Pitch Perfect – Writing the Perfect Pitch Deck

Written by Harrie Smith

Life as a founder is tough. You must balance the operations, marketing and team structure, all whilst trying to achieve market fit and develop traction. An added challenge to the founder experience is fundraising. Raising external capital in a competitive environment can be a convoluted and draining experience. With top Venture Capital firms receiving more than 10,000 pitch decks/year, it is vital to articulate your vision in a clear and succinct way. In this article, SM22 provide a guide for pitch deck structuring. We appreciate the challenges you face, and hope this information goes some way to making your fundraising experience a little easier.

Overall structure:


Demonstrate your knowledge of the key problem. Why is this an issue for society?


Provide a high-level view of the solution you propose. Is this a different business model entirely?


Show us the details of your product. How does this provide a solution to the problem highlighted?

Market sizing

It’s great to show an indication of the size of the market you are operating in. What is the total addressable market? What is the size of the market segment your product targets? What is the size of the market that you can capture in the short/medium/long term? Alternatively, are you shaping a new industry entirely?

Business/revenue model

Show us how you make money. Is the business model intrinsically different to what is already in the market?

Underlying magic

What are you doing that no one else is? This could be the experience and insight of the team, a technological development, or a completely new take on how to solve an industry problem.


What are the KSFs in the industry? Show us your key competitors and how they compare across the key success verticals.

Go-to-market plan

How will you get this product to your targeted customers? An indication of customer acquisition costs and lifetime value is also vital.

Traction/stage of progress

What is the stage of product development? What is the stage of commercial development/traction?


Provide an overview of your funding breakdown to date. What do you plan to use capital for (marketing/tech build)? What is the runway (most VCs like to see a runway of 18 months, or 12 months at the very least)?


Provide a brief overview of your team. How do their previous skills convince the investor of future success? (Show only the full-time team members and high-impact angels, a large team of part-time employees is a big red flag).

The outlook of top VCs and investors is governed by the ‘power law’. Historical data has shown that 80% of the funds’ returns will be generated by the exceptional 20% of the portfolio. Get them excited – show them how you will be in this 20% to give them outlier returns.

SM22 analyses and structures 1000+ investor decks/year. We invest our own funds and help companies raise capital in the market.

Structuring a product in sport, media or technology? We would love to hear about your company. Please book an initial call through this link.