Apr 28, 2021

The Pitch Deck We Used to Raise Our Seed Round in Korea, as a Global Startup

I closed our seed round for Rezi with StrongVC in Seoul, South Korea in the end of March 2021.

What a journey.

This post is not about the company and its progress, just a seed round pitch deck.

While it’s not a guide about how to pitch to investors, I hope that reading about the process the company went through could be helpful to those who are in a similar situation.

For context: There are many seed pitch decks already available online. Yet, I believe our company DNA is unique, perhaps even, interesting.

The deck is for Rezi, a global company born and raised in Seoul, South Korea. We’ve already raised pre-seed rounds with Lotte Accelerator and other Korean angel investors, so we thought it might be helpful to other companies to see what we did and how we did it.

For background: Among others, Rezi is the product of South Korea's push to foster global startups through programs such as the Seoul Global Startup Center and K Startup Grand Challenge.

You can read more about my experience leading a global startup in Seoul.

The structure and our pitch on each slide

Here are more details on our slides – why we included them and what we were saying during our pitches.

0. Cover

Setting the tone with passible design and a clear description of what Rezi does. "Developing Smarter Resumes" has been our tagline from day 1 to note the importance of tech and best practices for companies that use hiring systems.

1. Problem We’re Solving

Thanks to a mature industry, we knew it was important to establish a point of view greater than just "resume software". We decided to start with some context on the industry and how we fit into this ecosystem.

What we were saying:

When you look at the industry, there certainly are gaps created by the massive scale. After all, labor underpins all economic activity. We want to be the go-to solution for creating resumes.

Again, we need to emphasis Rezi can be greater than just a resume software. This idea is the focus of the next slide.

2. Our Vision

Makes sense right?

What we were saying:

By consequence of building the best resume solution in the market - we should be able to introduce willing job seekers to excellent companies. A labor market place with the supply side scaled through a better way to make a commodity. After all, everyone needs a resume.

3. Our Solution

What we were saying:

Relating the tech aspect of our software to a familiar service everyone knows and loves.

4. Our Tech

Our resume tech goes deeper:

  1. The ONLY GPT-3 powered resume & cover letter writer
  2. Optimization of content using AI to detect meaningful keywords.
  3. This is the Grammarly-like feature - scaling resume quality with real-time analysis.

This approach works well to introduce the premium features mentioned in our business model.

What we were saying:

Demonstrating the ability to bring value-adding technology to the process of improving resume quality at scale.

5. Revenue Model

With Rezi, we wanted to address 2 different audiences:

  1. Job Seekers.
  2. Companies.

What we were saying:

Rezi is an understandable saas product

6. Traction

What we were saying:

Rezi is an understandable saas product with a lot of growth through word of mouth, product-lead growth, and SEO

7. Go-To-Market

This type of growth is hard to come by in a consumer-facing space with significant competition:

  1. Niche-down on SEO opportunities which delivers exactly what job seekers are searching for - AI resume help.
  1. Scale out through partnerships with organizations needing to help their audiences.

Rezi is located in Seoul, South Korea which creates unique markets completely locked away from foreign competitors. Attractive facts when I reassure myself South Korea makes sense to be in.

  1. Leading in college-educated young people - the graph aside indirectly shows Korea's incredible development.
  2. Leading in innovation - ranked 1st in The International Innovation Index & 5th in number of unicorn companies
  3. South Korea facing worst labor market crisis since 1997
  4. It's LIT 🔥

What we were saying:

We've thought a bit more about growth than simply focusing on building great technology. The geographical moats are paying off.

8. The Bigger Picture

What we were saying:

At this point we've made our case for B2C Rezi. From here, we go into more details on how we can raise the company's ceiling.

Industry dynamics with a focus on how technology threatens established business models and incumbent reactions to these threats. Economics 468: Industrial Organization and Imperfect Competition was the most applicable course taken as an economics graduate.

9.  Understanding Industry Dynamics

What we were saying:

This slide is the answer to "What about Linkedin?'  - the industry is a big scary monster with dozens of multi-billion dollar companies, and hundreds of multi hundred-million+ dollar companies.

What we were saying:

  1. Marketplaces are about 1 order-of-magnitude more efficient market places.
  2. The multi-billion dollar recruiting monsters are hungry for tech-driven marketplaces.

10.  Team

What we were saying:

Our small team has brought the company here with complimentary skill sets in design and branding.

11.  Ask

Final thoughts

A good pitch deck doesn't matter and connections are everything. Good luck!

See the first pitch deck created in 2016 to see how the company direction changed over the past 5 years.