We are facing a pretty great challenge of climate change, and I have long been skeptical about whether venture capital can be as important a part of the solution as it seems to think.
That’s why I was so excited when Harri wrote about fintech startup Enduring Planet. That’s playing a very clever card: trying to make quick funding available for climate entrepreneurs by winning4 situation – where investors, startups, society and the environment all win.
A coherent story, with enough detail to understand what’s going on, without falling down a rabbit hole. Simply put, I wish every deck could do it this well.
Today, I am pleased to present to you the deck used by the company to raise its funding. As you’d expect, it’s kinda inside baseball – it’s a deck for a startup helping other startups raise money from other VCs – but as you might too expect, Enduring Planet really knows what it’s doing.
The deck is quite extraordinary, and it’s fun to see how the founders think about his game. The company has done an exemplary job on several slides that a lot of startups get wrong, and they’ve even included some of the slides as an appendix, which helps dig even deeper into the fundraising story and context.
I am delighted to share this with you – GLF!
We’re looking for more unique pitch decks to take down, so if you’d like to submit yours, here’s how you can do so.
Slides in this deck
The Enduring Planet slide deck has some light redactions, but the main deck is more or less intact. The company removed the revenue numbers (but kept the graph) on slide 16. It removed an in-depth analysis of its underwriting criteria and removed company names from its pipeline slide. He also deleted a number of supporting slides (sensitive information about his underwriting, structures, etc.).
The main deck is an 18-slide deck, and the company has included five of its side slides. This is the first time I’ve been able to include slides as an appendix as part of a pitch deck teardown. I can’t wait to learn the ins and outs of how useful the appendix slides are!
- cover slide
- Team slide
- “Some Investments So Far” – Traction Slide
- “Trend” – “Why now?” drag
- “Expanding Investments by Businesses and Venture Capital Firms” – Market Development Slide
- “Governments Accelerating Private Sector Action” – Global Market Opportunities Slide
- Skyrocketing Startup + SMB Expansion” – Market Trends Slide
- problem slide
- Solutions Slide
- Product slide
- “ML and Automation” – In-Depth Product Slide
- Value Proposition Slide
- Slide on the main investment criteria
- Channeling slide
- Solution Roadmap Slide
- Financial projections slide (redacted)
- Team and board slide
- “Fundraising Goal” – Ask Slide
- Appendices cover slide
- Appendix — Detailed Problem Slide
- Appendix — Sample venture capital partners slide
- Appendix — Main investment criteria: Detailed sector slide
- Appendix — Key Investment Criteria: Detailed Slide on Equity and Inclusion
- Appendix — Risk Management Slide
three things to love
There are some very serious issues with this deck, but I’ll get to those near the end of this article. There’s also some great storytelling at play here, so let’s start there!
The deck pulls no punches
I had to laugh when I saw the “problem” slide from Enduring Planet. It’s there to raise money from venture capitalists, but there’s no punching it: it’s too little, too expensive, too exclusive and insufficient to meet the target standard of 2 degrees Celsius that the Paris Agreement is aiming for.
The company succinctly describes the problem and hints at its own solution in the last point – that institutional capital wants to deploy more money but has no effective mechanism to do so. This is one of the clearest and simplest slides I’ve seen in a while; it describes both a huge problem and hints at the magnitude of the opportunity.
Solution and product slide work in tandem
I’ve long had a soft spot for companies that are able to clearly articulate their solutions to a problem and their products as two different stories. There is a good reason to do so.
Especially in start-up companies, you have an assumption that your product is a good solution to the problem, but you’re not sure. By decoupling the solution your company believes in from the product it builds, you set yourself up for success. You can always rotate exactly How? ‘Or’ What you provide a solution — what you show is a deep understanding of your market. Plus, you’re setting the stage for a story that includes more than one product to solve the industry’s set of problems. That’s exactly what Enduring Planet is doing here.
On its solution slide (slide 9), the company states that its solution is a “proprietary climate lending platform providing tailored capital to entrepreneurs using the latest automation technology.” It looks like a mission, but be very careful: it’s more tactical than a mission and works great as a company solution statement.
From slide 9, he moves on to his product and even explicitly states that it is his first product. There’s no whispering here: he’s shouting loud and clear that he has more ideas to come up with as part of his platform.
If you are fundraising, take a closer look at slides 8-10 of this slide deck; Enduring Planet does a great job of presenting the problem/solution/product in a cohesive story, with enough detail to understand what’s going on here, without falling down a rabbit hole. Simply put, I wish every deck could do it this well.
A win/win value accessory
As I suggested in the introductory paragraph, Enduring Planet does a particularly good job of painting a world where everyone wins.
I often see value proposition slides in pitch decks; usually they show the benefit for customers. It’s encouraging to see Enduring Planet taking a broader view of how it wants to appear in the world. In his appendix, he expands on how he manifests himself in society, explaining how he envisions a world where everyone pulls in the same direction.
Pay close attention to the “For VCs” part of this – as a potential investor, I would. In two short points, Enduring Planet is able to make two different points. “Non-dilutive growth capital for portfolio companies” is a powerful phrase; this means that Enduring Planet promises VCs that its companies can go further without giving up more equity. Given that VCs are typically optimized to care about their participation (and, by extension, are allergic to unnecessary dilution), that’s a powerful promise.
The second point is related but significantly different: By offering non-dilutive funding, Enduring Planet is likely to see a lot of deal flow and financial data for climate tech companies. It’s a goldmine of information for VCs looking to invest in this space. When a company is ready to raise equity some time after securing funding from Enduring Planet, they are in a fantastic position to be able to get a much deeper view of what startups are worth investing in. invest and which are less attractive. .
I quickly wanted to write down the appendices that Enduring Planet used in their pitch deck; it’s worth taking a closer look at them in the full slideshow below, but I love slide 20, where the company expands on its claim that “capital for climate entrepreneurs is either expensive or unattainable.” He does this with a comprehensive matrix showing how equity, grants, commercial debt, venture debt, and revenue-based financing are all bad ways to grow a startup in this space. It’s extremely elegant and effectively positions Enduring Planet as a great funding option. An additional win — and something I wish I had been recognized more often — is that the company emphasizes that “these challenges are more important for underrepresented founders in the climate tech ecosystem.”
This is a great example of why you should consider having an appendix in the first place.
Putting a slide like this in the main deck would be a distraction; there are 20 cells of detailed information, and if you care about that sort of thing, you could easily spend several hours breaking it down and pondering the pros and cons of each funding option for various startups. Enduring Planet elegantly avoids this; if a VC wants to discuss it in more detail, they can quickly jump to the relevant slide and show they’ve done the brainwork to answer the question. And if it’s not part of the pitch, so much the better. The information is there for the investor to ingest after the call or in a later meeting, and you haven’t wasted time in the time-limited pitch. This is a great example of why you should consider having an appendix in the first place.
In the rest of this teardown, we’ll look at three things Enduring Planet could have done better or done differently, as well as its full pitch deck!