This startup pitch deck delivered a 100x return to investors and helped this uber competitor to go on to raise hundreds of millions of dollars.
Careem was an Uber alternative based in Dubai. They’ve since gone on to spread to 14 countries and raise over $421 million in funding.
In addition to cars, they offer limos, buses, and bike-sharing services. In early 2019 the company was bought by Uber for a reported $3.1 billion. They continue to operate under the Careem brand name.
As I share on Inner Circle, where we help members from A to Z with fundraising, startup pitch decks can make all the difference when it comes to getting funded and making your venture a success.
This was a great example of the idea being less important than the timing and execution and what they were able to achieve with getting funded. Not many people would have thought it was sane to take on Uber, but they did, they raised and have done extremely well.
No startup pitch deck is perfect, but even the best ideas and teams can fail miserably if they don’t have their decks right. This deck was created for the startup’s friends and family and angel round when they received $1.7 million. Overall, I find it very interesting but perhaps a bit short. If you want a more robust startup pitch deck template you can use for free the one I created below which has been used already by thousands of entrepreneurs to raise millions.
Early investor STC also went onto participate in their $10 million Series B. The uber acquisition gave them $1.4 billion in cash and $1.7 billion in convertible notes.
Here’s a breakdown of their 100x pitch deck, slide by slide…
Careem’s cover slide is simple but effective. They’ve got a great tagline. One which is backed up by their logo. They clearly display who this is for and what stage they are at for investors, even before getting into any details.
The could have improved this by adding their contact information.
Careem clearly made great use of a traditional style executive summary as their second slide. At first glance you might glaze over and think they failed by not being more visually interesting or introducing the problem they are solving.
If you actually take the time to read it, they actually do quite well at laying out the fundamentals of what an investor would want to know and have included some good data points.
WHAT IT IS
On this slide, Careem dives right into what they do. Notice that they really put all the emphasis on their technology versus the transportation side of the business, even though most outsiders today would consider them a transportation company.
They include recognizable logos. For those that read the content, they quickly point out some of the key features and benefits in the right column.
HOW IT WORKS
Here Careem provides a quick breakdown of how their system and product works. It achieves a good balance between being technical and understandable for the non-geek investor.
They provide a clean and simple visual of the mechanics, and text for those who read.
This slide quickly lays out the product and service Careem is offering. It shows how they’ve developed. The screenshots are a good touch and provide some realism for potential investors.
The one asterisk seems out of place and as with a couple of other places in their deck, it seems they failed to have a fresh outside pair of eyes or a fundraising expert help review it before sharing. If your business is about accuracy and bringing a professional and efficient change to a market, don’t ruin it with silly and basic mistakes.
This slide quickly breaks down how they make money. It is very clear and easy to understand. Though a savvy investor who has been an operator might question how sustainable these low numbers are. The subheadline, while being honest about the status, and hyping up the potential could be better. It’s definitely geared more toward the optimist.
This is a good visual slide. Careem provides a clear picture of positive growth. A big point for investors. The use of logos offers familiarity and credibility.
IP & TECH STACK
The screenshots here add more credibility and make it real. The list of tech makes it sound like they have a lot of IP. The blurb in the bottom right corner is unfortunately almost lost. It is a very strong point. This should have perhaps been placed front and center to get noticed more.
This lets potential investors know right where the company stands now. There is good use of stats. While unclear how the logos relate, they add more subconscious credibility.
As experienced investors know, a good product and marketing and even sales alone aren’t everything. You also need good customer feedback for it to grow and last. Although, without attribution these customer comments could have just been made up, Careem is smart to use the pie chart on the right to demonstrate customer retention.
Here they show the huge potential for growth and positioning themselves to be a highly valued asset for a variety of potential acquirers and solutions.
You don’t have to include a financials slide at a friends and family round deck. If you do, be sure it is realistic, and doesn’t raise more questions than it solves.
Experienced investors know that predicting acquirers at this stage of a startup is typically extremely premature. In this case Careem was right, in a very big way.
THE FUNDING REQUEST
Here is where Careem lays out the purpose of the deck, how much they are trying to raise, terms and how they plan to spend it. Headcount spend seems high versus marketing, though they pulled it off.
Could have done without this slide.
An important slide for investors which is normally inserted far earlier in a deck.
These three slides layout the problem Careem is solving. Again, typically slides which are introduced earlier in a startup pitch deck.
Careem clearly benefited from having two strong cofounders with great pedigree. Their resumes follow that of other hyper-successful startups, and one already had an exit.
Look forward to hearing your thoughts and don‘t forget to check out my free template below!