Most of the pitch decks we cover in the Pitch Deck Teardown series are for relatively young companies, but to celebrate our 50th pitch deck teardown, I figured I’d do something slightly different.
Today, we’re looking at Ageras‘ pitch deck, which it used to raise a $35 million private equity round to further expand its relatively late-stage product portfolio. Given that I’m sitting in Copenhagen, Denmark as I write this, it seemed right to cover a company that was founded here.
The company raised $73 million from New York-based investment fund Lugard Road Capital in early 2021 and closed this $35 million round about a year later.
So, what does it do? In the words of its founder:
What started as an online marketplace for small business owners to find accountants in Denmark has now expanded into a financial cockpit used by more than 1 million SMEs across Europe and the U.S., giving them a single, centralized destination for nearly all their needs — bookkeeping, accounting, payroll services, invoicing and now financial services.
I’ll be the first to admit that very late-stage decks aren’t my forte, and I know a lot less about private equity than venture capital. But let’s take a look and see what we can learn!
We’re looking for more unique pitch decks to tear down, so if you want to submit your own, here’s how you can do that.
Slides in this deck
With 31 slides, the Ageras deck is a bit of a beast. Some of it is redacted to keep the firm’s secrets, er, secret. The overall structure is there, however, and we can observe some interesting points on weaving a story of a 300+ person company with a global footprint.
- Cover slide
- Slogan slide
- Overview slide
- Products overview slide part 1
- Products overview slide part 2
- Traction slide
- Customer growth slide
- Products interstitial slide
- Product breakdown slide
- Product: Marketplace overview slide
- Product: Marketplace “how it works” slide
- Product: Accounting & admin software introduction slide
- Product: Banking introduction slide
- Product: Financing introduction slide
- Target customer slide
- Market-size slide
- Problem slide (“SMEs struggle to get financing”)
- Solution slide
- Go-to-market slide
- Mission slide
- Strategic focus area slide (redacted)
- Product roadmap slide (redacted)
- Acquisitions slide
- Revenue growth slide (redacted)
- Unit economics slide (redacted)
- Profit & loss slide (redacted)
- Balance sheet slide (redacted)
- Team slide part 1 (“Meet the founders”)
- Team slide part 2
- Organizations slide (redacted)
- Legal structure overview slide
Three things to love
There’s a lot going on in this deck. Not all of it is great (and, as always, we’ll cover that in the second half of this teardown), but the highlights are as bright as they can get.
Comprehensive product portfolio
Ageras has been around for 11 years, starting off as a service to match small business owners with accountants, tax professionals and bookkeepers. Then the company started adding related services and grew from there. Obviously, that’s a complex story to communicate, but the team does a truly masterful job of giving an overview:As a mature company with international operations, the product offering is going to differ from country to country according to local compliance rules and laws. The pitch deck breaks down the variance in an easy-to-ingest manner:
Shrewd use of data
As Ageras gets access to more financial data and connects its customers with professionals, something interesting emerges out of that synthesis: It knows more about the financial health of its customers than nearly anyone else.
As such, it found that it could offer financial services (e.g., small business loans) with lower risks than a bank that doesn’t have the same amount of day-to-day visibility:In effect, Ageras is leveraging its data so it can offer more loans to what it refers to as “medium-risk” businesses.
This slide teaches us that it’s a good idea to always be on the lookout for adjacent services that can evolve out of a strong business. When Ageras was just matching companies to accountants, it wouldn’t have been able to pull this off. But as its customer base and amount of available data increased, the opportunities did, too.
Some late-stage flex
I wanted to share a couple slides from this deck because I don’t often see such materials in earlier-stage pitch decks and they intrigued me.
As complexity evolves, it makes sense that the company needs an international structure to support its operations in various countries:Ageras has been growing into new markets and verticals by acquiring companies. The slide itself, I think, has a couple of major flaws (we’ll explore those later on), but its presence in the deck is a great flex for a late-stage company: The company redacted the data from slide 19, but you can still learn something from it: Customer acquisition cost continues to be crucial, and if you can report it as a trailing average graph, you’re telling investors that you know it’s important, you’re monitoring it, and you’re actively working to improve it. In the rest of this teardown, we’ll take a look at three things Ageras could have improved or done differently, along with its full pitch deck!