide. That slide captures the attention and hits potential investors between the eyes. In no time at all, it sets out the raison d’être of Cubeit and explains the issue it solves.
Detroit-based real estate startup, Castle, is the last of our pitch deck examples. The Castle web app offers property owners a new way of listing and managing those properties. The firm’s pitch deck was equally innovative.
A great deal of effort and expertise clearly went into the design of the presentation. The real estate themed slides were easy on the eye without detracting from the company’s message. The pitch deck, as a result, was compelling and easy to digest.
You shouldn’t seek to copy any one of the pitch deck examples discussed above. Looking at all the different types of presentations that have brought funding success, though, is worthwhile. It can help you to pinpoint the different styles and alternatives that will work best for you.
Cherry-pick a slide style from here and a design element from there, and you can build your perfect pitch deck. With the presentation in place, you’re well on your way to getting the vital investment your firm needs and deserves.
Nick Brown is the founder & CEO of accelerate agency, a SaaS SEO agency. Nick has launched several successful online businesses, writes for Forbes, published a book and has grown accelerate from a UK agency to a company that now operates across US, APAC and EMEA and employs 160 people. He was also once charged at by a mountain gorilla