A startup is, by definition, a fast-growing company. And to grow you need funding.
Enter the pitch deck.
A well-designed, comprehensive pitch deck is vital to convincing investors that your company has massive growth potential, so you can get the resources you need to scale.
In this post, we’ll look at the best pitch deck examples from heavy-hitters such as Guy Kawasaki, Airbnb, Uber, Facebook and more.
We’ll uncover the secrets of their successful pitch decks–and how you can leverage them to attract investor dollars, bring on new business partners, win new client contracts and more.
Best pitch deck examples (click to jump ahead):
- Sequoia pitch deck
- Airbnb pitch deck
- Uber pitch deck
- Guy Kawasaki pitch deck
- Buffer pitch deck
- Facebook pitch deck
- TikTok pitch deck
- Y Combinator pitch deck
- Pitch deck FAQ
1. Sequoia capital pitch deck
How much did they raise? Sequoia Capital is actually a Venture Capital firm and they’ve raised almost $1B for later-stage U.S. investments, according to TechCrunch.
Key takeaway: “If you can’t tell the story of the company in five minutes then you’re either overthinking it or you haven’t simplified it down enough.” – Mike Vernal, Sequoia Capital
Famous VC firm Sequoia Capital has its own 10-slide pitch deck format to rival Guy Kawasaki’s. It’s a highly curated format that shines a spotlight on innovative ideas and forces clarity of thinking.
And as the video above suggests, effectively communicating your mission, not just listing features, is key. Below is our take on the Sequoia Capital pitch deck outline–clean, clear and easy to create.
Design Tip: Click the blue background and select a new color from our color wheel or one of your brand colors (My Brand Kit is available with Venngage for Business).
Blue and Pink Iconics Pitch Deck
Add a pop of color to your version of the Sequoia pitch deck template with this pink and blue slide deck. The contrasting colors make your information stand out and get noticed.
2. Airbnb pitch deck
How much did they raise? $20k at three months and $600k at eight months (seed), according to Vator.
Key takeaway: A large marketplace, impressive rate of traction and a market ready for a new competitor are what made Airbnb stand out early on, says Fast Company–and its slide deck clearly demonstrates these points.
Your pitch deck should explain the core information in your business plan in a simple and straightforward way. Few startups have done this as well as Airbnb.
We’ve re-designed Airbnb’s famous deck as two light and airy templates. The focus here is on engaging visuals, with a minimum of text.
Airbnb fundraising slide deck
This type of deck is also called a demo day presentation. It’s going to be seen from a distance and you’re going to be presenting, so you don’t need lots of text. The point is to complement your speech, not distract from it.
One of the great things about the Airbnb slide deck format is that every slide has max three sections of information:
One of the most popular presentation layouts, the rule of three has been drilled into my head since middle school art class, and that’s because it works.
In my opinion, only the best pitch decks follow this simple rule on their slides.
Design Tip: To make the best pitch deck templates look like yours, click the background and pick from swatch colors, gradients and patterns–or your brand colors. Click any of the text to add your own numbers and words.
VIDEO TUTORIAL: Learn how to customize this template
Minimalist Airbnb pitch deck template
This simple Airbnb pitch deck template is clean and incredibly easy to edit. It’s perfect for presentation newbies.
Don’t forget to insert your own tagline instead of the famous “Book rooms with locals, rather than hotels.”
Your tagline should similarly convey what your business offers. Airbnb’s offers up tantalizing possibilities–cost savings, an insider’s perspective on a location and new friends.
Design Tip: Click the text boxes in our online editor and add your own words. Duplicate slides you like or delete the ones you don’t.
3. Uber pitch deck
How much did they raise? $1.57M in seed funding in 2010, says Business Insider.
Key takeaway: Clearly highlights the key pain point (the inefficiency of cabs) and the tantalizing solution (1-click ordering).
Uber co-founder Garrett Camp shared the company’s very first pitch deck from 2008 via a Medium post.
There’s actually a surprising amount of text. Still, it manages to hit every single major part of their business plan succinctly–including key differentiators, use cases and the best and worst-case scenarios.
We’ve updated the classic Uber pitch deck template with sharp visuals and layouts.
Uber investor deck
Designing your entire slide deck with the same layout may make your audience tune out.
But if you challenge your audience’s expectations, they are more likely to keep paying attention. For example, we redesigned Uber’s pitch deck and used at least five different slide layouts:
The best pitch decks are rather short, only covering a few main points across a handful of slides. But sometimes your deck needs to cover a little more information.
There’s nothing wrong with having a long investor pitch deck, as long as you switch up the slide layouts a few times. No one wants to see basically the same slide with different metrics or points across 25 slides.
For example, this slide deck template that we created based on the famous Uber deck has 20 or more slides! And as you can see in the slides below, the layout switches a few times:
Design Tip: Replace the photos with your own or browse our in-editor library of thousands of free professional stock images. Double click any image to open our “replace” feature. Then, search for photos by keyword.
Blue Uber slide deck
In this version of the Uber pitch deck, we’ve added bright colors and creative layouts. You can easily swap out the icons in our online editor. Choose from thousands of free icons in our in-editor library.
Further Reading: Our post with nine tips on improving your presentation skills.
4. Guy Kawasaki pitch deck
How much did they raise? Guy Kawasaki’s Garage Capital raised more than $315 million dollars in venture capital for its clients, according to one estimate.
Key takeaway: Avoid in-depth technical discussions in your pitch deck. Focus on the pain point you’re solving, how you’ll solve it, how you’ll make money and how you’ll reach customers without maxing out on marketing dollars.
Famous investor Guy Kawasaki coined the 10/20/30 rule of PowerPoint: 10 slides, 20 minutes and no fonts smaller than 30 point.
Guy Kawasaki’s 10 slide outline is famous for its laser focus. While you may be tempted to include as much of your business plan as possible, his outline forces you to tease out your most important content and engage investors or clients within a short span of time.
We’re recreated his famous outline in two winning templates you can adapt and make your own.
Gradient Guy Kawasaki pitch deck
This clean, clear pitch deck template has all the sections you need and nothing you don’t.
Kawasaki’s format steers you towards what venture capitalists really care about: your problem/solution, technology, competition, marketing plan, your team, financial projections and timeline.
Read our blog post on persuasive presentations for more design and speaking tips.
Blue Guy Kawasaki pitch deck
This more conservative design keeps all the focus on the core information. Kawasaki recommends getting through the 10 slides in 20 minutes, leaving 40 minutes for questions.
Another tip: stick with 30 point font and above. This will force you to stick to your key points and explain them clearly.
Anything smaller and you’ll risk losing your audience–especially if they’re busy reading tiny text and start tuning out what you’re actually saying.
Design Tip: Use our My Brand Kit feature to add your brand colors with one click. Swap out the icons using our in-editor icon library. It has thousands of professional icons and illustrations to choose from.
5. Buffer pitch deck
How much did they raise? $500k, according to Buffer’s co-founder Leo Widrich.
Key takeaway: The traction slide was key for Buffer. It showed that they had a great product/market fit. If you have great traction, it’s much easier to raise funding.
What’s interesting about Buffer’s pitching process was that the issue of competition was where many of their talks stalled. Investors became confused–the social media landscape looked crowded and no one was sure how Buffer differed.
Eventually, they created this slide to clear the air:
Frankly, I’m still confused but perhaps that’s just me.
In any case, we’ve recreated Buffer’s pitch deck with its own competitor slide, a clean new layout and some easy-to-customize icons on the timeline and traction slides.
And don’t forget to add a contact slide at the end of your pitch deck, like in this example.
Sometimes you’re going to give your pitch to a small room of investors. Other times it will be to an auditorium full of random people in your industry.
And I can guarantee, not everyone is going to know your brand off the top of their head.
Your job should be to make it extremely easy for people to find out more info or to contact the team with any questions. I would recommend adding this to the last slide, like in this pitch deck example.
Or on a slide that will be seen the longest, like the title slide. This will help anyone that is interested write it down as the event organizers get things ready.
6. Facebook pitch deck
How much did they raise? $500K in angel funding from venture capitalist Peter Thiel (first round).
Key takeaway: If you don’t have revenue traction yet, lean heavily on other metrics like customer base, user engagement and growth. Use a timeline to tell a story about your company.
The best pitch decks tell the real story about your company or brand. You want to not only sell the audience on your product but also how you built that product from the ground up.
Facebook’s classic pitch deck shows the incredible schools that’ve already signed on and a timeline of future launches.
The below pitch deck shows another example of a company or product timeline. We have found that people are already very familiar with timelines and know how to read them quickly.
Plus you can summarize a ton of information about your brand on a single slide. Check out how well the timeline fits into this pitch deck template below:
If the designer wouldn’t have used a timeline, this information would have probably been spread over five or six extra slides! But you don’t need a designer either way since Venngage also has a timeline maker to help you visualize your progress across a period of time.
7. TikTok Pitch Deck
How much did they raise? $150.4M in funding in 2014 when TikTok was called Musical.ly, says Crunchbase.
Key takeaway: Use icons as visual anchors for written information.
The full slide deck is available to Digiday subscribers, though you can view some of the key slides in this Medium post. This TikTok pitch deck was created for potential advertisers, though, not investors. No other TikTok pitch deck is publicly available.
What TikTok does really well in the above example is using icons as visual anchors for their stats.
I could write a whole article about using icons in your presentations correctly. There are so many ways you can use them to upgrade your slides. I could write a whole article about using icons in your presentations correctly. There are so many ways you can use them to upgrade your slides.
One of my favorite ways to use icons is as visual anchors for your written information. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, just look at the slide deck template below:
Each of the main points has an icon that gives a little instant visual context to the audience. These icons also draw the eye almost immediately to these important facts and figures as well.
Just remember to use icons that have a similar style and color palette. Otherwise, you run the risk of them becoming a distraction.
8. Y Combinator pitch deck
How much did they raise? This startup accelerator has invested in 3,203 startups to date at approximately $150K invested per startup, says Crunchbase. I did the math for you–that’s about $480B.
Key takeaway: Create clear, concise pitch deck slides that tell a story investors can understand in seconds.
The classic Y Combinator pitch deck is incredibly simple–for a good reason. Seed stage companies can’t provide much detail, so they should focus on telling a story about their company.
That means clear, concise slides that tell a story investors can grasp in seconds.
One of the key components is the problem (above) and solution (below) slides.
According to Y Combinator, use the problem slide to show the problem your business solves and how this problem is currently affecting businesses and/or people.
Explaining how your startup is going to solve a specific problem is a vital part of any slide deck. Without that information, investors and the audience are going to be left with more questions than answers.
The solution slide should show the real-world benefits of your company. Use a crystal-clear data visualization to show traction, like the chart above, with a couple of notes for context.
Make sure that your problem and solutions slides are easy to understand by using a similar layout on both. This will ensure that the audience will be able to quickly recall the main problem you want to solve.
This visual symmetry will help the audience connect your solution to the problem almost instantly. Even if the slides are separated by a few other points or ideas.
9. Front pitch deck
How much did they raise? $10M in Series A funding
Key takeaway: Use a simple flowchart to visualize a problem your company will solve.
Not everyone is going to be able to explain their problem and solution as succinctly as the previous examples. Some are going to have to take a unique approach to get their point across.
That’s why I want to highlight how Front masterfully visualized the problem they are solving. I think they realized it would be a lot easier to create a killer flow chart that visualizes the problem. (Did I mention you can make your own flowcharts with Venngage?)
As you can see, all they needed was a single visual to explain the core problems that they identified. Also, I really like how they distilled each of the problems down to a single phrase. That approach, combined with the visuals, will help it stick in investors’ minds as one of the best pitch decks.
Here’s another example from an organic food company.
It splits the competition slide right down the middle to illustrate the differences. It also shows exactly how the processes differ between the two entities using mini flowcharts.
Helping the audience make the right conclusions about your company should be an important part of your pitch deck strategy. Without saying a word, the visual choices you make can greatly impact your message.
I like this tactic because it shows how your company is better at a glance. It will also help them recall this information late because they can tie each brand to a certain color.
10. Crema pitch deck
How much did they raise? $175K in seed funding.
Key takeaway: Choose background images carefully–make sure they have a similar color palette.
The best pitch decks keep things consistent, mainly because there are so many moving parts in any presentation. You want each of your slides to feel like they are connected by a singular feeling or theme. An out-of-place presentation background image can throw that off.
Keeping things consistent when you use a solid background color or pattern isn’t hard. But things can get a little tricky if you want to use different photos for your backgrounds.
But if you pick presentation background images that have a similar color palette, you will be fine. Check out the images in the pitch deck from Crema below:
Also if you’re struggling to find exactly the same colored photos, you can use a color filter to make things a little more uniform.
11. WeWork pitch deck
How much did they raise? $6.9M in seed funding in 2011, says Crunchbase.
In fact, this investor pitch deck actually helped them raise money at a $5 billion valuation.
My favorite thing from this example is that they outline their key metrics on the second slide. They waste no time getting down to business and let the audience know they are killing it from the beginning.
A lot of the time brands hide these metrics at the end of their presentation, but WeWork made sure to put it front and center in their slide deck.
This approach puts the audience in a positive state of mind, which can help them be more receptive to the pitch.
How much did they raise? $2M in seed funding
Key takeaway: Start your presentation with a simple statement to set the tone.
Sometimes you have to set the mood of the room before you jump into your slide deck. A simple way to do this is by adding a powerful statement or famous quote at the beginning of your slides.
This may sound a little cliche but the creatives over at Crew (now Dribbble) use this approach extremely well in their pitch presentation.
In the slide above, they make a very simple statement that puts the rest of the presentation in the right context. By claiming that every business is an online business, they instantly change the way that people think about the business sector.
Additionally, the designers used this straightforward statement to set up the rest of the presentation perfectly. As you can see in the next few slides, the potential market is explained. Without the statement, I don’t think these numbers are as impactful.
Let’s take a look at the graphs and charts the Crew team used in their slide deck. Below you can see that the line charts use the same color palette, size, and typography.
One of my favorite tips from my presentation ideas roundup article states you should never make the audience do the math.
You can also use this mantra when you’re adding data visualizations to your slides. Make each slide extra easy to consume, as well as, easy to compare to other visualizations.
Below the pie charts use the exact same color palette, size, and typography as well:
If the designers would have used a different example, the audience would be distracted trying to decipher the information.
But consistent design across multiple visualizations will ensure your audience can make comparisons and the right conclusions.
Pro Tip: You can use a comparison infographic to summarize key points you’re comparing.
13. Aspire Food Group pitch deck
How much did they raise? $1M from the Hult Prize in 2013 to scale their project.
Key takeaway: Simple graphics clearly illustrate the problem (food security), the size of the market and Aspire’s unique farming project (of, uh, insects).
Nonprofits pitching donors or social enterprises pitching for funding have a slightly different challenge than other organizations. They need to present a unique solution and make an emotional connection to their audience.
Aspire’s simple pitch deck graphics allow investors to quickly grasp their unique ideas. Plus, by introducing the audience to one of their customers and how insect farming has had an incredible impact on her food budget, the concept is made relatable too.
Another simple design hack is to choose a unique background for your nonprofit or social enterprise pick deck. Take this example:
A good background image is the foundation of a great presentation.
There are millions of stock photos out there for you to pick from, so finding a few great ones shouldn’t be hard.
However, when you’re picking your presentation background images it’s important to make sure it matches your message or brand.
This minimalist background image was a great choice for this presentation as well. Especially because eco-friendly living and minimalism share some of the same core tenants.
Another great example is this sponsorship pitch deck above. It elevates the key message by opting for a simplistic background choice coupled with a light color choice.
With a beautiful yet minimalistic slide deck like this, who wouldn’t want to donate?
Most of the time your pitch deck background images are supposed to be used in a supporting role. These beautiful stock photos are meant to fade, well, into the background. Then all of your important information is added on top of them.
However, you can also design your presentation around the background images to create some of the best pitch decks.
As you can see in this pitch deck template, we added written content to the white space in each of the stock photos:
I think this makes each of the slides feel more real, and like it was almost printed on the paper! Plus no one can really copy your pitch deck layout, so you will instantly stand out from other companies.
The only words of advice I have are to pick photos that share the same color palette and theme. Otherwise, the benefits of using these kinds of presentation backgrounds will be lost.
14. Mattermark pitch deck
How much did they raise? A total of $17.2M so far, says Crunchbase.
Key takeaway: Use screenshots in your pitch deck to show the problem you’re solving.
Highlighting digital problems is tough when you have limited space and time. Like when you’re pitching your new digital product to a room full of investors.
The best pitch decks include screenshots of the problem that your digital product is solving.
As you can see above, the people from Mattermark used screenshots to show how unorganized SAAS reporting was. At that time it was spread over a ton of different sites, with different reporting standards and values.
Their product solved this messy reporting by bringing all of the data and information under one roof.
It would be difficult to sell an investor or audience member on their product just by talking about the market. Mainly because not a lot of people have experience in that specific niche.
But with a handful of screenshots, they were able to highlight the product potential almost instantly.
In terms of design, you can see the team at Mattermark stuck to the rule of three (see slide below). This rule will help you keep your team from overwhelming the audience with a flood of stats or figures.
They also decided to make these figures a little easier to consume by highlighting them in different colors.
Not only will this make the slide almost effortless to skim, but the varied colors will also make the numbers stick out in an investor’s mind.
Compared to a boring list of figures, it’s a lot easier to remember three distinct colored numbers.
Plus because the background colors get darker as they go, it will naturally pull the reader’s eyes down the slide.
15. Dwolla pitch deck
How much did they raise? Most recently, they got $12M in funding.
Key takeaway: Say why your company was founded in one pitchy sentence.
In a lot of our presentations, we talk about how Venngage started from humble beginnings and has grown to a 50+ person company in just a few years.
That’s because people really love origin stories. It helps the audience connect with your brand and see where it came from. Plus in this day and age, consumers love to see a brand build itself up from nothing.
For example, take a look at the pitch deck from Dwolla above. In a single sentence, they are able to outline why they were founded.
Just be sure to talk about your company founding in the first few slides of your pitch. Otherwise, it won’t have the same impact on the audience.
On another note, as a design company, we always love to see people create great visualizations in their pitch decks. Particularly when these visuals help illustrate a certain part of your presentation.
Like when it comes to talking about your ideal users!
As you can see above, the Dwolla designers created a few visual user personas for each of their main use cases.
These visual user personas can help the audience put a real-ish face to your user base. And if you have many ideal users, like Dwolla, it can help them keep each group organized.
16. Kickfolio pitch deck (now App.io)
How much did they raise? $1M in seed funding.
Key takeaway: Huge graphs! The bigger the better.
Be proud of your brand’s growth and metrics in your slide deck. You all worked hard to grow a company from nothing and that’s a big achievement!
So why would you want to make that growth hard to see? You wouldn’t!
However, I have seen a lot of people inadvertently hide their key metrics by using small graphs and charts.
The only solution to this problem is…bigger graphs! And I mean huge graphs, like Kickfolio used in their pitch deck above. Their graph is so large and imposing, every audience member could see it clearly. Our graph maker can help you make similar graphs for your own pitch decks.
17. Yalochat pitch deck
How much did they raise? Most recently, $15M in Series B funding, says TechCrunch
Key takeaway: Use icons as illustrations to add instant context.
Icons have been making a comeback in the design world over the past few years. According to this year’s graphic design trends, they will continue to be extremely popular and can add a little bit of whimsy to any pitch deck.
Each icon that they used perfectly illustrates the point they are making on each slide and gives you a ton of instant context. They will definitely catch the eye of almost any audience member because they have been used so well.
Just remember to follow their lead and use consistently designed icons!
18. Brex pitch deck
How much did they raise? $765M to date
Key takeaway: Include a single slide about your team and highlight what makes them truly exceptional.
Another important part of your story is the people who helped you build the company. These people are the lifeblood of your brand and what helps it stand out from the competitors.
Corporate card startup Brex does this well by using photos of its team and including their titles and company affiliations to build credibility.
Now I’m guessing you have already planned on adding them to the pitch deck. However, I would recommend using only a single slide like they did in this example.
You can use a team photo if you want to talk about the whole team or use an organizational chart. Or highlight the most important individuals, like below:
19. Purple Go slide deck
How much did they raise? Undisclosed
Key takeaway: Use a contrasting color to draw your audience’s attention to key information.
Color isn’t just about making your designs look good. It can also help you draw attention to important information.
For example, take a look at this simple pitch deck from Purple Go. They contrast deep purple with white to help certain sentences pop.
This is a simple way to make your slides have a lot of impact; pick colors that contrast boldly with each other.
20. Mint pitch deck
How much did they raise? $31M to date, according to Mint
Key takeaway: Add visual cues such as illustrations and icons to help explain your company to investors.
I’m guessing your pitch deck is already going to touch on how you stand out from the competition. But just listing a few things that set you apart in the industry may not be enough on your slide deck. You may need to add some visual cues to help the audience out.
This simple addition to your slides will make your help your information jump off the slide. And provide a strong visual break from the other related companies.
21. Park evergreen pitch deck
How much did they raise? $400k in seed funding.
Key takeaway: Give each metric its own slide.
Generally, slide decks are full of important metrics that they want you to remember. But not all of those numbers are presented in a way that would make them easy to remember.
Some are hidden in long paragraphs, while others are smashed together with less important findings.
That’s why I’m a huge fan of how Park Evergreen (now called Plot) included important numbers in this slide deck. As you can see below, each metric is given its own slide:
With this approach, the audience members place their full attention on that number. And they will be able to recall the related information a lot quicker.
It may look overly simple to some, but the best pitch decks use this tactic a lot.
22. Hampton creek pitch deck
How much did they raise? $1.5M Series A. Was raising $200M in growth funding in 2019, despite years of controversy.
Key takeaway: Create a minimalist title slide to build anticipation for your presentation.
You probably know that presentations don’t always run as smoothly as planned. With breaks and technical problems, the time between presentations often ends up being rather long.
A lot of the time you see the title slide longer than the whole presentation actually takes.
So if you really want to build some anticipation for your pitch, create a minimalist title slide. As you can see above, the designers at Hampton Creek did just this.
The only negative part of this tactic is that no one is going to know the name of your company.
23. Sickweather pitch deck
How much did they raise? $2.6M to date, says Crunchbase
Key takeaway: Pull out the main metrics from your graphs and charts to make your slide a snap to understand.
People hate doing math. So you never want to make the audience or investors try to do quick math on any of your graphs or charts.
Out of all the tips in this article, this one might be the most important. Mainly because forgetting this idea could instantly doom your brand.
Especially when you’re dealing with millions of dollars, tiny percent changes or other complicated numbers.
That’s why I recommend you “do the math” on every slide you include a graph or chart. Kinda like how Sickweather did above!
By pulling out the main growth metrics from the graph, they made this slide a lot more consumable. And showed the audience exactly what they need to pay attention to on the slide.
Pitch deck FAQ
What is a pitch deck?
A pitch deck is a presentation you create to raise venture capital from potential investors for your business. It outlines everything from why your business exists, your business model, progress or milestones, the team behind your business as well as a conclusion in the form of a call to action.
A pitch deck can help you:
- Prove the value of your business in difficult economic times
- Simplify complex ideas so your audience can understand them (and get on board)
- Differentiate your business from its competitors
- Tell the story behind your company (and make the story exciting)
What makes a good pitch deck?
You made it to the end of this rather long article! But I think we covered a ton of great tips that can help you create the best pitch decks for your company.
Some of my favorite pitch deck design tips include:
- The best pitch decks add icon headers to your important content
- Use similar charts and graphs for easy comparisons across slides
- For long pitch decks, switch up the slide layouts
- Pick a consistent theme for your presentation background images
- Don’t just list your ideal users, create visual personas
- Use a timeline to show how your company has grown
- Do the math for your audience
Now that you know how to create the best pitch decks to communicate your ideas, present your business or raise venture capital, take action and start designing your own pitch deck today!
And if you want to learn more, there are a ton of other presentation design resources you can take a look at next: