11 Startup Pitch Decks That Changed The Game

11 Startup Pitch Decks That Changed The Game

Let’s face it: who amongst us hasn’t started a monstrous task by Google-ing how to do it or who succeeded at doing it before us? It’s humanmat (and digital) nature. Regardless if you’re a first time entrepreneur or an experienced one, creating startup pitch decks is a monstrous task. Not only do you have to convey your vision of a product or service, you also have to convince people to give you their money, preferably a lot of money.

To help you with this daunting task, we’ve created this collection of effective (and even famous) pitch decks. Use them to get inspired and create your own (better) pitch deck. The goal here is not to imitate or combine all of these different ideas and styles, but rather to find your own style, your own way of organizing information in an efficient manner.

When we recently discussed what you should include in a pitch deck, we recommended that you aim for clarity, design it for your audience and get feedback from as many people as you can.

Without further ado, here are some pitch decks that can serve as inspiration and guidance to organizing your own ideas in order to secure that investment:

1. Buffer

This is the pitch deck that Buffer used to raise a half million for their startup. The keyword for it is: traction.

“My advice for first time founders who want to raise funding is almost always to put that thought aside until you have good traction. Instead, focus completely on traction. Focus on product/market fit. When you have good traction, it becomes much easier to raise funding.”

2. AirBnB

Probably one of the most talked-about pitch decks. Airbnb raised more than $112 million at a 1.3 billion valuation. In 2016, their valuation soared to $30 billion.

In 11 slides, they covered all the essential aspects of their business idea with clarity and efficiency. And this is what put them on the road to success.

3. Tinder

Created in an IAC accelerator program, Tinder is not your traditional startup. To demonstrate its simple but brilliant idea, Tinder (originally known as Match Box) used a single guy "Matt" as an example, and created a journey of love, rejection and acceptance, all in 10 slides.

4. Intercom

SaaS products are not the easiest to market or to get funded. Intercom is definitely a success story. The company raised $115.75M in 6 Rounds from 29 Investors.

Here’s what their initial (8 slides long) pitch-deck looked like:

5. Youtube

An oldie but goldie, YouTube’s 2005 pitch deck has 16 simple slides. In it, they explained exactly what they wanted to achieve, and how they were going to do it. And that was good enough for Sequoia Capital and ARTIS Ventures who supported them all the way to a $3.5 million Series A.

6. Mattermark

Mattermark is a search engine designed primarily for management consulting, investment banking, business development, and research and development. As they put it, the deck turned out to be more for them than for investors.

Here’s their updated deck:

7. LinkedIn

Founded in 2002, LinkedIn is now one of the top business-oriented social networking platforms. In the first slide of the pitch they answer three key questions: What is LinkedIn? Why is it valuable?and How is this different?

“Open your pitch with the investment thesis.”

Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn Co-Founder

8. Mixpanel

Mixpanel used this deck in 2014 to raise one of the largest Series B rounds with $65M in funding and a $865M valuation. You’ll probably be surprised to hear that they had no idea where to start.

“When Tim and I first went to go pitch our company to investors in 2009 (right after the recession hit), we hopped on the Caltrain, rode our bikes down Sand Hill Road, and talked to 10 investors who all categorically told us “No.” A few of them even wanted to replace the CEO of our company (we didn’t know who would be CEO yet!). At that time, we hadn’t quite realized we even needed an official pitch deck. And when we did build a deck, we had no idea how to construct one intelligently. We really struggled.”

Suhail Doshi, Mixpanel Co-founder

Here the result (12 slides long):

9. Moz

After an initial funding in 2007, 5 years of organic growth and 2 failed attempts at financing SEOmoz raised $18 million in venture capital from Foundry Group and Ignition Partners.

Take a look at their pitch deck to see how a small consultancy firm became world leader in SEO.

10. Buzzfeed

A leader in content creation, Buzzfeed was founded in 2006 by Jonah Peretti. What started out as a news and viral posts sharing entity has now grown into one of the most recognized social media companies around the world.

Their pitch deck tells a story of growth, potential and traction. Take a look:

11. Contently

Founded in December 2010 by Joe Coleman, David Goldberg, and Shane Snow, Contently was created with the mission of "making the media landscape better." Its initial product was a project management system that connected media publications with freelancers.

Since then, Contently has become a technology company that helps brands create great content at scale. The platform brings together 55,000 professional journalists, videographers, graphic designers, photographers, and big brands such as American Express, Coca-Cola, Genpact, and TDAmeritrade.

Here’s how it all started:


Which pitch deck inspired you the most?

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