5 Lessons From The Pitch Deck Bolt Used To Raise $393.5M

In 2021 Bolt, a fintech startup focused on customer checkout, managed to raise $393.5M in their series D VC fundraising round. Over its lifetime, the startup has raised close to $1B from investors. With this in mind, it would be interesting to analyze the pitch deck the company used for its series D to extract valuable lessons for your own pitch decks.

About Bolt:

  • Founded to simplify the online checkout process in e-commerce.
  • Positioned as a competitor to established players like Stripe.
  • Known for its user-centric approach to improving the shopping experience.
  • Rapidly gaining traction in the competitive fintech and e-commerce space.

1. Solution & Problem

At the core of Bolt's value proposition is its commitment to revolutionizing the online checkout experience. The company recognized a pain point that has long frustrated both e-commerce retailers and consumers—the often cumbersome and time-consuming checkout process. Bolt's innovative approach streamlines this critical step in online shopping, reducing cart abandonment rates and improving overall user satisfaction.

Slide 4 in the deck illustrates the problem with one single impactful statistic - 98% of shoppers have 1-3 store accounts (because the current solution is different accounts in all retailers). This is a much more powerful way to tell a story than to simply state the problem. In this way, you state it and prove its existence empirically.

Then, on slides 3 and 5 the pitch deck visualizes the solution.

2. Competitive Edge in a Crowded Space

Bolt entered a fiercely competitive arena, with established players like Stripe dominating the fintech and payment processing landscape. So, it has the hard job of convincing its stakeholders (in this case investors), that it is sufficiently differentiated and has a competitive advantage.

The pitch deck achieves this in two ways:

3. Addressing Cart Abandonment Head-On:

First, it focuses on what made it unique in the first place - checkout optimization. By squarely addressing a specific pain point and offering a comprehensive suite of services tailored to improve the customer experience, Bolt sets itself apart from the pack and adds unique value.

Cart abandonment is a recurring nightmare for e-commerce retailers, resulting in billions of dollars in lost revenue annually. Bolt's approach to addressing this challenge directly by simplifying and securing the checkout process resonated with both merchants and investors. The company's track record of reducing cart abandonment rates for its partner retailers showcased its real-world impact - notice the emphasis on the stats and check-out process in slide 5.

4. Impressive User Adoption and Growth

Second, it shows the impressive traction it’s getting, proving its point that the market recognizes the value Bolt is creating. The company's ability to rapidly scale its user base demonstrated its market fit and the value it delivered.

Investors look for startups that can demonstrate not only innovation but also the ability to gain traction and capture a substantial share of their target market. Bolt's growth was a testament to its relevance in the rapidly evolving e-commerce landscape, making it an enticing investment opportunity.

5. Good Visualizations

A lot of the pitch decks that we’ve analyzed so far are not focused on design. This is perfectly fine in the early stages of a project. If your product and story are impressive enough, the bare-bones design of your deck could even make a good impression because it shows you are spending your efforts wisely - you are building a product instead of wasting a lot of time in PowerPoint.

In the later stages of the company, however, when you have designers on board, having unprofessional-looking decks is less excusable.

Designing good visuals offers you a great opportunity to visualize your points without using text. This way what’s on your presentation would empower the things you are saying, and won’t clash for the attention of your audience. A great example of this is slide 3, where you can see the Bolt logo in the center of an e-commerce network.

Need help with building a world-class pitch deck that sells? Get in touch!

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