TechCrunch recently published a brutally honest review of a pitch deck that a startup used to raise $1M. The piece appeared in the Pitch Deck Teardown column that, as you probably guessed, are reviews of pitch decks that startups used to close their recent fundraising rounds. But these teardowns aren’t just your average opinionated startup gawker’s ramblings. These are scrupulous observations from one of Silicon Valley’s leading pitch deck experts, Haje Jan Kamps, who is backed by tons of startup experience and even authored the book Pitch Perfect.
In the latest Pitch Deck Teardown, Haje dissected a pitch deck from a company called Supliful. My takeaway from the TechCrunch post was that Haje seemed quite fond of the business, but nearly mortified at the design and copy. Like picking out marshmallows from a box of Lucky Charms, I picked out all the sweet crunchy morsels from Haje’s piece for us all to eat up:
“butt-ugly and riddled with mistakes”
“laden with typos”
“design is god-awful”
“This 22-slide deck ain’t perfect”
“this pisses me off to no end”
Ouch. What Haje didn’t know is that myself and a Trulytell designer had also ripped this deck to shreds just weeks prior. That’s right, before Haje published his piece on TechCrunch, Supliful recruited Trulytell to put together an entirely new pitch deck to help them raise more money. Haje got his hands on the wrong deck, Supliful looks like a bunch of morons that can’t spell, and I missed out on getting Trulytell’s work published in TechCrunch. Triple ouch.
As a direct response to the TechCrunch review, in hopes of redeeming Supliful of Haje's not-so-Lucky Charms and to inspire more founders to go all in on their investor decks, I am publishing here the fundraising deck that Trulytell remade for Supliful.
First off, who and what is Supliful?
Simply put, Supliful is a startup making it easy to create and launch your own CPG brand. In the deck that Haje reviewed, Supliful placed a significant amount of focus on enabling CPG brands for creators. And yes, Supliful has had tremendous success amongst the creator community, allowing them to capitalize on their following with their own line of products. But I saw another angle.
Behind the scenes, Supliful sources a growing catalog of quality vetted CPG products, then integrates on merchant ecommerce sites to enable transactions. As each order comes in, Supliful prints and applies the label customized to and by the merchant and ships the product direct to the end customer. Supliful also handles customer support on behalf of the merchant. They’re even working on technology to enable manufacturers to ship direct to the customer, as well as for the ability for merchants to customize the ingredients used.
This makes Supliful's capabilities way bigger than addressing just creators. They are an end-to-end solution. An infrastructure. Supliful has developed scalable technology allowing anyone to instantly develop, launch, and maintain a CPG brand. Here’s how the one-liner panned out:
Slides in this deck
Supliful’s original deck was made up of 18 primary slides with 4 supplemental slides in the appendix. This is a lot of information to present and/or email investors, as it risks losing their attention. Remember, investors don’t need to know absolutely everything; just give them the story and back it up with supporting details; you can always answer their follow-up questions should they come. Trulytell’s deck for Supliful synthesized the primary slides from 18 to 13 and increased the appendix slides from 4 to 6.
Addressing Haje’s “butt-ugly and riddled with mistakes” comment
First off, can we give Haje a round of applause for lettin’ it rip with the candor? Not only does it make getting past the TechCrunch paywall even more worth it, but it resonates because Supliful’s deck absolutely did lack aesthetic finesse and it needed love. So that’s just what Trulytell brought to the table.
If you look at Supliful’s website, you can tell they have a well-developed brand. After nailing down the story, content, and wireframe, our designer brought it all to life with Supliful’s brand colors, fonts, and imagery. Here’s a few before and afters to articulate the difference in design:
Supliful’s pitch deck before and after
Old Supliful deck published in TechCrunch
New Supliful deck that Trulytell remade
Sure, Supliful’s deck had silly typos and jarring design decisions, but there is no denying that they are crushing it with a business that has taken off and going far. More than anything, I am truly impressed with what the Supliful team has accomplished and more than proud for Trulytell to have been chosen to join their journey. During our time together, Trulytell helped Supliful with the following:
- Updated the Supliful messaging from creators to revolve around their scalable CPG infrastructure
- Developed a stronger story/narrative with succinct and compelling headlines
- Brought the deck to life with a consistent on-brand design
- Worked through the delivery with mock investor pitches
- Facilitated intros to four CPG and future of commerce investors
“The value I got from Trulytell is much much more than I paid for. It has been massive for me to better formulate what we are doing and I think now it looks super good.” –Martins Lasmanis, CEO & Co-Founder of Supliful
Update — 10/23/2022, Tweet in response to this article by TechCrunch writer, Haje Jan Kamps: