Buyers are spending 24% much less time pitch decks in 2022, in comparison with 2021. On common, you’ve gotten slightly below three minutes to persuade them to take a gathering with you. The truth is, for decks that fail to lift funding, traders surrender in simply 2 minutes and 13 seconds. That’s not a variety of time to make a primary impression, so that you’ve obtained to make it depend.
It’s fairly uncommon that I get to speak to somebody who’s as massive of a pitch deck nerd as I’m, however after I was lastly in a position to nerd out with the analysis lead at DocSend, how may I not? We go deep into what the information tells us about what makes a pitch deck profitable, and indicators for what works much less nicely.
The most important development change in how traders are pitch decks is that traders are spending lots much less time on slides total, however the place that point is spent is shifting.
“This yr, we all know that traders are spending much less and fewer time on pitch decks. That’s not essentially shocking: The variety of hyperlinks to pitch decks despatched out has gone up, and the time spent on decks is staying very low,” explains Justin Izzo, analysis lead for DocSend. “What’s shocking to me is that we all know that the product and enterprise mannequin sections of decks are actually the place traders appreciated to lean in, particularly for corporations on the early levels. However traders have virtually halved their time spent on these sections on the pre-seed stage. Buyers are nonetheless giving scrutiny to those sections, however they’re doing it a lot extra shortly than ever earlier than. So founders have to actually suppose deeply about their enterprise, however talk briefly.”
One of many largest shifts is that traders spend much more time on what DocSend describes as the aim of a startup slide — the “why are you doing this” a part of the story.
“Founders have to actually suppose deeply about their enterprise, however talk briefly,” laughs Izzo, “I prefer to name it ‘compelling brevity.’ It isn’t simple to do, thoughts you, however it’s what founders ought to be striving for.”
The third-longest-viewed part is the Firm Objective part (after the product and enterprise mannequin sections), however Izzo factors out that this part is often solely a really small a part of the slide deck, typically only a line or two of textual content on slides one or two of the deck.
“Often it’s one sentence, a pointed and well-balanced assertion of what the corporate is. We often see that on the very entrance of the deck, typically on the intro slide. What was surprising to me after I first began our newest dataset, was that over the previous couple of years, it’s been sort of middling when it comes to viewing instances,” says Izzo. “This yr, it actually shot up, and traders are typically utilizing this part as a sort of gatekeeper. They need to know at a look whether or not this firm has a motive to exist earlier than even going via the remainder of the deck.”
That makes a variety of sense; a enterprise goal assertion is usually formulated as “Venmo for Fundraising” or “Remodel buyer experiences with human-centered AI” or “Situation-tracking SaaS for Bodily Product Builders.” By the way, these are all actual examples from our Pitch Deck Teardown collection. The nice factor is that traders can use these statements to see if the funding may doubtlessly be an excellent match with their funding thesis. If you happen to don’t put money into SaaS, or in case you don’t care about fintech, or in case you couldn’t give a crap about buyer help — that turns into a really fast filter to present a startup workforce a “no,” without having to go deep on product, workforce or market dimension.
“It’s whether or not founders can talk a imaginative and prescient and specificity however what their firm does, in in a compelling approach. As a result of if you are able to do that, you realize, you’re hooking traders, you’re displaying that there’s this thesis match, after which that will get traders prepared, you realize, primed to learn the remainder of their story,” says Izzo. “And you realize, doing this in a sentence, sentence and a half or one thing like that, is hard to do. However we’re seeing it turns into a lot extra vital for early-stage founders.”
Slides in profitable versus unsuccessful decks
The DocSend workforce analyzed 320 decks and checked out which slides have been current in every. The one slide that was obtainable in 100% of decks, each profitable and unsuccessful, was Staff, however from there, issues begin various a bit.
Probably the most fascinating distinction between profitable and unsuccessful decks is the slides which are lacking; I used to be shocked that solely a couple of quarter of startup decks had financials (belief me on this one, you really want an working plan), however I used to be unsurprised that not one of the failed decks had financials.
The opposite massive distinction is competitors slides; all decks ought to have an summary overlaying the aggressive panorama.
“The very first thing that’s lacking is usually a contest slide. Founders typically don’t suppose to incorporate it, or after they do, they’re utilizing it as a not-so-subtle indicator that there isn’t any competitors,” laughs Izzo. “I at all times inform them to incorporate some sort of evaluation of different gamers within the subject, nonetheless you outline that subject.”
DocSend’s workforce created a fundraising playbook of types, and a “state of the union” report for fundraising, evaluating the shifts from 2021 to 2022, which makes for a captivating in-depth learn to tell the way you’re your fundraising course of.