Sample Angel pitch deck: RAW Dating App's $3M deck | TechCrunch

The RAW Dating App aims to shake up the dating scheme by shedding the fake, TikTok-ified, heavily filtered photos and replacing them with a more genuine, unvarnished experience. The app targets young professionals and students, particularly women aged 21 to 27, who seek genuine interactions.

The company’s team claims it raised a $3 million friends and family round. I haven’t been able to independently verify that; most of the company’s media coverage appears to be written by the founder herself, in outlets like Forbes and Entrepreneur or as press releases that got syndicated across the web. Still, the deck was interesting enough that I wanted to take a closer look.

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Slides in this deck

Pitch decks are a lot like dating: You’ve got to strut your stuff to convince investors that you’re the perfect match, worthy of millions to grow and flourish. They need to know that despite any bumps in the road, you’re the dream team with whom they can navigate through anything.

The pitch deck should sell your team and your solution, not just the product. This is where RAW’s pitch deck swipes left pretty hard. Instead of showcasing the brilliant team poised to dominate a booming market and create loads of happy matches, the pitch deck seems like it’s trying to get investors to download the app, not invest money in the company.

Because of this misguided focus, the deck is a hot mess. The solution shows up before the problem, and the problem isn’t even clearly stated until slide 11 (there are only 18 slides total). The company tells me it submitted the deck exactly as pitched. Here’s what is covered:

  1. Cover slide
  2. Product
  3. Value proposition
  4. Feature
  5. Feature 2
  6. Feature 3
  7. Target market
  8. Value proposition 2
  9. Value proposition 3
  10. Solution
  11. Problem
  12. Problem 2
  13. Problem 3
  14. Competition
  15. Ask and use of funds
  16. Slide 16
  17. Team
  18. Closing slide

Three things to love about RAW’s pitch deck

I’ve already griped about the deck’s bizarre order: The problem and solution slides should be leading the charge, not trailing near the end. But, hey, credit where it’s due: When you finally do stumble upon them, there are some bright spots.

A clear solution slide

[Slide 10] Once we finally get to the solution slide, I’m on board/ This may very well be a problem worth solving.
Image Credits: RAW

RAW’s solution slide is refreshingly clear, offering a concise statement that hints at the innovative features that set the app apart. The teasers embedded within the slide effectively define the solution, giving a snapshot of how RAW addresses the key pain points of online dating. It’s a nice change of pace, providing just enough information to pique interest without being too overwhelming.

It’s good that this slide doesn’t overlap with the product details. After wading through countless slides that read like a user manual, it’s a relief to see a focused solution statement. The relentless product pitch is paused here, allowing the solution to shine on its own merits.

However, I won’t get too carried away with the praise here. While the solution is well-articulated, it falls short. Claiming to solve “most” dating app problems feels like a cop-out. Investors want to see confidence and ambition; tell them RAW solves all dating app problems. This isn’t the place to hedge your bets or worry about overselling; it’s about convincing investors that your solution is comprehensive and unbeatable. Sell them the dream, not just a Band-Aid.

Yep, that’s a problem all right

[Slide 11] That’s a lot of scammers, y’all.
Image Credits: RAW

While it’s absolutely ludicrous that we had to wade through 10 slides to finally hit a problem statement, I’ll begrudgingly admit it’s not a terrible problem slide. Sure, there’s always room to improve, but 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 decent job of highlighting a glaring issue in the dating app world, I’ll give RAW that. However, a sprinkle of credibility wouldn’t hurt. Citing sources for those stats could have transformed skepticism into trust.

Targeting the target

[Slide 7] Painting a picture of the target audience.
Image Credits: RAW

A target audience is supposed to be a crucial part of the pitch deck, and although this reads a little awkwardly, it does show that the team behind RAW has a decent grasp of their target demographics. However, “Women age 21-27” seems a little arbitrary and needlessly narrow — why not just “people in their 20s”? But it’s refreshing to have this level of clarity.

We get a sense of who RAW is aiming for and a vague idea of their socioeconomic status. However, saying “large U.S. cities” is like throwing a dart at a map. It’s better to be specific. Name the cities. Show you’ve done your homework and know exactly where your prime users live.

And those cutesy marketing terms like “rawmantics”? They might fly in a user-facing campaign, but here you need to persuade hardened investors. Ditch the fluff and demonstrate you know who you’re targeting with concrete, data-backed personas. Investors want to see you have a clear, strategic approach, not just a clever play on words.

Three things that RAW could have improved

I’ll be honest, there’s a lot missing from this deck that really should not have been overlooked. From the figures I can see on the included slides, there’s no way I can make a reasonable judgment as to whether RAW is venture-scale, aside from a gut instinct that dating apps are hot property. RAW hasn’t presented any market size data, there’s no go-to-market strategy, and there’s a glaring hole around the business model and pricing. How exactly does this founding team envision making money?

  • Market size data is crucial. Investors need to know the potential for growth and how big the opportunity really is. Without this, it’s impossible to gauge whether RAW can capture a significant portion of the market. Provide detailed research, statistics and projections to back up your claims to show that there’s a substantial market ripe for disruption.
  • The go-to-market strategy is missing. How do you plan to attract users? What’s your marketing plan? Are there partnerships in the pipeline? Investors need to see a clear path to user acquisition and growth. Lay out your strategies, target channels, and expected milestones. This is essential for demonstrating that you have a realistic and effective plan to scale.
  • There’s no business model or pricing. How do you make money? Subscription fees? In-app purchases? Ads? This is a fundamental question that needs a clear answer. Outline your revenue streams, pricing strategy, and how you plan to convert users into paying customers. This clarity is vital for investors to understand the financial viability and long-term potential of RAW.

All that aside, there are some specific slides in the deck that could benefit from revision and improvement. Let’s give them a gentle ribbing and see how we could have turned this deck into something that truly dazzles.

That’s not competition …

[Slide 14] OK, come on. This is bad.
Image Credits: RAW

All right, founders, let’s talk about your competitive slide, or rather, this bad excuse for one. It is so bad, in fact, that if I were considering to invest in this startup, I’d send them away and ask them to make a real competition slide.

In a hotly contested market like online dating, you need a solid competitive slide to show you’ve got a handle on who you’re up against, and what your competitive advantage and differentiation is. Here’s why a competitive slide is crucial: Investors want to see that you understand the battlefield. They need to know you’re not just aware of the competition but that you’ve done your homework and can outmaneuver them. Who’s the competition? Colored boxes numbered 1 to 3 don’t cut it. Anyone who has a pulse and has been single in the past decade can name anywhere between one and 15 competitors off the top of their heads.

You need to demonstrate rock-solid knowledge of the sphere where you operate. Show investors you grasp the landscape inside out and back to front and that nothing happening in this space escapes your notice. This slide, unfortunately, doesn’t give me that confidence.

How many competitors does RAW have? You need specifics. While your competitors might not offer what RAW does, do they provide any features RAW doesn’t? What’s the price comparison? Who do these different dating apps appeal to? And let’s not forget: Dating apps rely on people. It’s a numbers game. If you only have a handful of users, making meaningful matches is going to be tough. Investors need to see you’re not just another face in the crowd; you’re the one who stands out and knows exactly why you’re better. So, let’s see that competitive analysis beefed up with real data, insights, and a clear picture of where RAW fits in this crowded market.

Hello, mystery slide!

[Slide 16] Welcome to my least favorite game show: Name the mystery slide.
Image Credits: RAW

OK, let’s dive into the enigma that is slide 16. You’ll notice I’ve just referred to this one as “slide 16.” Is it a traction slide? Maybe. Perhaps it’s a projected growth slide? I don’t know. Could it be a combination of both, forming a now-and-next slide? Is it showing traction from the past or projections into the future? It’s all possible, but I just don’t know.

First off, the slide itself doesn’t have a title. While not all decks title their slides, they are useful. A title would give a hint about what we’re looking at here. Instead, we get a mystery box of information with no context. It’s like trying to read a map with no legend. Help me out here.

There are no labels on the graph’s axes other than months. Which years are these months from? Is it showing July 2023 to May 2024? Or maybe even July 2024 to May 2025? The company launched in 2023 (it says so on slide 2), so I’m guessing the former, but I can’t be certain. Are these monthly active user numbers showing actual growth? In which case, they should be charted properly on the graph. Or are they growth projections? And even if they are projections, they should be laid out with conviction. Give me clear, labeled axes and a timeline that makes sense.

If these are actual user numbers, they are presumably bringing some revenue with them. And seeing as revenue is the best form of traction, show me the money! How much revenue are we talking about here? Investors need to see the financial impact, not just ambiguous lines on a graph. Honestly, as far as graphs go, this one is verging on useless. Clarify your data, label your axes, and make sure this slide conveys a clear, impactful message.

We got 99 problems, and the pitch is one

[Slide 13] Why are we talking about the problem again?
Image Credits: RAW

Three problem slides in this deck is completely overkill — especially because the team is using three slides to hammer home the same point in slightly different ways. Just one concise slide will do: “Dating apps make it harder, not easier, to find true love.” Then run down the statistics that RAW has put on the first problem slide (and double-check that $638.8 million figure — it looks like someone got a bit too creative with their decimal points). And the second problem slide is just clutter.

Are these statements on the second problem slide real findings from RAW’s research? Or are they made up? If they’re fabricated, why bother including them? The first slide’s cold, hard statistics cover the same ground. Investors love statistics, especially if they’re based on solid research. There’s no need to go over old ground. Keep it fresh; keep it lively. Don’t waste valuable deck real estate.

Now, about those problems. Yes, ghosting is a problem, but you can’t make people stop ghosting. Human behavior isn’t something you can control with an app feature. And yes, scamming is a problem, but scams prey on vulnerable people looking for love. Real photos are just part of the solution. Have you seen the “Tinder Swindler”? It’s a jungle out there.

Finally, I’m taking issue with perhaps a slightly obscure part of the deck: The team says “real photos” and “no Photoshop,” but the majority of the photos in this deck look like they’ve been plucked from a high-end studio, with a bit of Photoshop magic. In fact, many of them are stock photos. After you’ve clicked through the deck, you’ll recognize Man with Pink Tank Top, Thoughtful Man with Guitar, Selfie of Couple in New York Park, and probably a few others, too.

I’m not saying you can’t use stock photos in pitch decks, but in this case, where the company is touting genuine interactions that start with genuine photos, it’s a little off-putting.

Overall, I’m stuck: I can’t get to the belief that this product is a real solution to the problems the company outlines, and I find myself with a wish: Show me how RAW tangibly addresses these issues with more than just hopes, dreams and good intentions — ideally with a solid business model underneath all of that.

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