Syneroid’s $500K Deck •

Syneroid recently increased to bring in a $500,000 funding round something halfway between microchips and dog collars To the market. The company finds some interesting segments of the market, but the deck overall leaves a few things to be desired. We learn more from mistakes than perfection, so I thought it would be a great way to dive in for this week’s pitch deck teardown!

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Slides in this deck

During this pitch deck teardown you will see the company called Syneroid and GPC Smart – the official name of the company is the former, but the brand they use for the pitch deck and its products is the latter. The company told me it had raised this round with a valuation of $3.9 million.

The company used a tight, 12-slide deck for its pitch and no information was edited or omitted.

  1. cover slip
  2. problem slide
  3. Match slide
  4. Solution slide
  5. Competitive Advantages Dia
  6. History/traction slide
  7. Market size slide
  8. Target markets/go-to-market slide
  9. team slide
  10. Operational Finance Slide
  11. ask dia
  12. Contact slide

Three things to love

syneroid enters a market that is very easy to understand: lost animals are something most of us have experience with in one way or another. That’s an advantage because you don’t have to explain the market in detail. It also means the company faces a wall of potential competitors even as it tries to gain traction. That’s a challenge, and it’ll be interesting to see how Syneroid tackles it.

Bridge the gap between the perceived and the real

[Slide 2] The summary slide is great for keeping investors informed. Image Credits: Smart GPC Tags

Because the company is entering a market that is relatively well understood, the challenge is not to explain what it does, but how it moves the market forward. The company’s second slide is called an “overview slide,” which gives you a quick overview of the overall challenge facing this particular market segment.

An investor probably knows at least something about this, but these bullet points magnify (or gently correct) any bias an investor might have, causing the delta between their perception of the market and the reality of being in that market. This slide – while rather cumbersome – does a really good job of clearing up any investor’s misunderstandings.

That said, it also raises some important questions. Lost pets are only part of the challenge; Stolen pets have their collars removed, and animals that get lost can occasionally lose their collars. Syneroid doesn’t really go into either scenario.

Great match overview

It’s quite rare to see a startup focusing on the overview of its competitors, but I think that was a very smart move in this case. Again, this is not an in-depth technical game or a mystery shrouded market. I suspect most potential investors would be able to come up with the two main competitors. That frontal approach seems a bit defensive, but given the market, I think it makes a lot of sense in this case. Here’s how the company went about it:

[Slide 3] It’s unusual to tackle competing alternatives so early in a slide deck, but probably a good move in this case. Image Credits: Smart GPC Tags

There are a number of obvious competitors in this area, including the most common, existing engraved metal tags or injected microchips, both of which have their own pros and cons. There is also the latest generation of dog collars with GPS, such as the one from fi, Whistle, Fitbark and others, which are not addressed in this competitive landscape.

If the animal is stolen, the thief will simply throw the collar away, and at that point it doesn’t really matter what’s on the collar.

This slide provides insight into the competitive landscape. I love that the company chose to address this upfront. I think it’s important, and it’s a great way to stay ahead of the most obvious investor pushback.

As on the previous slide, although its presence is encouraging, it raises some questions. I think an NFC/QR coded collar would be interesting, but I struggle to see how they are inherently better than standard engraved tags. The exact laser engraved label in the photo is not $15 as stated on the slide, but can be ordered from Amazon – fully personalized – for $4with four lines of text on each side of the metal label.

Sure, you can’t “update” the information, but pet owners can probably afford the $4 each time they move or change their phone number. You can’t include location information, but someone willing to catch a stray puppy can probably text or call the owner with an address and details. Again, if the animal is stolen, the thief will just throw the collar away completely, and at that point it doesn’t really matter what’s on the collar. As far as tracking goes, an Apple AirTag can be a good solution for those situations (but it’s just as easy to throw an AirTag in the bushes as any other dog collar).

This slide shows that the founders understand the challenges with their messaging and positioning, but it also shows that the answers are a work in progress.

A beast of a market

The pet market, both in the US and worldwide, is fantastic. Investors know that, but adding a reminder won’t hurt. You don’t have to commit so big of a market share to build a very important business here.

[Slide 7] Hellooooo market size. Image Credits: Smart GPC Tags

One of the things that investors love more than anything else is a huge and growing market. Pet wearables certainly qualify in that world, and my gut tells me that smart wearables (especially GPS trackers) will be the value driver in that area. There’s probably room there for a product like GPC, if it can play its cards well and find a good bridgehead market for its customers. The price will be crucial here; this will be a product for people who want something a little fancier than an engraved tag, but a little simpler (or cheaper/easier to use) than a GPS tracker.

This slide shows the overall size of the market, which is great, but I would have liked it even more if the company had said something about what it thinks its useful market is and how it is going after those customers.

What can you as a startup learn from this slide? Provide clarity about your market size and show that it is large and tends to grow.

In the rest of this teardown, we’ll take a look at three things Syneroid could have improved or done differently, along with the full pitch deck!