18 Pitch Deck Examples for Any Startup
Take a page from successful startups like Airbnb and Buffer. These pitch deck examples & insights let you create a powerful pitch deck in no time.
What Should You Include in a Pitch Deck?
Often overlooked but one of the most important elements of fundraising, the pitch deck can change the trajectory of your company’s growth journey. Every startup that aspires to be the next Facebook, Slack, or Salesforce has to start from the beginning. The pitch deck is a key component when fundraising and growing your company that sets the path, the evolution your startup will take.
From Seed to Series C and beyond, the fundamentals of a pitch deck are critical to understand and execute. An investor pitch deck allows you to tell the story, paint the vision, highlight the wins, and articulate the possible. However, if done poorly, a pitch deck can tell the wrong story or simply not tell a compelling enough story to turn the funds necessary for accelerated growth.
Great companies like Front, LinkedIn, Mixpanel and more have publicly shared their pitch decks, making great pitch decks accessible to all founders. However, with all of the investor pitch decks out there it can be hard to decipher which decks are worth the review, and what parts of a pitch deck from various leading companies are most important to tune into. Our team has gathered a list of best in class examples to review. These sample decks are a great starting point when building out your own pitch decks that will hopefully take your startup from seed to Series C.
Before diving into our best-in-class investor pitch deck examples, it’s critical to understand what exactly a great pitch deck should include. The best pitch decks include company purpose, the problem, the solution, market size and opportunity, competition, product, business model, team, and financials, and key metrics. Every part of the pitch deck should be information you already know and have built out for your business.
Breaking it down into these subsets of information paints the picture and tells the story of your company to an investor who may only have 30 minutes with you to understand the possibility and potential of their investment. Articulating each component clearly is mission-critical. Share the potential, what’s truly possible if your startup were to reach unicorn, even double unicorn status? From there, ground the vision in facts and back it up with the credibility of the team and execution up until this investor pitch.
As a startup founder or leader, you’re living and breathing the Company’s Purpose each and every day. Articulating that purpose may be a bit easier said than done. A company’s purpose is so much bigger than what your product does, the problem you solve, or the technicalities of how your solution solves that problem. A company’s purpose is all about who you are as a company and the “why”, why you exist. A company’s purpose should drive a company’s leaderships decisions and actions, serving as a north star for the direction of the company.
If possible, sum up your company’s purpose into a single sentence. This sentence is the anchor point of your pitch deck and serves the jumping-off point for the story you will tell. If the company’s purpose cannot be clearly articulated or understood, there is a bigger problem at hand. Company purpose should be clear and concise before pitching to venture capitalists, much less putting down ideas in Powerpoint or Keynote. Start with the company’s purpose and expand from there.
The problem refers to the challenge or issue in a particular market, the market that your startup fits into and serves. The problem should be painted as clearly as possible, setting up the volume of that problem and prevalence of that problem. If your startup serves an industry that is niche or something your potential investor has maybe never invested in before, make sure to articulate the scope of that problem within the realm of that space, or even compare it to something more well known like the problems marketers face that ABM solves or remote work connectivity issues that both Zoom and Slack address.
After clearly articulating the problem that your company solves, now it’s time to talk through how your startup is the perfect solution for that problem. Treat this section like the big reveal in a sales demo, you’ve teased out the possibility and related to the pains, now walk through how specifically your startup is the solution. What does your product do from a high-level perspective, and then how does it actually work? This is a great time to walk through the product at a high level, talk about the features, methodology, and functionality your startup product or service has that address said the problem in a unique way. The goal of sharing your solution is to sell the fact that your startup’s solution for the problem you shared is the best solution that exists for that problem today.
Market Size and Opportunity
Now that you’ve articulated that your startup’s solution is the best to solve the problem that exists today and your company’s purpose is a clear and concise vision driving that solution’s success, it’s critical to paint the picture and show the scale of the problem that exists today. Outlining the market size and opportunity for your startup solution to penetrate shows investors just how much profit is possible.
Large markets are always a good thing, but if your total addressable market, or TAM, is on the smaller side, showcasing how untapped that TAM is in the space your startup exists or how large the spend opportunity is within that tight TAM showcase the financial potential for the investor as well. Showcase exactly how many businesses or people today could benefit from the solution you provide, how many people or businesses are experiencing the problem you articulated today. From there, lay out how much of that market is already solving that problem either with your business or competitors. The untouched or even competitor occupied part of your TAM showcases the opportunity for growth, expansion, and ultimately profitability to the investor.
Competition is a part of most industries today. The investors and venture capitalists you are pitching to will want to understand who the competitors in your space are and how they are different than your business and how you will approach or are approaching your market because of these competitors. Be sure to outline all of the current competition as it exists today, outlining what these companies do, how they do it differently than you, and how much of the market share they currently occupy. It can also be helpful to share a plan of attack into how you will differentiate and approach the competition of your space.
Don’t shy away from talking through the competitive landscape of your business, competitors are actually validating because it shows that the market is hot and there is demand for a solution for problems in that space. If there aren’t any competitors today or very few, talk through that as well. Talk through how you will approach breaking into a new space and building a category. Every category needs a trailblazer so if you have articulated the problem and solution in a clear way alongside a compelling market and opportunity landscape, a lack of competition should be understood as well.
Although you’ve already touched on the product in your solution, how your product is different at a high level, and even the high-level functionality, be sure to include a detailed product section of your investor pitch deck. This product session is key for diving a layer deeper into how your product works, possibly even sharing some proprietary information (with an NDA signed of course) that differentiates you from the competitors even more. A light demo or live look at the product is a great option in this section of your presentation as well.
After seeing the market potential and the amazing problem your startup solves, your potential investors are going to want to see your business model aka how you are currently making money or planning to make money in the future. Your business model should include your Go-to-market plan, how you will acquire customers, and how you will sell and price your product.
Your business model should also include how you plan to retain customers and maintain recurring revenue. It’s important to highlight if you are a product-led growth company, letting potential users convert from a free trial for example. Or, if you will build out a traditional sales and marketing funnel to drive leads to convert to business. Whatever the type of customer acquisition, make sure to detail that in your business model. Additionally, make sure to highlight what type of revenue model you have in place. Maybe you have a SaaS business, then make sure to include if you operate on annual, quarterly, or monthly fees revenue from customers. If your startup product is a one-time purchase, highlight how that becomes a repeatable purchase. Talk through your success team and plans for retaining customers.
Don’t forget to highlight your experience as a founder and the rest of your team’s experience and success. Presenting the team is a great way to foster relationships with your investors, to ensure they know they are investing not only in a great idea and product but a great team of smart individuals that they can count on to drive that business forward.
Financials and Key Metrics
Whether your company is in stealth mode or has been operating for years, full transparency with your financials and key metrics for success is critical to include in your pitch deck. It’s critical to share two major financial metrics. First, share how much money your company is currently making in profit each year. Next, be sure to share the amount of money you have previously raised, if any. This helps your potential investors understand how much of the company they would potentially be acquiring with an investment.
Cash runway is critical to share as well, how much money is left in the bank and how long could the company continue on at their current earning pace. In addition to financials, be sure to share key metrics such as customer retention rate, the conversion rate from your sales team, and month over month and year over year growth to date. All of these metrics provide a clear picture of your company so they can make an informed investment decision and structure a fair investment offer.
After working through the aspects that you should include in a pitch deck, it’s helpful to reference some best-in-class examples as you pull together your Keynote or PowerPoint deck. Read on for 18 of the best pitch deck examples and a breakdown of why they work.
Best Pitch Deck Examples To Take You From Seed to Series C
The Visible Team has taken the time to find 20 of the best pitch deck examples for your reference. These 18 pitch decks work, and we’ve shared our take as to why.
Front – Series A
Front is the leader in customer communication that brings teams together to offer tailor-made service at scale. They used this deck for their Series A, and ended up raising $10M with Social Capital, Stewart Butterfield and a few others. The Front team did a great job outlining the problem, solution and market opportunity.
LinkedIn Series B
LinkedIn is a professional networking site that allows its members to create business connections, search jobs, and find potential clients. Their Series B, back in 2004, is an oldie but a goodie. It does a great job laying out the consumer internet landscape and the market size and opportunity of online professional networking. Check out an additional recap of this deck here.
Related Reading: How to Pitch a Perfect Series B Round
Facebook’s Original Pitch Deck
Facebook is an online social networking service that enables its users to connect with friends and family. The original Facebook pitch deck is one of the most legendary pitch decks in the tech space. The main takeaway from Facebook’s pitch deck should be the use of solid data and key metrics. For a concept all about massive amounts of users, clear cut user engagement, growth path, and daily traffic were reported well and critical to the ultimately successful investments into Facebook.
Airbnb Original Pitch Deck
Airbnb or AirBed&Breakfast’s original pitch deck got them started on their successful trajectory to ultimately become the public company we all know and use today. Airbnb is an online community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book accommodations through mobile phones or the internet. This pitch deck is legendary for it’s hook, the story telling that captivated the audience and made them really care about the problem, solution, and possibility at hand.
Uber’s Original Pitch Deck
Uber, or UberCap as it was originally known, develops, markets, and operates a ride-sharing mobile application that allows consumers to submit a trip request. Their original pitch deck showcases the importance of keeping your investor pitch deck concise and to the point. The storytelling is engrained in facts and details not fluff.
Buffer Seed Round
The Buffer seed round pitch deck raised the company half a million dollars. Buffer is a social media management software for growing brands. Buffer gets a lot of credit for their ultra transparency, something they have continued today by releasing their salaries annually. This deck is a great example of that transparency by emphasizing their focus on profitability vs. growth even in the early days.
Sequoia Capital Pitch Deck Template
Sequoia Capital is a venture capital and private equity firm. They are passionate about enabling their portfolio companies to present best in class pitch decks. They have created a template, available for anyone, that they encourage their founders to use along with anyone presenting to their firm as well. Check out the template here.
Divvy Series A
Divvy is a platform that helps businesses manage payments and subscriptions, build strategic budgets, and eliminate expense reports. While Divvy’s storytelling could be better, they do a great job with slide length, word amount, and headers – their headers especially are noteworthy as they are much more captivating than most decks out there.
Buzzfeed First Pitch Deck
BuzzFeed is a cross-platform digital media company delivering news and entertainment content to a global audience. Their 2008 origin pitch deck is a great example for startup founders building out their business plan in their investor pitch deck. They break down their previous history (2 years at time of presentation) and how they are differentiating and making revenue in the digitization of news, a space that could feel overcrowded.
Mixpanel $65M Round
Mixpanel is an analytic platform that helps companies measure what matters, make decisions fast, and build better products through data. The Mixpanel team shared this pitch deck on their website. The cool thing about this deck is that the team is transparent that it might not be a fit for all products. This is also a great deck that emphasizes a connected story. Check out the Mixpanel deck example here.
Guy Kawasaki Pitch Deck
Guy Kawasaki is an American marketing specialist, author, and Silicon Valley venture capitalist. His pitch deck template is legendary. His philosophy is that your slide deck should have 10 slides. No more, no less. Consider his template and the 10/20/30 rule as your building out your pitch deck.
Canva Seed Deck
Canva is an online design and publishing platform that provides user-friendly design tools for non-designers. The Canva Seed deck is a great example. The Canva seed deck story is all about iteration. They had over 4 rounds of decks for their seed investment (all that they presented) but they didn’t stay satisfied with their first or second copy. They took feedback and kept perfecting, a great testament in iteration and learning from each time you present.
Mint Pre-Launch Pitch Deck
Mint aggregates all your financial life in one, easy-to-understand platform. Pre-launch, Mint put together this pitch deck. The Mint deck is a great example of quality content winning the day over average, standard design. The quality and content of what Mint had to offer stood out. This deck is a good reminder that you can’t hide a bad business behind great design but you can have a great business without a perfectly designed slide deck.
Slidebean Demo Day Pitch Deck
Slidebean is an online platform that designs and creates presentations on demand with user provided content. Because Slidebean is a presentation platform, the pitch deck itself is a way to show off the product. Slidebean has a unique product story to tell in that way. Check out their demo day pitch deck to get a flow for how a different story can be told when focusing on the product vs. engaging investors.
TikTok Pitch Deck
TikTok is a short-video sharing app and social network platform that develops a lip-syncing video application to create videos. Breaking barriers is what TikTok is all about and it’s pitch deck is no different. This Pitch Deck is a great example of pitching whats possible and even category creation / repositioning a company outside of whats expected. TikTok is on the surface a video-sharing app, but they pitched themselves as a commerce driver. This deck was hard to find a lot of visuals for, but you can read more about it in Business Insider here.
Intercom First Pitch Deck
Intercom is a Conversational Relationship Platform helping businesses build customer relationships through personalized, messenger-based experiences. Intercom’s first pitch deck was short and sweet (only 8 slides) but this simplicity helped keep the vision extremely clear.
Oomf Seed Deck
Oomf is a software platform enabling the sharing economy. Oomf’s seed deck raised the company 2M. This company was incredibly small when they raised their seed. This deck is a prime example of combining compelling data with great design.
High Alpha Pitch Deck Model
High Alpha creates and funds companies through a new model for entrepreneurship that unites company building and venture capital. While this example is not a direct pitch deck example, High Alpha is a venture studio known for its hyper-focus on design. Their guide on “how to make a perfect pitch deck” is extremely helpful when taking all the insights you’ve absorbed about what you should include in your pitch deck and then distilling it down into a great design.
Related Resource: Check out our free guide and downloadable template, Our Favorite Seed Round Pitch Deck Template (and Why It Works)
Key Takeaways: Building a Better Pitch Deck
The examples above are a great starting point for your next pitch deck. The desgin of the decks may come in different shapes and sizes but they can all be boiled down to a few key points:
- Consistency matters — determine a desgin/theme and stick with it. Even it is not the most polished you want to keep things clean and professional.
- Highlight the problem — all of the examples do a great job of highlighting their problem and how their solution will help address it.
- Tell your story — every company is different. Use your deck to offer a unique perspective and tell your company’s story.
- Listen and tweak — chances are you will get a great deal of feedback on your deck. Continue to listen to the feedback and tweak/change your message when needed.
Related Resource: Pitch Deck Design Cost Breakdown + Options
Use Visible for Your Next Raise
Advice from these 18 startups and venture capital firms is a great jumping off point as you start building your pitch deck in Powerpoint or Keynote. Looking to continue diving into the world of pitch decks? Check out our startup pitch deck templates as a starting point for building your own. Each template can be downloaded in a variety of formats to fit your desired tech stack or presentation tool.