Castle pitch deck

Castle Pitch Deck Angel Stage Startup

Here’s the deck Castle used to raise funding. In April 2015, they closed a $270,000 angel round. They are graduates of Y-Combinator. In total they have raised $2.77M in 5 Rounds from 10 Investors, including from Khosla Ventures and SV Angel.

Castle manages rental homes for landlords using automation and on-demand labor. We find tenants, collect rent, and coordinate maintenance, allowing owners to kick back, relax, and never worry about their rental properties again. Owners either have to deal with this whole mess themselves, or spend 10% of their rental income on a traditional property management company that requires constant

Deck review

All in all this is a pretty well done deck for an angel stage company. There are still a lot of unknowns and early traction, but I have a feeling the team are smart. It’s not often you can read the personality of a team in a deck.pitch deck

Positive

  • For once, they use the headers to tell the story of the deck, rather than just saying ‘problem.’ This is really supportive in passing the ‘flick test’ VCs do. The flick test is ‘can you flick through the deck in 15 seconds and get it?’
  • They make good use of visualisation. It was not done by a graphic designer (well, at least one at large cost) but it’s definately good enough
  • The deck starts well with good visualisation. I’m not sure I like the tagline ‘put your properties on autopilot.’ Don’t get me wrong, it’s fine for consumers, but for investors it could be better. I don’t really know what it means
  • The second slide starts strong with a statement “Rental property owners want to make money without the work of being a landlord.” This is good at showing a problem
  • The problem slide is good, follwing the previous slide as it sets the problem well. It couldn’t have been done that much better
  • The ‘Owners save 40% with Castle’ is a catchy headline. That speaks to me and should to you too. The juxtapose the alternative and their offering. One bug bear is that the difference in pricing isn’t that huge. I’m not going to pound their pricing model here though
  • I like they are positive about their traction. In around 4 months from soft launch they have for to 49 units. I just get a sense these guys are hustling. Sure the numbers aren’t huge, but I get a good feeling about them
  • The go to market slide ‘and we have some great ways to grow’ shows some good level of thought. In a few sentances I have learnt about how these guys think. In some ways this is one of the best slides I have seen. They are really thinking about how to hack their growth such as writing scripts (like Thumbtack did), working up the chain to get landlords on board, freemium models and scraping databases
  • The ‘team’ slide shows the team have build a startup together. That’s a very positive thing as it reduces some of the founder blow up risk. The negative is that they don’t actually say anything what so ever about who the founders and the team are. I like the deck so I would probably meet with them, but this is a peculiar omission
  • The milestones are quite good. They use specific umbers which makes me believe their is a model behind it. I also like they are quite reasonable about market expansion (a great cause of failure). They only add markets 3 and 4 around 18 months later

Negative

  • The ‘solution’ slide isn’t super. It isn’t bad, but it could be a bit better. It doesn’t really explain what the solution really is. It’s a bit of a wasted slide. “Automate landlording through software and on-demand labor” sounds like an obvious solution but it raises questions. ‘On demand’ is certainly a scary word in my books these days
  • The ‘how it works’ slide is decent and simple. It might be good enough to get a meeting but I’m sure as hell going to have a lot of questions and hope they have another deck with a lot more details
  • I don’t really like the ‘The Castle web app’ slide, I flicked through it and even forgot to make a note about it
  • The ‘Competition’ slide is more of a c+ slide to me. It’s not that bad but I prefer a matrix. Maybe they don’t have direct startup competition but I find that hard to believe
  • They don’t have an ‘ask’ slide. There are no source and use of funds

Castle pitch deck reading material

Castle Is A Property Management Platform From The Future

Pitch deck review summary

It’s a surprisingly strong deck. It’s basic but really speaks to the core of what they are doing.

Structured summary review

Words

Pretty spot on. Maybe another 10 words per slide would add more.

Slide length

There are 10 slides. My guess is maybe 2 were ommitted. They get a lot of mileage for the slides that they do have.

Headers

Some of the headers are ok. They have the right idea. Problem is that their headers aren’t headers. They are all over the place. Just put them in the same place.

Appearance

They probably had a lower end designer do the deck, but it’s solid.

Narrative

I like the ordering of their deck. It flows really well. It’s a little simplistic, but it’s far better than most.

Structure

The slides are structured adequately. Can be improved a tad.

Slides

For an angel stage deck it’s really solid. It could be more academic, but it’s not like it is a series-B deck.

Slide by slide review

You don’t need the stuff in the footer.

Start explaining what it is you do.

The statement is strong, but there is no evidence.

There’s a narrative here. That’s positive. The slides flow. That’s the sign of a great deck.

I would explain the slide in a sub header, but the deck is easy to read.

They have three bullets, that’s positive. Read: rule of three.

Wherever you can add numbers. They divide the two 80/20. They add “25% of the profits. That’s a solid start.

The solution and “how it works slide could have been combined”. The slide below is very lazy. It’s a header with nothing on the slide.

I want to see that you have a product. Rather than these icons, add in screen shots. They don’t have to be perfect, but it makes your startup feel real.

I mean this is ok, it’s just not that great. Is there something smarter to say?

40% compared to what? Ok, the norm is on the left, they are on the right. COuld they add examples of the traditional property managers?

Don’t use adjectives like exciting. Let investors tell that for themselves.

I like the ordering of their deck. It flows really well. It’s a little simplistic, but it’s far better than most.

The description text is too much. Shorten it.

Are the points particularly interesting? Not really.

The slide is decent. The header is lame.

You should use logos when you can.

 

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