Pitch Deck Examples: the Airbnb Pitch Deck that raised $500K in 2009

Airbnb’s original pitch deck from 2009 has
become one of the most sought-after references for new entrepreneurs. It was one of the first pitch decks from unicorn
companies to be released publicly, and it got a lot of media attention. Most importantly, it’s a great pitch deck. It’s short, and to the point, it hits all
the high notes, and most importantly, it perfectly paints the picture of the business. We are going to tear this pitch deck down,
slide by slide. The look of the slides is… very 2000’s,
so we took the liberty of redesigning it using Slidebean’s AI design system. The first 100 people to sign up with the link
below will have access to the redesigned slides, for free- as well as a 25% discount on any
Slidebean plan. Alright, so let’s get on with it- this is
Pitch deck examples: Airbnb. Let’s start with the slide structure, we have,
Cover Problem
Solution Market Validation
Market Size Product
Business Model Market Adoption
Competition Competitive Advantages
Team Press
User Testimonials Financial Alright, the PROBLEM slide. This is one of my favorite problem slides
ever: 3 clear, direct, and indisputable statements. Writing a problem slide is a common challenge;
founders who are familiar with the status quo tend to overcrowd this slide excess industry
details. Remember, the investor seeing your deck might
not be familiar with the inner workings of a specific market niche. Travel is by no means a niche- so the purpose
here was simply to establish the reality of travel with three key points that the Airbnb
was looking to tackle and solve. This slide is also, the first slide. You don’t want to start the pitch deck with
a statement that will make investors question your actual industry expertise. Remember, use undebatable statements. The Problems stated on this slide need to
be tackled on the next slide, the SOLUTION. I usually like to show the product on this
slide, but these guys opted to move the product showcase later in the deck. Instead, they focused on answering the problems
with three statements. Once again, notice how simple the headline
is: A web platform where users can rent their space to host travelers. So. Simple. No complicated tech jargon. Explaining what your product does in 10 words
or less is by no means an easy task. Be prepared to iterate time and time again
over this slogan- you’ll know when you find it. When your grandma asks you what you do, you
can answer in a single sentence, and she can grasp it- you’ll be there. Elevator pitch Nirvana. Now, MARKET VALIDATION. Not every pitch deck needs this slide. We made this chart a few months ago showing
the ‘required’ slides on a deck. However, in this case, market validation is essential here
to demonstrate how people are looking to move away from the hotel model. Craigslist is a classifieds site, not optimized
for travelers or experiences (with that user experience, it’s not optimized for anything). However, it still shows how many people are
looking to rent out their spaces. Similarly, over half a million Couchsurfers
demonstrate, once again, the problem statement: people are looking for cheaper travel options
and are willing to sleep on a shared space. Airbnb offered a new concept, but CouchSurfing
provided the validation it needed, which is the reason this slide was critical. This is not my favorite slide here. What the founders were trying to demonstrate
is how many trips they could potentially reach if they owned 20% of the Budget/Online travel
market. 20% of the Total Addressable Market is a bold
statement. However, with 2MM+ guests sleeping on an Airbnb
location every night- we can safely say they’ve beat that metric. When I write pitch decks, I tend to avoid
lines like ‘if we could only get 1% of this market. I would much rather show a more in-depth study
of the market opportunity, focusing on the industry data of similar companies. Not much to add here. Showcase your product. If you don’t have product screenshots to show,
you are probably not ready to be pitching investors. Check out our video on Seed Funding for more
details on traction requirements to raise capital. Once again, this slide assumes a bold and
ambitious piece of the travel market. I think that the most significant value on
this slide is, once again, simplicity: We take a 10% commission on each transaction. That’s simple and straightforward, and it
provides a number that can be used to estimate business dimensions. Notice how they are using an average fee per
night, as well as actual data on their average room price. These are not made up numbers: Airbnb had
an operational MVP when this pitch deck was created. Also called a Go-To-Market slide, which should
lay out a plan to grow the company and the user base. Go-to-market slides are most undoubtedly speculative. As a marketer, I understand how a plan can
fail or how quickly the marketing/sales plan of a company can shift to breakthroughs. The idea on this slide is to show that
there is a plan, that the team can come up with solid ideas to grow the company, and
that they will be able to execute them without having to recruit a larger team or an external
agency. The dual posting feature on Craigslist was
one of Airbnb’s most iconic marketing hacks. They developed a bot that would automatically
re-list any Airbnb listing on Craigslist, thus exposing the property to a much larger
audience, driving traffic to their site. The listing would also increase the chance
of the host securing a guest, even though the organic traffic to their website was still
small. Amazing, genius stuff. I like business school 101 charts, especially
if they can show how the product is differentiated. By setting themselves apart on affordability
and online transactions, they would be able to carve out a piece of the market for their
own. I believe the highlights here are,
#1, first to market. #2 Host incentive. Airbnb was the first site of its kind. One of those game-changing ideas that were,
of course, combined with fantastic execution. The host incentive, as well as real ease of
use, were also incredibly valuable. The motivation for extra revenue from unused
home space is hard to beat, and non-tech people could easily list their homes and filter guests. Airbnb’s system and insurance also protected
both the guest and the host from scams. Which are common on Craigslist. Not a lot to add on the team slide. Make sure you only talk about core team members
(people who will be 100% dedicated to the company). Advisors are useless here unless they are
incredibly relevant in the space. Also, the team shown on the slides needs to
have the capacity to bring the business to its next fundable point. With the $500,000 Airbnb was planning on raising,
they probably wouldn’t be able to afford any industry leaders or extremely skilled employees. These guys were going to be the upper-level
management for the next months to come. Go watch our video on finding co-founders, Press and user testimonials are helpful. I usually like to merge these two into a single
slide, perhaps even combining it with a traction slide, meaning a revenue slide. With a nice hockey stick revenue growing chart. Finally, we have a Financial slide. Simple and to the point, and most importantly,
with a clear goal: reaching 80,000 transactions. The only detail I would add here is the use
of funds: a rough estimate of where the round is going. In this case, considering the product MVP
was already developed, we could assume that the round would go to growth (validating the
business), but we’d need Brian to answer that question. Alright, I hope you found that useful. Over the next few weeks, we are going to be
tearing down pitch decks from other fantastic companies like Uber, Buffer, and Intercom. We are also going to make videos specific
to solving some of the hardest slide, such as the Market size and the Problem/Solution
combination. Let us know in the comments if there are any
other slides you are struggling with, and other company pitch decks you’d like us to
tear down.

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15 thoughts on “Pitch Deck Examples: the Airbnb Pitch Deck that raised $500K in 2009

  1. Thank you very much slidebean I am a big fan and you have helped me to see things in a different way in my start up.

  2. Great idea to go deep into the decks. Loved the simplicity of the design. Looking forward to the next one.

  3. For service business such as Airbnb how to get the hosts to list their house in the site? Any insights will be much appreciated. My question is simply. In service-based online platform, we need to connect Service providers with customers. How can we get initial service providers to our service platform? Any resources on that will be much appreciated.

  4. This entire series of videos are really useful for first-time entrepreneurs. Thanks for your the effort to make these.

  5. Love this breakdown – I would be interested to see an analyzation of FabFitFun's pitch deck — if not then another subscription-based company. Thanks for all the helpful content!

  6. I’ve recently finished my startup pitch deck with this guide and free version of Slidebean. I love the product so much even only using free version!

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