Building Pitch Deck - Financial Projections and Metrics


I'm trying to understand how much info about projections I need to put on the pitch deck. I'm assuming investors don't want all the detail... just the high level numbers (revenue, profit, growth). Or do you actually just plop in your pro-formas? It seems difficult to get this all onto one slide... does anyone have any good examples of pitch decks I could review?

I'm putting in assumptions too but at a higher level than my actual business plan goes in. I'm assuming all the details will be too low level for an initial investor pitch?

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asked Apr 6 '11 at 11:23
1,171 points

3 Answers


Higher level is fine, as long as you know the detailed numbers. When doing the summary, try including the following:

  • Year
  • Number of Customers
  • Number of Employees
  • Total Revenue
  • Cost of Goods Sold (COGS)
  • Gross Margin (Revenue - COGS)
  • Any significant expense categories (e.g. salaries, marketing, overhead)
  • Any significant capital expenses
  • Earnins Before Tax (EBT) or Earnings Before Interest & Tax (EBIT) or Earnings Before Interest, Depreciation, Tax, Appreciation (EBIDTA) depending on the business model

Depending on your Business, you may need different numbers. For example, if you are a SaaS company, then you'll have trouble with COGS and Gross Margin - there are a lot of debates about what should be included in COGS for a SaaS company.

Similarly, if you don't require much in the way capital purchases (equipment, etc) then you won't have much depreciation/appreciation so you may be looking at EBT or EBIT vs EBIDTA.

If you are an enterprise sale, and have a very long lead-time, then you may also want to include Billings vs. Earnings (for example, if you expect a long lead time between your billings/commitments and actually receiving money).

Finally, if you're subscription based, then you might want to include MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue) and/or Annualized MRR.

Here's what we included in our pitch deck, which was pitched 2 weeks ago, to very positive feedback. It worked for us - not sure it would work for you, but feel free to use/copy/modify.

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3

Number Of Customers ### ### ###
Head Count (EE's) ### ### ###
MRR @ Year End ### ### ###

Revenues ### ### ###
Salary Expenses ### ### ###
Marketing Expenses ### ### ###
Other Expenses ### ### ###
EBT ### ### ###

* We will be cash-flow positive in QX of YX
* Revenues are based on ARPU of $XX

answered Apr 6 '11 at 11:46
Joseph Fung
1,542 points
  • That was a beautiful answer and EXACTLY what I was looking for. Thanks Joseph! – Nick 7 years ago
  • Glad to help :) – Joseph Fung 7 years ago


Joseph's answer is pretty good. I would add:

  • I would go out five years on your financials
  • Total Market and Market Share is helpful so an investor can get a sense of your market uptake
  • Capital expense is good to include as well just to show what is asset expense
answered Apr 6 '11 at 12:08
Jarie Bolander
11,401 points
  • Good point on the CapEx Jarie - we received the same feedback, but because ours is a capital-efficient model, we didn't include any. I'll update my answer accordingly. On the 5-year and total market share, however, we were actually advised against it (too hard to predict, and the total market is almost always unreasonable). Perhaps that, too, differs between business models? – Joseph Fung 7 years ago
  • I think it depends a lot on the business. I have seen it both ways and VC's are kinda fickle about it. They want to see the hockey stick ramp but then don't believe the numbers. Go figure. – Jarie Bolander 7 years ago


So one more question, they don't want to see cash flows or balance statement? Income statement is enough? I've got losses on Year #1, and #2, i'm assuming they will automatically know that's why we are looking for funding to support the growth?

answered Apr 8 '11 at 11:18
1,171 points
  • This may vary from group-to-group, but when we *started* sharing our pitch, we had a cashflow model included and it confused/frustrated team. We were given *very* clear instructions to replace them with income statements. – Joseph Fung 7 years ago

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