May 8, 2021

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5 Concepts You Ought to Steal From Uber’s 2008 Pitch Deck

The rideshare unicorn’s first PowerPoint has many clues for pitching in an unstable financial system.

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Twenty-five PowerPoint slides had been all it took to land Uber its preliminary $200,000 funding in 2008. Quick ahead a decade, and the rideshare firm’s IPO ended day one with an $81 billion valuation even after years of PR disasters and scandals. So what the heck was in that pitch deck, anyway?

Co-founder Garrett Camp truly posted it right here. He and Travis Kalanick pitched a very new enterprise idea throughout an enormous monetary hunch, a time when even the savviest traders may need been leery of trusting new concepts. The pitch was so good it labored anyway.

When you’re mustering up the braveness to go after funding in a shaky financial system, tight positioning is a surefire confidence booster. Listed here are 5 nuances from Uber’s deck it’s possible you’ll need to steal earlier than your subsequent pitch.

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1. Prioritize concepts over design

Uber’s pitch deck is about as fundamental because it will get with regard to design. The founders didn’t depend on particular fonts or jazzy animations; they prevented attempting to look fancy and solely used fundamental graphics and bullet factors in black font on a white background.

We predict we have to impress traders with extremely branded supplies or good web sites. However most often, this isn’t true; enterprise capitalists need to get to the meat of an thought as shortly as potential. By holding it easy and driving dwelling ideas — pun meant! — Uber was capable of focus consideration on essentially the most compelling a part of its pitch: A chance to completely disrupt the cab trade.

2. Make knowledgeable predictions concerning the future

Uber thought its main promoting level was as a rideshare app with luxurious autos for American professionals. The true innovation and supreme motive for its success was the thought of an app for a cab with additional reliability. The unique distinctive promoting proposition given to traders turned out to be false.

However traders know that no person can precisely predict the longer term. Camp and Kalanick used this to as a substitute paint an image of a possible future, pointing to alternatives just like the complexity of taxicab medallions as a possibility to innovate. their pitch deck now, with the good thing about hindsight, you may nonetheless clearly see how any of those potentialities may have come true. 

The facility of Camp and Kalanick’s pitch deck wasn’t in accuracy — it was of their imaginative and prescient, and the way they managed to steer traders to see the longer term the way in which they did.

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3. Present a sensible worst-case state of affairs

In a recession, traders are cautious of blue-sky forecasts. Kalanick and Camp used their creativeness to attract traders in with the probabilities, they usually knew traders had been most likely guarding their checkbooks within the wake of a mortgage disaster. 

The founders laid out what they noticed because the worst-case state of affairs, then outlined their progress-to-date to make their pitch really feel like a no brainer.

4. Hitch a trip on different profitable applied sciences

It’s bizarre to do not forget that smartphones had been solely simply changing into fashionable in 2008. Again then, smartphones had been solely 22% of handheld cellphone gross sales, whereas at present over 70% of the U.S. grownup inhabitants makes use of a smartphone. 

Uber noticed smartphones had been the way in which ahead. Camp and Kalanick pitched not solely the cab service, but additionally how it will work as an app, utilizing that as a core promoting level.

As smartphones rose in reputation and engulfed households, ordering an Uber turned more and more normalized, permitting the startup to place itself on the entrance of the pack and seize market share.

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5. Know your rivals in and out

I discussed cabs earlier, however let’s be clear: Uber’s pitch deck tore each taxicabs and limousines to shreds. The founders plotted out competitor weaknesses not solely relating to shopper views but additionally the trade’s worker and labor challenges.

By demonstrating an anatomical data of their rivals’ make-up, Kalanick and Camp had been capable of persuade traders that Uber — or some type of it as an thought — had what it took to seize a big proportion of the market, even throughout a recession.

Closing takeaways

Pitching to traders can all the time provide the heebie-jeebies. However if you’ve completed the work to place your supply nicely, traders and enterprise capitalists will see that and take motion after they see alternative. As an alternative of letting a rocky financial system rattle your hopes and desires, use this time to recession-proof your pitch — then go after your future with all the things you’ve obtained.

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