November 18, 2022

9-slide pitch deck framework for gaming founders

A good pitch deck and lots of coffee are imperative for a startup!

As an Investment Committee (IC) member at Ventana Ventures, I get to see dozens of pitches each quarter; and one of the biggest issues across them all is long-winding pitch decks with a lack of clarity. Equity financing makes sense for large, outsized opportunities and this article is focused on building a 9-slide pitch deck helping founders say the most attention-grabbing aspects first before going into the specifics.

Taking inspiration from this Twitter thread, by Jason Chen, I’ve adapted it to the Indian gaming context giving you an insight into what matters most.

1. What is the core opportunity you are aiming for?

Are you building a game or a platform (for content) or an infrastructure or toolchain (to support content creators)? Are you building something that will be a $1 billion business in the next 5-7 years? If so, what is it?

2. How are you going to address this opportunity?

Often difficult to articulate quickly but you need to be focused and concise. What are you going to do first, and what do you eventually aspire to do?

3. What is the target geography & demographic?

Whom are you building for? Is it consumer-focused? What’s their age group, gender, and specific personas within that? And is this person also your buyer (e.g., in a Kids game category, the consumer is the kid and the buyer is the parent); finally, the target geography. 

4. How will you acquire users/distribute your product? What sustainable acquisition advantages do you have that others don’t?

Have you figured this out? New categories and markets are always tough to distribute to, but once cracked, provide a strong moat against the competition. Do you have a unique GTM for your product?

5. How large is this market?

Basic question but important to get it right. Avoid the temptation to loosely define it (e.g., everyone in India). It should be specific enough and large enough to support venture-scale outcomes.

6. If you hit every milestone, what does this company look like in 3-5 years?

Be inspiring and ambitious. Now is not the time to think about incremental progress.

7. Why is your first step the right one to achieve this vision?

This demonstrates intentionality. Think about other approaches and existing solutions. Why is this the best way to start?

8. How do you scale to $1m in revenue? 10m? 100m?

Alternatively, 1k/10k/100k MAUs or DAUs. This will help the person you’re pitching to understand how you’re thinking about scale. As in every other business, monetisation always follows engagement, and every investor wants to understand how you’re thinking this through.

9. Why now?

Simple and straightforward. Why is now the right time for your idea? Is it specific regulation or market opportunity or critical mass of users or change in monetisation habits? In India, 5 years ago, data was the bottleneck, but Jio changed it; 2 years ago, habitual digital payments were an issue but UPI changed it; 5 years from now, our per capita GDP is stated to double which puts a significant amount of disposable income in the hands of 1.4 billion population ­­– so is it a good time to start building now?

These are 9 crucial pointers you’ll need to address in your pitch deck, but these won’t be the only questions you’ll be asked. Here are a few I usually ask founders:

  • What is your motivation for building this?
  • Why are you the right person for building this?
  • Who is already on your cap table? 
  • Who are your co-founders/how will you fix the gap in the founding team (if any)?

To know more, read our article on ‘9 tips for fundraising'.

The best advice I can give any founder is to always be concise and precise with all your answers. And most important – practice

Rohith Bhat

Rohith Bhat, CEO