Great businesses are built on making great deals; and creating the best pitch decks with a branded pitch deck design is an integral part of presenting your startup to the people and institutions that can make great deals happen.

Startups are fundamentally different than other types of businesses. Although they are relatively young in age and smaller than enterprise organizations, they hold the potential for explosive growth. Take a new pizza shop as an example – no matter how successful they are and how great their product is, it is not a startup because it is not designed for quick and rapid scale.  As Paul Graham of Y-combinator emphasizes, a key to a startup is its ability to grow.

Fundable startups sit in between the “idea stage” and the explosive growth – they have proven that there is a high potential for growth, but have not yet realized that growth. Usually, the thing preventing these startups from scaling widely is a lack of resources; they need all the help they can get to convince an investor audience that their growth potential is a real and likely possibility. While a strong presenter is necessary, nothing helps support an investor pitch like an awesome startup deck.

Combined with a impressive presentation, a pitch deck is essential for successful fundraising. A great idea (or budding startup) with a sloppy presentation or pitch that leaves key questions unanswered has little to no chance of persuading investors to part with their dollars. An average idea with a great pitch deck will have greater potential. The sweet spot of a pitch however, is when you have an awesome and proven idea, a confident pitch and a memorable startup pitch deck that sells.

When it comes to pitching, competition is thick. Startups use all the ammunition they have – number of users, monthly growth, revenue, feature concepts, prototypes, MVPs, usage feedback, and anything else that will help prove their case. Great startup pitch decks provide an organized presentation that allows the founders to perfect the right arguments, in the right order, with the right visual tools to create the maximum effect.

A pitch deck isn’t something that’s just tossed together in a rush. The best slide decks are a mix of science, persuasion and art – using each slide as another stroke of paint on the canvas. It can be tough to create a winning pitch deck without some inspiration, so here are 10 of the best pitch decks that we’ve seen over the years… and the reasons we love them!

The 8 Best Pitch Decks for Inspiration

1. Castle

 

Castle is an innovative real estate solution for rental property owners. This startup lives by the slogan, “Put Your Properties On Autopilot!” and exists to help owners manage their properties without the usual headache of being a landlord. Castle serves a niche market so you may have never heard of them; but still, they have one of the best pitch decks and one that you can definitely learn from! 

Here’s why we love it:

  1. The pitch deck has a modern and exciting design with visual aesthetics that draw in the audience.
  2. Starts off immediately by identifying the problem – “Rental property owners want to make money without the work of being a landlord.” This immediately gives investors an idea of why a solution needs to exist.
  3. Uses simple icons to explain each point, making it easy for the viewer to digest. Good pitch decks know how to give an incredible amount of information without cluttering the slide. 
  4. Leads viewers into a strong and concise elevator pitch – “Automate landlording through software and on demand labor.
  5. Provides an easy-to-understand growth plan that showcases historical growth as well as projected future growth.

How much did they raise?

As of date, it is reported that Castle has raised around $3.3 million in investor funding.

2. Adpushup

Adpushup is a unique startup that has streamlined the process of optimizing ad placements. The solution allows publishers to optimize their ads by testing different ad placements, sizes and types. While the design of this sample pitch deck is extremely minimal, the data they were able to display was critical to their funding success. 

Here’s why we love it:

  1. Traction slide shows rapid growth using impressions as a metric. By focusing on this metric, they are able to show that while revenues may not yet be established, there is already a high demand within the market.
  2. Includes a case study that shows the effectiveness of the product. Case studies aren’t just gold for potential customers, they also help sell your pitch to potential investors!
  3. Milestones slide shows how the Company quickly grew from a weekend project to 10 million impressions in only a one-year timespan.

How much did they raise?

It is estimated that Adpushup has raised approximately $632,000 to date.

3. LinkedIn
pitch deck examples - LinkedIn

(Click image to view pitch deck)

LinkedIn’s Series B pitch deck is an oldie, but it is a must-read for anyone looking to build a strong pitch. Although this deck is quite long and thorough, it is a great example of how a seed funding round pitch deck may differ from a VC pitch deck for a Series B round of financing.

Here’s why we love it:

  1. Because they had to explain how the internet works and predict how users would use the internet in the future. Remember, this was 2004! There are many factors that played into this explanation from online search to online payment – and all of these trends needed to be explained to prove why LinkedIn was the right solution for the problem.
  2. It clearly detailed their first priority – establishing the network; and furthermore, explained exactly why this was important to their ability to scale rapidly.
  3. Showed how their actual growth far outscaled projected growth, proving to investors that there is a wide potential for growth.  

How much did they raise?

In total, LinkedIn has raised over $154.8 million in investor funding, and was valued at $352.8 million when they went public in 2011. This pitch specifically led to a $10 million from Greylock Partners.

4. Canvas

 

Canvas is a business solution that allows corporations and organizations to digitize their paper assets. Their goal is to rid the world of paperwork by transitioning business processes into mobile apps. When it comes to the best startup decks, Canvas shows us how to use imagery and simplicity to get the point across. 

Here’s why we love it:

  1. They start the pitch with simple visuals that show how all of our processes, from listening to music to reading, have become digitized over the years.
  2. They provide statistics to show how their application has helped high profile businesses like Pepsi and Healthtronics; giving them instant credibility.
  3. They use a clever strategy to compare competitors by showing that they focus on the “why” while competitors focus on the “what”.

How much did they raise?

Overall, the GoCanvas startup has raised approximately $24.1 million in investor financing.

5. SickWeather

Sickweather is an app that analyzes data to predict and forecast population health. The app claims to accurately predict illness outbreaks 91% of the time and 2 weeks before the CDC on average. This sample pitch deck shows how important credibility is – especially when your clients are some of the most respected brands in the world. 

Here’s why we love it:

  1. It includes a pitch video. While this wouldn’t be included in a presentation deck, it works fantastic for pitch decks that are sent via e-mail or posted to online platforms for viewing by potential investors.
  2. Early on, they provide a list of previous clients. These clients are extremely well known brands, which immediately gives the startup a high level of credibility and authority.
  3. Graphs showcase impressive growth in monthly recurring revenue, giving the startup a great argument for rapidly rising projections and forecasts.

How much did they raise?

To date, Sickweather has raised approximately $2.6 million in investor funding.

6. Match Box (Tinder)

Match Box was the original name for the globally recognized dating app, Tinder. Although there were many dating apps in the market, Tinder was able to succeed by adding a gamification aspect – allowing individuals to swipe left or right to express interest or to pass on another user. Match Box’s startup deck shows how to balance creativity and simplicity to win investors over. 

Here’s why we love it:

  1. It’s extremely simple but it uses a real world scenario to explain the problem (fear of rejection) and the solution (Match Box).
  2. It gives an “under the hood” look on what the app will offer.
  3. It shows a clear monetization model – and although it has changed significantly since this pitch deck was created, it at least let investors know that the founders had considered how they would create revenue.

How much did they raise?

In September 2016, Tinder received an investment of $1.4 million. Since then, the company has been acquired on three separate occasions.

7. WeWork

WeWork addresses the startup and freelance market by offering “Space As A Service”. Individuals can rent co-working space instead of renting a whole office; which helps them save on rent, provides them with a community of like-minded individuals, and offers services to help them advance their businesses. This VC pitch deck was created for WeWork’s Series D funding phase and is quite long in length; but it shows how as more data is collected by the business, more growth insights can be presented for a stronger case.

Here’s why we love it:

  1. They use several slides to describe the “why”. It would be impossible to explain why coworking space is important without first describing how the employee economy has shifted.
  2. The “WeWork Effect” slide shows exactly how the WeWork business model meets the new demands of the market.
  3. Since this is a Series D pitch deck, the Company had to take several slides to explain their current traction. By describing their first mover advantage and showcasing their growth, they were able to successfully present the grand potential of their concept.

How much did they raise?

According to CrunchBase, WeWork has raised approximately $8.1 billion over 12 funding rounds and has had 10 acquisitions.

8. Crew

Crew exists to connect developers and creatives to clients, without the headache of normal freelance sites. Once a job is posted, clients are recommended three makers (usually within one to 24 hours) who can complete their job for them. We love awesome pitch decks, and Crew shows us how to really showcase the features of a product, while maintaining focus on the startup’s growth. 

Here’s why we love it:

  1. Their growth is staggering and they showcase it with clear graphs that present a 10x increase in total project revenue.
  2. The pitch deck subtly describes the app’s USP by detailing how the higher priced projects on the app bring in better talent than the low priced projects on other platforms. Furthermore, they show exactly how their app works from a user side – displaying a much cleaner user experience.
  3. They explain the data collected from their “pilot” launch. Having a strong MVP with great traction is key to securing investor funds.

How much did they raise?

Crew has raised approximately $9.9 million in total investor funding and was acquired by Dribbble in 2017.

Creating The Perfect Pitch Deck

We chose these pitch decks as our favorite and best pitch decks for many different reasons. While some of these businesses are smaller and some are much larger, there are some elements that each of these great startup pitch decks have in common – and if you want to raise seed funding, your pitch deck should share these elements too. Specifically, the best pitch decks:

  1. Address the problem up front and show the current state of the market.
  2. Provide a tested and validated solution.
  3. Explain how that solution is better than the competition.
  4. Showcase some initial traction and forecast future projections.

Your pitch deck will either give you a huge advantage during your pitch, or will completely turn investors off. Use our “best pitch decks” examples as your motivation to create something amazing and memorable. As always, if you want to create the best pitch deck, our experienced startup consultants are here to help! Contact us to today and set up a free consultation.

Is there an awesome pitch deck that should have made our “Best Pitch Decks” list but didn’t? If so, tell us about it in the comments below!