For a FinTech startup, a great pitch deck could be something that makes or breaks its future. Investors in the business world have for years now considered good slides and presentations as one of the critical elements to evaluate a company, and when a FinTech brand comes along with a “technology-that-you-have-never-seen-before” proposal, expectations tend to rise.
A visually appealing delivery and great aesthetic sense are some of the coveted attributes of a smart pitch deck today. There is no formula here; no “one-size-fits-all” solution. The most seasoned entrepreneurs and startups have sometimes managed to awe their audiences with the most basic presentations. However, there are some things you need to keep in mind.
Create a Favourable Impression of the Company before the Presentation
It is always a good idea to make a good impression on the investor. Little things like sending the pitch deck in PDF format, ahead of the meeting, will help them get a background of your project. It will also show the company’s professionalism towards their work. Not all investors are tech savvy so make sure they are able to access the document.
An often-overlooked part of this exercise is bringing a working prototype along to the presentation, which offers the investors a first-hand experience. Investors like to see the presence of a minimum-viable-product for all start-ups, especially for a FinTech brand. Also important is the current traction of the product. These includes downloads, partnerships or even customer testimonials. They won’t take the company seriously otherwise. The goal here is to entice the investor before the meeting.
Pitch Decks Should Continuously Evolve
Pitch decks should be dynamic, living proposals that evolve over time. A start-up owner will pitch the proposal to many investors, so the presentation shouldn’t get boring. All the inputs that were missing in the previous meeting should be incorporated for the next one. This improves the learning curve. You should be able to anticipate the questions in the next round, based on earlier interactions and be prepared for that.
Market data and any statistics, such as consumer data, economic indicators and recent trends, in the presentation also should be updated with the latest numbers and statistics. The last thing you want the investors to notice is careless research work and outdated data. They will question your knowledge and credibility if this happens.
Incorporating Visual Elements
Having a visually appealing pitch deck is not a choice, but a necessity to score big with investors. It saves a lot of time for them in understanding a complex technology, and at the same time, absorb more information. Valuable information often gets lost in lengthy paragraphs. Rather than having a long 15-20 slide presentation, an image-rich one would be a good option.
The visual elements have to be designed very carefully to gain a competitive edge. Practically all FinTech start-ups will have created a pitch deck to present their product/offering which means you need to take the competition a notch higher. You can design additional visual templates to address investor questions. Create an appendix for these images. Visual elements are not just important to beautify a presentation; they should be contextual and useful.
It is a Pitch Deck, Not a Business Plan
It is important to know the difference because investors don’t like to talk about certain aspects in a short time. For example, the financials of a company can be included separately, provided to every investor along with the presentation beforehand. The essential elements for a FinTech pitch deck could be market requirements, current eco-system, company vision, technology details, team members and trial results of a platform or application. Even the more complex technical details can be saved for separate documents; technical jargon can annoy the audience, unless they are tech journalists.
The critical element that will bind together all the above points is the presenter. It should be someone with confidence, preparation and knowledge about the industry in general. Sometimes, a good presenter can single-handedly create a favourable impression on investors. They need to be able to explain the business proposal and revenue model in clear terms.
In the end, know that equity is the most expensive form of capital; so, look into the investor profiles. Evaluate your start-up’s needs; the investor should be the right person for the business.