Wealthsimple Seed Stage Startup Pitch Deck
Here’s the Wealthfront pitch deck the team used to raise its $2m seed round from Joe Canavan, Roger Martin, David Ossip, Dan Debow and Canadian venture capital firm Impression Ventures. Wealthsimple’s original goal was to raise a $500,000 seed round but within six weeks they raised $1.9 million. They went on to raise $45.66M in 3 Rounds.
Wealthsimple is a new kind of financial advisor — one that’s intuitive, affordable, and human. They take the guesswork out of investing and get you on the right track. They build a diversified portfolio of ETFs on your behalf and guide you to achieving your financial goals. Its mission: provide every Canadian, regardless of net wealth or financial knowledge, access to smart, low-fee investing solutions – plus the advice they want, when they need it.
The pitch deck was posted with a view to helping founders with their insights into raising money. They don’t fully share all the details, but most appears to be there.
The key takeaways they propose as learnings are:
- Find your lead investor early: This is good advise, if you have the luxury. Typically one is not so forthcoming- it takes time. Having said that, it’s easy(er) to herd up the ‘followers’ up in a round when you have a lead
- Your angels don’t have to be in tech: This is a fairly no brainer. What they are saying is don’t just hunt for the obvious tech angels, as there are a tonne of people who want to get in the startup game. The reality is, depending on your business model, these people may be able to add a lot more value in terms of industry insight and network access
- Most decks suck – make yours good: This is a no brainer 😉 Well known investors get a tonne of decks, and those with little experience will need help to get over the line. A pretty, structured deck in both cases will help you achieve your goal
- The third slide is a trends and almost implicit ‘why now’ slide. They explain the changes in the industry over the past 40 years in 10 year shifts. The slide is a bit simplified. It’s not the worst, but it’s ok
- The ‘what we do’ slide explains the core parts of the business quite well
- The ‘Canadian market opportunity’ slide is used to show market sizing and their positioning. This is something I haven’t seen that often
- They use the ‘US case example’ as a means to illustrate the potential for their business. What they are saying is ‘Wealthfront worked in the US, we are going to do the same thing in Canada.’ This is a useful approach where markets have some similarity
- The team is strong. They should have moved this slide to the front. It’s easy to see that a few of the founders have worked together in a startup before, which is a plus to investors
- They have some great advisors on the ‘advisors’ slide. One should always take these with a pinch of salt, unless there are real proof points, such as the fact the investors have committed to investing in the round. One great deck I have seen explicitly states the commitment the advisors make to the startup. e.g. a partner at 500 Startups has a call every two weeks to advise on marketing
- The ‘client acquisition’ slide starts out as relatively focused on their targeted demographic. Unfortunately they don’t share all the details for confidential reasons
- There isn’t a great use of graphics in the deck
- The starting page is generally structured well. They don’t have a date nor mention the investor, which is a good thing if you don’t pay attention to whom you are sending decks. I find the tagline ‘smart investing made simple’, whilst intriguing, not quite explanatory enough
- The second slide is a brief overview. It largely replicates the opening slide, but adds a few details like their geographic focus (Canada). It’s good practice to explain your business model or vision upfront, but in this case they could almost have just put the text on the opening slide
- The ‘what we do’ slide is very wordy. Whilst the content is decent, it could be presented better
- The ‘product’ slide is quite high-level and feature rather than outcome orientated. They don’t have a competitive matrix, so how they are different is neither illustrated. My guess is the founders don’t really use the deck to sell but rather as a general talking point. That’s fine, but then it could be far less wordy
- The ‘team’ slide has a lot of people on it. It’s likely everyone on the team. There isn’t a reason to add everyone
Wealthsimple pitch deck reading material
Wealthsimple launches with $1.9 mln from angels, Impression Ventures
Wealthsimple Receives up to $30 million Investment from Power Financial Corporation
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