Pitch Deck Teardown: Smalls’ $19M Series B deck


Smalls has raised a complete of $34 million for its cat food subscription business. But in a competitive pet grocery store, how does the corporate set itself from its competition?

The cat food industry is an especially competitive market, with quite a few brands and products vying for the eye of cat owners. The industry is characterised by constant innovation, but largely on the marketing side, relatively than on product. So where does an organization like Smalls slot in? How does it know that it may proceed growing? Let’s discover!

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Slides on this deck

Smalls raised with a 24-slide deck, which it shared in full with us with some minor edits: “Information redacted includes specific details to the corporate’s valuation and current revenue,” a representative from the corporate told me but said that no slides were completely omitted.

  1. Cover slide
  2. Market slide
  3. Problem slide
  4. Mission slide (“We’re here to make 9 lives 10”)
  5. Competition slide
  6. Product slide
  7. How it really works slide
  8. Why Now interstitial slide
  9. Business metrics slide
  10.  Milestones slide
  11.  Team slide
  12.  Use of Funds slide
  13.  Performance interstitial slide
  14.  CAC slide
  15.  Go to market/growth channels slide
  16.  Value Prop slide
  17.  Churn evaluation slide
  18.  LTV slide
  19.  Future Plans interstitial slide
  20.  “From cat food brand to cat brand” — Market extension slide part 1
  21.  Market extension slide part 2
  22.  LTV extension slide
  23.  The Ask and goal milestones slide
  24.  Thanks slide

Three things to like

A bunch of really great things stood out to me on this pitch deck, and I’m not only saying that since it includes lovely cat photos.

We get it, cats are picky eaters

[Slide 6] Well played. Image Credits: Smalls

It’s not unusual for corporations to find opportunities for more aggressive growth, and it’s possible that’s why it decided to take more funds.

Smalls lays out why it has a purrfect fan base. Its remarkable spread of formulations (with hilarious names like fish, bird and other bird) and textures (smooth, ground) mean there’s something in there for everybody. It couldn’t have been logistically easy to find yourself with 14 different SKUs that must be manufactured and kept in stock, but here’s an organization that understands that animals don’t all the time eat what they don’t like, especially finicky cats. Having all of those formulations already in-market represents a moat of sorts; it isn’t easy, which can just prove helpful in keeping competitors at bay.

The best way Smalls gets pet owners hooked is thru its seamless ordering flow:

[Slide 7] A taster pack gets the cat dialed in. From there, you’ll be able to decide to subscribe. Image Credits: Smalls

Solid metrics

[Slide 9] Quite a lot of the numbers are redacted, but there’s still lots to learn here. Image Credits: Smalls

I really like a superb metrics slide, and while the corporate blocked out plenty of its actual numbers, what’s fascinating here is the expansion chart on the proper and which metrics the corporate cares about. Even without knowing the precise numbers, you’ll be able to tell lots about an organization from what it considers its KPIs.

It’s great that 86% of revenue is recurring revenue, and doubling revenue over the past six months is incredibly encouraging. It’s obvious that the Smalls team has found a furmula (see what I did there?) for achievement. Tracking CAC, profit per box, LTV, AOV and ARR are the important thing metrics you’d expect from any subscription business, and on this case, the business is experiencing extreme growth.

It’s a little curious that it’s raising $12.5 million specifically (why not $12 million or $13 million or $15 million?), and with the advantage of hindsight, it raised $19 million on this round anyway. It’s not unusual for corporations to find opportunities for more aggressive growth or larger market expansions within the investment process, and it’s possible that’s why it took more funds.

Impressive top-of-funnel

The corporate has diversified its acquisition channels, which is a fantastic way of de-risking:

[Slide 15] Evolving channel mix. Image Credits: Smalls

That lower than 33% of its acquisitions comes from a single channel is indicative of a business that hasn’t put all of its kittens in a single basket. What this slide tells me is that Smalls has a strong and comparatively sophisticated tackle growth — exactly what an investor would need to see before pouring a large chunky sachet of sauce-covered dollar bills into Smalls’ bowl.

In the remainder of this teardown, we’ll take a take a look at three things Smalls could have improved or done otherwise, together with its full pitch deck!


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