For our 60th (yes, there’s 60 of them now!) pitch deck teardown, we’re taking a closer look at a $1.5 million pre-seed round and the deck that helped raise it. Tulsa-based startup SquadTrip tells me it raised its first institutional funding from Atento Capital, Forum Ventures and others at a pre-money valuation of $6 million.

The company is building a new way for people to do group travel. Let’s take a look at how it positioned itself!

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Slides in this deck

SquadTrip tells me the deck is unredacted, and they even included their appendix slides. Here’s how it breaks down:

  1. Cover slide
  2. “Where it all started” slide
  3. Problem impact slide
  4. Problem details slide
  5. Solution slide
  6. Market size and target audience slide
  7. Go-to-market slide
  8. Traction slide
  9. Business and pricing model slide
  10.   Competition slide
  11.   Team slide
  12.   Ask and use of funds slide
  13.   Summary slide
  14.   Appendix cover slide
  15.   Appendix I: Hiring roadmap slide
  16.   Appendix II: Product roadmap slide
  17.   Appendix III: Sales and marketing roadmap slide
  18.   Appendix IV: Revenue projections slide

Three things to love

This is a good-looking deck that goes a long way towards showing the business need for a tool like SquadTrip.

Clear ask and use of funds

[Slide 12] I like the ‘unlocks’ approach! Image Credits: SquadTrip

It’s obvious that this slide was being updated during the fundraise — it’s a good idea to do so if you have a lead investor and a term sheet while your fundraise is still ongoing.

The slide deck doesn’t show off an operating plan, so I’m curious what the path to attaining revenue of $2.5 million looks like. While I don’t love that it lists how much runway they have — it’s all about milestones, baby — on the whole, this is a good and clean slide. In addition to the runway, it shows what the company is planning to work towards over the next 18 months: 600 paid customers, specific product features, and the key hires needed to get there.

The percentage breakdown is a little fuzzy, but overall, if all of my pitch coaching clients started with an ask and use of funds slide that’s put together as well as this one, I wouldn’t have to send this link to almost everyone I speak to about pitch decks.

Clean solution slide

[Slide 5] This clears things up as to what the company does. Image Credits: SquadTrip

This is a great way to tell the story: Show what the travel agents and travelers see, and list the features underneath.

I’d have loved to also see the benefits to both the travelers and the agents, but this is a great start.

Teaming with talent

[Slide 11] Hellooooo team! Image Credits: SquadTrip

Can I be honest for a moment? I was genuinely confused why this company was able to raise money. Suffice it to say that there’s a lot of words behind the paywall this week in the ‘3 things SquadTrip could improve’ section.

But. This team makes up for my doubts and misgivings. Sure, the slide could be cleaner (I don’t know who the logos at the top represent, who most of the people on the right are nor why I should care), but reading the text on the bottom helped me realize that this makes sense.

Twenty years of experience in the travel space, $5 million of sales, and a bunch of travel booking experience all points to one thing: This is a founding team that really understands its customers’ challenges. If they can tell a coherent story about how they’ll innovate in this industry, they may be a shrewd investment.

In the rest of this teardown, we’ll take a look at three things SquadTrip could have improved or done differently, along with its full pitch deck!


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