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Flash Feedback

Flash Feedback Episode I: Chewy Pitch Deck (2013)

Volition Press

Welcome to Flash Feedback by Volition Capital, where we will be looking at real pitch decks from real companies and taking you behind the scenes to help you understand how an investor processes the pitch as they review it. In each episode, we will feature one pitch deck, review it quickly, and provide real-time perspectives as we walkthrough. At the conclusion of each episode, we will elevate two or three key take-home learnings that will hopefully be helpful for founders and management teams as they think about how to position and present their own businesses.

Flash Feedback Episode I: Chewy Pitch Deck

EPISODE I: Chewy Pitch Deck

Larry Cheng: I am particularly excited today because the first pitch deck that we’re going to review is the pitch deck from Chewy in August 2013. If you know that Chewy story, they have become the dominant pet food e-commerce company in this country. 

They are publicly traded with north of 30 billion dollars. And we were fortunate enough to be the first investor and I was on the board of a company. And so it’s really fun for me to look back at the pitch. I can understand how they positioned themselves

Now, it would be very easy to say, “hey, Chewy is a world-class success. So, presumably, their pitch deck and story must have been world-class as well.” But I don’t know that that’s fair. If you listen to Ryan Cohen, the co-founder of Chewy, tell the story, over one hundred investors passed when he was trying to raise the first round of capital, even though we were the fortunate ones to invest. I think, by definition, if 100 out of 101 investors pass on your opening pitch in your first round of capital, there are things that could have been improved about that pitch deck.

We’re going to look at the Chewy deck with a critical eye – even though it was a runaway success – and see what we can learn to help you think about your own business.

Now, before we dive in, I just want to note we don’t always want to review pitch decks from our portfolio companies. So if you want to submit your pitch deck for consideration, you can go to our flash feedback page and submit your pitch deck. And secondly, if you want to see other episodes of fast feedback, please subscribe to this YouTube channel. Without further ado, let’s dive into the Chewy executive summary and pitch check from August 2013.

So here it is, the pitch deck from 2013, on the opening slide and opening table of contents. (By the way, we’re going to skip the summary financial information, but we’ll run through everything else).

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