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FTX Raised $1bn With This Pitch Deck in 2021. Let’s Review It!by@sergey-baloyan
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3,162 reads

FTX Raised $1bn With This Pitch Deck in 2021. Let’s Review It!

by Serge BaloyanNovember 28th, 2022
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FTX on November 2022 is all over the news, but unfortunately, not on the happiest of occasions. I'm sure you already know what happened, and we have yet to learn many details about this case. But I want to review the Pitch Deck with which the $1bn investment was raised, from the marketing side. I have pretty many questions about how to make a good Pitch Deck and how to raise investments. Here step by step, page by page we will look at the pros and cons, what crypto (and in general) startups can learn, and what tips you can take for yourself before looking for investment.
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FTX on November 2022 is all over the news. But unfortunately, not on the happiest of occasions. I'm sure you already know what happened, and we have yet to learn many details about this case.


Nevertheless, FTX has been very successful in attracting investment rounds as a start-up. They raised their first seed round in 2018 and in 2019, in the midst of the crypto-winter.

And in July 2021 there was already a Series B round where FTX raised $1bn.


I found a pitch deck FTX made in May 2021. You can download it HERE.


They managed to make such a fantastic round with it. And of course, the FTX case is a lesson for the whole industry when a seemingly good idea and initiative with dishonest and non-transparent management fails the project and related projects.


Nevertheless, I want to review the Pitch Deck with which the $1bn investment was raised, from the marketing side. As I’m asked on Twitter and while working on projects, I have pretty many questions about how to make a good Pitch Deck and how to raise investments.


And so, here step by step, page by page we will look at the pros and cons, what crypto (and in general) startups can learn, and what tips you can take for yourself before looking for investment.


Simplicity of design



The first thing that catches your eye clearly is the minimalistic design. There are no complicated backgrounds, animations, or illustrations. Just a light background and text. Nothing distracts from the content. Nothing should.


Psychologically, it is easier to make the reader focus on the things he needs to be focused on. In investment Pitch Decks, it's the numbers. And there will be numbers, lots of numbers.


In product presentations (especially those that are related to visuals) in terms of design, you can do whatever you want (as long as it's stylish).


In investment Decks, it’s better to be minimalistic.


Overview Slide


The page is conveniently divided into two parts. On the left, there’s a description of the company, but notice that there are no long paragraphs. Just two sentences.


The first is about what the exchange does. The second is about their current situation, giving an idea of the scale (the largest non-Chinese exchange, the fourth in the world, the fastest-growing).


Two simple sentences make it clear what FTX does and why a potential investor should read on.


On the right part, there is a retrospective roadmap. Which makes it clear that the guys are not in their first year on the market and are moving towards their goals (who would have known how it would end then).

Crypto Exchanges Slide


This slide is clearly made for non-crypto investors. It briefly describes what crypto exchanges do. By the way, it uses parallels with classical financial exchanges, which are quite good to understand.

2020 vs 2019


The next three slides are the most important in this Pitch Deck.


Numbers. And FTX had a lot to show.


Almost 10x growth in daily trading volume, 7x growth in daily users, growth in exchange capacity, employees, and markets.


And it's also separately stated that all this was achieved with almost no marketing budget. And it’s a tricky thing - the number 0 is big and proud, but in the description, there’s the word "almost no paid marketing”, and the bottom of the slide in small font says that up to Q1 2021 marketing budget was "mostly" to protect users from phishing attacks.


What's important to note here is that this and the next two important slides use a minimalistic design. Nothing should distract from what's important: the numbers. And the numbers should prove why your project is worth investing in.


Statistics in 2021


There are even more interesting numbers - the 14x growth of the average daily volume. And the size of the estimated profit is indicated.


If the previous slide showed crazy growth for the previous year, then this one shows what might be right now (at that time).


And also at the bottom of the slide, we can see the target to which we can still aspire. Such a neat prescription flirts with the investor: you can calculate in your head that if at $14.7b ADV the profit is about $800m, what happens when we get into the top 3 with $50+b? But no direct promises, of course.


Growing faster than competitors


The last slide ended with a neat hint that there is still room to grow. This one connects with the previous one and shows that this growth is even faster than that of the competitors.


75.2x growth in volume over a year and a half.


Note that the more numbers you have to show, the better. Investors love numbers. Not all profit expectations are worth talking about openly (it's often illegal). But nothing prevents you from giving dry information, linking it properly, and in the reader's mind will appear the picture you want. But, please, don’t lie.


Somewhere you can show beautiful growth figures. And somewhere you can show that you have room to grow, that you're growing faster than your competitors, and give a rough idea of what benefits are possible with that growth to your competitors (not to mention what happens if you overtake them).


Numbers, growth, and profits are the foundation and emotional peak of any Pitch Deck.

And add charts with lines going up where you can. This is also very effective.


Current Product Offering


A slide that goes into more detail on the first two slides, and shows more clearly what the project does. Nevertheless, note the compactness.


2021: New Customers


A few more numbers prove the rapid growth of users.


And at the same time, this slide shows FTX’s marketing intentions.


For the first time, one of the interfaces of the product is shown. The right half is more about marketing, in my opinion - how they managed to make a peak in daily users.


If you have/had any interesting marketing campaigns, be sure to reflect that on the chart, showing that you know how to attract new users.

Compliance Framework


There's not much to comment on here - you have to be completely transparent, and you have to comply with legal norms. And to show that.

Team


This an important slide and it’s better not to overload it. Show the main team.


Run your eyes over the slide at a glance. What're the first things that catch your eye about team descriptions without even reading them? The names of universities and companies. MIT, Facebook, Stanford, Goldman Sachs, and so on.


If your team has a cool background and education, be sure to mention that.


Mission


Projects often make this kind of slide first. Like, we want to leave the world a better place. We also donate to charity.


But in fact, for an investment Pitch Deck of a Web3/crypto project, the last slide is a good major ending for such statements.


It seems like we just spent 10 slides talking about money making, but in fact, beyond that, we have a heart (and you too if you invest in us).


Summary

As you can see, there is nothing super-special about the FTX presentation. A minimalistic, simple design that anyone can do.


A very proper arrangement of slides with a peak in the middle.


The main focus is on the numbers.


A beautiful, somewhat even emotional ending.


Again, let's not forget, the investor is not the user (at least not exclusively), and in pitch decks like this you need to show prospects and benefits. For you and for him.


We continue to watch the FTX case, which of course has influenced the whole industry in many ways.


Nevertheless, we would like to wish Crypto-projects not to despair and go on. There will be many victories and failures in this market, just like in any other market. Our task is to make this market stronger, more competitive, and more transparent.


I hope you like it!


If you want similar materials and marketing reviews on different Web3, NFT, and Crypto projects, let me know on my Twitter.


Also, if you run an NFT/Web3/Crypto project and are interested in learning how to promote it, drop me a line.


P.S. Check out my previous articles at HackerNoon: