Pattern Pre-seed pitch deck: 5 Flute’s $1.2M deck

What if {hardware} product managers had instruments nearly as good as these accessible for software program PMs? Nicely, that’s the world Five Flute desires to dwell in. The corporate raised a $1.2 million round I lined earlier this week. In the present day, we’re taking a more in-depth have a look at the pitch deck it used to lift its pre-seed spherical. 5 Flute shared its wonderful deck with us with solely minimal edits, and I’m psyched to share it with you — together with my normal teardown shenanigans. Let’s dive in and determine what works nicely and what comes throughout as a little bit bit wobbly.

We’re searching 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

5 Flute raised its pre-seed spherical with a extremely fascinating deck; it contains quite a lot of slides that I not often see in pitch decks, however the narrative flows nicely, and I can see why the corporate selected to incorporate them.

The corporate has just a few slides that have been calmly redacted for publication: There are logos faraway from slides 5 and 11, a small quantity of textual content associated to product plans faraway from Slide 15, and a number of the firm’s targets and fundraising particulars faraway from Slide 16.

Right here’s an summary:

  1. Cowl slide
  2. “We’ve shipped {hardware} and software program merchandise throughout industries and we deeply perceive the issue area.” — crew slide
  3. “Product improvement is a posh interactive course of involving a number of disciplines and quite a lot of instruments.” — overview of how {hardware} merchandise are made
  4. “Collaboration in {hardware} product improvement is a nightmare — present instruments are siloed, discipline-specific and don’t play nicely collectively.” — downside slide
  5. “We’ve felt this ache personally.” — a “who experiences this downside?” slide
  6. “5 Flute is a linked issue-tracking platform for cross-discipline work.” — answer slide
  7. “5 Flute’s issue-tracking platform lives the place actual work is finished.” — product slide
  8. Demo slide
  9. “Integration improves buyer expertise and speeds adoption.” — moat slide
  10.  “Integration is vital.” — go-to-market technique slide
  11.  “Our competitors is structurally unable to deal with this area of interest.” — competitors slide
  12.   Target market slide
  13.   Market dimension slide
  14.   Go-to-market slide
  15.   Product highway map slide
  16.   “The Ask” slide
  17.   Closing/contact us slide

Three issues to like

One unimaginable factor about this deck is that, in seeing its development, I can think about the frustration of 5 Flute’s founder. There’s a “how {hardware} merchandise are made” slide, a “who experiences this downside?” slide and some others that you just not often see in slide decks.

It is smart; at a second during which software program has eaten a lot of the world, there aren’t truly that many individuals in VC who absolutely and deeply grok what it takes to construct a {hardware} product. That’s good, in a approach — it signifies that when somebody chooses to construct an organization on this area, they’re seemingly up in opposition to a a lot smaller aggressive set. It’s additionally a supply of raging frustration: When your potential traders don’t have a body of reference, it’s simple to imagine that {hardware} improvement is as easy as writing and deploying software program.

It’s enjoyable to see a few of these struggles and challenges come to life on this deck — and I’ve gotta say, the crew did a rare job.

Earlier than we begin going via the three nice slides, can we simply pause with the duvet slide from this deck:

[Slide 1] It’s cowl slide time, babyyyyy. Picture Credit: 5 Flute
(opens in a brand new window)

This cowl slide … :chefs-kiss:

It summarizes what the corporate is doing succinctly, setting the stage for the remainder of the pitch. The one factor I’d add right here is that this can be a pre-seed spherical, simply to actually anchor the deck, however it’s nonetheless a stable begin.

Let’s peek at a number of the different highlights.

How merchandise are made

[Slide 3] You’ll have the forgive the wonderfully outdated meme — how is babby shaped? Picture Credit: 5 Flute (opens in a brand new window)

I’ll admit that earlier than I did plenty of {hardware} improvement myself, I wouldn’t know any of these things both. The circulation from prototype (“Is that this attainable?”) to remaining product rolling off the manufacturing meeting line is fantastically advanced. It takes a product from a works-like prototype (the product works, however appears to be like hideous) to a looks-like prototype (the product works and appears higher however can’t be mass manufactured) to a made-like prototype (the product has gone via a “design for manufacturing” product, and the prototype is as shut as attainable to the way in which it might be mass-produced). That’s adopted by an entire bunch of processes to validate the engineering, manufacturing and manufacturing workflows, and at last the product lifecycle administration course of, which is often worth engineering (making the identical product extra cheaply, with greater manufacturing yields, and so on.).

Slide 10 units up Slide 11 by reminding traders that the integration-first workflow is each a go-to-market technique and a defendable moat of kinds. Fantastically performed.

It’s advanced stuff, also known as EVT/DVT/PVT, and every step usually ends in oodles of design and product iterations. Now, if the founders have been speaking to traders who understood this course of, this slide could be fully superfluous. I can think about the exasperation I might really feel if I needed to put a slide like this into my pitch deck; however however, as a founder, it’s your job, within the pitch course of, to pull your traders alongside for the experience and to assist them perceive the scale of the chance at play.

Together with this slide is a really, very sensible thought. Flick to the slide and see if the investor offers a grunt alongside the traces of, “I’ve been doing this since prehistoric occasions, and you’ll skip it.” In the event that they lean in and are curious to study extra, you’ll “waste” a few of your pitch time speaking via this course of. Irritating, sure, however you must — with out understanding this piece of the puzzle, an investor can not make investments.

Bonus kudos to the 5 Flute crew for making among the best, most concise overviews of this course of I’ve ever seen; often, the entire course of takes a handful of slides. What I actually like about this slide is that it makes it very easy to ask a query: “Do you perceive all of this, or shall I give a fast recap of how {hardware} merchandise go from thought to the buying aisles at Goal?”

On your startup, for those who’re doing one thing significantly area of interest or obscure, don’t be shy about together with a primer in your trade/market/downside area.

A terrific predicate

[Slide 10] “What we do already exists in different industries.” Picture Credit: 5 Flute
(opens in a new window)

I’m a little bit bit stunned that this slide doesn’t come up till nicely previous midway via the pitch deck. I might have suggested placing this because the second or third slide. There’s a technique to the genius, although — I’ll get to that in only a second.

This slide is simply nice storytelling. It exhibits that there are predicates for what the corporate is making an attempt to do in one other trade. Even when the investor isn’t intimately acquainted with the world of video manufacturing, it’s fairly simple to make use of TV as a method to inform the story.

“Hey, you understand how a TV present begins with a script, then will get shot, after which they do enhancing, post-production, particular results and every little thing else? To maintain the manufacturing crew on monitor and to make it simple to seize suggestions alongside the method, exists. We do the identical, however for creating bodily merchandise.”

The opposite essential level 5 Flute makes on this slide is that going integration-first is a go-to-market technique that has labored in different industries earlier than, so they don’t have to invent a brand new technique to ingratiate themselves with their clients.

Now, for those who flick over to Slide 11, you’ll see why this slide makes a lot sense. That’s 5 Flute’s competitors slide, and the corporate argues that not one of the incumbents or rivals are positioned to deal with this phase. The right answer on this area is product-agnostic, which signifies that if Autodesk have been to develop it, it might must create software program that works seamlessly with its rivals’ and be deeply built-in up and down the product improvement cycle. All firms on this area do this to a sure diploma, however few are unbiased sufficient to drag it off. Slide 10, then, units up Slide 11 by reminding traders that the integration-first workflow is each a go-to-market technique and a defendable moat of kinds.

Fantastically performed.

Shiny blissful individuals holding palms

[Slide 12] The left hand lastly is aware of what the correct hand is doing. Picture Credit: 5 Flute
(opens in a new window)

Chaos. Full, unmitigated, irritating, devastating chaos. That’s what you’re usually in product improvement; within the present universe of bodily product improvement, it often takes a very steadfast challenge supervisor to maintain all of it pointed in the identical path. The matter is additional difficult by the truth that completely different elements of the product improvement cycle have completely different priorities, areas of experience and visibility into the problems and challenges a specific product faces.

This slide, greater than any of the slides on this deck, brings to life how 5 Flute may pull the entire course of collectively. By beginning on the engineering layer, after which making further instruments and views accessible, it’s simple to see how the corporate’s technique is as lean as this stuff might be: Create a worth proposition that works rather well for one subset of the goal buyer, then broaden by including function units that the opposite consumer personas care about.

The wants of technical, restore and assist employees (who usually do the testing and customer-facing operations), engineering supervisor groups (who’ve a much less detailed however extra strategic view), and different facets of the enterprise are all completely different. On this slide, 5 Flute is successfully mapping out how it’s planning to make itself indispensable throughout the entire product org. The slide helps place the corporate within the org chart in a approach that’s simple to clarify and exhibits its final ambition rather well, too.

As an early-stage firm, there’ll all the time be a temptation to resolve the entire downside you may see however that traps you: You actually can not resolve all of it with the sources you’ve got accessible. Lowering scope — on this case, by lowering the audience — is a really sensible transfer certainly.

In the remainder of this teardown, we’ll check out three issues 5 Flute may have improved or performed in another way, together with its full pitch deck!

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