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The perfect pitch deck

Here are the best practices for pitch decks, according to investors.

Pitch decks are like a short story that allow founders to share their company vision with investors. But when you’ve only got a few slides — and often only one chance — to make an impression, how do you stand out?

What is a pitch deck for investors? And why you need one

In short, a pitch deck is the set of slides sent by founders to potential investors at the start of a fund raise.

“Often an investor will want to see a certain amount of information before taking a first meeting, in order to see if the company is a good fit for their investment strategy,”


1. A teaser deck, is to secure your first investor meeting. “The teaser deck typically is used to get the VC/investor excited about the team, market opportunity and/or product,”

It should outline the startup’s headline vision and strategy, and finish with the amount you’re seeking to raise.

2/ A long-form deck, which is often shared after a first meeting and contains more detail and often an appendix — for anything generally considered too detailed and not part of the startup’s core narrative, such as:

  • More in-depth data around market trends/conditions with links to sources/references;

  • A detailed product roadmap;

  • Customer/user references, or aggregated data/outputs from insight gathering;

  • Team structure, with plans for post-raise hiring.

When do you need a pitch deck?

You’ll need a pitch deck when it comes to raising money, or presenting at a demo day.

“It’s smart practice to create a pitch deck early on in your company’s trajectory”

What do investors want to see in a pitch deck?

a few critical elements to include:

The vision

What is the problem you’re solving and how will you get there?

The product or solution

What are you selling? Can you share images or specs that help bring it to life?

The market environment

Who are your customers, what’s the total addressable market (TAM), is it a resilient sector, how would volatility affect or help your plans?


What is the market pull, what success have you seen to date, how will you monetise the business?

What this looks like depends on the category and on the stage of your startup. At later stage, traction can be read in the pace of acquisition of customers, engagement with the product or repeat customers, revenue and volume growth, or virality.

If you’re a very early-stage company, you might show more qualitative signals such as customer feedback and references demonstrating the market pull, or even a growing waiting list.


In some instances, it’s helpful to show where you’re positioned and how your company is different, especially in a crowded market.

Financials and performance metrics

Of course these are critical, and should be presented in a straightforward, easy-to-understand way that underscores business acumen and sound financial planning.

Again, what this looks like is company stage and sector dependent. For example, if you’re B2B or B2C, a SaaS company or a deeptech.

For a transaction business model, the minimum you would give would be, on a monthly basis:

  • Number of active customers (and year-on-year (YoY) growth)

  • New customers and monthly churn

  • Gross merchandise value (GMV) and YoY growth

  • Take rate on GMV

  • Net revenue (and YoY growth)

  • Burn

The team

Investors are putting their money behind bold, inspiring people and their unique and innovative ideas, so it’s important to bring the team behind the vision to life.

“What we need to understand when looking at the team is why [they] are uniquely positioned to solve this problem. What, in their background, experience and education give us comfort that they have unique insights, positioning and motivation to build a market leader in their category,”

What you need to include as you move through funding stages

At pre-seed, slide is very important, “with a specific focus on ‘why you’ and a way to quickly demonstrate cofounders have worked successfully together before”.

decks at each stage should show the following:

  • Pre-seed: Great team, market dynamics/competitors, insight/differentiation, an execution plan.

  • Seed: Same as above, plus a minimum viable product (MVP) and some early customers and signals toward product-market fit (PMF).

  • Series A: You’re 75% toward PMF with early pilots/paying customers — not fully worked unit economics but can prove demand.

  • Series B: You have 100% PMF with stable unit economics, and are looking to raise to scale sales operations, plus the next product in your pipeline.

What do investors not want to see?

There are also a few things that’ll put investors off pitch decks don’t want to see:

  • Five to ten-year financial projections — they’re completely made up numbers at the early stage;

  • Short-term exit plans — we’re looking for Unicorns++, therefore a short-term exit plan would instantly put off a VC;

  • Fake news. It’s a small world and if a founder adds a customer logo on there that isn’t really a customer, there’s a good chance we’ll find out, and it makes the founder look very bad;

  • A deck longer than 10 to 15 pages. Or anything with too many words.

Pitch deck best practices

So there are quite a few do’s and don’ts, but what are investors’ best practices for pitch decks?

needs to be snappy and visually appealing.

it’s important to make the deck easy to edit too, as you will likely receive a lot of feedback.

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