This is the LinkedIn pitch deck to raise their $10m series-b in 2003. LinkedIn, a professional networking site, allows its members to create business connections, search for jobs, and find potential clients.
Often I will add commentary to slides, but in this case, it’s not a great use of time. Why? Well, Reid Hoffman the founder of LinkedIn wrote the most exceptional post about their LinkedIn Series-B pitch deck and the thinking behind each slide.
What I’ve honorably been able to do, however, is share the deck I used to pitch LinkedIn to Greylock for a Series B investment back in 2004.
Today, I share the Series B deck with you, too. It has many stylistic errors — and a few substantive ones, too — that I would now change having learned more, but I realized that it still provides useful insights for entrepreneurs and startup participants outside of the Greylock network, particularly across three areas of interest:
- how entrepreneurs should approach the pitch process
- the evolution of LinkedIn as a company
- the consumer internet landscape in 2004 vs. today
The deck itself is a little long and winding, but the commentary is very interesting to contribute to your general comprehension. I recommend you study it. Yes, it will be a bit of a pain, but it’s a long term investment into your perspective.
Today, LinkedIn seems like an obvious investment to have made in 2004. But at the time of the Series B financing, LinkedIn had spent its $4 million from Series A building a network that was much smaller than Friendster, MySpace, etc. We had no revenue, or even revenue-capable products.
The journey from founding, to multiple rounds of financing, to IPO, was not easy. All startups go through real Valley-of-the-Shadow moments, in which they wonder why they ever thought their business was a good idea. At LinkedIn, we had these moments. As an entrepreneur, I found David Sze and Greylock to be a tremendous ally through the process. And, David had the vision to invest in LinkedIn when it looked to most of the investing community like an odd niche.
How did I get Greylock on board in the first place? It started with this pitch deck. A good pitch helps get great investors, because it builds a strong relationship through clear communication and vision.
Read the commentary here: LinkedIn’s Series B Pitch to Greylock
Finally, do you like insider information? The stuff that isn’t written publicly, but shared via email?
Well, you are in for a treat. I was forwarded just such an email with private advice to a founder on how to write their pitch deck. Reid Hoffman’s private pitch deck guide
LinkedIn is a professional networking site that allows its members to create business connections, search for jobs, and find potential clients.
The site also enables its users to build and engage with their professional networks; access shared knowledge and insights, and find business opportunities. It offers LinkedIn mobile applications across various platforms and languages such as iOS, Android, Blackberry, Nokia Asha, and Windows Mobile; a public website that allows developers to integrate its content and services into their applications; and a set of embeddable widgets to allow web developers to include content from the company’s network into their websites and applications.
In addition, the company provides talent solutions, including LinkedIn Corporate Solutions that enables enterprises and professional organizations to find, contact, and hire qualified candidates; LinkedIn Jobs that allows enterprises and professional organizations to advertise job opportunities on the company’s network; and Subscriptions which enables recruiters and hiring managers to find, contact, and manage potential candidates. It also offers LinkedIn Ads, a self-service platform that enables advertisers to build and target their advertisements at its members; Enterprise, a marketing solution to target larger advertisers that receive dedicated account management and additional marketing solutions; and Sponsored Updates that enables advertisers to share and amplify content marketing messages.
Additionally, LinkedIn provides premium subscriptions for general professionals to manage their professional identities.
LinkedIn was founded in 2002 and is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, United States.
LinkedIn raised $154.8M in funding over 7 rounds before their IPO in 2011.
If you are interested in seeing investment memos for the LinkedIn deal, I have two.
- Redacted successful investment: LinkedIn Venture Capital Investment Memo from Bessemer Venture Partners
- Solid analysis which wasn’t approved by the IC: Intel Capital Venture Capital Investment Memo for Linkedin
Linkedin pitch deck slides
Note they changed the deck a little:
We changed some of the text to be less hyperbolically ambitious on slides 9, 12-14, 18, 19, 31, and 36. A public company should avoid publishing forward-looking projections and ambitions — even if they’re from 2004. As an entrepreneur pitching a private company, it is of course critical to be forward-looking and ambitious.
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