Here’s the Pendo Pitch deck used to raise a $20m series-B led by Spark Capital with participation from existing investors Battery Ventures, Salesforce Ventures, Contour Venture Partners, Core Capital Partners, and IDEA Fund Partners. Some details in the pitch deck have some details redacted.
Pendo was founded in 2013 by former product managers that have experienced the joys and challenges of creating great products at companies like Rally, Google, Cisco, and Red Hat, among others. With a powerful analytics and guidance platform designed to help companies understand and influence how users interact with their software applications, Pendo is on a mission to improve society’s experiences with software.
Pendo provides software product managers and teams with a powerful integrated platform to better understand and improve the product experience. Without requiring any engineering resources, organizations can use Pendo to extend their product to capture all user behavior, gather feedback, and provide contextual help inside their applications. This unique combination of capabilities enables companies to create a personalized, adaptive experience for each and every user.
Pendo’s customer count has grown 30x over the last 24 months. Recurring revenues have grown by 400 percent over the last 12 months. Pendo is now tracking over 6 billion user actions per month. Current clients include Coupa, Optimizely, Infor, Rapid7, and FICO, among others. Within those companies Pendo is used by numerous teams in the shared interest of improving their product experience, including product management, user experience, sales, customer success, marketing, engineering, and executive leadership. The financing will enable the company to continue to accelerate its growth and expand its product capabilities.
The deck is very professional, as one would expect at series-b stage. it is a prime example that you don’t need to use a graphic designer if you structure out a nice template in first instance. My main gripe is that text is rather small and ergo slightly hard to read (See ‘Why Pendo). I also found some Pendo pitch deck slides hard to understand without having prior knowledge; the ‘user engagement’ slides is one such example.
- Simple, consistent formatting throughout
- They start with a slide demonstrating the quality of the team, their respected investors, and strong quarterly growth. It would be cool if they added some logos, or comments to each person on the team so one knows who they are. It’s clear by listing all the ‘VP level’ staff that the team is fully formed, and presumably ready to scale
- The net new ARR is positive. Growth comes out of both new and expansion revenue. I think they redacted some information. It would be useful if this was broken out to also show losses on a customer basis
- I like the TAM, competitive analysis, and roadmap slides, despite all the information being redacted. These are useful things to see and show there is real planning behind the business
- In some instances, the Pendo pitch deck slides could be a little more structured and beautified. The ‘go to market’ slide is an example
- The ‘go to market’ slide doesn’t really explain their GTM at all. It’s a weird mix of their focus and user persona
- A large issue is that after flicking through it, I’m not totally clear on what Pendo does and their USP. They are rather short on some slides at the expense of clarity
- The ‘The digital transformation is happening” slide looks quite pretty, but doesn’t really say anything to me and on the next slide, I don’t quite comprehend the meaning of “Users are demanding that their software at work behaves like their software at home.
- On the ‘Foundation: Data” slide, it might be more informative if they used real images rather than mockup icons
- ‘How Infor uses Pendo’ doesn’t actually explain how. The next slide on Henry Shein at least shows results but doesn’t actually explain how they use it
Pendo pitch deck reading material
Structured summary review
Most of the slides have too few words. They need to explain things better rather than forcing in the investor to figure things out.
There are 24 slides which is the right ballpark.
It’s great that they don’t just write “problem”, but the headers are not great.
It’s on the lower end of OK. I’m not going to laugh at it.
There isn’t much of a narrative. They start out trying to make one, but it’s faint.
Never have random bullshite on slides. Pendo overview does not have a reason in this world to be in the top left.
Some images should be aligned better.
There are no page numbers.
They cover pretty much everything that they need to, just not terribly well.
Pendo pitch deck
The cover is fine. Add a tagline of what you do so investors get an impression.
Always start with a slide explaining what you do in super simple words. Investors have no clue what you do, so tell them. When they then read your deck they already have 50% comprehension and all your slides build on the basics (I call this the “one liner”. It doesn’t have to be one line, in which case it’s a 3 liner.)
You have no idea how many decks I have read and at the end of the deck I’m like “so, what the heck do they do?”
There is no clear header on the slide.
If Pendo is raising from investors that know them, sure. Investors are investing in a team and there are zero details on the slide. I only know some dude is called Todd is the CEO.
But heck, rather than explaining the ream we have a quarter of the slide on investors, and for some reason an ARR graph. That is truly bizarre.
You ideally want to explain three people on the slide. If you have a team of super ballers, you expand to two.
Font size is very wonky in the deck. The header should be large, and everything else smaller.
The content on the slide is shite. Three crappy words in a circle. Well, five but get over it.
The title means something but the images are horrible to look at and don’t make sense to me.
What does the title mean to you? “We made the first integrated platform to capture user behaviour to improve products”?
The images should be in a row with the headers below.
You have to read the footer to understand what the point of the slide is. The content is not supportive of the point.
You need to be brutal with the words you use. Take a scalpel to words. “What traditionally would be” is verbose.
Why is the text so small? It’s painful to look at. Why is the header suddenly small and white, why does the background need to be there?
It’s just a weak slide. Our customers use us for a variety of use cases?
I like case studies where your product is a little difficult to comprehend. They humanise your startup. Do you think this is a good case study?
The image is small and hard to read. How does this add value?
The quote is strong. What’s the point of the image?
It’s a weak slide. Only the first point is somehow relevant.
What’s with the last two columns? Are they forecasts?
If you have a point to make, tell it to investors! Looks like there is a lot of expansion revenue.
Again, what’s with the last two columns?
It’s very hard to see any difference in the cohorts why way they have structured the slides.
Looks like there was a comment redacted. Just dumping in an image is lazy.
Customers greater than dollars? What does that mean? I don’t understand the slide.
Never write comments on the vertical. Turning your head is a pain. There’s always space to write horizontally.
These competition slides are annoying, most of the time. What a shock, for the features Pendo choose, all of theirs are green.
You know that you have a solid competition slide when you show it to your competition and they agree.
I generally don’t put in roadmap slides as they are rarely useful. I’ve seen them done acceptably once or twice. They can be more interesting if you set out your country expansion and aspects like that.
Why write “subject to change”? It makes you sound weak.
The problem with financial forecasts is that everyone knows they are bull.
As a closing slide, this is ok. I would summarise the opportunity differently.
They should have ended with the last slide. There is no need to have a slide with a logo.
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