Palau Undertaking ‘s $125K deck • TechCrunch

I get rather a lot of pitch deck submissions for this TechCrunch Pitch Deck Teardown sequence from people who find themselves elevating buddy and household rounds, and I principally go on them. Usually, these decks aren’t superb, however it’s vital to keep in mind that they don’t should be.

For a small spherical (say $200,000 or beneath), most well-connected entrepreneurs will be capable to discover a group of people that consider in them and are keen to put money into them. It’s not concerning the product (there sometimes isn’t one), and it’s not concerning the answer (the corporate continues to be iterating).

Such buyers are normally betting on two issues:

  1. Is that this market sufficiently big, and is the issue value fixing huge or pertinent sufficient to provide this firm a chance of success?
  2. Are the founders the best folks to unravel this drawback? Have they got the connections, abilities or expertise that offers them an unfair benefit?

Right here’s the reality: When contemplating very early-stage corporations, when you can’t say “Sure” to each of these questions with 100% certainty, you shouldn’t make investments. If the market isn’t sufficiently big, don’t make investments. If the founders are good, pleasant and superb, however they don’t have one thing particular that offers them a head begin, don’t make investments.

It was towards that backdrop that I acquired the pitch deck for the Palau Project. Its founder, Jerome Cloetens, is a professional kite surfer (!) with an economics diploma and an MBA, and he’s taking over local weather change.

Let’s take a more in-depth take a look at how all these items come collectively in a pitch deck.

We’re in search of extra distinctive pitch decks to tear down, so if you wish to submit your individual, here’s how you can do that

Slides on this deck

This pre-seed deck has 22 slides, however it may in all probability have been 10 slides or so. That stated, it appears to be like good, and though it jumps from matter to matter a bit, I can see how the presentation would take form. Cloetens notes that the slide deck has been barely up to date for the reason that fundraise, and he talked about it’s “not exactly as pitched; among the design and small content material adjustments (auch as our traction metrics) have been up to date.”

  1. Cowl slide
  2. Downside affect slide
  3. Downside slide
  4. Answer slide
  5. Product slide
  6. Product slide
  7. Product slide
  8. Problem slide
  9. Worth proposition slide
  10.   Enterprise mannequin slide
  11.   Market measurement slide
  12.   Market slide
  13.   Traction slide
  14.   Metrics slide
  15.   Milestones slide
  16.   Group slide
  17.   Founders slide
  18.   “Seed spherical” interstitial slide
  19.   Mission slide
  20.   The Ask slide
  21.   Milestones slide
  22.   Fairness for “thrifthers” [sic] closing slide

Three issues to like

As I discussed within the intro, it is a pre-seed deck. As per slide #20, the founders had been making an attempt to lift $500,000, they usually closed on about $125,000. That isn’t completely unusual at early phases. Barely in a while, your plan must match the funds, which must match the milestones you’re making an attempt to hit.

At this stage, “I simply want some cash to show what we are attempting to do” will work, and if the angel buyers suppose it is sensible, you’ll elevate cash.

Easy product, testable now

[Slide 5] The Palau Undertaking’s product is tremendous easy, however the energy will probably be within the information. Picture Credit: The Palau Project

Make your product demos this easy when you can — it’s straightforward to grasp, visible and impactful.

I discussed earlier that each one that issues is the market measurement and workforce, and I’ll get to that in only a second. For now, I used to be actually impressed at how easy the concept is, and the way straightforward it’s to think about this in use. Scan a barcode, get details about a product and get nudged towards merchandise which have much less affect on the local weather.

As an investor, I might instantly have three questions:

  1. How good is the database and what number of merchandise are captured there?
  2. Will folks truly use this when they’re strolling round, purchasing?
  3. This use case seems to be in-person, however the enterprise mannequin refers to a fee. How would the producers know {that a} consumer has modified their conduct on account of utilizing an app?

You may study two issues from this slide: Make your product demos this easy when you can — it’s straightforward to grasp, visible and impactful. The second step is to tie it to your worth propositions: What’s in it for the buyer? What’s in it for the product producers? What’s in it to your firm (i.e., how does this allow you to acquire or retain prospects, and the way does it allow you to generate worth)?


[Slide 13] A product this early with traction is gorgeous. Picture Credit: The Palau Project

When an organization is elevating its first spherical, it’s unlikely that it has a product in any respect, by no means thoughts a product with precise traction. If you happen to do occur to have such a product, scream about it from the rooftops. Having 30 downloads per day is spectacular, and 10,000 scans exhibits that the app is working and getting some consumer engagement. Engagement time is cool, too — there are quite a lot of early indicators displaying up right here that the founders could also be on to one thing. Going from zero to 700 weekly energetic customers in a brand new market (Portugal) is spectacular, too.

Once more, the slide raises questions for me:

  1. Scans are nice, however I wish to know what share of these scans had been profitable (i.e., had merchandise within the database). If customers scanned 10,000 gadgets and ended up with 600 hits and 9,400 “We don’t know this product,” that may make quite a lot of customers flip away instantly.
  2. 25-30 new customers per day is spectacular, however present us a graph and the entire variety of sign-ups.
  3. TikTok movies are cool, however that’s an arrogance metric meaning nothing until it strikes the needle on the enterprise aspect. Did the video end in downloads? Extra scans? Extra inquiries?

What you’ll be able to study from this slide as a startup is to consider the story you’re telling together with your metrics, since you might be telling the unsuitable story, or it may elevate extra questions than it solutions.

Fake to be a VC for a second and ask your self: If an organization advised me these numbers, what triggered the numbers to occur, and what do they inform me about the place the corporate goes?

Elegant worth proposition

[Slide 3] It’s laborious to be a shopper who cares. Picture Credit: The Palau Project

The graphic on the left actually rams house some extent: Firms blatantly utilizing greenwashing to fake that they’re sustainable, tree-hugging hippies is actual (and Coca-Cola, specifically, wraps itself into some curious inexperienced pretzels making an attempt to show how a lot it cares concerning the atmosphere), and as customers, you’ll be able to’t belief giant firms to honestly signify what they’re doing.

So what’s a poor shopper to do? The Palau Undertaking’s tackle it is a masterful set-up to a pitch and a beautiful manner of opening the door to a narrative.

This slide is a good instance of a superb opener that may assist drive the dialog ahead. Having a transparent worth proposition or portray an image to your raison d’etre is an effective way to have interaction your listeners.

Keep in mind once I stated “workforce” and “market” are the 2 most vital elements of a pre-seed slide deck? You’ll discover the absence of both on this “issues I beloved” part. There’s a motive for that, so let’s take a more in-depth take a look at what might be improved in Palau’s pitch.

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