Fundraising
Pitch Deck
Building a Seed Round Pitch Deck

Building a Seed Round Pitch Deck

There is just one simple goal of a seed round pitch deck - to tell an exciting story that gets you a second meeting with an investor. But most startups struggle with crafting this story - making it either too long, too complex, too muddled or simply too boring.

In this blog, we’ll cover how to craft an exciting story and what “good” looks like.

At the outset, remember that seed round pitch decks should always aim for clarity and succinct-ness, which means not more than 10-15 slides following a clear narrative.

Key sections to include in your pitch deck

1. Title (1 slide) - showcase the name and logo of your company along with a one-liner description

2. Problem statement (1-2 slides) - clearly detail the problem that your product or service is solving. It should include relevant statistics or data to support the existence and severity of the problem, as well as any insights or observations you have made regarding the problem.

3. Solution (1-2 slides) - explain how your product or service solves the problem detailed earlier. This should be easy to understand for investors and should highlight the unique value proposition of your solution.

4. Competition/positioning (1 slide) - paint a picture of the competitive landscape in which your company operates. It should highlight your company's position within the market, including both direct and indirect competitors, and explain how your product or service is different and better than what is currently available.

5. Growth/traction (1 slide) - include any numbers on the company's growth and traction, such as user acquisition metrics, revenue growth, and any partnerships or collaborations that have been established. It should provide evidence that the company has achieved some level of success and is on track for continued growth.

6. Market Size / TAM (1 slide) - detail the size of the market, the target audience, and any trends or projections that may be relevant. Investors need to see that there is a large enough market for your product or service to succeed and that there is room for growth. This slide should be backed up with data and research to support your claims.

7. Business model (1-2 slides) - detail how your company plans to generate revenue. This can include a go-to-market plan, various revenue streams, unit economics and more.

8. Team (1 slide) - for a seed fundraise, investors place disproportionate emphasis on the team. Use this section to demonstrate the skills your team brings to the table and how you are uniquely positioned to solve this problem.

9. “The ask” (1 slide) - this final section should cover the ask - how much are you expecting to raise and what will the funds be deployed towards?

Section wise deep dives

1. Title

  • Include company name / logo and a one-liner description.
  • Make your one-liner simple and clear. Use comparisons if it makes sense e.g., “Uber for Pets” or “Carta for Web3”
  • Example: see how simply Orange explains it’s proposition of “an affordable electric vehicle charging solution for multi-unit properties”

1 (Source: Orange's $2.5Mn seed deck)

2. Problem Statement

  • Detail the problem that your product /service is aiming to solve
  • Show relevant statistics or data to highlight how large or severe the problem is
  • Add any unique insights about the problem from your research
  • Example: GPC Smart does a great job of detailing the problem of missing pets with data nd statistics, while also brining in unique insights such as “cost of processing a pet through a Municipa shelter

1 (Source: Syneroid / GPC's Smart $500K seed deck)

3. Solution

  • Detail how your product / service solves the problem stated earlier
  • Bring out any unique selling points of your product / service - such as propreitary technology, ease of use and more
  • Example: GPC Smart highlights how its Smart tag with QR code and NFC technology can both raise awareness about a missing pet as well as help in locating the same.

1 (Source: Syneroid / GPC's Smart $500K seed deck)

4. Competition / Positioning

  • This slide needs to bring out both “how you are better than competitors” and “why consumers will switch”
  • Don't fall into the trap of focusing on just on why you are better - you can be better on a hundred parameters, but unless these matter to the customer, they will simply not switch.
  • Example: Arkiv makes a very bold comparison between traditional museums and the “world’s first decentralised museum” that it aims to build
  • Read our detailed blog on “Creating a standout pitch deck competition slide” (opens in a new tab)

1 (Source: Arkive’s $9.7Mn seed deck)

5. Growth / Traction

  • If you have incredible traction, that’s realistically all that matters in a pitch. Inexperienced team but great revenue? You’ll raise. Small market but high ARR? You’ll raise. Use this slide to show traction across relevant metrics e.g., # of users, # of paying customers, revenue (as MRR / ARR) and more.
  • If you don’t have relevant metrics to show, use proxies e.g., # of companies on waitlist, traffic to the site, # of newsletter subscribers etc
  • Example: Prelaunch makes a very powerful case with numbers in its seed deck - a $100K+ ARR is under 4 months plus a pipeline of 800+ customers is truly impressive

1 (Source: Prelaunch’s $1.5Mn seed deck)

6. Market Size / TAM

  • Investors want to know that you are operating in a large and growing market. Why? Because even a small share of pie of a large market can mean large returns to investors.
  • Market sizes are tricky to estimate - you can either reference statistics from respected market reserach agencies (like Gartner) or do quick back of the envelope estimation using # of potential users and cost per user.
  • Example: Netmaker is a next gen networking platform that lets users create and manage VPN connections without the learning curve - they quote the secure cloud networking market of $3.6 Bn as their TAM

1 (Source: Netmaker’s $2.3Mn seed deck)

7. Business Model

  • This is one of the “make or break” slides in your pitchdeck. Yoru investors want to know how you’ll make money - afterall that is key to the disproportinate returns they hope make on the investment.
  • Keep your assumptions simple and realistic. See the example of Airbnb below - their stated business model was simply to take a 10% commission on each transaction. They realisticaly estimated to capture 15% of the available market in 3 years. What more - this turned out to be an accurate prediction!

1 (Source: Airbnb's seed deck)

8. Team

  • For a seed fundraise, investors place disproportionate emphasis on the team. Use this section to demonstrate the skills your team brings to the table and how you are uniquely positioned to solve this problem.
  • See the example of Cleanhub below - Founder/market fit is the name of the game for early-stage startups, and this company is showing it has it in spades. All three founders have a lot of experience, and there isn’t too much overlap here. There’s startup experience from Louis, domain expertise from Joel, and technical expertise from Florin. On paper this looks like a well-formed, experienced team.

1 (Source: Cleanhub's seed deck)

9. The 'Ask'

  • This is the final section - talk about how much you are looking to raise and what the funds would be used for. This is critical, since investors want to undestand the rationale behind raising a certain amount
  • Avoid quoting a valuation - unless you have already closed and aligned on valuation with a lead, it is best to avoid quoting a number. This is best discussed in subsequent conversations.
  • Example: - see how the Orange team lays down the total funds they are looking to raise along with a broad plan for deployment of these funds below.

1 (Source: Orange's $2.5Mn seed deck)

That’s it. Those are some key slides to include in your seed round pitch deck and some “good examples” to draw inspiration from.

#️⃣

Use Hashdocs (opens in a new tab) to share your pitch deck with your investors! Now manage secure access to your sensitive documents with powerful link controls and advanced tracking, all from one sleek dashboard.

What more, Hashdocs is open source, giving you the ability to view, audit and contribute to the project.