Be inspired by the early-stage pitch decks of 20 of today’s most innovative companies

Be inspired by the early-stage pitch decks of 20 of today’s most innovative companies

You gotta wonder how many brilliant ideas through history went nowhere.

Seriously. It’s hard to believe that all the public innovations we know about today represent all the ideas ever hatched. How many do you reckon slipped through the cracks?

We’ve written this article in an effort to ensure your ideas don’t fade to dust. We’ve dedicated it to the powerful pitch deck. We’ve dug up the early-stage pitch decks of 20 of today’s most innovative companies, to inspire you to give your ideas the pitching power they need to thrive.

Use the free Canva templates

You’ll come across Canva pitch deck presentation templates throughout this article. Clicking on them will open the template in your own Canva account, for you to customize as your own. It’s so much easier than starting from scratch or using PowerPoint to remake these brilliant designs. Learn how Canva’s presentation software simplifies the creation of even the most complicated pitch deck here.

To know which ones are customizable Canva templates, look for the “Edit this design in Canva” caption.

01. Intercom

Year: 2011

Amount: $600,000

Investors: 500 Startups, Biz Stone, Digital Garage, Dan Martell, Andy

Est. value: $100 million (January, 2015)

Intercom describes itself as “a fundamentally new way for internet businesses to communicate with customers, personally, at scale.”

Founded in 2011, it’s used by some of the most well known Internet companies on the planet, including Moz, Yahoo!, and Shopify and delivers scalable live chat, marketing automation and customer support programs.


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02. Airbnb

Year: 2009

Amount: $600,000

Investors: Sequoia Capital

Est. value: $30 billion (September, 2016)

Behind Uber, Airbnb is the second most valuable privately owned startup company in the U.S., worth somewhere in the vicinity of $30 billion.

Launched as a disrupter to the behemoth hotel industry, it’s so far making good on its promise to democratise travel, allowing virtually anyone on the planet to host their home as a bed and breakfast.


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03. Buffer

Year: 2011

Amount: $500,000

Investors: Dharmesh Shah (Hubspot), Hiten Shah, and others.

Est. value: Unknown

Self-proclaimed a “smarter way to share on social media”, Buffer hit the ground running in 2010 in the bedroom of current CEO Joel Gascoigne, in 2010.

Now in its sixth year, it’s established itself as one of the key players in social media management and automation, allowing social media marketers and others to plan and schedule their social posts from one central console.


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04. Front

Year: 2016

Amount: $10,000,000

Investors: Stewart Butterfield, Social Capital, Eoghan McCabe.

Est. value: Unknown

New to the world of tech, Front was only launched in 2016 but it landed with a bang and with the financial backing of Stewart Butterfield, founder of Flickr and Slack (current CEO).

Put simply, Front is email inbox management and collaboration software, which pairs nicely with the Slack objective of transforming email.


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05. Mixpanel

Year: 2014

Amount: $65,000,000

Investors: Andreessen Horowitz

Est. value: $865 million (October, 2015)

Mixpanel is one of the leading players in web and mobile analytics, cresting the wave of data-driven marketing and product development.

Designed to track and report upon user interactions with web and mobile-based applications, it was launched in 2009 and has a long honor roll of investors.


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06. Youtube

Year: 2005

Amount: $3,500,000

Investors: Sequoia Capital, ARTIS Ventures

Est. value: $70 billion (May, 2015)

When Google acquired Youtube back in 2006, the $1.5 billion price tag raised a few eyebrows. But with its current valuation estimated to be somewhere around 50x that, it seems to have been a no brainer.

Not much needs to be said about what services the company provides, so… we won’t.


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07. Mattermark

Year: 2014

Amount: $6,500,000

Investors: Foundry Group

Est. value: $42 million (March, 2016)

Mattermark is business intelligence software that crawls vast amounts of unstructured company data from the Internet and delivers it in a structured form, as company profiles, to its business users.

It allows businesses to conduct informative research into other companies in their industry, or across industries, to better inform their own growth and direction.


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08. SEOmoz

Year: 2012

Amount: $18,000,000

Investors: Ignition Partners, Foundry Group

Est. value: $130 million (January, 2016)

Moz is the golden child of the search world. Co-founded by the one-and-only Rand Fishkin way back in 2004, Moz started off a consulting firm but transformed into a software as a service enterprise when the founders realized the opportunity to scale their marketing offerings.


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09. Ooomf

Year: 2014

Amount: $2,100,000

Investors: Atlas Venture

Est. value: Unknown

Ooomf is the kind of idea you wish you had. It’s a marketplace kind of like the old oDesk or Elance (now Upwork) that pairs software developers with clients.

The key difference between Ooomf and those others is that it does its best to pair developers with projects based on their suitability and whether their skills match the requirements of the projects (a difficult task for some non-technical clients to do on their own).


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10. Crew

Year: 2015

Amount: $10,000,000

Investors: Atlas Venture

Est. value: Unknown

To dispel any confusion, Ooomf rebranded to become Crew back in 2014. This pitch deck was delivered after the rebrand, in 2015, and allowed the company to secure a massive new investment into its growth.


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11. LinkedIn

Year: 2004

Amount: $10,000,000

Investors: Greylock Partners

Est. value: $26 billion (June, 2016)

In an interesting move in June of this year, Microsoft announced it would be acquiring the professional networking site for $26 billion.

Again, we don’t think much needs to be said here — you’re bound to know what LinkedIn is even if you don’t have a personal account — but we found this deck super interesting given the year it was delivered and the amount of the investment secured.


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12. Foursquare

Year: 2009

Amount: $1,350,000

Investors: O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, SV Angel (and others)

Est. value: $26 billion (June, 2016)

Foursquare was founded back in 2009 and after a couple of quiet years really made a bang.

Designed to connect individuals and groups of people with suitable retailers in their vicinity, this deck secured the founding group a nice bundle of cash to kickstart it (an astute investment, given the company’s now reportedly worth almost $26 billion).


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13. WeWork

Year: 2014

Amount: $355,000,000

Investors: Benchmark, Goldman Sachs, T. Rowe Price (and others)

Est. value: $16 billion (March, 2016)

Launched in 2010, WeWork changes the way entrepreneurs and small business work. With dedicated, custom-built offices located all over the world, the company offers premium co-working experiences on monthly plans.


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14. TouristEye

Year: 2012

Amount: $300,000

Investors: 500 Startups, Gonzalo Ruiz, Plug and Play and Walter Kobylanski

Est. value: Unknown

“Plan your trip in seconds.” That’s the tagline for the touristeye, a web and mobile vacation planner that was acquired by Lonely Planet in 2013.

Predominately built for mobile, according to Tech Crunch, touristeye allows users “to create a mobile-first app for building itineraries and collecting things to do while traveling in new cities.”


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Year: 2012

Amount: Unknown

Investors: Unknown

Est. value: Unknown

Created as a task-management program back in 2009, unfortunately is no longer in operation, but it’s interesting nonetheless to see the pitchdeck they used to raise funds in their initial seed.


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16. Dwolla

Year: 2013

Amount: $16,500,000

Investors: Andreessen Horowitz

Est. value: Unknown

Dwolla is an API that allows mainly financial institutions and applications to “facilitate bank transfers, manage customers, and instantly verify bank accounts”.

A $16.5 million funding round back in 2013 has made the company a leader in the $20 billion plus fintech industry.


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17. Appnexus

Year: 2007

Amount: $2,500,000

Investors: SV Angel, First Round, Marc Andreessen, and others 

Est. value: $1.2 billion (2014)

Appnexus is an advertising technology company, founded a decade ago, which enables advertisers to “acquire, engage and monetize their audiences.”

According to Wikipedia, at its peak Appnexues transacts 45 billion ad buys every day.


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18. Chewse

Year: 2013

Amount: $1,000,000

Investors: Chris Sacca, InnoSpring Seed Fund, 500 Startups, and others 

Est. value: Unknown

“Meal Programs With Heart.” That’s the tagline for Chewse, which was founded in 2013 and is riding the wave of the customized, easy meal deliver industry.

What sets Chewse apart from a lot of the well-known companies in its wheelhouse is that it’s b2b, not b2c, meaning it services offices and businesses.


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19. Mint

Year: 2009

Amount: $14,000,000

Investors: DAG Ventures

Est. value: Unknown

Unlike Dwolla, which occupies the b2b fintech market, Mint occupies the world of personal fintech and “makes managing your personal finances a cinch.”

Mint provides budget management capabilities, credit score checks, investment tracking and advice and financial security solutions.


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20. Kibin

Year: 2011

Amount: $545,000

Investors: Unknown

Est. value: Unknown

Kibin may not be soaring to the heights of some of the other companies mentioned in this article (it’s no Youtube), but it still plays an important role in the world we live in.

When you think Kibin, think a manual version of Grammarly, with the team offering human essay editing services, essay examples and thesis builders.


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Your turn

Hopefully, we’ve inspired you to take your ideas and turn them into something the whole world can enjoy. Remember, if you haven’t already, go back and click any of the pitch decks that can be customized in Canva to get your next idea rolling.

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