Here’s where founders screw up their pitch decks most often

What happens when you feed a few thousand pitch decks to an AI, analyze them all, and figure out what the most common problems are for founders trying to raise early-stage funding? Well, I decided to find out.

A while back, I built a tool that would automatically analyze a pitch deck and give you feedback. A couple of months and a few thousand analyzed decks later, I have built up quite the library of insights for what most founders are getting right — and wrong — in their pitch decks.

Of course, this is a tool aimed at founders who aren’t sure if their deck is any good. The sad truth is, though, usually their hunch is right. About 54% of decks have a “low” likelihood of raising funding. In this context, that means founders made fundamental mistakes in putting their decks together (e.g., they forgot a team slide or didn’t explain what they will do with the money).

Overall, only 6% of the decks analyzed by the AI tool include all the information the AI robot is looking for. That’s not great, honestly.

5 things most founders get right

graph of what founders get right and wrong with their pitch decks

Red means: ‘Fundraising would be very hard without resolving this.’ Yellow means: ‘There is an issue, that can probably be fixed with a better story or by adding / amending available information.’ Green means go. And grey means ‘this is missing from the deck’ The exception is exit strategy: Green means it’s absent (because that’s a good thing), and ‘overall likelihood of fundraising’ is an overall calculation that uses weighted scoring from the other categories.   Image Credits: Haje Jan Kamps / TechCrunch

  • About 90% of founders don’t include an exit strategy in their slide deck. That’s a good thing, because it’s not often that an exit slide will help you raise money.
  • 82% of founders have a good “solution” slide, outlining roughly how the startups wants to tackle the problem it has identified.
  • 62% of decks have a solid problem slide, where the team outlines what the problem is and why it is worth solving.
  • 60% of the decks analyzed had a decent value proposition, explaining how and why the product is delivering value to its customers.
  • 59% of the decks explain what the market opportunity is. In other words: How the company sees that the market might be big enough to sustain venture capital scale returns.

Of course, not everything is awesome, and founders more often than not mess up and miss a whole bunch of important information. Here are the five most common issues:

5 most common mistakes in pitch decks


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