Hour One’s $20M deck • TechCrunch


Through the years, Mike Butcher has lined Hour One numerous occasions right here on TechCrunch. The corporate is utilizing AI to create text-to-video options with realistic-looking human avatars. The house appears to be exploding, and Hour One has been on fairly the trajectory. The corporate raised $5 million back in 2020, was taking on the language learning vertical and raised another $20 million in a spherical that closed in April of this 12 months.

I’m fairly excited to take a better take a look at the deck Hour One used to boost its most up-to-date spherical, so let’s dive proper in!


We’re on the lookout for extra distinctive pitch decks to tear down, so if you wish to submit your personal, here’s how you can do that


Slides on this deck

Hour One raised its $20 million spherical with a good 11-slide deck. The corporate shared its deck, dated November 2021, in full, with out edits or redactions, so we are able to see what the buyers noticed as they had been reaching for his or her checkbooks.

  1. Cowl slide
  2. “At a look” abstract slide
  3. Answer slide
  4. Market measurement slide
  5. Worth proposition slide
  6. Product slide 1
  7. Product slide 2
  8. Audience slide
  9. Case research slide
  10.  Crew slide
  11.  Closing slide

Three issues to like

I like a deck that is ready to distill its story to the naked necessities. A lot of the decks I’m seeing nowadays, each by means of my consulting follow and thru the pitches submitted to TechCrunch, are lots longer than the 11 slides Hour One used right here. The query is … did they go too far into sparsity? Let’s discover out!

Love the “at a look” method!

[Slide 2] It is a nice method to get everyone on the identical web page. Picture Credit: Hour One

Let’s admit it: One of many essential causes startup founders want a deck within the first place is to assist potential buyers determine whether or not they need to take a gathering with you. Having a abstract slide may also help buyers determine in case you are in the best vertical and firm stage — in different phrases, you can help them decide if you fit their investment thesis. This slide will get just a few of these issues proper.

By main with traction (characters and movies produced), prospects and funding historical past, together with a screenshot displaying how the interface works, this slide goes a great distance towards setting the stage. Personally, I’d have added a few further factors:

  • A one-line abstract about what the corporate does (“Human-like AI character movies on the click on of a button” might work.)
  • Make express the enterprise mannequin (B2B SaaS).
  • Make express how a lot cash you’re elevating (“Elevating $20 million Collection A”).

The lesson right here is to incorporate all of the pertinent details about your organization in a single place, as early within the story as potential.

Nice product abstract

[Slide 6] That is the way you do a product abstract. Picture Credit: Hour One

Aside from the good pun within the identify for its product, this slide is jam filled with actually good content material, providing a very clear abstract of the product complexity Hour One has already constructed by means of a easy, user-focused story. To make this slide even higher, I’d have most well-liked that the story was advantages pushed moderately than function pushed, however it does a number of heavy lifting as-is.

The explanation why benefit-driven product tales work higher is clear: You assist the investor join the dots. It isn’t about what the person can do, however about why they could do this stuff to avoid wasting time, cash and frustration. Right here’s how which may have regarded:

  • No code required –> “Anybody could make AI character movies.”
  • Voices and languages –> “Join along with your viewers of their language.”
  • Characters –> “Embrace range by selecting from greater than 100 presenters.”
  • Information enter –> “Personalized content material on the fly by simply pulling in information from exterior sources.”

By the way, I’m confused about this slide: On the abstract slide, we’re speaking about 150+ characters, and on this slide, it’s 100 presenters. Are presenters and characters completely different? If that’s the case, how? And if not, why are the numbers completely different? I presume that the founders would be capable to discuss this extra as they pitch the story, however it will have been higher if it had been extra apparent why there’s a distinction right here.

A wide range of goal prospects

The easiest firms create a product that works effectively for one set of goal customers, after which broaden the person base to seize a broader market share. Hour One tells that a part of the story on its eighth slide:

[Slide 8] Goal audiences. Picture Credit: Hour One

What actually works about this slide is that Hour One is ready to present the breadth of its enchantment; every of those classes could possibly be sufficiently big to construct a profitable firm, however by being vertical agnostic, Hour One is ready to construct up somewhat concern of lacking out (FOMO) in me as an investor: I can simply see how the corporate could possibly be on a unprecedented progress trajectory.

Apparently, I’m in a nitpicking temper as we speak, and pretty much as good and as clear as this slide is, I believe it will be even higher in the event that they mixed the goal prospects with their outcomes. Think about how a lot stronger this a part of the presentation would have been if the corporate had used precise case research for every of those classes.

Right here’s how which may look:

  • E-commerce firms: +15% common basket worth.
  • Actual property: +19% of inquiries.
  • Language studying: +40% vocab retention.

Clearly, I’m making up the numbers right here, however as a founder, these are the sorts of slides the place you may actually showcase how deep your market understanding is. One other method could be to make it extra advantages pushed, connecting the purchasers with the use instances. “E-commerce makes use of Hour One to attach with prospects” and “CFOs use Hour One to make their monetary reviews come to life.”

For a gold star, mix them for even deeper narratives: “Firm X makes use of Hour One to make its inner coaching packages, leading to a 35% improve in completion of latest coaching initiatives.”

As a startup founder, what you may study from this slide is to all the time be looking out for methods you can present the depth of your data, each when it comes to area experience and market context. Understanding your prospects deeply and that your product solves actual issues for them is a sign that there’s one thing particular about you and your group; being uniquely positioned to unravel an issue turns into a part of your “moat” — the rationale why no person else could possibly be doing what you’re doing.

In the remainder of this teardown, we’ll check out three issues Hour One might have improved or carried out in another way, together with its full pitch deck!



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