This week at Runway East HQ, the marketing team have been studying the startup journey from the very hatching of an idea, right through to funding. We looked at what makes them successful, what investors look for and the various pain points that startups encounter. As part of our workshop, we looked at pitch decks from some of the world’s most ambitious, and most successful, startups. Here’s our selection of the most interesting startup pitch decks to have surfaced post-pitch.
Tinder stormed the dating industry by doing things differently to the rest of the market. The first, and perhaps best documented, was the gamification aspect. By introducing the simple swipe left, swipe right feature, the app tapped into the part of the human psyche that craves the instant and addictive gratification of games. The less well-documented aspect however, which they centred their pitch deck on, was the part that focused on another part of our psyche – our fear of rejection. Contrary to other dating sites, where you were randomly paired with another person who might then reject you, with Tinder (or Matchbox as it was back then), you knew that the person you were now speaking to had already chosen you. Simple, but effective. Check out the pitch deck here to see how they got their message across.
One of the most famous and celebrated success stories in the startup world, Airbnb’s pitch desk would normally be described as ambitious (they projected a revenue of $200m within a few years), but with the benefit of hindsight, it’s actually starting to look quite conservative (they made $1 billion in Q3 alone last year). Perhaps what helps Airbnb standout is the short but eye-catching tagline ‘Book rooms with locals, rather than hotels’ as does their vision of targeting the £1.9B travel market (their TAM). Whilst the deck has the level of detail and statistical analysis of Buzzfeed’s pitch desk, it keeps the information on each slide to a minimum and is well-written enough to get you genuinely excited in their product offering.
Buzzfeed’s meteoric rise in the last few years has often been attributed to its first ambitious pitch deck dating back to when they were first starting out. With a valuation now close to $1 billion, it’s clear they got something right in this bold but, crucially, credible pitch deck that is backed up by cold hard statistics.
A noticeably lighter, more left-field approach comes by way of Manpacks’ 2016 pitch deck where they swap statistics for humour but achieve a similarly successful funding round that achieved their aim of $500k. Whilst it might not be the most heavily researched pitch deck that investors would have seen, it’s bursting with brand identity and a freshness that clearly won over the investors and provided them with a springboard to expand their product.
Whilst Manpacks early funding success might not have continued to further rounds, one startup whose early vision has been fully realised is Youtube. Now worth billions of pounds and quickly acquired by Google, it’s the ambition and vision that marks out YouTube’s early pitch. With the classic pitch deck structure of “Company Purpose, Problem, Solution, Market Size, Competition” Youtube boldly sets out its plan to become the No.1 video streaming site in the world.
If you haven’t seen the Fyre Festival documentary on Netflix – do. The $4000 a ticket festival, with ambassadors ranging from Bella Hadid to Emily Ratajkowski and promises of Blink-182 and Migos headlining was, for the large part, a complete lie. When the punters turned up in the Bahamas (5000 people in total bought tickets) it turned out the luxury festival’s logistics weren’t, exactly, in place. A $100 million lawsuit was filed against the organisers – not that it stopped them offering people a ticket for the same event the year after – and after the world famous Netflix documentary came out, it’s place in history confirmed. Now, in all it’s glory, their original pitch deck has resurfaced. Bask in the warm, schadenfreudian glow of it here.
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