Major supermarket chains have their own purchasing and logistics functions, but there are thousands of small, independent supermarkets and chains. They usually don’t have the advantage of the specialized software and technology to make things run more smoothly, but it’s true Vori saw an opportunity.
For this pitch deck teardown, it’s helpful if you have a little context as to why Vori makes sense as a company, and it’s pretty awesome to see the founder outline how the company works — and how he feels about building a piece of B2B software that “is just as fun to use as Candy Crush.” Below is a five minute video that tells the story beautifully. I only watched it after breaking the pitch deck so as not to let my critique be influenced by the video, but it’s good enough to watch before or after if you want to dive a little deeper into this particular industry.
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Slides in this deck
Vori shared 13 slides and edited a bit of information.
“We removed some in-the-weed data on growth loop conversion metrics,” the team told me, “along with sales cycle/revenue appeal.”
- cover slip
- mission statement slide
- Vori at a glance — (KPI slide, lightly edited)
- “We Understand Groceries” – interstitial slide
- “Our Market: Independent Supermarket Chains” – Market Dia
- “Supermarkets still run on pencil and paper” – problem slide
- “How These Stores Work Today” – Problem Slide
- “Suddenly COVID changed everything in the supermarket” – “Why now” slide
- “Meet Vori, the all-in-one back office for supermarkets” — solution slide
- “What Retailers Are Saying” – Market Validation Slide
- “The largest non-digitized retail segment in the world” – market size/TAM/SAM/SOM slide
- “Competing with Legacy Systems” – Competition Slide (Edited)
- “Our team was born for this” – teamdia
Three things to love
When I spoke to the DocSend team recently about what the most important slides are in a deck, they shared that the summary slide is becoming increasingly important. At the time I was curious about finding a good example, and look at this – Vori comes up with a great one:
A tight mission
Vori does a great job of showing what the problem is in a wonderfully visual way.
I like a good summary slide. Many people put it on the cover slide, but Vori takes a different approach: the first two slides are the foundation of what the company does. The cover slide is at the top of this post and just reads “The OS for Grocery” with a few keywords designed as tags (“order management”, “inventory management” and “analysis”). The second slide further rounds out the level of what the company does: “Vori is a vertical SaaS solution for local and regional supermarket chains.”
In just a handful of words and a picture, the company makes it really easy for investors to get a high-level overview and decent context for what they’re going to be looking at. That has several advantages: If investors are afraid of groceries, inventory management, SaaS or regionally focused companies, they can walk away after seeing just two slides.
The only thing I would have added to either of these two slides is a hint at the progress and size of the round. Something like “We have X customers and are raising a Series A” or even just the words “Series A” give an indication of the magnitude.
Clear market size
One of the most important things you need to show VC investors is whether the company is venture scale. In other words, is it possible for an investor to get a half decent return on their investment? (“Semi-decent” in this context is a lot more than you might think. Angel investors have very different expectations than VCs). One of the big drivers for this is how big the market is.
Pitching a company of the wrong size to a VC shows that you don’t understand how the asset class works. Vori gracefully sidesteps that problem by going straight to the heart of the question: slide 4 is an interstitial (and a really sweet one; check it out in the full slide deck below), but slide 5 gets bold:
I wouldn’t be surprised if the first question a VC asks themselves was, “Well, cool, but how many independent stores are there?” or, “How big is this market?” or, “If there is a market, is it collapsing under the weight of supermarket chains rolling up, or is it growing?” Vori does an exceptional job of painting a picture of a market that is robust, thriving, growing and worth tackling. Now I would have to do due diligence on that. (The first Google result seems to confirm that indies have a third of the market share and are worth about $250 billion, but seems to suggest there are only 21,000 locations, so I’d like to dig into the data source and the discrepancies here).
Still, the size and penetration of standalone supermarkets is more important than I thought, which would indicate that this might be a market that is getting more attention after all.
This slide makes it easy for the investor to determine how big the market is and how to think about the size and growth of the market you are about to enter.
The alternative is terrible
Vori does a great job of showing what the problem is in a wonderfully visual way. It does this across slides 6 and 7, but the latter is particularly powerful. In a world where software, automation and analytics eat everything up, it’s somewhat astonishing to see how manual the process is. That both illustrates why this problem is worth solving and arouses some curiosity about the inefficiencies that live here.
I’m not exactly sure how Vori does the voiceover for this slide, but if it were me, I’d explain the added costs, missed opportunities, and problems inherent in relying on legacy systems. This goes a long way toward explaining the value proposition. Vori isn’t connecting the dots on this slide, but I imagine the company has metrics here that could link the usage of its product to a significant increase in productivity, profitability, and a reduction in errors. From there, it’s a short cut to conclude that the product will pay for itself in time saved.
This slide shows you how to think empathically with your customers and use the value prop to really communicate that your product is a critical part of your customers’ lives.
In the rest of this teardown, we’ll take a look at three things Vori could have improved or done differently, along with the full pitch deck!