Pitch Deck Funding Stages: How to Personalize Your Pitch Deck by the Stage


Pitch Deck Funding Stages: How to Personalize Your Pitch Deck by the Stage

Learn how to tailor your pitch deck for each stage of funding, from seed to series rounds. Discover tips and strategies to make your presentation compelling at every phase of your startup journey.

As you move forward with securing funding for your startup, it’s getting more and more important to understand the critical subtleties of startup pitch decks and how to adjust the investor deck based on the funding stages. The things is, all funding rounds – regardless of whether you seek seed funding, Series A, or further development – differ in terms of investor preferences, investor priorities, things that they are concerned with, and, finally, the things that they focus on. That being said, focusing on ways to reflect on ever-changing investor demands and expectations in your pitch deck is not just advisable – it is a must. Once you learn about these things, you will not only be well-prepared to secure your next round funding but also able to form a strategic partnerships that will help you take your business even further.

This article will present you all steps of creating a pitch deck for every stage of funding that your startup might be interested in, from pre-seed and seed up to Series A, Series B, and even later stage funding. You will also be able to learn more about some of the most critical priorities that investors hold at every frontier and the things that you should focus on when presenting. We will also consider focusing on funding milestones and your objectives and requirements and the ways of portraying some of the core elements of your pitch deck. Following this guide will allow you to both create an all-encompassing pitch deck and get ready to meet the shifting demands of your business and its potential backers.

Understanding startup funding needs

Understanding Pitch Deck and Funding Stages

Definition of Pitch Decks

The definition of an investor pitch deck is that they represent a short presentation that highlights some of the most critical elements of your startup in front of potential investors. A typical pitch deck consists of 10 to 20 slides and includes some of the most important parts that you should pay attention to, such as your business operation concepts, your product or services, your needs in funding, expected and target markets, and your interest in reaching specific financial goals. The success of your pitch deck presentation in reflecting your startup’s full potential will pave the way for you securing the necessary funding. A successful pitch deck outlines the key components and evolves as your company progresses through different funding rounds.

‍Importance of Pitch Deck Funding Stages

Recognizing funding stages and your journey from startup to enterprise provides necessary guidance through which each pitch deck should be tailored. Generally, the process begins with financing through the seed round of funding, possible through angel investors, friends, family, or founders financing their own startup. By the time it moves into Series A finance, the business is already in the process of evolving and growing, and the funds should be larger. This specific series will generally gather all mid-size investments that allow major company scaling. A well-prepared Series B pitch deck is crucial for raising funds to scale operations, accelerate growth initiatives, expand the team, invest in sales and marketing efforts, enhance product development, and build infrastructure to support increased demand. Next, the funding moves into Series B, and potentially, Series C, at which point financial injections shift to expansion and company-building for a proven successful business. Evidently, with each funding stage, financial injections shift towards least risk/greatest investment.

Although different criteria apply for different funding stages and for different companies, each stage also reflects on the company stage. For example, beyond the initial seed round, there is a more focused seed stage, where the majority of financing is highly uncertain and generally contains much lower volumes than Series A or later. Series B and later can feature a more pronounced venture capital presence, focusing on substantial investment in a company that is proven to be a successful business, meaning its risk is already considerably lowered. Each stage of financing reflects upon the current placement of the startup, and as such, it also sets the goals and OCI. Since different expectations generally influence different pitch decks, a logical analysis of how this milestone was reached and what milestones are expected provides both the startup creator and the investors with a level of strategic awareness and crisis management capability within startup formulation.

Timing Impact on Securing VC Funding

Characteristics of Pre-Seed Stage

Pre-seed funding is usually the first investment a start-up receives in its journey, and is referred to as such because, in many cases, the company has not yet launched its product or generated substantial revenues. The pre-seed round is commonly used to set up the company, including incorporation and legal fees. It can also be used to define the customer problem and the solution the company is building to solve it. Understanding the startup's financial health at this stage is crucial for gaining insights into its financial performance and trajectory. Officially, you are pre-product at this point, but you have a clear vision, and hopefully a minimally viable product that demonstrates that some of the proposed functionality is possible to build. In the pitch deck, the vision, the mission, and the potential impact of bringing the business idea to life should be effectively communicated. Moreover, the track record and competence of the team should be highlighted along with the unique candid insights they have that bring them to the opportunity point today. However, the primary motivation of investors in the pre-seed stage is the capacity of the team to execute the grand vision of the start-up. Stakeholders in this stage are typically the founders’ families and friends, VCs, or angle investors funding the business based on their belief of the founders rather than the business idea’s financial slide and its current position in the market. It is the ideal time for a great story about what the business will achieve with the fund. That been said, a great pitch deck should be clear and concise in a way that communicates the potential impact of the investors’ business idea and not reliant heavily on data and financials.

Attributes of Seed Stage

With the conclusion of pre-seed stage, your business is generally more developed reveling some signs of traction may have generated some revenue as well. Seed round of funding normally is the first go to market official funding round and tends to have more formal investing criteria. Investors at this stage get interested in getting started to get some proofs of concept and market validation. Typically, an investor will request to see your pitch deck and this means you should make some “improvements” to it, in terms of describing the product, market fit, the traction you have gained so far, and profiling your target market. Key at this stage is also the plan to show how you would use investment money for very specific goals that would allow the business to get to the next round of funding.

A broader set of angel investors could participate in this stage, including venture capital firms. Potential strategic partners may also get involved. These investors will want to have a more detailed and quite possibly a more data-driven pitch from your side. For the first time, you may need to show some metrics, and spell out details of growth plan. You would also need to include in the pitch deck team’s industry expertise and why they are best fit to execute the business plan. Thus, the basic structure of your initial pitch deck would remain, still adapting the pitch deck along the lines of your business maturity and the varied expectations of each funding stage. While the pre-seed stage would naturally focus on the pre-seed deck and pitch decks would tend to contain much more of the vision and potential, the seed stage pitch deck now has to be primarily due to funding stages and should provide some early substantiation of that potential with some early results and the path for future growth.

At the Series A funding stage, your startup should already have significant traction and a clear path to further growth. The main goal is to demonstrate to potential investors the progress made from the seed investments theses and how new investments will be implemented to effectively increase the level of traction. You need to put forward convincing evidence of the product-market fit, ideally in the form of first sales or at least solid market validation. At this point, investors are especially interested in seeing a viable business model that promises a return on investment and continued user growth. Make sure you highlight that your startup has the potential to become a market leader and offer a unique product value and competitive advantage. Also, the presence of effective growth dynamics is important: a regular monthly increase in key performance indicators that characterize user activity on the resources of your startup and traffic or revenue. Finally, it is vital to show your operational effectiveness and confirm your readiness to expand. This means that you have a clear plan for product development and a sales strategy that will become a driving force for your projects.

Pitch Deck Funding Stages

Typical Investor and Their Criteria - Series A

Series A is usually raised from traditional venture capital market participants. These are venture capital firms that do not just invest in promising ideas. They invest in companies with strong ideas and even more robust strategies for successfully implementing and launching these ideas and turning them into profitable, successful businesses. Crafting clear and compelling investor pitch decks is crucial for startups to secure funding by showcasing their vision effectively. Several players are usually known in the market: these are venture capital firms such as Sequoia Capital, Google Ventures, and Intel Capital. Encouragement from such venture capital firms can significantly increase the attractiveness of your startup in the eyes of other venture capital firms and investors.

By the execution of Series A, that burst of demand has faded: people using your app are pleased, and they enable their friends to use it too. You already know what part of your existing customer base has piqued the interest, needs, and wants. By this point, investors would expect a startup to have a credible and detailed plan for growth. They would want to see latent demand on your end and market validation in your pipeline that implies it could grow orders of magnitude in size with the injection of a Series A round. Hence, articulating a simple, compelling narrative around why a business is needed, why now is the appropriate time, and how your solution addresses this pressing problem is essential. Furthermore, investors are looking to spot signs of a strong, diverse management team that you have strategically built up beyond the three people on the founding team.

On this matter, the ability to attract talented business leaders from top schools or leading companies would strengthen the cause: this shows that your company’s business idea is credible and the startup’s leadership, including you, might have a market-leading company on their hands. Therefore, guiding venture capitalists or any investors on what they might look for in a Series A involves the presentation of a well-supported business model that exhibits traction and growth, a clear plan for scaling, evidence of a burning market need, and a team that could execute the proposed business plan.

Expectations of Series B Investors

For a Series B, the most important aspect of your business should be demonstrating a not just very strong product-market fit, but also that your business has achieved a capacity to scale its business model and pricing strategy. This is as important as the first milestone, as it substantially supports your transition from an early-stage development with potential to growth with traction. At the same time, since the average round size is $58M, the stakes are high, and you are expected to build upon the proven momentum to sufficiently assure investors that your business is a viable enterprise characterized by very rapid growth potential.

The raised funds at this stage will most likely be used to scale the business model, increase the acquisition and retention of the customers, make further acquisitions and invest in extended capabilities; you must present a detailed plan of how you are planning to achieve it. Expand where operationally, headcount or maybe even internationally, if that is where your product or service will find a new market. You may be able to launch more products or services that are ultimately part of your core business.

Investors at this stage are looking to see a sophisticated understanding of your business metrics; they are also likely to ask for the always-popular market slide. Be ready to discuss the SaaS metrics, and continue to show the same understanding and data-driven support of as in the seed analysis of such aspects as average deal size, ARR, and burn rate. This detailed analysis should also be coupled with team slides and vivid ways your business stands out its competitive advantage – show how your business makes money and how it differs from your closest competitors.

Investor Pitch Deck Expectations and Metrics

At this point, investors rely on the demonstration of your past feats and gains on the market through compelling investor pitch decks. They will also be interested in whether your forecast growth is reasonable and how efficient your operations will be during this stage of the firm’s growth. Investors will only be willing to support you if the data collected with regards to the next product or service and business model is empirical, demonstrating overwhelming demand and growth opportunities. Crucial investor metrics, such as ARR growth rate, net revenue retention, and burn multiple, as well as payback periods of the CAC, will be presented and explained in the due course. Your pitch must describe all of the gains made on the market and with the investor funding so far, giving a mature, final look at the market opportunity, revenue model, and the points of competition. The pitch should also describe, in as much detail as possible, current and anticipated growth rates, including new customer acquisition, revenue growth, and achieved market niche expansion. The pitch should involve all the major anticipated achievements for the next year and the major KPI for the next two to three years. Most importantly, the pitch must clearly state what you are offering, i.e., the targeted valuation and the amount of money you need, as well as what investors will be given once they support you.

Final Thoughts on Adapting Your Pitch Deck For Each Stage

Final presentation before a group of investors should present you as a meticulous planner possessing a clear strategy and a vision of future of your business. It should demonstrate a sufficient level of structuring and research and feel just right for the situation in which you are presenting this data. As long as you understand investors’ main expectations and needs, there are no reasons why you would be unable to create a successful pitch deck and secure the investments needed for further firm growth.

It is important to understand that every funding stage has its own focus and key points to highlight on your pitch deck. While early stages, pre-seed or seed, are primarily about followings concepts: the problem you solved, what is so innovative about your solution, and how big the market is, series A and beyond will shift a focus towards traction, the number, and growth of your sales, and the details of how you are going to scale them. It is critical to adjust your ask for support, as well as the valuation and the exit strategy of your business for the maturity and details of the target audience you are trying to raise funding from. If usually pitch decks are created without going into deep target audience research, your ask will be tailored specifically to your audience’s past investments at every given stage.

For example, if you were to present a seed stage pitch, you might ask for 500 thousand dollars to build the most fundamental product to validate basic assumptions about the product-market fit. In contrast, at the series A stage, you might ask for 5 million dollars to expand your product and invest in customer acquisition.

Key Components To Cover In Your Startup Pitch Deck

Your pitch deck should have a consistent pitch deck structure that highlights all the important aspects of your business and leaves nothing out. These are the components you should include in your investor pitch deck.

Key Components To Cover In Your Startup Pitch Deck
  1. Introduction: Begin with an interesting introduction to lull investors over. This is going to lay the foundation for everything else that you will cover in the presentation.
  2. Solution: Describe the problem you are solving. Your answer should be easy to understand and in simple language. This tells the investors that your solution is needed.
  3. Market: Address your market size, what it looks like, who your customers may be and trends or opportunities in the market. It indicates the probable expansion and appeal of your product or service.
  4. Solution: Brief overview of your solution and its unique selling point & innovation to solve the problem. Luckily for you, your solution is much better.
  5. Business model: Detail way of earning revenues, pricing policy, any partnership or collaborations. This portion shows the future of your business.
  6. Competitors: Make sure to include a summary of competitors (who they are, their strengths and weaknesses), as well as how your business is different from theirs. Competitive Landscape allows investors to see how you will compete and win with this market.
  7. Financials: Give an overview of your financial projections and show how you have accounted for revenue, expenses, cash flow, etc. Investors know where your business stands financially and how profitable it will be in the future.
  8. Marketing and Sales Strategy: How you intend to reach your customers and grow your business. This demonstrates to investors that you are going with a game plan and in their mind you would increase your market share.
  9. Team: Tell us about your team, including their qualifications and years of experience in the industry. If you have a solid group of people working with you, it will communicate to investors that the management team is capable of executing their vision.
  10. The Ask: Finally, wrap everything up with the ask — state how much you are raising and what the funds will be used for. That is a concrete next step a potential investor could take.


Throughout this process of customizing your startup pitch deck templates with regard to the funding stage, it has proven to be evident that the comprehension of the investor’s purpose and the correlation of the presentation with the go to market strategy determine the funding viability aimed at establishing your business. On the one hand, the fundamentals of the pre-seed stages require your vision to be clear, whereas the expansiveness of the subsequent stages such as Series B stipulates detailed and broader approaches with regards to the viable solutions and the properly designed strategies aimed at ensuring your market potential. Not only does it boost the standing of your startup to investors, but it also paves your way towards the sustainable development strategies and relevant partnership creation to lift your business.

While you are focused on perfecting your startup pitch deck along all of these stages, do not forget about the powerfulness of a well-timed pitch, which resonates with your audience. In addition, considering the fact that the progression from the early stages to the more advanced stages entails creating the momentum and seamless connections between them, the presentation you offer on each of these stages should not only present your business as it is now but it should position you at the place you aim to be at in the future. Moreover, for those that feel overwhelmed with the need to establish a powerful pitch to appeal to investors, it might be a pertinent idea to book a call with our experts and able to provide your startup with the needed support and make sure that the vision you have for it is presented properly and has all chances to be considered by investors across the competitive landscape of the funding speaker.


Answers, To The Most Asked Questions

Contact us

How can you customize your pitch deck for various investors?

What are the key steps to creating an effective pitch deck for funding?

What is the funding slide in a pitch deck?

How to present the use of funds in your pitch deck?How Should You Present the Use of Funds in Your Pitch Deck?

You may like

10 Best Cyber Security Startup Ideas

10 Best Cyber Security Startup Ideas

Discover the most promising cybersecurity startup ideas for 2023. Drive innovation, meet market demands, and elevate digital safety. Start your journey now!

10 Best Software Startup Ideas

10 Best Software Startup Ideas

Discover the hottest software startup ideas for 2023. Dive into trends, market potentials, and launch strategies to kickstart your entrepreneurial journey!

10 Pros and Cons of Venture Capital You Should Know

10 Pros and Cons of Venture Capital You Should Know

Explore the dynamics of venture capital. Dive into its benefits, potential pitfalls, and learn how it can shape startup trajectories. Make informed decisions with our guide.

10 Unique Clothing Business Ideas

10 Unique Clothing Business Ideas

Discover groundbreaking fashion business concepts for 2023! From sustainability to tech trends, master the art of differentiating your brand. Dive in now!