Winning Pitch Deck Examples for Startups

by | Jun 19, 2021 | Pitch Decks

What is a pitch deck?

When you are starting a business, there are many ways to raise funds. One way is to find an investor who will commit their cash towards the company you are starting. That’s where a pitch deck comes in.

A pitch deck is a presentation, usually created in PowerPoint, that you can use to spark investor interest. It is a visually compelling display containing details about your business and explaining to the investor why they must invest in it. In most instances, it will take several meetings to get an investor to sign a deal. If you come up with a solid pitch deck, chances are high you will be able to open the door to another meeting.

The length of a investor presentation varies, depending on how you structure your story. Generally, they are about 12 to 14 slides long. You’ll rarely find pitch decks that are longer than 20 slides.

pitch deck investor meeting

Win over investors with a professionally designed pitch deck.

Pitch deck meaning

A pitch deck is a presentation used to gather funding from investors. There are several types, and each one is based on the investor to which it is being presented. Businesses can create their own presentation or hire someone else to do it for them.

When creating an investor pitch deck, the designer must include:

  • High-level summary slides
  • The problem being solved by the business
  • The products
  • Market/strategy
  • The team
  • Financials/projections

Since the whole idea behind the investment presentation is to secure funding, sometimes it’s also necessary to include the amount of money you are looking for, known as the “Ask” slide.

Pitch deck structure

Everyone has their opinion when it comes to how an investor pitch deck should be structured. Fortunately, there is no structure that’s set in stone. Whatever structure you pick must enable you to convince investors to give you money.

Most people agree that an investor presentation has to be short and sweet. It must also contain enough details so everyone can understand your business idea. Generally, a pitch deck should have a title page, problem section, story development, the business model, competition analysis, and summary. The summary must distill everything about your business into a few words. Sequoia Capital‘s pitch deck template offers a good overview.

Startup pitch deck

A startup pitch deck is a great way to present a company to prospective venture capital investors. It features a compelling story packaged in 12-14 PowerPoint presentation slides. Among other details, the presentation must showcase the intended business’ products, technology, and team to potential investors.

At the end of a startup pitch deck, investors must have an overview of your business. Most importantly, they should also fully understand your monetization strategy.

Investor decks are short but quite challenging to come up with. If you’ve never created one before, you should consider taking cues from top startups who’ve managed to secure investments from VCs.

Seed funding pitch deck

When creating a seed funding investor presentation, the goal is to clearly explain what you need in as few words as possible. You must also outline the concrete benefits you are offering. As long as you aim for clarity and concision, you have a better chance of hooking your investors.

The challenge with most seed funding pitches is that there aren’t many meaningful details to explore. As a result, most founders end up muddling their stories with non-existent information, which may put off investors.

The investor wants to know your market, how big it is, and how much money you expect to make. As long as they are convinced they’ll make a lot of money, they will likely join you.

Pitch deck help from a professional

Securing funding from investors is not easy. If your presentation is not up to the task, your idea might never take off. Even if it’s a brilliant idea, investors will not take the bait if you don’t present it compellingly.

Fortunately, there are storytellers, researchers, designers, and financial experts who can help you create the best pitch deck for your business. That way, when you meet up with investors, you’ll be able to communicate your idea confidently. Before you seek help from a particular company, be sure to look up their track record, so you work with a team with a history of success.

Presentation writers can come up with the actual content of the investor deck for you. This includes the problem your client has and how you plan to solve it. They will also sit with you and understand your business model and competitive advantage, which should be included in the presentation. A pitch deck writer may or not be a designer.

Outsourcing your investor presentation

If you are starting a business and want to raise funds, you can hire an agency to design a pitch deck for you. However, before you outsource, you need to think about what you want your message to be. After brainstorming on the message you need to convey, you can approach different consultants and compare prices and reviews.

  • The “pain point” you’re solving
  • Your market opportunity
  • Current customers
  • Amount of money you need,
  • Why investors should invest in your startup.

Once you give them all these details, they should develop a convincing story for your presentation.

Corporate presentation design

In the business world, corporate presentation design is to a meeting as cake is to a birthday party. It’s essential. These presentations are usually made using PowerPoint, a software that has defined business communication. 

It is important when designing corporate presentations to focus on clarity. Therefore, it makes sense to choose a minimalistic design approach. You must eliminate anything that does not help to get the message across. This allows your audience to focus on the essentials and not get lost mid-presentation.

Presentation design agency

A presentation design agency works to ensure that innovative ideas and great products get the attention they deserve. They help big companies and small startups to ensure that their stories are told in a better way. 

Sometimes, when you create your own presentations, you will find it difficult to evoke emotions and amaze people. This is further complicated by the fact that most investors have probably seen hundreds of pitch decks. As such, it will take something truly unique to capture their attention.

Working with a presentation design agency can set you apart and help you surprise your potential investors with good visuals and a great story.

Pitch deck design cost

Pitch deck design costs range from $2,000 to $15,000, depending on who you are working with. Experts who have been in the field for longer usually charge more. You’ll also find that those who demand more typically have a track record of successful clients they have worked with before.

You shouldn’t short-change yourself by trying to find the cheapest pitch deck designer available. Instead, your aim should be to work with a presentation expert who creates highly effective marketing materials. Even if they might charge higher rates, at least you’re more likely to make a positive impression on your investors.

Best pitch decks

Apart from templates, you’ll also want to look at examples of actual pitch decks used to get funding from investors. You can find VC investor decks that were used to secure cash for Uber, Facebook, and more.

By going through these decks, you’ll get an idea of what might be essential to include and what to leave out. There is no better way of learning something than from someone who has done it successfully before. The best pitch decks highlight innovative ideas in a simple but highly effective manner.

Successful early pitch decks from major companies

Facebook

Everyone has heard the story of how Facebook was created initially for Universities. When the founders of Facebook initially attempted to pitch their idea to investors, they had no proper business plan, so they used the facts and numbers they already had. These included their engagement and growth metrics.

With these, they managed to create a pitch deck that allowed them to get funding amounting to $500,000 from Peter Thiel. Unlike most investor presentations, Facebook’s pitch deck was more of a media kit of sorts. It outlined the business’s value proposition, values, metrics, and how it intended to sell ads to potential clients later.

The key takeaway from Facebook’s deck is their clever use of solid numbers to display their growth trajectory to investors.

Canva

Canva’s pitch deck was used to raise about $6.6M during the company’s seed round. In total, they managed to get about $83M with an impressive last round of $40 million.

Their venture capital investor presentation also made interesting use of simple design elements and solid numbers. Their selling point was how they planned to ensure that internet users who don’t own Adobe products can also access design tools on their platform. They indicated in their pitch deck how 99.7% of internet users either didn’t own or weren’t able to use Adobe products. This gave investors an impressive number of people to work with, and all of them could be potential users of Canva.

Uber

Uber’s VC investor pitch was shared with the public on the company’s ninth anniversary. There are many things that you can learn from the 25-slide deck. One of the lessons would be to keep your pitch deck short and straight to the point.

From their slide deck, any investor would have seen that Uber had a profound understanding of their idea and had done enough research. All that is apparent from the way they outlined their overall market and its composition.

Uber also managed to communicate their value proposition effectively. The customer’s pain points were clearly outlined, and the solution was provided. Above all, an investor needs to be assured that they won’t end up losing their money by investing in you, which Uber managed to do quite well.

Lyft

Just like Uber, Lyft’s pitch deck also offers new startups an opportunity to learn about how to effectively convince investors to risk their money. The people involved managed to explain why their product exists and who will be making use of it. Lyft’s VC presentation also makes use of simple lists to make information easy to follow.

The first list was used to provide reasons why Lyft is a good investment. By doing so, investors could easily understand why providing their financial support would be a good idea. It’s important when using lists in your own pitch decks to ensure that they are not too long. Ideally, you must have lists of about three to five points.

Airbnb

Airbnb’s pitch deck is another example of a successful and brief presentation. The presentation only features 12 slides. It consists of the introductory slide, which introduces Airbnb and what they do. It also has a “problem” slide that highlights the reasons for establishing Airbnb’s business.

The third page highlights the solution that Airbnb created and how they intended to create a platform where users can rent out their space to travelers. You’ll also find a slide with Airbnb’s market validation and market size. The pitch deck is then finalized by the company’s business model, market adoption, and competition analysis. Given all this, it’s no wonder Airbnb managed to raise $600k from investors in 2009.

Everyone knows Airbnb for the success that it is today. However, what many people don’t know is that the company struggled when it was starting. Whenever Airbnb would present their pitch deck, they would be snubbed by investors who thought their idea was not practical.

Today, Airbnb is raising another round of financing that will help the company to get an additional $20 billion. When Airbnb started, the founders presented their business model to an MBA student. At that point, the company’s idea was to become an air mattress rental company. This presentation was plain and didn’t feature a lot of impressive design.

After being repeatedly turned down, the founders of Airbnb decide to go at it on their own. They hatched a plan for gathering enough cash to seed Airbnb. The plan involved buying some boxes of Cheerios, designing new boxes which were election themed, and reselling the cereal. From this idea, they managed to gather enough cash. The founders dumped the initial mattress renting business and ended up switching to the business model that we know today.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is another company that managed to raise venture capital with an effective presentation. Their Series B pitch deck from August 2003 identified the company as a professional people search business. In their pitch, LinkedIn highlighted revenue as the topmost priority. This was at a time when they hadn’t monetized their platform in any way.

To convince investors, LinkedIn identified clear streams of revenue in their 37-page investor deck. With this presentation, they managed to gather $103M before going public in 2011. LinkedIn’s pitch to Greylock provides many insights into how entrepreneurs must approach the VC investor pitch process.

WeWork

WeWork is a company that offers both physical spaces and social communities crafted to change a business’ characteristics. Their initial aim was to be able to balance productivity, wellness, and efficiency in companies. The company was started in 2010, and their pitch deck enabled them to land VC funding worth a billion dollars.

Their investor presentation was concise and properly designed. It made use of several design elements and carefully chosen statements that sparked the interest of many investors. WeWork also had a solid business, and it was bound to flourish with the proper support. The funding they got from their presentation allowed them to develop into one of the largest co-working space providers globally.  Their initial pitch deck was aggressive, thorough and water-tight. It covers everything that investors needed to know, which allowed the company to walk away with tons of funding.

Bind

An example of a good venture capital pitch is the one made by a company known as Bind. Bind offers personalized and flexible health plans. It has a subscription business model, and its Series A pitch deck managed to raise $60 million for them.

Y Combinator

Y Combinator’s model of an investor presentation might not be the prettiest, but you can learn a lot from it. It is more of a blank canvas that you can use to craft your own story and bring your idea to life. The key element that you can learn from Y Combinator’s investor deck is a proper pitch outline.

Their pitch deck focuses on the slides and ensuring that they tell the right story instead of impressive design elements. Y Combinator is of the idea that content comes first and design later. There are versions of Y Combinator’s pitch deck available online, and you can download them as a PDF document. You can also get an editable template.

Best pitch deck of all time

The best pitch deck of all time is from Airbnb. This community links people looking for accommodation with house owners who are renting out their space. Before their rise to fame, Airbnb started out with only three members. In their seed round, they drafted a pitch deck that enabled them to raise $650,000 successfully.

There are several key takeaways from Airbnb’s investor presentation. The first is their use of clear messaging and design. They made use of diagrams and clear visuals to communicate their message effectively.

Airbnb’s pitch deck also displayed believable market sizing. Many companies make the mistake of including unbelievable numbers in an attempt to impress investors. 

Airbnb was also able to compare to adjacent markets like Craigslist.com and Couchsurfing.com properly. This allowed them to display to investors their market potential and possible outsized returns.

Best pitch decks 2021

To gain insights into the world of venture capital, it is important to analyze some of the best presentations used by different startups to gather funding. The first pitch deck is from a company known as Alan. This is a tech platform that aims to make health insurance easily accessible and cheaper. Alan’s investor deck is now in Series C, and they have so far raised $54 million.

Another impressive pitch deck is from the company Cedar. Cedar created a payment and engagement solution that is utilized by hospitals. The solution is a Software as a Service, and so far, Cedar has managed to raise over $102M in venture capital funding. It is also worth noting that most of the investment obtained by Cedar is from angel investors.

Best pitch decks 2020

If you don’t know where to start, it might be a good idea to take a look at the best pitch decks of 2020. By taking a look at the essential elements, you will be able to craft your own impressive VC investor pitch.

One of the best of 2020 was by Concord Business Plans. To date, Concord has managed to raise over $2.5 Billion on behalf of their clients. The slides in Concord Business Plans’ pitch deck feature branded color schemes, several design elements, and plenty of white space. This makes the presentation easy to understand and follow.

Another impressive pitch deck from 2020 was by SEOmoz. Their investor presentation makes use of several charts and graphs to display data. For easier distinction, their charts make use of different colors for every statistic. Apart from color, SEOmoz also uses illustrations effectively.

Best pitch decks 2019

In 2019, there were several impressive examples. The first one to take note of is for a company known as Castle. Castle provides innovative real estate solutions for individuals who own properties. Their offering allows landlords to manage their properties without the usual challenges.

While Castle may not be that popular, its pitch deck is one of the strongest, and you can learn a lot from it. It utilizes a modern and captivating design while making use of simple icons to explain each point. Castle managed to gather about $3.3 million in venture capital funding from this presentation.

Another good pitch deck from 2019 is from Canvas. Canvas is a paper digitization solution that transforms business processes into mobile applications. Their slide deck uses minimalistic design elements and indicates how most processes have become digitized over the years. What’s remarkable about Canvas’ pitch deck is their use of comparison to competitors, where they indicate how they focus on “why” at a time when most of their competitors focus on “how.” Canvas managed to raise about $24.1 million in investor financing with their presentation efforts.

N26 investor deck

N26’s pitch deck is a great example of an investment banking presentation. N26 is a German Neobank that has its headquarters in Germany. The bank managed to raise two million dollars with their investment presentation in 2014. The pitch deck has 22 slides in total, and it starts by identifying N26 as the future of banking.

The rest of the slides clearly explain how N26 operates as the first global mobile bank. You will also find information in the pitch deck that highlights how people are no longer willing to visit actual brick and mortar banks and would rather do everything on their cell phones. By listing their advantages, N26 was able to convince investors why investing in their idea would generate profits for them.

Fund management PowerPoint presentation

Many funds, hedge funds, wealth managers, and money managers use PowerPoint presentations to highlight the value of their investment programs. These presentations are made to investors and prospective clients. By using investor presentations, wealth managers can effectively provide an overview of their program strategy. They also use the presentations to display their expertise and principles.

When creating presentations, a lot of effort must be dedicated to content creation. The structure of the presentation is usually as follows:

  • Firm identification
  • Investment strategy
  • Performance metrics
  • Marketing strategy
  • Management of the firm
  • Equity knowledge

Fund management presentations are usually delivered by managing directors.

Business and sales presentations

Sales presentations are a selling technique used to persuade someone to purchase a product or service. Most of these presentations will be in PowerPoint format, and they are designed by specialist presentation designers.

There are several types of business and sales presentations, and each type must be unique. It is also important to tailor each presentation to suit the particular audience and purpose of the presentation.

What is presentation design?

Presentation design combines ideas, words, and images into a collection of slides that tell a story and engage an audience. It focuses on the general look and feel of presentation slides, including the colors, types of fonts, and how different design elements are included in a presentation. The purpose of these visuals in presentation design is to emphasize the points from your speech.

When done correctly, presentation design is the secret to grabbing an audience’s attention. It is a significant part of keeping your viewers engaged and focused on what you are trying to communicate. As such, it can be challenging to have a successful presentation if the slides are not visually appealing.

How to become a presentation designer

There are simple steps you can take if you are planning to become a presentation designer. The first step involves gaining an extensive understanding of graphic design basics. There is no way you can become a presentation designer without understanding graphic design. This is because your entire job as a presentation designer is to visualize content and develop a visual story that represents a brand properly.

The second step in being a presentation designer is learning how to incorporate design principles into PowerPoint. Most of the presentation designs that your clients will request will be in PowerPoint format. Therefore, it is important to learn to work around PowerPoint’s limitations and find ways to develop quality designs, regardless.

After you have mastered those two, you will want to create a portfolio of your work. This gives prospective clients a feel of your work, so you must create something that will instill confidence in your ability to deliver high-quality work. Once you have your portfolio, you can start marketing yourself and creating a referral network to get more work.

Presentation designer job description

A presentation designer comes up with visually appealing presentations for their clients to use. Usually, a presentation designer will receive a brief from the client with all the necessary details about the presentation they want. Sometimes they might also get a pre-made presentation from the client that they’ll need to transform into something more professional.

Part of a presentation designer’s job involves assessing the length and style of the presentation. They are also tasked with picking fonts, graphics, and many other visual elements to be used in the presentation. With these tools at their disposal, the presentation designer will work with the client to ensure their message is delivered effectively.

Presentation designer vs. graphic designer

In a nutshell, graphic designers create visuals that convey their message alone. On the other hand, presentation designers create visuals that support the speaker and help them convey their message.

In practice, that means when a presentation designer is working, they take into consideration that their slides will go along with a presenter. As such, these slides must not be entirely self-explanatory. Otherwise, there will be no need for a presenter. Instead, their job is to help the audience visualize and comprehend what the presenter is trying to say. In other words, they complement the presenter’s speech with visuals.

Hire someone to create PowerPoint presentations

A properly designed PowerPoint presentation is usually what separates the most compelling talks and those that fall flat to your audience. Therefore, hiring an expert to create a PowerPoint presentation on your behalf is the first step to ensuring that you communicate your message effectively and engage your audience.

There are many PowerPoint professionals ready to assist you online. However, you must hire one with a lot of positive reviews so they can turn your basic slides into persuasive PowerPoint visuals and help you capture the attention of your stakeholders. This is especially true if you want to make a pitch deck.

Freelance presentation designer rates

Experienced freelance presentation designers charge hourly rates that range between $50 and $75. This amount varies with location. For instance, when outsourcing freelance design services to overseas personnel, it is sometimes less.

Junior freelance presentation designers charge anywhere from $30 to $50 per hour. You can also work with freelance presentation designers who support a retained-services/contractual working model. This will be cheaper for the client as they will not have to pay per hour.

However, rates for freelance designers tend to be higher when you go through a creative staffing agency. Some of these agencies may charge between $70/hour and $100/hour.

Presentation designer salary

Currently, presentation designers earn about $72,816 per year. If you calculate that and convert it to hourly rates, you will get about $35.01 an hour. This also equals a weekly and monthly salary of $1,400 and $6,068, respectively. 

These salaries will differ with the experience level of the designer and the location as well. The most paid designers in the United States get paid around $114,500 annually. On the other hand, entry-level jobs can pay as low as $42,000 per year. This suggests that there are a lot of opportunities for advancement in the presentation designer field. Generally, it is safe to suggest that the more skills you acquire, the better the pay becomes. The same is also true for years of experience.

Presentation designer salary UK

Presentation designer salaries in the UK depend on several factors. These include the level of skill, experience, and location of the job. On average, presentation designers in the UK receive salaries of £34,750 yearly. This translates to an hourly rate of £17.82.  

Beginner-level presentation designers get salaries of about £29,000 per year. On the other hand, more experienced designers earn around £51,792 per year. In some instances, highly skilled and experienced presentation designers will earn more than £60,000 a year. This is the same salary for creative designers and other high-level design personnel.

Presentation designer resume

A presentation designer’s resume is supposed to showcase the skills and work experience of a presentation designer. It must include the designer’s contact information, relevant working experience, education, and skills.

The work experience section is probably the most critical part of a presentation designer’s resume. Companies and people looking to hire a presentation designer will want to know what you have accomplished in the past. Therefore, it is crucial that this section be tailored to the particular position the candidate will be applying for.

Skills are also quite crucial to a presentation designer’s resume. These include hard and soft skills, which can vary depending on the particular position being applied for. A presentation designer might be skilled but if they are not able to deliver work in time then it will be a problem. Therefore, it is important to remember that soft skills are just as important as hard skills.

Presentation designer portfolio

A presentation designer’s portfolio showcases the previous work of a presentation designing company or individual. Having a presentation designer portfolio is an effective way of getting your work to speak for itself. Instead of dealing with clients that request samples each time you get new work, you can have a collection of your work that is ready to browse.  

Nowadays, most portfolios are either websites or sections of websites. The portfolio will have a collection of work and links to the clients who ordered the work on display. It is important to ensure that the presentation designer portfolio contains different kinds of design services that you offer.

Presentation design agency

Presentation design agencies are companies that specialize in designing clear, compelling, and persuasive corporate presentations. The companies comprise teams of visual storytellers and graphic designers who create effective PowerPoint presentations. 

Opportunities to deliver presentations in the corporate world can be quite challenging to come by. As a result, it is crucial to ensure that each opportunity is taken seriously. Some companies will waste valuable opportunities by using ugly and ineffective slides and poorly prepared presentations. By hiring a presentation designer, you can ensure that all your prospects are converted into positive outcomes. Presentation design agencies can help your business develop effective pitch decks, sales presentations, and internal company presentations.

Corporate presentation content

Making corporate presentations is a standard part of every business. Whether you are making an investor pitch or presenting to colleagues, you must know what content to include in the presentation. The goal is to have a presentation that is as brief and informative as possible. Unfortunately, most people make the mistake of creating presentations that are too long and boring.

When creating a corporate presentation, be sure to include the presentation title, the agenda, and where necessary, you might also want to have a table of contents. Every other detail from there depends on what type of corporate presentation it is. With some presentations, you can add elements like the company philosophy, its primary products, and details about the key persons. At the end of the presentation, you can include a walk-out closing slide and a summary, call to action, and contact information.

Free corporate presentation templates

There are a lot of free corporate presentation templates on the internet. These templates are available in PowerPoint format, and most of them can be edited easily. You can find templates to use when creating marketing campaigns, marketing budgets, brand identity presentations, and many more.  

Free corporate presentation templates can be used to come up with captivating business presentations quickly. By using these templates, you will be able to save a lot of time since all you have to do is customize instead of starting everything from scratch. In addition, most of the available designs have a professional look, and they convey confidence in your work.

Best PowerPoint presentation services

When coming up with your pitch deck, it is advisable to hire the best PowerPoint presentation services. You must first understand that your PowerPoint presentation should be more than just a visually appealing graphic design. It is an opportunity to communicate your business effectively.  

When looking for the best PowerPoint presentation services, be sure to check the reviews section for the companies you find online. Today, many people who hire services online tend to leave reviews and testimonials each time they receive what they ordered. If a company has too many bad reviews, it is best to look elsewhere.

Ready to create your pitch deck?

A pitch deck is a great tool to use as your roadmap to successful presentations to investors. It is important to outline who you are and what you do. In the few minutes you will present, your task will be to get investors interested in working with you. If you are stuck and need pitch deck help, don’t hesitate to contact Leslie and the team at Launch Module. We have years of experience helping different clients with their pitch deck, and we will ensure that you have the best pitch deck for your presentation.

About the author

Leslie Morales is the CEO of Launch Module Media and a Certified High Performance Coach. Learn more about Leslie and her team on our About Us page.

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