There might be a time when you need to raise capital from investors – to keep your operations going, to seize unique growth opportunities fast, or perhaps for strategic reasons to raise your company’s profile and open new doors.
Whatever your reason, and whatever the amount you intend to raise, here are some case studies of Singapore startups that have raised anything from hundreds of thousands of dollars to hundreds of millions of dollars.
Back in 2014, ShopBack created this 13-page pitch deck in order to successfully raise USD $2 million and an additional USD $500,000 in convertible notes. The company has since gone on to raise USD $25 million in 2017 and an additional USD $45 million in 2019.
The first thing that strikes out is how simple and barebones it is. No fancy typography, no sleek graphics, and no carefully-selected colour palette. Heck, even the aspect ratio of 4:3 is ancient, even for 2014 standards.
But what you do have are the facts and their plans, presented over 13-slides. In fact, each section of their presentation was distilled to fit on one slide.
This is true whether they are explaining the problem (for both consumers and merchants), introducing the ShopBack product, showing the market potential, or introducing their team.
At first glance, ShopBack’s deck might seem almost too simple, but if you look beyond the exterior, you can tell that the structure was very well-thought out and the slides don’t get in the way of the presentation.
What does it take to convince investors to give you money to start an institution like a life insurance company? A glimpse into SingLife’s 2015 pitch deck gives us a clue.
At that time, SingLife had no revenue or customers – yet. Because they could not show traction or results, SingLife had to overcome investor skepticism by showcasing their expertise and prove that they have crunched the numbers.
Thus, SingLife’s pitch deck stands out from others featured in this article in its sheer depth. At 81 pages, this is among the most voluminous we’ve come across.
There are detailed statistics of the size of the life insurance industry in Singapore, as well as explanations of regulatory changes that could open up opportunities.
The sheer number of words on many slides also defies much of all of the advice on slide-creation you read.
The insurance industry is a serious one, with success being dependent on a range of factors, including clearing stringent regulations, ensuring the actuarial numbers make sense, and offering a unique value proposition to win market share against strong incumbents. SingLife’s detailed slides reflect their expertise in the area, backed by solid data and convincing arguments.
And by their results of raising USD $50 million, we would agree that their deck has succeeded.
In late 2012, TechInAsia was a media company with a complementary events arm. It used this pitch deck to raise USD $288,000, which CEO Willis Wee admitted was lower than what they wanted, but it was critical because they were close to running out of money.
You might notice that TechInAsia’s pitch deck is the most polished, aesthetically.
Simple-looking slides could be fine for a food & beverage startup, but perhaps not acceptable for an interior design company. After all, if you can’t be bothered – or know how to – design slick slides, can I trust you with doing design or media work?
The level of polish in your slides should be in line with your supposed expertise and area of business.
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