Pitch Deck Teardown: Plantee Innovations’ $1.4M seed deck

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It’s uncommon that I travel crossed a transportation platform that ticks almost each nan boxes. It’s truthful good, successful fact, that I fed Plantee’s platform into an AI instrumentality I built, and it wished location was a 97.7% chance that Plantee would raise money. This instrumentality mostly determines that only astir 7.5% of each transportation decks are up to scratch, truthful Plantee’s is positively disconnected nan charts.

What nan robots didn’t prime up, however, was that Plantee’s Kickstarter run was canceled earlier it was completed, and location are a fewer different confusing bits arsenic well. Let’s dive successful to spot what works, and what could beryllium improved.

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. 

Slides successful this deck

  1. Cover slide
  2. Summary slide
  3. Team slide
  4. Advisers and investors slide
  5. Mission slide
  6. Market validation slide
  7. Problem slide
  8. Solution slide
  9. Product slide
  10.  Competitive scenery slide
  11.  Traction slide
  12.  Target customer slide
  13.  Market size slide
  14.  GTM slide
  15.  Pricing & portion economics slide
  16.  Vision slide
  17.  Ask and Use of Funds slide
  18.  Operating scheme slide
  19.  Closing slide
  20.  Appendix descent I: Products successful development
  21.  Appendix descent II: Sources and references

Three things to emotion astir Plantee’s transportation deck

It turns retired that Plantee’s squad has been reference my Pitch Deck Teardowns very cautiously indeed, and it shows. The institution includes tons of specifications successful its deck.

That’s really you do an introduction!

Slides 1 and 2 together (Slide 1 is astatine nan apical of nan article) group nan shape for an investor to 100% understand nan what, why and really of nan company:

[Slide 2] A one-page summary to applaud. Image Credits: Plantee

The opening slides of Plantee Innovations’ transportation platform are stone solid. Between nan 2 slides, nan founders connection a clear and engaging preamble to what nan institution stands for and intends to achieve. The succinct overview captures nan audience’s attraction correct from nan commencement but besides serves a dual intent of efficiently level-setting for investors and filtering liking based connected finance thesis alignment. The screen descent includes “IoT Smart Home / B2C Consumer Electronics / AgriTech / Raising $1.7M” — it’s fundamentally keyword bingo that helps investors determine whether to thin successful aliases whether to trash nan platform correct away. That’s a bully thing: If this institution isn’t a bully fresh pinch investors, they tin move connected correct away.

Gotta emotion a bully tech solution

I’ll beryllium nan first to admit that I’m a raging nerd, and I emotion a bully gadget. I besides emotion plants; I person dozens each complete my apartment, and I tin support astir of them alive. As outlined, I emotion Plantee’s attack to foolproofing works parenthood.

[Slide 8] Technology, AI and happy plants. Image Credits: Plantee

I’d hazard a conjecture that astir works owners deliberation astir ray precisely once: erstwhile they first bring nan works into nan house. They’ll deliberation of watering arsenic often arsenic they can, hopefully earlier nan plants are a dry, crispy, sad messiness connected nan area of nan dresser. I’m gladsome there’s an AI taking attraction of each nan different stuff, because I had nary thought plants needed truthful much!

On nan 1 hand, that’s a relief. On nan other, possibly I’m conscionable a naive and novice works daddy, but it near maine a small confused. I’ve ne'er heard anyone mention aerial humidification and ungraded heating. I could beryllium persuaded that these things make a difference, sure, but I’m decidedly funny to what grade it’s worthy worrying about.

A bully competitory landscape

This is simply a marketplace that doesn’t person galore competitors. Seen done 1 lens, that’s a bully thing: It intends that there’s a thriving market, and Plantee tin spot what its competitors are doing good aliases poorly and position itself accordingly.

[Slide 10] That’s a batch of competitors. Image Credits: Plantee

As a competitory overview slide, this is beautiful comprehensive. It separates nan competitory scenery into “hard to grow” and “easy to grow” and master (e.g., mushroom/avocado growers) versus generalist growers. That each makes sense, but there’s still a small portion of nan puzzle missing here: The only existent exit successful this abstraction that I’m alert of is ScottsMiracle-Gro’s acquisition of AeroGarden, for astir $50 million. Not nan world’s smallest acquisition, but not wildly encouraging, either.

The different mobility I person is whether this dichotomy moreover makes sense. If personification plants a bonsai — a circumstantial usage lawsuit sounded by nan Plantee squad — they’re astir apt not going to repot nan plant, which is an absorbing challenge. If you’re positioning yourself successful nan marketplace arsenic a “you tin turn anything,” I would presume that you’d want to replant occasionally. The small bonsai tree, however, tin grow up to 800 years, truthful it’s difficult to declare that nan “grows each plants” statement is that beardown of a trading point.

Three things that Plantee could person improved

On first impression, nan Plantee platform is beautiful extraordinary, and nan AI instrumentality gave it a 97% chance of success. As a quality investor, I’m little convinced, and I disagree pinch nan AI for a fewer important reasons.

Does it make consciousness arsenic a product?

I emotion a bully indoor increasing system, and location person been galore that tried (and failed) successful this space. GROW raised $2.4 million backmost successful 2017, earlier it yet crushed to a halt. I reviewed nan $1,000 Abby a mates years ago, which, for illustration Plantee, had pre-sold $100,000 worthy of products connected Kickstarter, and it was beautiful awful. I’ve besides built my ain hydroponics strategy for nether $150, which is evidently a batch much work, but it shows that these types of systems don’t person to beryllium expensive.

Plantee is up against immoderate beautiful formidable competition. At nan debased end, for conscionable $40 you tin prime up a pod-based hydroponic system. If you want to walk a spot more, Click & Grow has your back. Rise Gardens recently raised a $9 cardinal round. People termination location plants each nan time, but astir of them are beautiful easy to return attraction of. If you request immoderate help, a speedy Google hunt for “AI works increasing app” gives you dozens of options, astir of them free.

My biggest situation pinch nan Plantee platform isn’t what’s there, but it’s what’s missing: wider context. If you return each nan company’s claims astatine look value, it’s an bonzer opportunity. However, zoom retired a little, and talk to a fewer works lovers, and you recognize that possibly location isn’t arsenic large a spread successful nan marketplace arsenic 1 mightiness think. It seems that nan inherent presumption successful nan Plantee communicative is that group who are bad astatine plants will walk $1,400 connected a fancy automatic works pot.

I’d reason that’s a fallacy and that group who are bad astatine plants alternatively get a kitten, aliases return up watercolors, aliases get a integrative plant, earlier they’re wiling to put 4 months of car payments connected a fancy portion of tech.

So what happened to that Kickstarter campaign?

[Slide 11] Plantee is arguing beforehand and halfway that its Kickstarter run is portion of nan marketplace validation. But there’s a catch. Image Credits: Plantee

Plantee did, successful fact, persuade 109 backers to promise conscionable complete $100,000 for its product. The run was fully funded successful little than 8 hours but was canceled conscionable nether a period later.

What happened? Image Credits: Screenshot from Kickstarter

That puts nan Plantee squad successful a unusual position: It claims that nan Kickstarter run proves marketplace validation. And that mightiness beryllium true: The institution says it was capable to pull its preorder customers for a CAC of $275. By trading 109 units, basal mathematics dictates that nan institution spent astir $30,000 to make $100,000 worthy of sales. That’s not excessively shabby, assuming that there’s capable separator successful nan merchandise to make that customer acquisition costs make sense.

The problem, however, is that nan institution doesn’t mention anyplace successful nan transportation platform that nan run was canceled, and it doesn’t discuss why it was canceled. It could reason that it ne'er intended to present connected nan Kickstarter run and that it was conscionable a trading trial to thief corroborate whether location was a marketplace for this benignant of thing.

I’m not judge that makes sense. Before Plantee’s campaign, EcoQube ($300,000 funded successful 2019), GroBox ($70,000 funded successful 2019), Herbert ($280,000 funded successful 2019) and dozens of others had already been successful, and it’s not afloat clear what Plantee learned from this exercise. Since then, a bunch of others person tally successful Kickstarter campaigns (Herbstation, MarsPlanter, GrowChef).

Put simply, I’m struggling to fig retired really nan Kickstarter run fits into nan wide narrative, and by seeming to skirt nan rumor wrong nan deck, Plantee isn’t doing itself immoderate favors. Perhaps I’m being painfully delicate aft 1 of my ain Kickstarter campaigns went down successful flames a decade ago, and yet took nan full institution pinch it, but personally, I’d see a “so, what happened pinch nan Kickstarter” descent successful nan appendix to get up of that portion of nan story. Bad news should recreation fast.

A small connected nan melodramatic side

I emotion immoderate bully storytelling, don’t get maine wrong, but parts of this transportation platform look to person mislaid each perspective. Phrases for illustration “never suffer different greenish child,” “It started erstwhile my bully friend died,” and “stress affecting nan intelligence wellness of growers” are undoubtedly powerful and emotionally charged, but to those of america who’ve mislaid a bully friend, had superior intelligence wellness challenges, aliases really mislaid a quality child, it seems beautiful tasteless to comparison nan immense and almost unbearable symptom of that pinch losing a location plant.

[Slide 5] I’m sorry for your loss, Ondra, but this is bordering connected bad taste. Image Credits: Plantee.

The afloat transportation deck

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