Crafting a compelling pitch deck

The pitch deck helps in communicating the company’s story to external stakeholders. This could be to raise capital or bring in customers and partners. This blog will focus on crafting a pitch deck for early-stage founders to sell their vision to investors.

Slide 1

What do you do?

A 1-line blurb, which should communicate who you are. The common misconception is that it is best to go for an “X for Y” positioning ~ for eg. a “Thrasio for Apps”, which might not always be the best option.

Sometimes, it is best to provide a line on the model and TG that you are targeting. A sample could be “SaaS enabled B2B Marketplace (business model) for Pharmacies (TG)”.
Eg. Zetwerk is India’s largest on-demand manufacturing network, serving customers in every major industry.

Slide 2

The team slide

Who is in the founding team, along with backgrounds (organizations you have worked in, along with your alma mater) and whom you have hired outside of the core founding team form the basis of investors’ judgement. At the early–stage, investors are primarily backing the founding team, so this slide must be given importance in your presentation’s hierarchy

Slides 3-4

Problem and Status Quo

It is important to succinctly explain the problem you are going after, which can be best explained through a user journey and point of discomfort at present for all stakeholders. Feel free to use diagrams/charts to explain the journey, but make sure to do it across all stakeholders.

‘Status quo’ defines how things are being done presently. The problem gets fleshed out better when all the other alternatives to solve it are highlighted, post which it becomes a matter of making an argument as to why your solution is the best.

Eg. If you are evaluating an IoT-based vending machine to be placed in corporate offices ~ you need to think about it holistically.

The fundamental problem is to get a meal at lunch ~ it may be tempting to lay out the status quo as the office canteen. However, this paints an incomplete picture, as you have alternatives like food delivery apps, restaurants in your vicinity, a dabbawalla, or perhaps your nearby multi-purpose store, which typically has ready-to-eat meals.

It is pertinent to understand why a vending machine (IoT-enabled or not) will be the best solution to offer lunch to office-goers.

Slides 5-6

Market Size and Trends

Large markets can be seen in two ways ~ either you sit on existing spend pools which are getting organized/digitized ~ for example, gold lending is a $140 Bn market, however, $90 Bn is unorganized, making this a large opportunity. Sometimes, markets are nascent but fast-growing – for example, in blockchain gaming between 2020 and 2021, the number of active wallets interacting with gaming smart contracts exploded. If it’s not large now, why do you think this will become large in the future?

Investors want to understand this market, broken down into volumes and pricing. These are revenue pools/spend pools, of which you wish to capture a segment at scale.

Market trends answer the ‘why now’ question, which refers to tailwinds or recent inflection points which incentivize adoption. At the early stage, investors prefer to see bottom-up calculation over referring to industry reports to size the market.

Slide 7


While in ‘Status Quo’, broad solutions are addressed, the next step is to go one level deeper into the competition, which should include both direct and indirect competitors, covering their scale, your differentiation and positioning.

While most founders end up putting out a checkbox chart where they benchmark the features and functionalities with other competitors, which is important, it alone doesn’t answer the core question. Investors look for something that will be difficult to replicate for other founders, and if so, why.

Slide 8

Traction, cohorts/engagement, and usage metrics

Investors want to see how you have grown over the last few months, how sticky your customer is, how often they use your product and for what. Showing steady month-on-month growth in toplines is a helpful metric to share. Alongside this, having stable or growing margins and good usage metrics make for a strong case for fundraising. You should go for pre-series A/series A fundraises when you have strong metrics.

However, at the pre-seed/seed stage, traction becomes a good to have, not necessarily a must-have. If you don’t have traction, investors will index more on the team and look for deep insights – what you have gleaned speaking to customers, how deeply you think about the market, competition, etc.

Slides 9-10

Roadmap and Funding

Investors want to know your roadmap – which customers you will target, through which channels/GTM strategies, how this will evolve at scale, and how much capital will it take to get there.

They look for clear thoughts on what are the kind of toplines and margins you look to hit over the next 24 months, and what resources will you need to get there.

In summary, this is a bare-bones structure to highlight the key questions that investors are trying to get answered when they hear your pitch. The deeper your insights outside of the general framework, the better your discussion will be!

If you are building something interesting and need further help in crafting a pitch deck, reach out to

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