there is no shortage of “skill-enhancing” startups, but it’s rare to see one raise a $41 million round. That is what the Spanish startup StudentFinance achieved a couple of weeks ago. Today, we take a closer look at the pitch deck the company used to make that happen.
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Slides in this deck
StudentFinance shared a lightly worded deck slide; Removed sensitive revenue, cost, and unit economics slides. Everything else is as released.
- deck slide
- mission slide
- opportunity slide
- problem slide
- solution slide
- Value proposition slide part 1
- Value proposition slide part 2
- Business model slide
- technology slide
- metrics slide
- Roadmap slide (slide labeled “expansion”)
- Geographic expansion slide (slide labeled “expansion”)
- Growth history and segment trajectory (slide labeled “expansion”)
- team slide
- contact slide
three things to love
To raise a $41 million round, a company needs solid traction and a huge market. I’m not surprised to see that those parts of the story, in particular, were very well covered.
clear and bold mission
Building the company is building the future, and being able to have a clear vision of the future is a crucial part of that. StudentFinance’s second presentation slide sets the tone for what’s to come: It’s a BHAG, as it’s called in the industry, a big, hairy, bold target. StudentFinance has great clarity on what they’re building and who they’re building it for, and it really helps investors dream with founders.
This slide invites investors to join the journey, something all startups should do when submitting their proposals. What is the big goal, the big change you want to see in the world? Bring that to life and you will have made a great first impression.
A clearly formulated problem space
The company goes from a big mission to discussing what the opportunity looks like. From there, it goes to this slide, which talks about the three big issues that stand in the way of a holistic, holistic approach to skills upgrading. Having a clear, well-articulated statement of the problem goes a long way in helping an investor get a sense of how big, how serious, and how urgent the problem is. Ideally, it should also indicate how prevalent the issue is (ie how many people are experiencing it).
Splitting the problem into three easy-to-understand segments like this one is particularly elegant. Funding is obvious, people are worried about money, but finding a job and getting career guidance are less obvious parts of this challenge at first glance. Bringing it to life using the short sample questions below helps to humanize the problem. All very well done.
Promising early metrics
For a company raising more than $40 million, I would have expected pretty robust metrics. Of course, I don’t have anything to compare it to, so I don’t know if these metrics are really good or great, but investors must have seen something. However, the win here is to identify and report on the metrics that seem key to the business:
There are some crucial numbers missing here, and in any other circumstance, it would give the founders a hard time.
You can learn a lot about a company’s metrics, both the KPIs themselves, of course, and the numbers that a company believes are key to its growth. StudentFinance overlays these metrics with the UN’s sustainable development goals, which is a great way to point out how you can be a force for good in the world. Again, elegantly done.
The number of people retraining and the value of tuition fees are crucial numbers (although I can’t figure out what ISA stands for, so maybe there is an opportunity to tweak them). Job creation, wage generation, and the discovery that half of the people who go through the program get a job are key indicators that make a lot of sense.
There are some crucial numbers missing here, and in any other circumstance, it would give the founders a hard time, but the team has already informed me that the “sensitive revenue, cost, and unit economics slides” have been removed, and those are exactly the kind of metrics I’d like to see here.
In the rest of this teardown, we’ll take a look at three things StudentFinance could have improved or done differently, along with their full presentation!