Lessons From Airbnb's Investor Pitch Deck

Jan 19 2014, 4:35pm CST | by

Lessons From Airbnb's Investor Pitch Deck

Recently a startup founder reached out to me about his investor pitch deck. While it covered all the main topics, it was actually too wordy.

And this probably hurt his chances for getting funding. Keep in mind that investors see tons of deals – making it tough to get their attention.

So to  help out my friend, I recommended that he check out the investor pitch deck from Airbnb, which is one of the hottest companies in the tech world. The firm has raised about $326 million from top tier investors like Y Combinator, Sequoia Capital, Greylock Partners, SV Angel, Andreessen Horowitz and even Amazon.com’s Jeff Bezos.

OK, so why was the deck so compelling? Well, here are some of my takeaways (you can find the deck here):

Slide #1 – Welcome

You need to hook your audience. This means being extremely clear about what your company is focused on.

If not, an investor will probably get lost and simply lose interest.

Your message should be only one sentence. If anything, consider the 5X5 rule. That is, can you describe your business in 5 words to a 5 year old?

Slide #2 – Problem

Investors always want to know about the “pain points.” This is absolutely required for there to be any business opportunity.

Slide #3 – Solution

Now for the solution. Airbnb has a pithy solution for each of the 3 pain points.

Slide #4 – Market Validation

Investors also want “proof points.” And focus on those that are most critical (a big temptation is to get too deep in the weeds).

Slide #5 – Market Size

Even if there is user traction, there is another question investors will have: Is the market big enough to justify a major investment? The technical term is total addressable market or TAM.

Airbnb does this with nice circles, showing the huge potential.

Slide #6 – Product

It’s typical for an entrepreneur to begin the presentation with the product. Usually, this goes on and on. And yes, investors get annoyed.

As for Airbnb, there is no production description until slide #6. More importantly, it only shows the core functions.

Slide #7 – Business Model

A newbie presentation may provide a laundry list of business models. But for the most part, companies only have one.

Slide #8 – Market Adoption

It’s common for investor pitch decks to be weak on this topic — or not even cover it!  But investors want some clear, convincing ideas on how you will get your product into the hands of a large number of users — and do this at a low cost.

Slide #9 – Competition

Competition. Yes, all businesses have rivals.

What investors want to see is that you are different from the rest of the crowd. In Slide #9, Airbnb does this by using a simple matrix.

Slide #10 – Competitive Advantages

Even if you are different today, will your advantages last? They better. In slide #10, Airbnb shows why.

Tom Taulli (@ttaulli) operates MasterCFO, which helps early-stage companies with accounting, payroll and taxes.

Source: Forbes Business

 
 

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