How to Button Up Your Pitch Deck As VCs Start to Pull Back On Funding

Jordan Turner
May 18, 2022
 min read
How to Button Up Your Pitch Deck As VCs Start to Pull Back On FundingHow to Button Up Your Pitch Deck As VCs Start to Pull Back On Funding
Table of Contents

Every entrepreneur can attest to the importance of venture capital (VC) backed funding. A VC is a private equity investor that gives money to companies who have the opportunity to scale and be profitable in exchange for equity in the company. Receiving seed money can be the difference between getting your business off the ground, or being stuck in the brainstorming phase. Many startups or small and medium size businesses (SMB) will rely on funding from VCs or other investment firms throughout different stages of their growth— from initial resources to create the product to adding to the headcount of the team down the road. To say it’s essential for new and small businesses is an understatement. 

As of recently, there has been a downward trend in the amount of funding being given to businesses across the globe. In fact, according to an analysis of Crunchbase data, global funding totaled $47 billion in April 2022, which was the lowest amount recorded in the last year.  Sure, April saw the biggest dip compared to the previous 12 months but does that mean the market is crashing? No, April 2022’s numbers were still relatively healthy compared to those in 2020, but any notable decrease in VC funding is something to be cognisant of. It tells us that investors are being forced to be more intentional and selective about their valuations and which companies they are choosing to back. 

All that to say, your pitch deck has never been more important. With VCs being more conservative in their transactions your pitch deck needs to be airtight and buttoned up. 

A pitch deck is an essential fundraising tool, whether you’re looking to raise $100,000 or $100,000,000. Every startup needs a great pitch deck that talks about their mission, business plan, and company overview in order to get investors on board. From seed funding to growing your company to meet demand, or to start developing new products, a startup pitch deck will help you reach your funding goals. If you don’t know where to start, we have a great customizable template to help inspire your story. Simply choose the pitch deck template and drop in your own content relevant to your pitch— our Smart Slides will handle the rest. 

Keep these seven tips in mind when building your next deck for investors. 

Prioritize your story over stats

Instead of leading with stats and metrics that you find impressive, prioritize your story. Once you define the story you are trying to tell you can find the stats to back it up. Is your team 3x revenue from the previous fiscal year? Are you retargeting your efforts towards larger team seats and enterprise businesses? Are you scaling your offerings to make a more dynamic product to fill a gap in the market? Figure out your angle or “pitch” first, and work backwards with the supporting points and figures.

Branding should be at the forefront

When you’re pitching your company, you’re trying to sell your brand and vision to investors. Your pitch deck should be professional (always), but it should also keep your branding at the forefront of every design decision. This includes things like a logo on the footer of each slide, branded fonts and colors, and cohesive images that support your overarching pitch. While those may seem like minuscule details in the grand scheme of things, an on-brand presentation can go a long way in building trust and credibility. 

Pro tip: Create a theme in complete with your logo, custom font, and colors, and it will automatically be applied to each individual slide in your presentation so you don’t have to tinker with the details manually. 

Make it clear that your company is solving a problem

Your hook, line, and sinker is the problem your target market faces and how your company will solve that. If you can convince VCs that there is a gap in the industry and your product or service provides a solution to fill the void, you’re positioning yourself as valuable. The more value your company provides, the more likely you are to get investors on board. Don’t be afraid to offer up a competitive analysis to prove how your business differs from the competition or other companies in the space. You might also include a product demo here to drive your point home. 

Be straightforward

Investors and VCs sit through countless pitches on a weekly basis and after a while things can start to sound repetitive. The worst thing that can happen in your pitch is that a VC will start to tune you out. You’re undoubtedly excited about your brand and every detail that it encompasses, but keep your pitch deck straightforward. Leave the fluff and filler slides at home. In fact, you might even consider following Guy Kawasaki’s 10/20/30 rule here which states that “a presentation should have ten slides, last no more than twenty minutes, and contain no font smaller than thirty points.” 

Emphasize your business plan

Investors want to know that you will put your money (or their money) where your mouth is. You’ve pitched your idea and your “why”, but now you need to back it up with your “how”. Emphasize your business plan, and how you plan to execute it. This should include any go-to-market plans, next steps, timelines, how you plan to monetize, etc. You might want to use a timeline slide, funnel slide, target slide, or hub and spoke model to show your audience the different stages of your plan in a visually appealing way. 

Bring your financials to life

You’re going to want to include your financials in your pitch deck: the current financial health of your company, how much you need to achieve what you’re proposing, and your final ask from the VCs. It’s a lot, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be boring. This is arguably the most important part of your pitch because it drives the story home. Instead of using complicated graphs and number-heavy slides, bring your financial metrics to life with infographics and animations. This helps make the information more digestible so the VCs know exactly what to pay attention to and remember. 

Send a link to your pitch deck as a follow up

As we mentioned, VCs are no strangers to pitch decks and constantly have their eyes on presentations from entrepreneurs or small business owners. To ensure that your pitch doesn’t get lost or forgotten in the shuffle, send the VCs your deck as a tangible leave-behind when you follow up to thank them for their time. Not only does this give them a chance to review your deck again on their own time, it keeps you top of mind when they are making a decision. 

In when you send a shareable link you can leverage the analytics tool to see who viewed what, how long people spent on each slide, and how many people made it to the end of the deck. This helps you understand which slides resonate well with your audience and which ones they skipped, so you can tailor your deck for your next pitch accordingly. 

Check out the VC Pitch Deck Template that comes recommended by first round capital here.

Jordan Turner

Jordan Turner

Jordan is a Bay Area writer, social media manager, and content strategist.