Pitch Deck Guide

Financials Slide

Learn how to build a winning financials slide for your pitch deck with this step-by-step guide.

Robust financial projections will help make a compelling growth case for your startup when pitching for funding. Understandably, many investors are often most interested in the financial plan behind a startup when vetting potential portfolio companies. The financials slide of a pitch deck helps demonstrate the founders have a deep understanding of their startupโ€™s expenses and growth model.

That said, a study found that 58% of successful seed funding pitch decks didnโ€™t include any financial data. On the other hand, decks for Series A and later rounds are expected to include at least three to five years of financial projections.

Investors will generally be most interested in the growth, margin and the assumptions that went into the financial projections โ€“ although reality will certainly never exactly match expectations.

Luckily, you donโ€™t need years of finance or accounting experience to draft these projections. There are plenty of online resources for easy-to-use, out-of-the-box financial modeling.

The specifics will depend on your business model and industry, but generally speaking you can start with the following:

  1. Income
  2. Expenses
  3. Business KPIs
  4. Profitability
  5. Market Sizing
  6. Past Funding
  7. ROI

While presenting this data, using charts and graphs will help translate data from tables into easy-to-digest visuals, so investors can easily see the key trends & takeaways. A robust financial model will establish investorโ€™s confidence in your execution plan.

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Instructions

How to build a winning financial model slide

Follow along with this brief guide for what you should include in your pitch deck’s financial model slide:

Pitch Deck Guide: Contents of Great Slides

1. Content of the financial model slide

  • Annual &/or monthly cash flow summary
  • Projected & past income (optional: breakout by revenue stream)
  • Expenses (by category) and profit / margin
  • Additional revenue metrics (ie. burn rate, avg. customer value, CAC:LTV ratio)
Pitch Deck Guide: Key Questions to Address for Great Slides

2. Questions the financial model slide should address

  • How much revenue will your startup earn? (If applicable) how much did you earn in the past?
  • What are the underlying assumptions for your projections? (ie. # of users or sales) Are they reasonable?
  • When will your startup reach profitability or breakeven?
  • What are the expenses? Where are the top spending categories?
  • What is your startup’s runway and burn rate?
Pitch Deck Guide: Common Mistakes to Avoid

3. Common financial model slide blunders

  • Unrealistic assumptions (ie. projecting a 90% conversion rate) — cite sources for industry benchmarks, and offer a bear, base, and bull case if needed
  • Glazing over expenses and cost of good sold (COGs)
  • Projecting an overly optimistic (ie. double digit) market share
  • False accuracy: projections should not have decimals
  • Stating projected revenue with no underlying explanation or growth model
Pitch Deck Guide: Design Tips for Great Slides

4. Design tips for financial model slides

  • Leverage charts & graphs instead of tables where possible
  • Keep the details in the appendices and simplify the financials slide (without glazing over key assumptions)
  • Use “by-the-numbers” summaries to highlight key metrics
  • Choose clear, readable fonts and colors
  • Keep it concise & to-the-point (see Guy Kawasaki‘s 10/20/30 rule)
Inspiration from the experts

Example pitch deck financials slides for Airbnb, Uber, Ladder & more

A robust financial model will establish investorโ€™s confidence in how your startup will use their funds & capitalize upon the market opportunity. Most pitch decks use charts and graphs to translate financial data in easy-to-digest visuals that highlight key trends & takeaways.

Below are some examples of winning financial model slides from pitch decks for household names like Airbnb, Uber, and Sequoia Capital:

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