The Pitch Deck for Startups: Lessons from Airbnb, Buzzfeed

  • Business
  • December 15, 2021
The Pitch Deck for Startups: Lessons from Airbnb, Buzzfeed
If you're looking to raise money for your startup, having a well-designed pitch deck will be your most potent weapon. A great pitch deck gets potential partners and investors excited about your business and idea and is a great way to engage them in conversation. In this article, you will learn some tips for your very own pitch deck based on an analysis of the pitch decks of these famous unicorns.

The Hook: Airbnb's Pitch Deck


AirBnB Pitch Deck from Malcolm Lewis


Airbnb operates an online marketplace for lodging, primarily homestays for vacation rentals and tourism activities. This company is one of the legendary startup success stories of our time. Their pitch deck serves as a masterclass in pitching.

Takeaway 1: The very first slide, the intro, is key to keeping your audience engaged and interested in what you are about to say next. Like a story or article, it needs to hook your audience and reel them in. Ideally, you should describe your business in 1 sentence, making it easy enough that anyone could understand your business. Airbnb's explanation of their business is concise but impactful - Book room's with locals rather than hotels.

Takeaway 2: Have a clear understanding of competitors and competition. Investors know that competition is expected, so clearly showing all the competitors in the space and your positioning helps the investor understand if the business is viable or not. Airbnb uses a straightforward perceptual map to show its positioning within the market.


By The Numbers: Buzzfeed's Pitch Deck


BuzzFeed Pitch Deck from Tech in Asia ID


Buzzfeed is a well-known content-creation company worldwide, worth just over $1.13 billion based on the number of shares the company estimates it has outstanding. They are an internet media, news, and entertainment company focusing on digital media.

Takeaway 1: Validation by numbers is compelling. Just on the second slide, this deck showcases the big numbers that the company has already achieved, with a quote from CNN thrown in for good measure. Social proof is a powerful tool in pitching because many professional VCs want to see traction before they put money in. Showing your company's validation and traction in a few concise points helps to build a convincing and promising future for a very investable company.

Takeaway 2:  Include a clear and intelligent revenue model. Buzzfeed's deck includes its revenue model that explains how the company will make money. Often founders forget to build out multiple revenue streams, which will reduce the investor's confidence in your company vision.


If you haven’t planned out your business yet,  check out our free lean business template and tips on how to plan out your business. If you’re not sure how to get started or are looking to expand your personal network, you can join the wide range of networking and community events hosted by peers in your industry here at True Digital Park, or join specialised startup programs like our TDPK Startup Booster Program that gets you connected with top mentors, VCs and business experts through our various events. In fact, you can join our Perfect Pitch program that happens every 2 months on our community event page


True Digital Park is Southeast Asia's largest tech and startup hub, spanning over 200,000 sqm. The park is a critical driver for the development of the startup and innovation ecosystem in Thailand. All under one roof, startups, entrepreneurs, tech companies, investors, accelerators, incubators, academies and government agencies co-exist in our interconnected ecosystem.


  • Startup
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  • Pitching
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  • Planning Startup

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