Deconstructing the CommandBar Pitch Deck: A Closer Look at their $4.8M Seed Funding Presentation

Startups typically operate under tight budget constraints, and spending significant time and money on pitch deck design may not be the best use of limited resources. Your mileage may vary, but your pitch deck does need to be machine-readable. For reference, my AI-powered pitch deck tool gave this deck a 16.9% chance at raising funding. “The stellar early customer traction, with some marquee logos, certainly helped!”The full pitch deckIf you want your own pitch deck teardown featured on TechCrunch, here’s more information. Also, check out all our Pitch Deck Teardowns all collected in one handy place for you!

CommandBar is a powerful B2B tool designed to simplify the use of software. In a successful $4.8 million funding round in 2021, the company impressed investors with its remarkably minimalist pitch deck. With only seven slides and lacking important information, Thrive Capital and Y Combinator still eagerly invested in the company’s potential.

If you’re interested in submitting your own unique pitch deck for a teardown, here’s how you can do that:

  • Cover slide
  • Product slide
  • Demo slide (with a link to a Loom demo)
  • Thesis slide
  • Problem/competitive landscape slide
  • Value proposition slide
  • Team slide

Three things to love

Despite its simplicity, CommandBar’s pitch deck contains some noteworthy innovations that deserve recognition.

Info design, not graphic design

Many people believe that design is crucial in early-stage pitch decks, but the most important factor is actually the content and clarity of the message. Startups often focus too much on design, which can be a waste of resources. CommandBar, on the other hand, took a different approach and created a clean and easy-to-understand deck without spending a lot of time and money on design.

While design is important, information design (i.e. the ease of digesting and reading the content) should be the primary concern for startups. Investors are more interested in compelling business ideas, strong market potential, and capable teams, rather than fancy graphics. Additionally, spending too much time on design can divert resources away from other important tasks, such as validating the business idea and conducting market research.

However, this doesn’t mean that design is irrelevant. If a startup has a skilled designer on their team, they should certainly utilize their talent for the deck. It’s important to note that great pitch deck design requires specialized skills and may not be transferable to other design disciplines.

CommandBar managed to sidestep this issue by foregoing design altogether, resulting in a clean and easily digestible presentation.

Elegant combo of problem and competitive landscape

It’s not often that the problem slide and the competition slide are combined, but CommandBar pulls it off seamlessly:

By merging these two slides, CommandBar showcases their deep understanding of the market and the unique value of their solution. Additionally, this slide demonstrates the company’s potential to compete in enormous markets, with examples of well-known competitors such as WalkMe, Zendesk, Intercom, and FullStory. Overall, this approach effectively communicates the massive market potential of CommandBar.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that while this approach offers some advantages, clarity is crucial. The slide should not be overcrowded with information, as the goal is to enhance understanding and engagement, not confuse the audience. Thoughtful design and content selection are essential for this strategy to be effective. It’s also worth mentioning that an increasing number of VCs use AI to read pitch decks for initial evaluations. Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure that the deck is machine-readable.


Many founders struggle to explain their company’s purpose and target audience, but CommandBar’s second slide keeps it simple:

This slide effectively communicates the company’s value proposition by showcasing how they are different from existing solutions in a clear and succinct manner. This simplicity can be refreshing for investors who may be used to seeing overly complicated pitches. Additionally, it’s important to remember that investors don’t need to know every detail about a startup in their initial pitch. The goal is to pique their interest and encourage them to learn more. CommandBar’s second slide achieves this perfectly.

Three things that could be improved

Despite its clever innovations, there are some areas that could use improvement in CommandBar’s pitch deck.

Firstly, the team slide is missing a team. While the logos of prestigious companies and institutions are impressive, they don’t adequately showcase why CommandBar’s founding team is the best team to run this company. The team slide is often the most important slide in a deck, as it can highlight the team’s experience, connections, and other factors that give the startup a competitive edge.

Another issue is the lack of information. CommandBar’s deck does not provide enough information for investors to determine whether the company is a good investment. There is no mention of the market size, use of funds, financial plan, business model, go-to-market plan, pricing, unit economics, target customers, or defensibility. As a result, it can be challenging for investors to assess the company’s potential and decide whether to invest.

Moreover, while the deck may have impressed investors, it only received a 16.9% chance of raising funding from an AI-powered pitch deck tool. This could be because of the lack of traction metrics, which is crucial for de-risking a company and demonstrating progress.

So, what happened?

Despite these shortcomings, CommandBar managed to raise its round without a pitch deck. According to CEO and co-founder James Evans, the founding team looked at the deck as a memo to themselves, convincing them why they should invest a decade or more of their time and effort into the company.

They also attribute their success to a strong understanding of their why and customer traction. Itai Tsiddon, one of the investors in CommandBar’s Series A round, believes that the company’s early customer traction, with renowned logos, played a critical role in their success.

In conclusion, while CommandBar’s pitch deck may not have all the features and information typically seen in successful pitch decks, the company was able to secure investors’ funding based on the strength of their team, idea, and product. This serves as a reminder that sometimes, simplicity and a strong understanding of the company’s potential are more important than a perfectly polished pitch deck.

The full pitch deck

For more pitch deck teardowns and tips on creating a successful pitch deck, check out all our Pitch Deck Teardowns in one convenient place!

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Ava Patel

Ava Patel is a cultural critic and commentator with a focus on literature and the arts. She is known for her thought-provoking essays and reviews, and has a talent for bringing new and diverse voices to the forefront of the cultural conversation.

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