Pitch Deck Teardown: Oii.ai’s $1.9M seed deck

The award for the best/worst startup name I’ve seen in a while goes to Oii.ai. This company’s name is weird enough that Google Chrome insists on doing a search for the term “oii.ai’ when you type the URL into the address bar. In any case, a confusing name doesn’t mean it’s a bad business.

The company claims it raised a $1.85 million seed round with this deck. We didn’t cover this round, and the company is tight-lipped about who its investors are, but the deck was interesting enough that I’m choosing to break my usual rule of needing press coverage to do a pitch deck teardown.

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Slides in this deck

Oii.ai has an 18-slide deck plus a couple of appendix slides. Some of the slides have been lightly redacted, but the company says it is including every slide so we can get a full picture of the deck that helped it close the round.

Here are the slides:

  1. Cover slide
  2. Vision slide
  3. Interstitial slide
  4. Overview slide (“Welcome to Oii”)
  5. Solution slide? with a side of business model slide
  6. Problem slide?
  7. Market trend slide
  8. Traction slide
  9. Team slide
  10.   TAM slide 1 (Pharma sector)
  11.   TAM slide 2 (Retail sector)
  12.   Market overview + competitive landscape slide
  13.   Competitive advantage slide
  14.   Sales pipeline slide
  15.   Product roadmap slide
  16.   The ask + opportunity slide
  17.   Use of Funds slide
  18.   Closing slide + contact detail slide
  19.   Appendix slide 1: Competition (Llamasoft)
  20.   Appendix slide 2: Competition (Llamasoft)
  21.   Appendix slide 3: Acquisition opportunities

Three things to love

I have to admit that I’ve rarely found it as hard to categorize slides as I did with this deck. The information isn’t organized the way I would expect. It does work sometimes, but it often does not.

Excellent “what we want to change” narrative

This slide paints a concise and clear picture of the change Oii wants to see in the world. It’s a simple and effective way to show why the company needs to exist.

[Slide 6] An unusual take on the value proposition slide. Image Credits: Oii.ai

This slide is unusual because it falls somewhere in the middle of the problem, solution and value proposition narrative. In this case, it works because it helps draw a clear line between what the company is seeing in the world right now and the future it envisions.

I like the creative approach and can see this type of slide being more commonly used in the future.

A good take on early-stage traction

The company doesn’t have much in the way of traction, but it does avoid falling into the trap of leaning into vanity metrics:

[Slide 8] Here’s some traction for ya. Image Credits: Oii AI

It took me a couple of moments to realize that PoC probably meant proof of concept rather than people of color; I do enjoy brevity on slides, but I also think that you can afford to spell out abbreviations.

Now, technically, only the top-level revenue number is the one with the actual traction; the other figures are all benefits and value propositions. The traction that flows from these numbers is efficacy, so the story here is, “In our proof-of-concept phase, we generated X amount of revenue and were successful in proving that our product works.”

In most cases, graphs that show revenue growth over time are better than snapshots when it comes to traction. Having said that, I appreciate how hard it is to show traction as an early-stage startup, and this slide actually does better than most, so we’ll chalk this one up as a win.

Overall, good visual storytelling

I like that this deck has clearly had some design attention and that it relies on imagery to tell its story. Good images go a long way in helping a deck come to life, and from that perspective, Oii AI’s deck is pretty compelling. Colorful images and fun design choices all work in its favor.

Although, if I were to pick a nit…

[Slide 3] The future looks retro. Image Credits: Oii AI

If you are building the cutting edge of AI to disrupt an industry, maybe don’t use a stock image of a GPS device that nobody has used since Apple introduced built-in GPS with the iPhone 3G in 2008.

In this case, I believe the device pictured is one of the Garmin Nuvi 700 series, which was launched the same year as Apple started putting GPS into iPhones and was essentially the beginning of the end for the entire category. Visually aligning your company with a product category that met its very public and extremely painful demise 15 years ago may not send the right message.

In the rest of this teardown, we’ll take a look at three things Oii AI could have improved or done differently, along with its full pitch deck!

Three things that could be improved

The main challenge I have with Oii AI’s deck is that it contains a lot of nonstandard slides. It works sometimes, but I’m finding myself unable to ingest the information I’m looking for as an investor. That’s not great.

The narrative flops all over the place, which means it’s harder to fully understand why this company is supposed to be a good investment opportunity.

A troubling team slide

I was initially excited about this team slide because of what it promises: “Our founding experts have done this before.” That would lead me to believe that this is a seasoned, experienced team.

On closer inspection, however, it doesn’t seem to hold as much water as I thought.

[Slide 9] The team slide writes a check that the contents can’t cover. Image Credits: Oii AI

In theory, a total of 60+ years of experience in supply chain and AI is great, but there’s a catch here. Oii is building a tech company, so I’d expect to see very strong technical leadership. There are two co-founders and an adviser listed, but the latter seems a little suspect to me: How active is this adviser? Do they show up to board meetings every three months or do they put in 40-hour weeks? If the latter, why are they just an adviser?

Rogers is described as a “successful Silicon Valley entrepreneur,” and the slide says his last company was sold in 2020 for hundreds of millions of dollars. But looking at his LinkedIn profile, I can’t see an obvious overlap with a startup that would have sold in 2020. The only reference I found was to Apixio, which he founded in 2010, left in 2015, and sold to Centene in 2020.

That isn’t necessarily a positive signal. If Rogers left the company five years before its exit, as an investor, I’d want to know more about the circumstances around his leaving the company and his impact on the company’s exit. If there was little impact, the exit itself is a vanity metric. Well done founding a company that got an exit, but if you weren’t part of that exit, it means you don’t have the experience that came with it.

None of the rest of Rogers’ resume seems to include any supply chain experience.

I’m also worried about the lack of a CTO on this slide. I appreciate that the COO, Evans, has a computer science and supply chain degree. According to his LinkedIn, he has deep experience building supply chain tools for a number of really impressive companies, including 13 years running aspects of supply chain for GSK.

Honestly, I’m wondering why Evans isn’t the company’s CEO or CTO. As an investor I’d want to dig into what each of the senior people bring to the table.


The deck has an “exit” slide.

[Slide 21] Delete this. Image Credits: Oii AI

It’s a really bad idea to include an “exit” slide in a deck for a lot of different reasons. TL;DR: Just don’t.

Can we be more specific?

[Slide 4] Yes, but for what? Image Credits: Oii AI

Over the first four slides of the deck, Oii goes through a number of components of its story explaining what it does. Unfortunately, it never quite reaches the level of clarity I’d have liked.

I understand that the company waves a magic AI and machine learning wand over supply chains and makes them better. The thing is, supply chains involve everything from extracting minerals out of the ground and getting them into refineries, then factories, materials, components, products, packaging, into retail stores, and finally, into customers’ hands.

The company promises end-to-end modeling, and perhaps that’s the whole point: This tool can be used for every aspect of every supply chain ever.

The cynic in me thinks that can’t be true (the company’s website is also a little vague). I also feel the first four slides could have been a lot more powerful if they didn’t include stock images of shipping ports. Instead, you could’ve used more specific examples of the sort of things the company can help with, both to help bring the concept to life and to reinforce which parts of the supply chain benefit from this product.

The full pitch deck

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