It’s uncommon that I come throughout a pitch deck that ticks nearly all of the packing containers. It’s so good, the truth is, that I fed Plantee’s deck into an AI tool I built, and it decided there was a 97.7% probability that Plantee would increase cash. This instrument typically determines that solely about 7.5% of all pitch decks are as much as scratch, so Plantee’s is positively off the charts.

What the robots didn’t choose up, nonetheless, was that Plantee’s Kickstarter marketing campaign was canceled earlier than it was accomplished, and there are just a few different complicated bits as properly. Let’s dive in to see what works, and what may very well be improved.

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Slides on this deck

  1. Cowl slide
  2. Abstract slide
  3. Crew slide
  4. Advisers and buyers slide
  5. Mission slide
  6. Market validation slide
  7. Downside slide
  8. Resolution slide
  9. Product slide
  10.  Aggressive panorama slide
  11.  Traction slide
  12.  Goal buyer slide
  13.  Market measurement slide
  14.  GTM slide
  15.  Pricing & unit economics slide
  16.  Imaginative and prescient slide
  17.  Ask and Use of Funds slide
  18.  Working plan slide
  19.  Closing slide
  20.  Appendix slide I: Merchandise in improvement
  21.  Appendix slide II: Sources and references

Three issues to like about Plantee’s pitch deck

It seems that Plantee’s group has been studying my Pitch Deck Teardowns very fastidiously certainly, and it exhibits. The corporate consists of tons of particulars in its deck.

That’s the way you do an introduction!

Slides 1 and a pair of collectively (Slide 1 is on the prime of the article) set the stage for an investor to 100% perceive the what, why and the way of the corporate:

[Slide 2] A one-page abstract to applaud. Picture Credit: Plantee

The opening slides of Plantee Improvements’ pitch deck are rock stable. Between the 2 slides, the founders supply a transparent and fascinating introduction to what the corporate stands for and goals to realize. The succinct overview captures the viewers’s consideration proper from the beginning but additionally serves a twin goal of effectively level-setting for buyers and filtering curiosity based mostly on funding thesis alignment. The duvet slide consists of “IoT Sensible House / B2C Shopper Electronics / AgriTech / Elevating $1.7M” — it’s mainly key phrase bingo that helps buyers resolve whether or not to lean in or whether or not to trash the deck immediately. That’s a great factor: If this firm isn’t a great match with buyers, they’ll transfer on immediately.

Gotta love a great tech resolution

I’ll be the primary to confess that I’m a raging nerd, and I really like a great gadget. I additionally love crops; I’ve dozens throughout my condominium, and I can maintain most of them alive. As outlined, I really like Plantee’s strategy to foolproofing plant parenthood.

[Slide 8] Expertise, AI and glad crops. Picture Credit: Plantee

I’d hazard a guess that the majority plant homeowners take into consideration mild precisely as soon as: after they first deliver the plant into the home. They’ll consider watering as usually as they’ll, hopefully earlier than the crops are a dry, crispy, unhappy mess on the nook of the dresser. I’m glad there’s an AI taking good care of all the opposite stuff, as a result of I had no concept crops wanted a lot!

On the one hand, that’s a reduction. On the opposite, maybe I’m only a naive and novice plant daddy, but it surely left me slightly confused. I’ve by no means heard anybody point out air humidification and soil heating. I may very well be persuaded that these items make a distinction, certain, however I’m undoubtedly curious to what diploma it’s value worrying about.

aggressive panorama

This can be a market that doesn’t have many opponents. Seen via one lens, that’s a great factor: It implies that there’s a thriving market, and Plantee can see what its opponents are doing properly or poorly and place itself accordingly.

[Slide 10] That’s plenty of opponents. Picture Credit: Plantee

As a aggressive overview slide, that is fairly complete. It separates the aggressive panorama into “arduous to develop” and “straightforward to develop” and specialist (e.g., mushroom/avocado growers) versus generalist growers. That every one is sensible, however there’s nonetheless slightly piece of the puzzle lacking right here: The one actual exit on this house that I’m conscious of is ScottsMiracle-Gro’s acquisition of AeroGarden, for round $50 million. Not the world’s smallest acquisition, however not wildly encouraging, both.

The opposite query I’ve is whether or not this dichotomy even is sensible. If somebody crops a bonsai — a selected use case pitched by the Plantee group — they’re most likely not going to repot the plant, which is an fascinating problem. In case you’re positioning your self available in the market as a “you may develop something,” I might assume that you simply’d wish to replant often. The little bonsai tree, nonetheless, can grow up to 800 years, so it’s arduous to say that the “grows all crops” argument is that robust of a promoting level.

Three issues that Plantee might have improved

On first impression, the Plantee deck is fairly extraordinary, and the AI instrument gave it a 97% probability of success. As a human investor, I’m much less satisfied, and I disagree with the AI for just a few essential causes.

Does it make sense as a product?

I really like a great indoor rising system, and there have been many that attempted (and failed) on this house. GROW raised $2.4 million again in 2017, earlier than it will definitely floor to a halt. I reviewed the $1,000 Abby a pair years in the past, which, like Plantee, had pre-sold $100,000 value of merchandise on Kickstarter, and it was fairly terrible. I’ve additionally built my own hydroponics system for under $150, which is clearly much more work, but it surely exhibits that all these programs don’t should be costly.

Plantee is up in opposition to some fairly formidable competitors. On the low finish, for just $40 you may choose up a pod-based hydroponic system. If you wish to spend a bit extra, Click on & Develop has your again. Rise Gardens not too long ago raised a $9 million spherical. Folks kill home crops on a regular basis, however most of them are fairly straightforward to care for. In case you want some assist, a fast Google seek for “AI plant rising app” provides you dozens of choices, most of them free.

My largest problem with the Plantee deck isn’t what’s there, but it surely’s what’s lacking: wider context. In case you take all the corporate’s claims at face worth, it’s a rare alternative. Nevertheless, zoom out slightly, and speak to a couple plant lovers, and also you notice that maybe there isn’t as huge a niche available in the market as one would possibly assume. Evidently the inherent assumption within the Plantee story is that people who find themselves unhealthy at crops will spend $1,400 on a flowery computerized plant pot.

I’d argue that’s a fallacy and that people who find themselves unhealthy at crops as an alternative get a kitten, or take up watercolors, or get a plastic plant, earlier than they’re wiling to speculate 4 months of automobile funds on a flowery piece of tech.

So what occurred to that Kickstarter marketing campaign?

[Slide 11] Plantee is arguing entrance and middle that its Kickstarter marketing campaign is a part of the market validation. However there’s a catch. Picture Credit: Plantee

Plantee did, the truth is, persuade 109 backers to pledge simply over $100,000 for its product. The marketing campaign was fully funded in less than eight hours however was canceled just below a month later.

What occurred? Picture Credit: Screenshot from Kickstarter

That places the Plantee group in an odd place: It claims that the Kickstarter marketing campaign proves market validation. And that is perhaps true: The corporate says it was capable of appeal to its preorder clients for a CAC of $275. By promoting 109 models, primary math dictates that the corporate spent about $30,000 to make $100,000 value of gross sales. That’s not too shabby, assuming that there’s sufficient margin within the product to make that buyer acquisition price make sense.

The issue, nonetheless, is that the corporate doesn’t point out wherever within the pitch deck that the marketing campaign was canceled, and it doesn’t focus on why it was canceled. It might argue that it by no means supposed to ship on the Kickstarter marketing campaign and that it was only a advertising and marketing check to assist verify whether or not there was a marketplace for this kind of factor.

I’m unsure that is sensible. Earlier than Plantee’s marketing campaign, EcoQube ($300,000 funded in 2019), GroBox ($70,000 funded in 2019), Herbert ($280,000 funded in 2019) and dozens of others had already been profitable, and it’s not absolutely clear what Plantee discovered from this train. Since then, a bunch of others have run profitable Kickstarter campaigns (Herbstation, MarsPlanter, GrowChef).

Put merely, I’m struggling to determine how the Kickstarter marketing campaign suits into the general narrative, and by seeming to skirt the difficulty throughout the deck, Plantee isn’t doing itself any favors. Maybe I’m being painfully delicate after considered one of my very own Kickstarter campaigns went down in flames a decade ago, and finally took the whole company with it, however personally, I’d embody a “so, what occurred with the Kickstarter” slide within the appendix to get forward of that a part of the story. Unhealthy information ought to journey quick.

A little bit on the dramatic aspect

I really like some good storytelling, don’t get me mistaken, however elements of this pitch deck appear to have misplaced all perspective. Phrases like “by no means lose one other inexperienced youngster,” “It began when my good buddy died,” and “stress affecting the psychological well being of growers” are undoubtedly highly effective and emotionally charged, however to these of us who’ve misplaced a great buddy, had severe psychological well being challenges, or really misplaced a human youngster, it appears fairly tasteless to match the huge and nearly insufferable ache of that with dropping a home plant.

[Slide 5] I’m sorry in your loss, Ondra, however that is bordering on unhealthy style. Picture Credit: Plantee.

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