Pattern Angel pitch deck: RAW Courting App’s $3M deck | TechCrunch


The RAW Courting App goals to shake up the relationship scheme by shedding the pretend, TikTok-ified, closely filtered images and changing them with a extra real, unvarnished expertise. The app targets younger professionals and college students, significantly girls aged 21 to 27, who search real interactions.

The corporate’s crew claims it raised a $3 million family and friends spherical. I haven’t been in a position to independently confirm that; many of the firm’s media protection seems to be written by the founder herself, in retailers like Forbes and Entrepreneur or as press releases that received syndicated throughout the online. Nonetheless, the deck was attention-grabbing sufficient that I needed to take a more in-depth look.

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Slides on this deck

Pitch decks are rather a lot like relationship: You’ve received to strut your stuff to persuade traders that you simply’re the proper match, worthy of tens of millions to develop and flourish. They should know that regardless of any bumps within the street, you’re the dream crew with whom they’ll navigate by something.

The pitch deck ought to promote your crew and your answer, not simply the product. That is the place RAW’s pitch deck swipes left fairly arduous. As an alternative of showcasing the sensible crew poised to dominate a booming market and create a great deal of completely satisfied matches, the pitch deck looks as if it’s attempting to get traders to obtain the app, not make investments cash within the firm.

Due to this misguided focus, the deck is a sizzling mess. The answer exhibits up earlier than the issue, and the issue isn’t even clearly said till slide 11 (there are solely 18 slides complete). The corporate tells me it submitted the deck precisely as pitched. Right here’s what is roofed:

  1. Cowl slide
  2. Product
  3. Worth proposition
  4. Characteristic
  5. Characteristic 2
  6. Characteristic 3
  7. Goal market
  8. Worth proposition 2
  9. Worth proposition 3
  10. Answer
  11. Drawback
  12. Drawback 2
  13. Drawback 3
  14. Competitors
  15. Ask and use of funds
  16. Slide 16
  17. Staff
  18. Closing slide

Three issues to like about RAW’s pitch deck

I’ve already griped in regards to the deck’s weird order: The issue and answer slides must be main the cost, not trailing close to the top. However, hey, credit score the place it’s due: Once you lastly do encounter them, there are some shiny spots.

A transparent answer slide

[Slide 10] As soon as we lastly get to the answer slide, I’m on board/ This will very properly be an issue value fixing.
Picture Credit: RAW

RAW’s answer slide is refreshingly clear, providing a concise assertion that hints on the modern options that set the app aside. The teasers embedded inside the slide successfully outline the answer, giving a snapshot of how RAW addresses the important thing ache factors of on-line relationship. It’s a pleasant change of tempo, offering simply sufficient info to pique curiosity with out being too overwhelming.

It’s good that this slide doesn’t overlap with the product particulars. After wading by numerous slides that learn like a consumer handbook, it’s a reduction to see a centered answer assertion. The relentless product pitch is paused right here, permitting the answer to shine by itself deserves.

Nevertheless, I received’t get too carried away with the reward right here. Whereas the answer is well-articulated, it falls brief. Claiming to resolve “most” relationship app issues seems like a cop-out. Traders wish to see confidence and ambition; inform them RAW solves all relationship app issues. This isn’t the place to hedge your bets or fear about overselling; it’s about convincing traders that your answer is complete and unbeatable. Promote them the dream, not only a Band-Help.

Yep, that’s an issue all proper

RAW dating slide 11
[Slide 11] That’s lots of scammers, y’all.
Picture Credit: RAW

Whereas it’s completely ludicrous that we needed to wade by 10 slides to lastly hit an issue assertion, I’ll begrudgingly admit it’s not a horrible drawback slide. Positive, there’s at all times room to enhance, however I’ll take hard-hitting numbers over wishy-washy “we are making the world a better place” junk any day of the week. The statistics do a good job of highlighting a obvious situation within the relationship app world, I’ll give RAW that. Nevertheless, a sprinkle of credibility wouldn’t damage. Citing sources for these stats might have remodeled skepticism into belief.

Focusing on the goal

RAW dating
[Slide 7] Portray an image of the target market.
Picture Credit: RAW

A target market is meant to be an important a part of the pitch deck, and though this reads a little bit awkwardly, it does present that the crew behind RAW has a good grasp of their goal demographics. Nevertheless, “Women age 21-27” appears a little bit arbitrary and needlessly slim — why not simply “people in their 20s”? But it surely’s refreshing to have this degree of readability.

We get a way of who RAW is aiming for and a obscure concept of their socioeconomic standing. Nevertheless, saying “large U.S. cities” is like throwing a dart at a map. It’s higher to be particular. Identify the cities. Present you’ve finished your homework and know precisely the place your prime customers dwell.

And people cutesy advertising and marketing phrases like “rawmantics”? They may fly in a user-facing marketing campaign, however right here it’s essential persuade hardened traders. Ditch the fluff and show you realize who you’re focusing on with concrete, data-backed personas. Traders wish to see you may have a transparent, strategic method, not only a intelligent play on phrases.

Three issues that RAW might have improved

I’ll be sincere, there’s rather a lot lacking from this deck that actually shouldn’t have been missed. From the figures I can see on the included slides, there’s no manner I could make an inexpensive judgment as as to whether RAW is venture-scale, apart from a intestine intuition that relationship apps are sizzling property. RAW hasn’t offered any market dimension information, there’s no go-to-market technique, and there’s a obvious gap across the enterprise mannequin and pricing. How precisely does this founding crew envision creating wealth?

  • Market dimension information is essential. Traders must know the potential for progress and the way huge the chance actually is. With out this, it’s unimaginable to gauge whether or not RAW can seize a good portion of the market. Present detailed analysis, statistics and projections to again up your claims to indicate that there’s a considerable market ripe for disruption.
  • The go-to-market technique is lacking. How do you intend to draw customers? What’s your advertising and marketing plan? Are there partnerships within the pipeline? Traders must see a transparent path to consumer acquisition and progress. Lay out your methods, goal channels, and anticipated milestones. That is important for demonstrating that you’ve got a practical and efficient plan to scale.
  • There’s no enterprise mannequin or pricing. How do you make cash? Subscription charges? In-app purchases? Adverts? This can be a elementary query that wants a transparent reply. Define your income streams, pricing technique, and the way you intend to transform customers into paying prospects. This readability is significant for traders to grasp the monetary viability and long-term potential of RAW.

All that apart, there are some particular slides within the deck that might profit from revision and enchancment. Let’s give them a delicate ribbing and see how we might have turned this deck into one thing that actually dazzles.

That’s not competitors …

RAW dating s14
[Slide 14] OK, come on. That is unhealthy.
Picture Credit: RAW

All proper, founders, let’s discuss your aggressive slide, or somewhat, this unhealthy excuse for one. It’s so unhealthy, the truth is, that if I had been contemplating to take a position on this startup, I’d ship them away and ask them to make an actual competitors slide.

In a hotly contested market like on-line relationship, you want a stable aggressive slide to indicate you’ve received a deal with on who you’re up in opposition to, and what your aggressive benefit and differentiation is. Right here’s why a aggressive slide is essential: Traders wish to see that you simply perceive the battlefield. They should know you’re not simply conscious of the competitors however that you simply’ve finished your homework and may outmaneuver them. Who’s the competitors? Coloured packing containers numbered 1 to three don’t reduce it. Anybody who has a pulse and has been single up to now decade can identify anyplace between one and 15 rivals off the highest of their heads.

It’s good to show rock-solid data of the sphere the place you use. Present traders you grasp the panorama inside out and again to entrance and that nothing taking place on this area escapes your discover. This slide, sadly, doesn’t give me that confidence.

What number of rivals does RAW have? You want specifics. Whereas your rivals may not provide what RAW does, do they supply any options RAW doesn’t? What’s the worth comparability? Who do these completely different relationship apps attraction to? And let’s not neglect: Courting apps depend on folks. It’s a numbers recreation. If you happen to solely have a handful of customers, making significant matches goes to be powerful. Traders must see you’re not simply one other face within the crowd; you’re the one who stands out and is aware of precisely why you’re higher. So, let’s see that aggressive evaluation beefed up with actual information, insights, and a transparent image of the place RAW suits on this crowded market.

Hey, thriller slide!

RAW dating 1
[Slide 16] Welcome to my least favourite recreation present: Identify the thriller slide.
Picture Credit: RAW

OK, let’s dive into the enigma that’s slide 16. You’ll discover I’ve simply referred to this one as “slide 16.” Is it a traction slide? Possibly. Maybe it’s a projected progress slide? I don’t know. May it’s a mix of each, forming a now-and-next slide? Is it displaying traction from the previous or projections into the long run? It’s all attainable, however I simply don’t know.

First off, the slide itself doesn’t have a title. Whereas not all decks title their slides, they’re helpful. A title would give a touch about what we’re taking a look at right here. As an alternative, we get a thriller field of knowledge with no context. It’s like attempting to learn a map with no legend. Assist me out right here.

There are not any labels on the graph’s axes apart from months. Which years are these months from? Is it displaying July 2023 to Could 2024? Or possibly even July 2024 to Could 2025? The corporate launched in 2023 (it says so on slide 2), so I’m guessing the previous, however I can’t make sure. Are these month-to-month energetic consumer numbers displaying precise progress? Through which case, they need to be charted correctly on the graph. Or are they progress projections? And even when they’re projections, they need to be laid out with conviction. Give me clear, labeled axes and a timeline that is sensible.

If these are precise consumer numbers, they’re presumably bringing some income with them. And seeing as income is one of the best type of traction, present me the cash! How a lot income are we speaking about right here? Traders must see the monetary affect, not simply ambiguous traces on a graph. Actually, so far as graphs go, this one is verging on ineffective. Make clear your information, label your axes, and ensure this slide conveys a transparent, impactful message.

We received 99 issues, and the pitch is one

Screenshot 2024 05 27 at 10.50.09 AM
[Slide 13] Why are we speaking about the issue once more?
Picture Credit: RAW

Three drawback slides on this deck is totally overkill — particularly as a result of the crew is utilizing three slides to hammer house the identical level in barely alternative ways. Only one concise slide will do: “Dating apps make it harder, not easier, to find true love.” Then run down the statistics that RAW has placed on the primary drawback slide (and double-check that $638.8 million determine — it seems to be like somebody received a bit too inventive with their decimal factors). And the second drawback slide is simply litter.

Are these statements on the second drawback slide actual findings from RAW’s analysis? Or are they made up? In the event that they’re fabricated, why trouble together with them? The primary slide’s chilly, arduous statistics cowl the identical floor. Traders love statistics, particularly in the event that they’re based mostly on stable analysis. There’s no must go over outdated floor. Preserve it contemporary; maintain it full of life. Don’t waste worthwhile deck actual property.

Now, about these issues. Sure, ghosting is an issue, however you may’t make folks cease ghosting. Human habits isn’t one thing you may management with an app characteristic. And sure, scamming is an issue, however scams prey on weak folks in search of love. Actual images are simply a part of the answer. Have you ever seen the “Tinder Swindler”? It’s a jungle on the market.

Lastly, I’m taking situation with maybe a barely obscure a part of the deck: The crew says “real photos” and “no Photoshop,” however the majority of the images on this deck appear to be they’ve been plucked from a high-end studio, with a little bit of Photoshop magic. The truth is, a lot of them are inventory images. After you’ve clicked by the deck, you’ll acknowledge Man with Pink Tank Prime, Considerate Man with Guitar, Selfie of Couple in New York Park, and possibly a couple of others, too.

I’m not saying you may’t use inventory images in pitch decks, however on this case, the place the corporate is touting real interactions that begin with real images, it’s a little bit off-putting.

Total, I’m caught: I can’t get to the assumption that this product is an actual answer to the issues the corporate outlines, and I discover myself with a want: Present me how RAW tangibly addresses these points with extra than simply hopes, desires and good intentions — ideally with a stable enterprise mannequin beneath all of that.

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