Canva’s pitch deck and Ammo’s top tips
For those in Perth’s startup scene, there’s no startup story more exciting than that of Canva. Melanie Perkins, Canva’s founder, graduated from UWA with the inspiration to transform how people design. It’s hard to imagine, but before Canva came around, Adobe largely owned the design software market. Those who were tasked with designing anything for their business had a frustrating time grappling their way through Photoshop. It wasn’t an easy journey for Melanie, though. She had to raise funds to make Canva a reality. Recently, her original pitch deck was shared and we’ve identified some key learnings that you can apply.
Nail your team slide
Arguably the most important slide of your entire deck, the team slide is essential. This is where your investors gain conviction about whether you have what it takes to validate, build and scale into a huge business.
Melanie mentioned a few times in her deck that her previous and successful startup, Fusion Books, gave her a huge amount of expertise in design. She also demonstrates that she taught design in university. The design expertise box is well and truly checked.
It’s not just about design, though. An investor is going to want to see a well-rounded team that can cover all bases. There are a handful of other extremely talented members in fields of sales, marketing and, importantly, technology.
You also have space to show-off some high caliber mentors and advisors. Canva was lucky to bump into Lars Rasmussen early in their journey. Lars was the founder of Google Maps and was pivotal in the recruitment of their developers.
Even if you’re only just starting in your startup’s journey, it’s a great idea to start imagining what your team slide will look like. This won’t only impress investors, but also mean that you have a great chance of success down the track. Make sure you have all your skill gaps filled by incredible talent.
The market before and after your product
It’s easy to imagine life with Canva now that we have it, but in 2013, Melanie had to be clear about what the market looked like and how she hoped to fit in.
First, the problem. It was made very clear that Adobe’s products were not easy to use and catered only to people who had spent years studying design and living within their software.
The competition was fundamentally flawed, with solutions that were either too expensive, took too much time to learn or were too restrictive in capability.
Once you take this into account, it becomes obvious to an investor that a solution like Canva is the next step. That’s not to say that there wasn’t a chance that they would crash and burn, but Melanie explained exactly what they believed their product could be. That is, a one-stop design station.
Tell ‘em what you’re going to do with the money
You nail the pitch, your investors are convinced that you are the best team to create the perfect solution to a big problem. You flick over to your final slide and you’re seemingly vague about what you’re going to do with their money.
It can be scary to be specific about what you intend to do before your next raise. Your investors are going to be expecting you to reach these milestones if you hope that they will reinvest. Canva nailed the communication of their goals and if they kick them, they’ll be in great stead for their series A.
Not only is it great for investors, but also for your team. They’ll know exactly how their daily tasks fit into the wider picture and success of the business.
Canva is a fantastic and wildly successful business founded here in Perth. We’ve only scratched the surface of all the things that can be learnt, here. An important point to remember is that your business is unique in its own set of ways. Not everything can, or should, be directly applied to your startup. Instead, use this as a source of inspiration and ideas to take your business to the next level.