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10 Minutes Read | Startup Lessons (https://piktochart.

com/blog/category/piktochart-
updates/startup-lessons/)

30 Legendary Startup Pitch Decks And What You Can Learn


From Them

Aaron Lee (https://piktochart.com/blog/author/aaronlee/)


Co-Founder | Leneys

I
f you need to raise funding from VCs for your startup, the first step is to
create a pitch deck. A pitch deck is a brief presentation that provides
investors with an overview of your business, whether it’s showcasing your
product, sharing your business model, giving a look into your monetization
strategy, and introducing your team.
A pitch deck is an essential fundraising tool, whether you’re looking to raise
$50,000, $500,000 or $50 million.

Despite the brevity of the presentations, which usually run for 10 slides or less,
creating a pitch deck that wins investment is no easy task. If you’ve never done it
before and you’re a first-time entrepreneur, it can be incredibly daunting.

To help you with this daunting task, we’ve taken cues from top startups who’ve
raised money from angel investors and VCs with effective pitch decks. I’ve
compiled a list of 30 of the best startup pitch deck examples to serve as
inspiration when it comes time to create a pitch deck of your own. These are the
pitch decks of some of your favorite tech brands that you use every day, and
these decks definitely helped them get to the top.

Hopefully these decks will help you understand what is persuasive enough to get
into a VC’s head and get them to invest. We’ll also touch upon the best
takeaways from each deck so you’ll get an idea of what to include in your startup
pitch decks.

From behemoths like Facebook and YouTube to up-and-coming superstars like


Buffer, together these startups have raised millions of dollars and are now worth
billions!

1. Facebook (http://facebook.com/)
I’m sure you’ve heard of them. Here’s a fun fact: Peter Thiel, the billionaire
venture capitalist and entrepreneur, was the first outside investor in Facebook
back in 2004. That’s when Mark Zuckerberg first set out to turn his dorm room
project into a lasting business. Zuckerberg received $500,000 from Peter Thiel.

While they don’t have an investor pitch deck, they do have a media kit
(http://pitchdeckexamples.com/blog/facebook-pitch-deck) containing the
company’s value proposition, key metrics, and marketing services that were used
to sell ads to potential clients.

Favorite takeaway: The focus of the pitch deck was based on solid numbers such
as their user engagement, traffic, users, and growth metrics.

2. Airbnb (http://airbnb.com/)
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Airbnb is a platform that allows people to list, find, and rent lodging.

This company is one of the greatest startup success stories of our time. Airbnb’s
pitch deck has become a favorite reference for entrepreneurs around the world.

Favorite takeaway: The biggest takeaway from Airbnb is the intro. It’s all about
hooking your audience. You need to describe your business using as few words
as possible. Imagine telling a 5-year-old what your business is about. If you can’t
do that, it’s time to rethink your intro to your investors.

3. Buffer (http://buffer.com/)
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Buffer is a social media scheduling platform that helps you schedule content to
Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Pinterest

The almighty startup pitch deck that Buffer used to raise half a million dollars is a
popular deck because of Buffer’s transparency. The founder decided to put it up
to help other startups to raise funds.

Favorite takeaway: Similar to Facebook, the deck was based on solid


numbers from Buffer’s users (e.g. 800 users, $150,000 annual revenue run rate,
etc.)

4. Square (https://squareup.com/)
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Square is a company that allows merchants to accept mobile credit card


payments via a dongle.

Favorite takeaway: Social proof! It doesn’t hurt to promote the management


team if they’ve been with Twitter, Google, Linkedin, Paypal, and more. I think it
shows that your management team’s experience is an armor to the company.
This detailed pitch deck outlines Square’s business model and a simple financial
model that portrays their annual revenue and five-year growth rate.

5. LinkedIn (http://linkedin.com/)
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Founded in 2002, LinkedIn is the top business-oriented social networking


platform.

The company’s pitch talks a great deal about company vales, the value the
network brings, and how it’s different than other social networks.

Favorite takeaway: The deck also provides an extensive analogy to showcase


to investors what LinkedIn is. For example, it talks about “Web 1.0” vs. “Web
2.0”: Alta Vista was “Search 1.0”, and Google was “Search 2.0”. The deck
talks about how LinkedIn is “Networking for Businesses 2.0”.

6. Mint (https://www.mint.com/)
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Mint is a personal financial services tool that helps people track their spending
and find ways to save money.

This pitch deck example was used in a competition and was never used for
raising money, but it’s still a powerful deck that startups can learn from.

Favorite takeaway: This simple deck provides a clear value proposition to


customers and investors. The creators of this deck also understood that one of
the key concerns of an investor is the exit mechanism of his or her investments. I
love how the deck highlights a number of exit strategy options.

7. MapMe (https://mapme.com/)
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MapMe allows users to create universally accessible (i.e. on smartphones, tablets,


and computers) maps of anywhere they want with no coding required.

This deck was used to raise their $1 million in seed funding.

Social proof almost always work. The deck showed that the startup had over
20,000 unique visitors, 18,000 monthly alerts, 12 minutes average sessions on the
site.

Favorite takeaway: The deck has fewer than 13 slides but provides investors with
knowledge of traction the site got going viral on social media and their go-to-
market strategy.

8. LaunchRock (https://www.launchrock.com/)
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LaunchRock allows users to create landing pages and quickly get their startups
known through social media, even before the launch of their full site.

Favorite takeaway: One the better-designed decks, the deck had only 15
slides but showed how the product works and the different ways it can be used.
They also utilize an analogy similar to what Linkedin had in their decks.

9. Mixpanel (https://mixpanel.com/)
Like this slideshow? Why not share!

Mixpanel is an advanced analytics platform for mobile and the web. They not only
measure page views but also analyze the actions people take. This is the series-B
deck for Mixpanel that helped them raise over $65 million.

Favorite takeaway: The deck started off with a problem: people guessing their
analytics. It followed up by providing their solution to that problem and, ultimately,
their competitive advantage.

10. Moz (https://moz.com/)


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Moz started out as a SEO company but has pivoted to support marketers across
all inbound marketing strategies.

This is the series-B deck for Moz which they used to raise over $18 million. If
you’re an established startup, you can follow this guide. The deck is packed with
information about the company since it was founded five years prior to this pitch.

Favorite takeaway: Because the company had already been in operation for five
years, they were able to present an accurate estimated revenue, revenue run
rate, average customer lifetime value, cost of paid acquisition, etc.

11. Buzzfeed (http://buzzfeed.com/)


Like this slideshow? Why not share!

We all have a love and hate relationship with Buzzfeed, don’t we? I’m sure you’ve
stumbled on their pages or watched their videos before. As of today, BuzzFeed
has managed to raise over $240 million.
Favorite takeaway: SOCIAL PROOF! It doesn’t hurt to start a pitch with big
numbers the company has, like the millions of users visiting the website on a
monthly basis and quotations from large organizations such as CNN.

12. Youtube (http://youtube.com/)


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Youtube was acquired by Google in 2006 for $1.6 billion. Like Facebook, this
company doesn’t require any introduction. Unfortunately, this is not the original
deck. This is Youtube’s pitch deck to Sequoia Capital (one of the most established
VC investors who’s often regarded as one of the industry’s best), which was
released through a legal proceeding.

Favorite takeaway: The company wanted to be the primary outlet for video
content, and it succeeded doing just that. It goes to show that if you know what
your product can do, are able to show its potential, and build on the momentum
gained through early investments to create that, then you can achieve its
potential.

13. Manpacks (https://www.manpacks.com)


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Manpacks is a platform that delivers men’s essentials such as underwear, razors,


grooming and other products.

The company raised $500,000 with this deck.

Favorite takeaway: This deck stands out! They clearly understand who they are,
and they stayed that way throughout the entire pitch. The deck is filled with a fun
tone that helps explain the product well.

14. Foursquare (https://foursquare.com/)


Like this slideshow? Why not share!

Foursquare is a mobile platform that helps you find the best places to go in your
area.

Favorite takeaway: This deck does a great job using screenshots of social proof
that the app already has from its users sharing tweets of them being ‘mayor’ of a
particular area.

15. Flowtab (http://flowtab.com/)


Like this slideshow? Why not share!

Flowtab was an app that allowed people to order drinks quickly at a crowded bar.
Despite shutting down, the founders still made it an effort to help other startups.

Favorite takeaway: Simplicity. This pitch deck example does well explaining
critical information like the problem, the solution, their business model, and
traction. You can’t really go wrong with this.

16. Dwolla (https://www.dwolla.com/)


Like this slideshow? Why not share!

Dwolla is a payment solution that allows users to send, receive, and request funds
from other users. This 18-slide pitch deck landed the company $16.5 million.

Favorite takeaway: Most startups are founded because of a problem they faced,
but not many people tell their story well through their pitch decks. Dwolla shared
a great story of how the founder paid $50,000 a year in credit card fees and
then created a solution for never doing it again.

17. ZenPayRoll (https://gusto.com/) (Now Gusto)


Like this slideshow? Why not share!

Gusto (previously ZenPayroll) is a cloud-based solution tool for small businesses


to pay employees.

The company raised $6 million with this deck.

Favorite takeaway: This isn’t just a startup deck. It is a template that you can use
and replicate easily by filling in the blanks.

18. Bliss (http://bliss.ai/)


(https://docsend.com/view/xgmz8hp)

Bliss provides metrics for coders and allows them to collaborate easily.

The company raised over $400,000 using Angel List.

Favorite takeaway: The deck was well composed with a clear understanding of
the product and the investors they were pitching to.
19. Adpushup (http://www.adpushup.com/)

Like this slideshow? Why not share!

Adpushup allows companies to maximize ad revenues through advanced A/B


testing. They raised more than $632,000 in investments.

Favorite takeaway: Going back to the basics works. This deck has the basic
principles like a great introduction, an outline of problems, potential solutions,
market opportunities, products, case studies, milestones, traction, and a future
plan.

20. Wealthsimple (https://www.wealthsimple.com/)


Like this slideshow? Why not share!

Wealthsimple is Canada’s first online investment manager. They raised more


than $2 million in seed funding.

Favorite takeaway: The deck is sweet and short but effective. My favorite part is
the transformation of industry, which is laid out on a table format.

21. AppVirality (https://www.appvirality.com/)


Like this slideshow? Why not share!

AppVirality allows app developers to grow their platform using growth method
techniques proven by other startups.

Favorite takeaway: My favorite takeaway is how the flow of the deck goes
through the problem, the proven solution, and how it works within their app.

22. SteadyBudget (https://steadybudget.com/)


Like this slideshow? Why not share!

(http://www.slideshare.net/SteadyBudget/steadybudgets-seed-funding-pitch-
deck)

SteadyBudget is budget management software that helps PPC analysts manage


various budgets across different channels.

Favorite takeaway: When you have the traction to back your startup, use it.
SteadyBudget clearly took advantage of it.

23. Podozi (http://podozi.com/)


Like this slideshow? Why not share!

Podozi is an online e-commerce platform based in Nigeria.

Favorite takeaway: Most startup decks work well when they’re short and sweet
like Podozi’s. The best takeaway is the working partnership with large brands that
this platform already has.

24. Fittr (http://www.fittr.com/)


Like this slideshow? Why not share!

Fittr is a platform that designs custom workouts tailored to equipment, access,


time management, and goals.

Favorite takeaway: As a user of this platform, I love the investment goals and the
purpose of what the company is planning to use it for.

25. Swipes (http://swipesapp.com/)


Like this slideshow? Why not share!

Swipes is a task manager app to help its users increase their productivity.

Favorite takeaway: One of their pages used social proof of quotayions from The
Next Web and Lifehacker. You can’t go wrong with that.

26. Canvas (http://www.gocanvas.com/)


Like this slideshow? Why not share!

Canvas replaces paper-based processes with affordable and easy-to-use mobile


apps and forms. They raised $9 million with these decks.

Favorite takeaway: Instead of saying what they do, the second slide in their
deck shows how their startup helps businesses. No words needed.

27. Ooomf (https://crew.co/) (now Crew)


Like this slideshow? Why not share!

Crew (formerly Ooomf & then PickCrew) is a freelancer marketplace that


connects mobile and web developers with projects or work. This deck was used
to raised over $2 million dollars.

Favorite takeaway: Well-designed with an easy-to-understand flow.

28. Cubeit (http://cubeit.io/c8f/)


(https://medium.com/cubeit-curate-your-content/the-13-slide-deck-we-used-to-
raise-a-seed-round-without-a-finished-product-part-2-652d3fb018e1)

Cubeit is a mobile application that allows users to aggregate content from


anywhere . Cubeit used this 13-slide deck to raise seed funding before they even
had a finished product.

Favorite takeaway: A strong introduction will get investors to pay attention. Their
deck starts out with a clear message, which was that “owning more devices
doesn’t make your life easier”. I can’t help but pay attention to how this company
will help.

29. Castle (https://entercastle.com/)

Like this slideshow? Why not share!

Castle is a startup that lets rental owners put their properties on autopilot. This
was the deck Castle used to raise $270,000 for their startup.

Favorite takeaway: Great design and easy to digest.

30. Sequoia Capital (https://www.sequoiacap.com/)


Like this slideshow? Why not share!

Sequoia Capital is one of the leading investment firms in Silicon Valley. This deck
is a template they recommend following.

Favorite takeaway: It’s like having the keys to the kingdom. You don’t have to
guess what this investment giant is looking for. They tell you straight away.

To sum up, a strong pitch deck not only serves to reinforce your brand to
investors. It also demonstrates that you understand what your business is and
who your customers are.

Look at the takeaways from these startup pitch decks as a guide to help you in
your quest to raise funds for your own startup.

Here are some of the main ideas:


Decks don’t have to be formal or beautiful.
Provide an impactful intro or slogan.
Keep your deck short (less than 20 pages).
Use analogies to back up the points that you’re making.

After going through so many decks, I recommend that your deck should also:

Start with a strong intro / vision


Show problems and offer solutions
Identify market opportunities
Showcase product / services clearly
Digest your business model
Highlight financials
Add social proof / case studies
Differentiate from competition
Show experienced management team

If you’re looking for additional information, DocSend shared lessons


(http://www.slideshare.net/DocSend/docsend-fundraising-research-49480890/2-
DocSend_is_a_sales_enablement) they got learning from 200 startups who
raised $360 million.

Time to create a pitch deck of your own – try out these templates.

01. Finance Pitch Deck


(https://create.piktochart.com/presentation/editor/1040)

02. Business Pitch Deck


(https://create.piktochart.com/presentation/editor/1053)

03. Startup Pitch Deck


(https://create.piktochart.com/presentation/editor/1052)

04. Tech Pitch Deck


(https://create.piktochart.com/presentation/editor/1042)

05. Business Keynote Presentation Template


(https://create.piktochart.com/presentation/editor/1059)

06. Product Pitch Presentation Template


(https://create.piktochart.com/presentation/editor/1176)

07. Product Deck Presentation Template


(https://create.piktochart.com/presentation/editor/1174)

08. App Product Presentation Template


(https://create.piktochart.com/presentation/editor/1175)

09. Product Website Presentation Template


(https://create.piktochart.com/presentation/editor/1173)
(https://piktochart.com/blog/author/aaronlee/)

Aaron has been sharing social media tips on AskAaronLee.com since


2010 & has recently started ShortofHeight.com, a fashion blog for
short men.

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