Cabify has already raised over $400M in funding. Backing by notable institutional investors includes investments by Rakuten Capital and Seaya Ventures. Uber competitor Cabify is now one of the leading startups in Spain, with over 1,000 employees worldwide. This growth is largely thanks to the following pitch deck.
What did they do right? What could they have done better to raise more money and have a greater choice of capital partners?
Cabify & Winning Pitch Decks
This startup was founded back in 2011 in Madrid by Adrian Merino, Francisco Montero, Juan de Antonio, Sam Lown, and Vicente Pascual. That’s two years after the founding of Uber in 2009.
The founders of the company used the pitch deck below that was published by one of its first investors Ian Noel. The pitch deck was used for one of their first financing rounds in November of 2012. Based on data from Crunchbase (see here), this leads me to believe that it was also used for their Seed round.
Overall, the presentation is interesting but perhaps a bit short on slides. If you want a more robust pitch deck template that you can use for free, check out the one I created below which has been used already by thousands of entrepreneurs to raise millions of dollars.
Also check out the the highly reviewed book The Art of Startup Fundraising in which I cover pitch decks extensively in chapter 4.
As I share with members of Inner Circle, which is a fundraising training where we help from A to Z, a killer pitch deck should include the following slides:
- Market Size
- Amount being raised
Here’s my Cabify pitch deck review and how you can make yours better…
From my point of view the cover slide is a bit dry. Investors on average spent about 3 minutes per pitch deck. I believe it is a mistake to not include a high resolution photo that to certain degree represents what the company does. This could be a picture related to the business or the actual product in action. Humans tend to associate memories with visuals, so this will help investors to remember you and know what you are all about before they start to review the slides. It sets the tone nicely.
The cover could also include celebrity endorsement quotes or quotes from the media in which they are saying positive things about your company. Added to the cover slide can provide social proof and trust, and give viewers a far more positive impression from the first click.
Furthermore, the confidential part could be placed in a much smaller font at the bottom and does not require that amount of precious real estate.
There just needs to be one problem, not many at the same time. In the case of Cabify, they are a marketplace satisfying riders as well as drivers. In my opinion they should have focused in one single thing. Perhaps fact that riders need to be picked up when they need it and pay a reasonable price for it. The rest is noise.
It is dangerous to include so much text on a slide as it may overwhelm the investor. As a founder you need to convey as much as you can with visuals. That it allows people reviewing the presentation to skim through it much faster. The less reading the better.
I also find that using phrases like “urban mobility sucks“ is a bit risky. There are a lot of gray haired investors that tend to be a bit more serious than the younger crowd. For that reason I would probably avoid it to be on the safe side. Speak in the language of the investor you hope to land.
As seen on the slide below, the founders used two slides to explain the problem. More of the same and more text. If you want to expand further you have an appendix at the end of the pitch deck where you include the additional information.
I do think this information is very valuable but you need to make sure that you are maintaining a nice flow to the story.
Again, there is too much text here. That just pushes the reader to jump to another slide. Just like the problem slide, you want to do the same with the solution slide.
One thing to note here is the word “local.” That may be a turn off for investors that are looking for a 10X type of return. That will be the case with VC firms. You want to convey a huge vision with a huge potential market. Let the investor know that your business can be replicated in other markets with a global approach right from the beginning.
Also note that strategy at startups can change overnight. So, you may want to avoid sharing specific plans around strategy as Cabify does here. By including this information you are setting up expectations which could be dangerous. Startups change quickly and need to adapt to market conditions. Avoid setting up expectations too early in the process.
This slide is a nice blend between product and traction. It clearly outlines what has been done and some of the accomplishments. I probably would have just included a few more screenshots of the product in action.
Cabify was expanding to other countries very quickly. Note, this is often a red flag for investors as it may seem that you are spreading yourself to thin at such an early phase in the process.
Remember that at this point Cabify was only at a Seed financing. Expansion and growth typically happens at a Series B or Series C financing rounds. If you talk about expansion too early in the life of the business investors might think that you are all over the place and that lack focus on the execution.
This traction slide is interesting. These are very promising metrics that are being displayed. However, I think it would have been more powerful to only display one single metric. Other metrics could be included on an appendix section.
Every startup has a key metric. As a founder you need to find that single metric that you are obsessed with and make sure to include it in a way that clearly demonstrates growth.
If you are in seed phase include weekly data. If you are at Series A then go monthly. If you are at Series B you can just show the quarterly growth of that specific metric you are tracking.
When you are talking about markets you want to show growth over time and how you are projecting that growth in the future. The way the opportunity is displayed here is clear, but it takes time to digest all the information. In this example there are no sources provided to track where all this information has been taken from.
It’s smart to include credible sources on each slide when you are making important statements.
Be wary of including an expansion plan like this when you are at the Seed stage. It is something that will scare investors. For that reason I would stay away from it at this stage.
The appendix is the section where you can go more in detail in the event the investor wants to dig deeper into the different aspects of the business.
In Cabify‘s case, I believe they made the mistake of having the team slide as part of the appendix as opposed to having it as part of the presentation. For investors the team slide is the most important slide. This is where you want to include the management team. Add bullet points that discuss previous accomplishments. Do NOT include the entire team. If someone leaves it can be a red flag and spark many other questions.
Congratulations to Cabify for its successful funding and growth. Especially in a space where Uber and Lyft have captured so much media attention. This Cabify pitch deck review not only reveals some of the clues to getting funded for startups, but also highlights some key points and tweaks which can help founders build more effective decks that attract more investment offers, provide more VC choices, and raise money faster.
If you are working on or optimizing your own pitch deck, make sure to check out the resources above and my pitch deck template below.