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Seed Funding Presentation Example: Xpanceo’s $40M Presentation

Xpanceo is betting big on turning us all into robots with smart contact lenses, and is raising $40 million to make our sci-fi dreams a reality. Co-founders Roman Axelrod and Valentyn S. Volkov are on a mission to ditch legacy devices and focus everyone’s attention on new screens. Who needs a smartphone when you can browse in the blink of an eye? As they push the boundaries of what’s possible in optoelectronics and new materials, one can’t help but wonder whether we’re heading toward a future where losing a contact could mean missing out on the next Zoom meeting.

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Slides in this deck

Xpanceo shared its full presentation, which includes 19 slides, with TechCrunch. Although the slide list suggests that the team has covered everything, a closer look at the content of the slides reveals that some areas may not be as comprehensive as they appear.

  1. coverslip
  2. challenge
  3. solution
  4. product
  5. value proposition
  6. B2C: use cases
  7. B2B: Industry
  8. Traction
  9. contact lens users
  10. Market size
  11. revenue forecast
  12. competition
  13. What is Xpanceo?interstitial
  14. Overview
  15. technology
  16. Pioneering R&D in the field of optical analysis
  17. team
  18. route map
  19. end slide

Three things to love about Xpanceo’s promotional materials

There are a lot of really good stories happening here.

a piece of history

[Slide 2] Clear problem statement. Image Source:Xpanceo

The presentation began with a clear problem statement, setting the stage for a focused discussion of the challenges and opportunities in augmented reality (AR) and wearable technology. This explanation is crucial because it directly addresses the problem Xpanceo is solving with its innovative smart contact lens project. By clarifying the problem up front, presentations ensure that the audience understands the context and significance of the technology being developed, which is critical to gaining support and enthusiasm for the project. I like that.

It’s especially smart to include a timeline detailing the evolution of computing technology in your presentation. This historical perspective not only allows viewers to understand the advancements and milestones in computing, but also places Xpanceo’s work within a larger narrative of technological advancements – many of which have indeed made many investors very wealthy.

What’s wrong with AR?

Addressing AR’s current shortcomings, the demo acknowledged that the technology has yet to see widespread adoption, largely due to poor quality products that have failed to resonate with consumers. This is true, which shows that Xpanceo is aware of the obstacles faced by previous AR technologies and is committed to overcoming these challenges.

[Slide 3] Relaxing into “solutions” is a great way to do this. Image Source:Xpanceo

There is a big difference between “Solution” and “Product” slides. Xpanceo’s take on these differences is refreshing.

Solutions slides are strategic in nature, emphasizing a broader, more adaptable approach rather than focusing solely on the product. This kind of strategic thinking is crucial because it shifts the focus from the specifics of the product to the fundamental ideas of solving a problem.

I like that this solution is laid out in a clear and understandable way, deliberately avoiding too much detail. This clarity is critical for effective communication with stakeholders, including investors, potential customers, and team members. By keeping the solution simple and easy to understand, the team ensures everyone involved has a firm grasp of the core concepts and goals. This level of transparency fosters trust and coordination among all parties, which is important to collaborative efforts and the overall success of the project.

From there, you can go into Details: Products.

This is what happened to the company actually depending on

Xpanceo excels again:

[Slide 4] This slide attracts investors. Image Source:Xpanceo

Product slides do a great job of presenting products in a clear and engaging way, avoiding the common pitfall of using overly technical language that alienates or confuses your audience. This approach is particularly powerful given the complexity of the technology involved.

Smart contact lenses integrate advanced computing capabilities directly into the user’s field of vision and feel like magic. Nonetheless, by keeping the language simple and understandable, the slideshow ensures that a broad audience can understand and appreciate the innovation, which is crucial to generating interest and support from potential investors.

I especially like how this clarity sets the stage for deeper discussions without getting lost in the complex technical language that undoubtedly occurs in the lab. It strikes the right balance between simplicity and information.

Three things Xpanceo could improve

This deck is really good. But is it perfect?

No. Let’s take a closer look.

What are you raising?

SAFE rounds, startups, venture capitalists

What? Image Source: Getty Images

The biggest problem with the Xpanceo deck is not what’s in it, but what’s not there.

One key element missing from the slide deck is the “Ask” slide, which is crucial when seeking venture capital funding. It’s surprising how often founders overlook this component in their pitch decks. When raising funds, now is not the time to be silent or indirect. Clearly stating what is being asked for—whether it’s staffing, resources, or partnerships—shows potential investors a well-thought-out plan and a serious commitment to the startup’s future. This helps investors quickly understand needs and assess whether they meet their investment criteria.

Asking specific questions in your presentation also shows that there is a realistic understanding of what it takes for a startup to succeed. This shows that the company has carefully considered how much money is needed, what it will be used for, and how it will help the company achieve its goals. This level of detail and transparency adds credibility to the pitch and gives potential investors confidence in management and planning abilities. It positions entrepreneurs as serious individuals who not only experiment but are committed to building sustainable businesses.

B2B or B2C: Can’t have it both ways

Slides 6 and 7 provide examples for B2B and B2C models. This is not a good decision.

[Slide 6] Use case brainstorming is smart, but it’s also important to come up with real use cases that drive investment decisions. Image Source:Xpanceo

B2B and B2C business models are inherently different. Few companies achieve good results with one strategy, let alone two at the same time.

B2C sales are characterized by direct interaction with individual consumers and focus on emotional engagement, brand image and creating personalized customer experiences. This model thrives on short sales cycles and instant purchasing decisions, making it imperative that companies invest in understanding consumer behavior and developing marketing strategies that resonate on a personal level. Even if companies occasionally make purchases in the B2C model, they should be treated as consumers during the sales process to keep marketing efforts simple and efficient.

In contrast, B2B sales involve more complex transactions with other businesses and are characterized by longer sales cycles, higher transaction amounts, and a focus on practical and cost-effectiveness. This model requires strong, trusted relationships and often involves customizing solutions to meet specific business needs. Although less common, consumers may sometimes use products designed for commercial use, highlighting the flexibility required in sales strategies. Ultimately, a focused B2B or B2C sales organization should align with the startup’s core capabilities and strategic goals, shaping the narrative in the startup’s pitch to attract potential investors.

Trying to do both won’t work, so pick one and explain why it’s the right choice.

market size fallacy

[Slide 9] Of course, there are many contact lens users. But are they really agents of Xpanceo customers? Image Source:Xpanceo

When assessing the potential market size for Xpanceo contact lenses, it is important to distinguish the nature of this product from traditional contact lenses. Or, to put it another way: Is the market for Xpanceo’s product people who already wear contact lenses? The company seems to think everyone who wears contact lenses wants smart contact lenses. But this may not be accurate.

Xpanceo’s products are not just replacements for optical correction glasses, but also serve as wearable devices. This distinction is important because Xpanceo’s target market may not directly align with the existing contact lens user base. Rather than assessing the total number of contact lens wearers, a more relevant metric might be usage of related technologies such as smartphones or smartwatches, reflecting a tech-savvy consumer segment more likely to adopt new wearable technology. This approach can help identify not only a broad audience, but also an audience that is more likely to be receptive to an innovative product.

Xpanceo’s go-to-market strategy plays a key role in identifying its key consumer segments. If the product is designed for mass market consumption, then the strategy should focus on identifying and attracting an early adopter group. This group is typically made up of technology enthusiasts who are passionate about exploring and adopting cutting-edge technologies. These early adopters can provide the initial momentum needed to penetrate the market, acting as influencers and validators for the wider consumer base. Their feedback is also invaluable in refining the product and making it more attractive to subsequent buyers.

I think the company is trying to show that its market is huge, but I doubt contact lens wearers are representative of that. I wear contacts, but only when I play contact sports (martial arts or scuba diving). But even if I had never worn contact lenses in my life, I would be eager to try the Xpanceo solution.

I think the company is trying to compare Orange to Apple computers.

Complete pitch materials

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