Experts’ Corner: Pitch Deck Tips for Fundraising Success

Experts’ Corner is a series of articles sharing practical tips and solutions that our experts have gained over years of on-the-job experience. It aims to elevate our readers’ day-to-day execution and performance.

Fundraising, for companies at any stage, is undoubtedly a challenging process. According to a recent study, an average series seed raise requires contact with 58 investors, 40 investor meetings and over 12 weeks to close a round. Even for seasoned entrepreneurs and startups already with market traction, a compelling pitch and accompanying pitch deck are still necessary. Despite variance around stylistic delivery and aesthetics, you might be relieved to hear that the infamous pitch deck boils down to a formula. In fact, there are a number of topics and slides that investors actually expect—all of which will be discussed in this article.

The following piece is meant to serve as a guide for creating effective, successful investor decks. It focuses on the creation of the deck itself, instead of the delivery of the pitch. While there is no ultimate one-size-fits-all format for investor decks, we will share a set of widely-accepted guidelines along with corresponding pitch deck examples.

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Amazon vs. Walmart: Bezos Goes for the Jugular with Whole Foods Acquisition

Key Highlights

  • On Friday, June 16, Amazon announced it was acquiring Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion, the largest acquisition in the online retailer’s history.
  • Just a few hours later, Walmart announced the completion of its $310 million acquisition of the men’s apparel direct-to-consumer retailer Bonobos.
  • Whole Foods’ prime real estate allows Amazon to finally get into last-mile delivery, something the online retailer has historically struggled to do. Whole Foods has a 456-store footprint in the US, Canada, and the UK, mostly in upmarket, urban areas.
  • The significant implications of the Amazon/Whole Foods deal for the grocery and retail spaces explain why many retailers’ stocks took a big hit after the news (down 5-10%).
  • Walmart is pushing a strategy to buy vertically integrated companies because of higher gross profit margins. Whole Foods has some private label, but it accounts for only around 15% of revenues.
  • Groceries is an important category – a recent report by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) found that US grocery sales could grow five-fold over the course of the next decade, with spending estimated at more than $100 billion by 2025.
  • The FMI survey highlighted how 69% of shoppers valued the store’s reputation when choosing which store to buy groceries at, making Whole Foods’ brand an important asset for Amazon to leverage.
  • Walmart is the nation’s largest seller of groceries, selling over $170 billion last year, and the category is a key driver of store traffic and customer loyalty. Walmart has invested and tested in click-and-collect programs, stand-alone grocery pick-up sites, and even testing of an automated kiosk for 24-hour pick-up.
  • Many voice concerns that not only do Walmart and Bonobos customers not overlap, but that Walmart’s acquisition may in fact push several away.

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Power Pivot for Excel Tutorial: Top Use Cases and Examples

Every financial analyst is a whiz with Excel. However, as storage becomes cheaper, our organizations are accumulating more data. And ever-more data makes it harder to work with Excel—we either reach the 1,048,576 row hard limit, or the document slows to a crawl trying to process everything.

Often, the decision is whether to lose some of the carefully curated details, or to work in a tediously slow workbook. Sometimes, we have to get creative in order to combine two large datasets. We resort to using convoluted formulas and waiting forever for the calculations to be resolved.

Fortunately, you no longer have to make these decisions. Excel’s Power Pivot functionality provides a way to extract, combine, and analyze large datasets. Despite the fact that it was released with Excel 2010, most financial analysts I meet still do not know how to use Power Pivot, and many do not know it even exists.

In this article, I will show you how to use Power Pivot to overcome common Excel issues, and take a look at additional key advantages of the software using some examples. This Power Pivot for Excel tutorial is meant to serve as a guide to what you can achieve with this tool, and at the end, I will explore some sample use cases where Power Pivot could prove invaluable.

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