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Personal Branding, How to Start a Business

11 Amazing Pitch Deck Examples (From Legendary Startups!)

Are you putting together your pitch presentation for potential investors? Then, you’ve come to the right place!

I’ve gathered 11 excellent pitch deck examples for you from legendary startups. Below you’ll find decks from companies of various sizes and industries. Don’t be afraid to take inspiration from outside your niche.

ALL 11 of these have helped startups raise millions of dollars in funding. 

So, let’s ‌dive into 11 pitch decks from legendary startups.

1. Facebook

Facebook started in 2004 at Harvard University with Mark Zuckerberg and soon expanded to colleges all over America.

When it was time to bring in outside funding, this is the pitch deck Facebook used to attract money from angel investors like Peter Thiel.

Because Facebook didn’t yet have a business model, its pitch presentation focused heavily on data like user engagement and the business’s potential for growth.

Why Facebook’s Pitch Deck is Effective

Most pitch decks include a problem slide explaining the problem the business solves. However, Facebook’s pitch deck wasn’t problem-oriented.

Instead, they relied on metrics like user demographics and projected growth. They used their intended audience’s spending habits and purchasing power to generate interest in Facebook’s potential.

(speaking of Facebook, check out 7 alternatives here)

2. YouTube

YouTube is the largest platform of its kind, with 2.8 billion active users.

In early 2006, in their Series B (second round) financing, YouTube used this pitch deck to raise $8 million from Sequoia Capital and Artis Ventures.

Using text-based slides and no images, YouTube laid out a clear path with a beginning, a middle and an end. In addition, they addressed the potential questions investors would have when watching a pitch presentation.

Why YouTube’s Pitch Deck is Effective

While the pitch presentation design is very basic, this pitch deck is an excellent example of clear messaging. 

With only ten simple slides, potential investors know:

  • What problem YouTube solves
  • How they solve it 
  • Who they serve 
  • How they will make money 
  • And what they’ve accomplished to date

3. Moz

Co-founded by Rand Fishkin, Moz is search engine optimization (SEO) software that helps businesses develop and implement marketing strategies. In 2011, when seeking Series B funds, Moz developed this pitch deck. At 36 pages, it’s one of our longest pitch deck examples. 

But it’s a great example of the information you should include if you’re an established business looking for seed funding. 

You want to highlight your value proposition, customer acquisition costs, how you’ll allocate investor funds, gross margins, etc.

Why Moz’s Pitch Deck is Effective

Moz’s pitch deck is so effective because of its storytelling technique. 

From the cover page statement “How a mom + son consultancy became the world leader in SEO software…” to the last sentence “…we’d love to have you join us for the ride,” they keep investors interested in Moz’s journey.

4. Airbnb

Airbnb is an online platform that connects people looking for travel accommodations and people who have a space they want to rent.

Their 2008 pitch deck is one of the most referenced pitch decks when someone is looking for a pitch deck example.

The business model slide illustrates the genius of this pitch example. You want to explain to investors how you’re going to make money, but you don’t want to overwhelm them with details. 

With minimal explanation and a simple model, Airbnb shows investors how their business works and how they’ll make money.

Why Airbnb’s Pitch Deck is Effective

The Airbnb pitch deck is the most popular pitch deck template for good reasons. 

First, it’s the perfect pitch deck example of sophisticated simplicity. There’s lots of white space and a good balance of text and graphics.

Second, they use the rule of three smartly, both in their images and writing.

5. Foursquare

Originally, Foursquare was a social media app that used gamification to help you and your friends explore locations and businesses in your city. But Foursquare is so much more today. 

In fact, if you use Snapchat, Twitter, Apple Maps, Uber, Airbnb or WeChat, you’re using Foursquare’s location-based technology.

With a heavy reliance on mobile screen images, their slide deck shows they’re a mobile app for mobile users.

Be sure to look at slide #2. While it’s heavier on the text than ideal, they do an excellent job explaining what Foursquare is and how it benefits both the user and those who advertise on it.

Why Foursquare’s Pitch Deck is Effective

While this deck is text-heavy, the messaging is clear. 

Each slide builds on the next, telling a story. 

Potential investors see how the app works. They see how gamification keeps users coming back for more. And they learn how Foursquare will generate leads and monetize the app.

6. Sequoia Capital

Sequoia Capital is a venture capital firm focused mainly on the tech industry. They were one of the first investors in Apple and have also invested in Google, PayPal, Reddit and Instagram. 

Sequoia is a popular source for startups because of their willingness to provide seed funding.

Their recommended pitch deck is an excellent model because they tell you exactly what they want to see as potential investors in your business.

It’s a no-nonsense pitch model with the relevant information that should be in an investor pitch deck.

Why Sequoia’s Pitch Deck is Effective

Sequoia’s deck is effective because it’s clean, simple and visually appealing.

But most importantly, you’re getting insight straight from an investment source. So you want your pitch deck to include the elements Sequoia recommends, even if you insert some of your own personality and flair.

7. Buffer

Buffer is a social media scheduling platform that helps you plan and post your social media content from one central tool.

This pitch deck is a notable example because Buffer was one of the first companies to share its pitch deck openly. 

As you look through their deck, notice the Team slide. Buffer adds social proof and name recognition by revealing its advisors and previous investors. 

They also use many numbers to show their growth and their potential. But they keep it clean by using bullet points and short snippets of text that make clear points.

Why Buffer’s Pitch Deck is Effective

The traction slide gets a lot of the credit for making this pitch deck effective. It shows the upward trajectory of Buffer’s growth. The corresponding numbers help investors see that investing in Buffer is a winning proposition.

8. LinkedIn

LinkedIn used this pitch deck for their Series B pitch presentation to potential investors. 

The LinkedIn deck is an old-school, serious pitch deck. There’s very minimal design, and they stick to blue and black text on white slides. That makes sense because their target market is business professionals. You want your design to match audience expectations.

There’s also a heavy focus on facts and figures. For example, they use graphs and data to show LinkedIn’s potential for revenue and growth.

Why LinkedIn’s Pitch Deck is Effective

If you look at the first several slides, they show how business practices have changed as internet usage has grown. 

Instead of doing things in isolation, we now rely on networks. Our sales potential expanded when we connected with buyers around the world.

The same holds true for professional networking.

9. Mint

Mint is an online budget tracker and money management tool for your personal finances.

Mint does several things well with their deck.

They highlight the benefits to the consumer, showing how Mint is more user-friendly and superior to other money management options.

They have a logical approach to user acquisition as they launch, grow and reach maturity as a company.

They offer multiple choices for an exit strategy. Investors may want to see this for various reasons, and the exit strategy you choose will depend on several factors.

Why Mint’s Pitch Deck is Effective

One of the most effective parts of Mint’s pitch presentation is the slide that addresses its competitors.

Mint uses the opportunity to show investors that Mint knows who its competition is. They highlight how they differ from the competition and how they’ll defend against any potential moves the competition makes.

10. Front

Front is a customer communication platform that brings your emails, apps and coworkers into one central hub to streamline your communication. 

Mathilde Collin, co-founder of Front, says she built this deck from scratch because she couldn’t find relevant pitch deck templates.

Front used this deck for their Series A round of fundraising and it gets high marks from Alexander Jarvis.

The deck is simple, with a good mix of text and visuals. Graphs are helpful to include because they add visual interest and are an excellent way to present complex data.

Why Front’s Pitch Deck is Effective

Based on investor feedback, the Front pitch deck got high marks for its Capital Efficient slide (#14) because investors like seeing that money isn’t being thrown around without purpose.

The Land and Expand slide (#13) also landed well because investors saw that Front could take a small sale and nurture it into a more significant, long-term deal.

11. Dwolla

Dwolla is a financial technology company that connects businesses with the ACH or RTP® payment systems.

This slide deck is from their Series C round of fundraising.

Most people don’t understand that credit and debit card payments are not as simple as taking money from the consumer and giving it to the merchant.

Slide #5 is a great illustration showing how convoluted the credit card payment process is and how much money businesses lose via credit card transactions. 

They follow that slide with another that shows the Dwolla payment processing path. It’s much shorter… meaning businesses will have money in hand more quickly.

Why Dwolla’s Pitch Deck is Effective

Their Use Case slide shows the value proposition for each target market

So potential investors see that the pitching company knows the market, the target audience and how to reach each market’s pain point. 

Are You Ready to Put Your Pitch Deck Together?

Hopefully, you’ve drawn inspiration from these pitch deck examples and you’re ready to begin work on your deck!

Before you start, is there a stellar pitch deck example I didn’t include? I’d love to see it. Let me know about it in the comments 🙂

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About the Author Marisa Murgatroyd

Marisa is the founder of Live Your Message, where she turns entrepreneurs into Online Superheroes, and the creator of Start With You where she helps people just like you to discover the business they're meant to build, not just the business they can build. At 4’11 and a quarter, she’s called the shortest woman in marketing — and that doesn’t stop her from having huge ideas. She’s the “go to” brand builder for industry luminaries and heavyweights such as Justin Livingston, Callan Rush, Danny Iny, Alexis Neely and Susan Peirce Thompson. Marisa helps entrepreneurs create a business that is authentic and aligned with who they are, to empower them to turn up the dial on their “inner superhero”, so they can be the superhero to their tribe, as well as in their own lives.

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