Pitch Deck Teardown: NOQX’s $200K pre-seed deck

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NOQX is simply a Stockholm-based startup connected a ngo to thief companies amended their goal-setting, collaboration mechanisms and experiences. It has conscionable raised a $200,000 pre-seed round to thief execute its intends and, by extension, thief retired companies pinch worker counts ranging from 50 to 500 aliases so. The institution hasn’t been astir for very agelong — nan squad down NOQX felt disappointment by a deficiency of effective extremity guidance devices for companies and founded nan institution successful 2023.

With “clarity of objectives” arsenic its rallying cry, NOQX addresses a captious usability of immoderate business — and indeed, of transportation decks — truthful I was intrigued to spot really good NOQX communicates this for itself.

We’re looking for much unsocial transportation decks to tear down, truthful if you want to taxable your own, here’s really you tin do that. Read each nan Pitch Deck Teardowns here.

Slides successful this deck

NOQX’s platform has 18 slides, nary of which has immoderate redactions, though nan institution omitted its title slide. An 18-slide platform should screen everything (most startups do conscionable good pinch 16), but location are immoderate omissions that time off it incomplete.

  1. Cover slide
  2. Problem descent 1
  3. Problem descent 2
  4. Problem descent 3
  5. Solution descent 1
  6. Solution descent 2
  7. Solution descent 3
  8. Onboarding (“how it works” slide)
  9. Landscape slide
  10.   This Makes Us Unique slide
  11.   Roadmap slide
  12.   Traction slide
  13.   Go-to-market
  14.   Pricing
  15.   Target customer
  16.   Why Now? slide
  17.   Team slide
  18.   Closing slide

“Almost location but not quite”

In nan past 90-odd installments of this Pitch Deck Teardown series, I’ve mostly stuck pinch a “three things that are good” and “three things that tin beryllium improved” format. I tried ever truthful difficult to do that for NOQX arsenic good but yet gave up.

The bold creation of NOQX’s platform made maine want to emotion it, but successful truth, reviewing this platform was a profoundly frustrating experience. Aside from nan important omission of an Ask and Use of Funds descent (it’s not uncommon to get it wrong, but it should astatine slightest beryllium included!), conscionable astir each descent successful nan platform felt almost very bully — but past stumbled by not including a captious facet aliases overlooking an important detail. The platform is fundamentally truthful vague that it seems nan founders don’t person a patient grip connected why they are doing what they are doing.

You ne'er request 3 problem slides

[Slides 2, 3, 4] That’s a batch of problem slides. Image Credits: NOQX

I was amazed to spot NOQX break retired 3 different problem slides. It is almost defensive, arsenic if nan institution is hopeless to person investors that “Yes! I promise! There’s a existent problem worthy solving here!”

Investors are sharp. It’s acold much effective to streamline this into a single, punchy slide. This attack spares everyone nan boredom of repetition and sharpens nan focus, ensuring nan halfway rumor shines without unnecessary fluff.

The problem descent should deed investors pinch a stark header for a much compelling punch: “70% of companies are failing to execute their goals” instantly sets nan stage, signaling a important and wide issue. Below this headline, NOQX could person added 3 to 5 slug points, each a mini-revelation connected why this monolithic nonaccomplishment complaint matters. These bullets request to battalion a punch, highlighting nan dire consequences for businesses and nan economy, and nan looming disaster if near unchecked. The thought is to make investors beryllium up and realize, “We can’t spend to disregard this.”

These slug points should do much than conscionable authorities nan obvious; they request to align pinch what keeps investors up astatine nighttime directly: opportunity and scalability. Each constituent should shriek imaginable and profit, convincingly arguing why NOQX holds nan aureate summons to a pressing, lucrative problem. By distilling nan problem down to a single, impactful slide, NOQX would person trim done nan noise, commanded attention, and made their lawsuit pinch nan benignant of clarity that demands a checkbook, not conscionable a nod.

You besides don’t request 3 solution slides

Saw this 1 coming, right?

[Slides 5, 6, 7] If you person excessively galore solutions, you don’t person a solution. Image Credits: NOQX

From a storytelling constituent of view, it’s often worthy divorcing nan “solution” descent from nan “product” slide. In this progression of slides, Slide 5 is kinda-mostly a solution slide, Slide 6 is kinda-sorta a worth proposition slide, and Slide 7 plays nan domiciled of a merchandise descent — but nary of nan slides are convincing.

Identifying nan slides decently intends that it becomes overmuch easier to cognize what to include.

For a solution slide, it’s important to intelligibly articulate really your merchandise aliases work solves nan problem you’ve identified. This descent should succinctly explicate why your solution is superior to existing alternatives. It’s worthy keeping this portion strategical and precocious level: You’re astir to dive into nan nitty-gritty connected nan merchandise slide.

For nan value proposition portion of nan story, founders must intelligibly specify nan unsocial benefits nan merchandise aliases work offers and why it stands retired successful nan market. This descent should succinctly pass what makes nan startup’s offering valuable to imaginable customers and what differentiates it from competitors. It needs to item nan chopped advantages it provides, specified arsenic cost-efficiency, superior technology, enhanced features aliases amended personification experience. In this case, NOQX’s worth props are a spot of a nothingburger — good astatine first glance, but not differentiated capable to really guidelines retired from nan competition.

For a product slide, you get to dive successful and show nan existent features and functionality that will thief your customers get worth from your merchandise and lick their problem. Apart from nan truth that “our awesome platform” is simply a spot cringe, it doesn’t really say anything. Every startup successful nan world could opportunity “our awesome platform,” which intends you’re wasting that descent existent property for nothing. What is awesome astir it? Why should investors care? How is it different aliases unique?

What is this descent trying to convey?

[Slide 8] A timeline to confusion. Image Credits: NOQX

I emotion a bully timeline descent that shows what companies are trying to accomplish. Instead, this descent fails to understand who it is talking to. Perhaps this descent useful successful a income platform erstwhile nan founders are trying to explicate its worth to customers, but for an investor deck, this seems a small superfluous.

Overall, this descent falls betwixt “how it works” and “value prop.” It’s not doing a awesome occupation astatine either, and it fails to meet nan wide criteria for what to see successful a transportation deck: Will this thief you raise money? My gut consciousness is “no.”

This isn’t traction

[Slide 12] Traction is nan past. Image Credits: NOQX

I emotion really colorful and visually appealing this descent is. What it is not, however, is simply a traction slide.

If you don’t person gross yet, your traction descent should outline what you’ve done to de-risk nan company. This descent not only fails to do that, but it besides goes to December 2024. Your traction, per definition, is conscionable astir nan past: accomplishments and milestones achieved to date. Ideally it’s presented arsenic charts and graphs that show that maturation is coagulated and accelerating. This looks for illustration location isn’t immoderate traction successful nan business. That makes sense; it’s a young company. But don’t effort to instrumentality your investors; they’ll spot correct done this, truthful conscionable beryllium upfront.

But each is not lost. This descent is benignant of a “use of funds” slide, showing what nan institution is readying to do successful nan adjacent future. That would beryllium helpful, but it should person clear clip goals astir when it is readying to deed those milestones and what it needs to do to get there. “Smart investors” and “repeatable income process” are important steps on nan way, but they are obvious. Investors want to cognize what you’re going to do to get those investors and income processes.

Why now, indeed

[Slide 16] Why, oh, why? Image Credits: NOQX

Having a awesome “Why now?” slide tin thief create FOMO and a consciousness of urgency. This descent conscionable doesn’t do that. It’s a awesome start, don’t get maine wrong, but well-informed investors will cognize each of this; it doesn’t adhd thing to nan conversation. I’d person loved to spot immoderate insights aliases immoderate thought activity here. Why was location a displacement successful organizational structures? What’s nan effect of meetings evolving? What is nan effect of a activity style shift? What does “a flow” extremity mounting and cadence moreover mean successful this context?

I consciousness for illustration I’m missing thing important here. Perhaps this descent only useful erstwhile it has a voice-over, but transportation decks request to guidelines connected their ain 2 proverbial feet. And that mightiness mean that you whitethorn request much than 1 transportation deck: 1 for voice-overs and 1 for sending ahead.

Tell maine why you’re awesome!

Your squad descent is crucial and is doing a batch of dense lifting successful nan discourse of an early-stage pitch. Let’s return a look astatine this one:

[Slide 17] A coagulated team, but I want much context. Image Credits: NOQX

There’s excessively overmuch and excessively small going connected successful this slide. The descent has a batch of very mini matter connected it, which I don’t love. It’s beautiful conversational, which tin work, but successful this case, I deliberation it comes up short.

“With a decade of acquisition successful hyper-growth B2B-SaaS companies.” Yes, but which ones, and why is that relevant? The remainder of nan connection is simply a batch of words, but it’s not helping me, arsenic an investor, ascertain whether nan CEO is simply a awesome fresh to build this company. Now I request to caput to LinkedIn, but there’s nary link, truthful I’m going to person to commencement Googling, and I’m uncovering myself frustrated; this could beryllium truthful overmuch easier and better.

The CTO’s bio is likewise frustrating: Senior developer astatine Klarna is impressive, but it isn’t clear whether nan acquisition is straight applicable aliases overlaps pinch nan mission, imagination and products NOQX is pursuing. The remainder of nan bio doesn’t opportunity much. Yes, of people you are a visionary leader who strives to break caller crushed and present exceptional experiences, but nan aforesaid tin beryllium said for each startup CTO ever. Be much specific. Explain why you’re nan gold-plated unicorn connected a heap of unfair advantages and talents that lead maine to judge I’d beryllium crazy not to deploy money into this startup.

And finally, if your caput of UX is simply a co-founder, we request to person a speech astir whether that makes sense. And if she’s not, what is she doing connected your squad slide? As an investor astatine nan earliest stages, I’m investing successful nan founding squad and its expertise to build a coagulated team. I don’t request to cognize nan squad itself rather yet.

Why truthful vague?

[Slide 13] This could person been copied retired of a business textbook. That’s not a bully thing, because each nan specifics are missing. Image Credits: NOQX

Overall, nan full transportation platform seems really vague and nonspecific, which makes maine (and investors) suspicious. Is it vague by accident, and if so, will this startup beryllium capable to explicate what it is doing arsenic it is increasing and evolving? Worse, is it vague connected purpose, because nan founders cognize they’re not a awesome fresh pinch nan manufacture they are trying to enter?

Take this go-to-market slide, for example. This is hardly moreover a brainstorm; it conscionable outlines a generic income process. Cold calling and email marketing: Yes, but wherever will it find its customers? What’s nan top-of-funnel? What are nan conversion rates?

Investors want to cognize who you are, what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and really you’re reasoning astir nan marketplace and building a (potentially) multi-billion-dollar institution successful this space. They want to cognize who your customers are, what their existing options are and really you’re different. They want to cognize really you find and scope retired to your customers, and they want to cognize really overmuch you’re expecting to salary to get a customer, and really agelong you’re expecting them to enactment around, and astatine what value.

None of those things are evidently coming successful this deck. That intends that if I were to return a gathering pinch this startup, I’d person a lot of very pesky questions for them, specified as:

  • Why are you nan champion group successful nan world to commencement this company?
  • What’s your moat / really is this defendable?
  • Who are your customers, and really are you going to scope them?
  • What’s nan competitory landscape, and really are you different?
  • What’s your business model? How will you attract, person and clasp your customers?

All successful all, nan platform looks so good, but it lacks substance. Hopefully nan institution tin fig that retired up of raising its adjacent round, aliases it whitethorn beryllium successful for a genuinely nasty surprise.

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