SaaS Pitch Deck Examples Broken Down

SaaS Pitch Deck Examples Broken Down

We've analyzed over 30 pitch decks from successful companies which are at various stages of SaaS maturity that cover investment rounds from Seed to Series C.

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There are clear patterns and differences at each stage to share. Depending on the stage you're at, this resource will give you a Slide Deck Checklist and visual examples to help ensure you secure the term sheets you're relying on.

4 Stages of Funding

The most common forms of fundraising for start-ups are broken down into 4 stages - each of which require alternative strategies when composing your pitch deck:

The first investment of money often sourced from personal savings, friends and family.

Audience – Friends and family
Expectations – Trust you will use the money well and that it is returned on an agreed date
Risk for Investors – The risk of losing investment is 66.2% – 72%
Average deck size – 14 slides

Often sought by start-ups who have received Seed Capital, they are in business but not making profit. This is the first round of VC financing and the first time you offer ownership outside your company.

Investment here can be difficult due to the high risk nature of a new product or service. Investors take common stock in your company.

Audience – Firms with a portfolio for investors and are aware of high risk investments
Expectations – Their investment will cover the salaries of people involved and will aid in market research. It’s also expected that the finalization of your product/service will be completed and launched in the industry
Risk for Investors – The risk of losing investment is 53%
Average deck size – 16 slides

The second round of financing from VCs when your company has reached agreed milestones in developing the business. This round of funding is to take your company to the next level. Series B investors typically pay more because the risk is lower than perceived during Series A.

At this time investors take preferred stock over common stock in your company.

Audience – Firms with a portfolio for investors interested in companies showing good success
Expectations – The company will be built up to face competitors and achieve a market share
Risk for Investors – The risk of losing investment is 33.7%
Average deck size – 22 slides

Businesses seeking Series C funding are already quite successful. This funding is to help develop new products, expand into new markets or acquire other companies or competition. This round is all about scaling the company and making it grow quickly and successfully.

Investors are looking to inject capital into a truly successful business in an effort to receive more than double the amount in return.

Audience – Firms with a portfolio for investors preparing an exit before IPO
Expectations – Developing new products, expand into new markets and scale
Risk for Investors – The risk of losing investment is 20.1% – 13.6%
Average deck size – 21 slides

How To Make Investors Say Yes

The first step to getting your term sheets from investors is as simple as this - treat them like your customers.

Think about it - you want your customers to part with their money because your SaaS is better than the competition. You're offering your customers something they need, want or can't be without. This is the same when requesting money from VCs - depending where you are in your rounds of funding of course.

Another important factor to consider is time. DocSend found that investors spend on average 3 minutes 44 seconds per pitch deck when under review. From the study of 200 pitch decks, investors spent the most time focussed on slides which involved the team, competition and financials.

Again, this is reflective of customer behaviour. Who is this company? How much do they charge for the service and how do they compare to other vendors? Once you start seeing investors in the same mind frame as customers, you can build a compelling pitch deck to make them say yes.

The 10 Slides All Pitch Decks Must Have

As mentioned above - each series of funding needs its own specific pitch deck. The audience involved when you're seeking Seed Capital is different to those looking to invest during the Series A, B and C stages.

Here are some quick tips to consider before you construct your pitch deck:

  • Consider your audience and their technical capabilities
  • Focus your message and focus your solution to the problem you’ve found
  • Give the right audience the right information. VCs need the detail while friends and family need the narrative
  • Tell the story through data
  • Include emotion in your deck
  • Convey a sense of urgency – now is the time to invest. 
  • Cut the fat and get to the point
  • Be transparent
  • Get other founders of members of the team to help build the pitch deck

From our analysis, here are the 10 most common slides that appear in pitch decks across all stages of seeking capital. Each slide requires varying levels of detail depending on what stage of funding you require.

Slide 1
The Problem

Seed
Cover The Topic in Detail

Series A
Great Amount of Detail

Series B
Great Amount of Detail

Series C
Cover The Topic in Detail

Slide 2
The Solution

Seed
Cover The Topic in Detail

Series A
Great Amount of Detail

Series B
Great Amount of Detail

Series C
Cover The Topic in Detail

Slide 3
Momentum & Traction

Seed
Low Amount of Detail

Series A
Cover The Topic in Detail

Series B
Great Amount of Detail

Series C
Great Amount of Detail

Slide 4
The Market

Seed
Cover The Topic in Detail

Series A
Great Amount of Detail

Series B
Great Amount of Detail

Series C
Great Amount of Detail

Slide 5
Competitive Landscape

Seed
Cover The Topic in Detail

Series A
Great Amount of Detail

Series B
Great Amount of Detail

Series C
Cover The Topic in Detail

Slide 6
The Product

Seed
Cover The Topic in Detail

Series A
Cover The Topic in Detail

Series B
Great Amount of Detail

Series C
Great Amount of Detail

Slide 7
Strategy & Metrics

Seed
Low Amount of Detail

Series A
Cover The Topic in Detail

Series B
Great Amount of Detail

Series C
Great Amount of Detail

Slide 8
Management Team

Seed
Great Amount of Detail

Series A
Great Amount of Detail

Series B
Great Amount of Detail

Series C
Cover The Topic in Detail

Slide 9
The Financials

Seed
Low Amount of Detail

Series A
Cover The Topic in Detail

Series B
Great Amount of Detail

Series C
Great Amount of Detail

Slide 10
Funding Requirements

Seed
Great Amount of Detail

Series A
Great Amount of Detail

Series B
Great Amount of Detail

Series C
Great Amount of Detail

Slide 1

Front

Slide 1

The Problem

Slide 2

The Solution

Slide 3

Momentum & Traction

Slide 4

The Market

Slide 5

Competitive Landscape

Slide 6

The Product

Slide 7

Strategy & Metrics

Slide 8

Management Team

Slide 9

The Financials

Slide 10

Funding Requirements

Seed

Series A

Series B

Series C

Great Amount Detail

Cover The Topic in Detail

Low Amount of Detail

The Problem

No matter the stage of your funding, addressing the problem and pain points you've found is vital to your pitch deck. This slide works as the beginning of your narrative and should resonate with your audience as a problem they have encountered.

• What is the problem or opportunity?
• Why is it important to solve it?
• Who are you solving the problem for?

Tell stories and share anecdotes as to why you encountered this problem and give examples of where the dysfunction has made an impact on other people or businesses.

Focus the pitch on wanting to solve one problem not multiple. Later in your funding stages Investors expect you to have used your Seed funding to focus your company on solving an issue. Lack of clarity will cause concern for the Series A, B and C Investors.

Investors will typically get on-board with your venture if they resonate well with the dysfunction. This is where your research (similar to customer research) comes into play.

Examples

The Solution

Describe what it is you do in a clear and concise way. Remember your audience, keep technical language to a minimum and describe the concrete benefits that you plan to provide.

Later stages of Pitch Decks require your to demonstrate that the solution is scalable. Investors want to see that their investment will ensure the wheels of the company spin faster.

Tell your investors that now is the time to invest in your service/product. Being too early or too late to market is the main cause for start-up failure.

Examples

Momentum & Traction

Early stage Pitch Decks may lack in-depth or meaty metrics around a young company. But showing the number of demos completed, trials requested, month on month growth and retention you may have will help to show that your solution to the problem is resonating well.

Later stage Pitch Decks are where you can truly show your companies momentum and traction. By these stages you will of course be in business and will ideally be able to show month on month growth on an upward arcing line chart.

Examples

The Market

Investors are looking for companies that will not only transform the industry but have the potential to reshape the way consumers interact with the market.

Conduct in-depth research and produce graphs showing how the market has risen and what it will look like in the future. Include the sources from your research as proof from white-papers or reports to provide the clout that will benefit you. They will quantify the upside and potential ROI based on this.

Demonstrate how the market opportunity is large and attainable. Provide numbers around your Total Available Market (TAM), Serviceable Available Market (SAM) and Serviceable Obtainable Market (SOM).

Examples

Competitive Landscape

This is an important slide for any funding stage Pitch Deck. Your Investor will want to know exactly who you are up against and how much of the market they already have a share in.

Be transparent about your competition and explain them in detail. State their size, location and how long they have been in business. Research your competitors and note their history of funding - did they go down the same path as you? What stage of funding are they? This would show your early investors that there is potential and interest within your industry by Venture Capitalists. For later stages of funding, this tactic will show Investors what the market is paying (and what other investors are willing to part with) putting you in a great position to negotiate the terms of the investment deal.

Be clear on your value proposition and how it offers something that the competitors don't. Differentiating yourself from the others will show the investor how unique your are.

Examples

The Product

What are the key features of the product and how does it work? Why do customers care about the product? What are the major product milestones so far? These are the questions Investors want the answers to.

Include your best screen-shots showing the product or perhaps consider performing a quick demo. Accompany screen-shots with descriptions and quotes from users - client testimonials will provide the clout needed to get the investors on-board with your vision.

Series A funding went towards finalizing your product ready to be used by clients. Therefore, for Series B you should have updated screen-shots of your product in action. You may have explored new features, invested in UI and UX and have stats on it's usability.

Examples

Strategy & Metrics

Especially important for later stage Pitch Decks you must wet potential Investor's appetites by showing graphs and reports based on metrics such as:

• MRR
• User Churn
• Acquisition Channels
• ARR
• Expenses vs Revenue
• Headcount
• Ending Quarter ARR
• Usage of Product
• Net New ARR
• Average Revenue per New Customer

Examples

Management Team

This slide is important for different reasons over all stages of Pitch Decks. During your Seed stage, friends and family need to be be assured that their money is going towards an organization that is well operated by an experienced or trusted team. Discuss what makes your team well suited to providing the solution to the problem you have found in your industry.

Series A Investors not only want to inject capital into a business but also the people behind the organization who are driving it be a success. They'll be interested in what makes individuals in the team unique and the credentials behind them.

Be honest and transparent. If this is the first time your team has started a business then go into great details on the experience of each person. If your team has had previous success in business and are now pursuing a new venture then give examples, financials and proof that your team is made of experienced business people.

Series B Investors expect to see new faces on this slide as you should have used your previous stage of funding to acquire great talent. Seeing the "VP of Marketing" or the "Head of Finance" shows the company is growing and worth investing in.

Examples

The Financials

This slide differs depending on your stage of funding. Early stages show predictions and projections while later stages require you to show what you have done so far and not what you plan on doing. Showing traction is important here.

Consider reporting on total revenue, ARR, MRR, and profits.

Show CAC, LTV and Margin as well as number of customers and partners signed up. You may want to forecast 1-3 years to demonstrate ambition but do not be unrealistic or over ambitious.

Make sure that you have data, graphs and tables around the financials in an excel sheet. There is an almost certain chance that investors will want to review the details of this slide as a presentation summary may not be enough.

Examples

Funding Requirements

Overall, this slide is about being extremely clear on the amount of capital you're seeking and where it will go towards. Tell your Seed Investors what your company will eventually look like (thanks to their investment) when you plan to seek Series A.

When you do seek Series A funding, aim to achieve ranges of funding, not specific amounts, and be clear to the amount of your business you're willing to give them.

Later Pitch Decks borrow elements from previous ones but require more details on where the money will go exactly.

Think about these questions and cover them in this slide:

• How much are you raising?
• What is the company valuation?
• What is the % equity offered?
• Always talk about pre-money valuation rather than post-money valuation.
• What are you going to be spending the money on?
• What runway will that give you?
• When will you need to seek another round of funding?

Examples

Pitch Deck Slide Conclusions

Seed Capital Conclusion

Focus on the narrative - this stage is all about story telling and making your vision clear. By the end of the presentation your audience should be clear about the problem, understand the solution, made aware of the competition and buy-in ti your story.


Venture Capital Financing Series A Conclusion

This pitch deck is all about the narrative with added metrics and value. Yes, you're becoming a working business who is looking to take things to another level - but you're still young and need to sell your story and vision. Investment is still a high risk for Series A Investors so cover all bases to ensure you receive those terms sheets.


Venture Capital Financing Series B Conclusion

Previous decks have been about narrative. This pitch deck focusses more on results and proof. In the eyes of the Investor, you've now received 2 rounds of funding and have become a business which is showing signs of success.


Venture Capital Financing Series C Conclusion

This deck needs to be a mixture of narrative and hard evidence that your company is a success. Here it seems that it's just as important to tell your story as it is to prove your mettle with concrete metrics, forecasts and projections. Striking that balance will ensure your story gets told and is backed up with proof.

From analyzing pitch decks which vary on what stage of funding a company is seeking, it's clear to me that one factor runs through them all - story telling.

Sure, you need numbers and metrics to give meat to your pitch decks (especially in later rounds of funding). But the bones that hold everything together is the narrative.

ZOKRI helps you raise your next round be it tracking your metrics, proving you’re a brilliantly run company, and inspiring confidence. So to show you investors how great your SaaS Company is, show them your ZOKRI account.

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