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WayRay’s $80 Million Series C Deck – TechCrunch

we have enough a unique pitch deck in our hands today.

A few years ago, AR automotive hardware company WayRay raised $80 million for a half-billion valuation in a Series C round led by Porsche, and I’m very happy to show off their pitch deck today ! Yes, it’s a bit older than some of the decks we usually take apart, but it’s rare that I get my hands on a 100% unedited, uneabbreviated deck that ended up with a half-unicorn review.

WayRay’s deck consists of 75 slides – about 50 more than I would typically recommend for a deck like this – and it’s clear the founders took a different approach than what we’re used to seeing. these days. Still, you can’t argue with a successful fundraiser of this caliber.

We’re looking for more unique pitch decks to take down, so if you’d like to submit yours, here’s how you can do so.

Slides in the bridge

Typically, I list all the slides in a game here so you can get an overview. But as I mentioned above, this game has 75 slides, and many of them aren’t particularly clear in terms of what they really are. for. Just flipping through the game really baffles me in general, but I’ll explain why that’s a bad thing in a bit.

Let’s start by outlining what’s in the game, then look at how it all fits together, what works, and what needs improvement.

  1. cover slide
  2. “What Sets Us Apart” – USP slide
  3. Our mission — Mission slideshow
  4. Graphic slider
  5. Former Investor Slide
  6. “Leadership in Holography” – Platform Description Slide
  7. Cover Slide – “Our Main Purpose”
  8. “We believe the car windshield is the most natural medium for delivering AR content.”
  9. Technology Layers — Technology Stack
  10. Technology layers — Technology implementation
  11. AR Marketplace — Example Use Case 1
  12. AR Marketplace — Example Use Case 2
  13. AR Marketplace — Example Use Case 3
  14. AR Marketplace — For the driver
  15. AR Marketplace — For the passenger
  16. Technological advantages
  17. Product Features Slide “Benefits of WayRay’s AR HUD”
  18. “Technology comparison” – Compare head-up displays with competitors
  19. “Technology comparison” – Compare head-up displays with competitors
  20. “For us, conventional HUDs are not competition” – Positioning Slide
  21. “Deep Reality Display” – Product Overview Slide
  22. “Conventional HUD” – Shows what the competition is doing
  23. “Breakthrough in volume” – Shows how WayRay HUDs occupy a smaller footprint in cars
  24. Cover Slide – “Where Are We Now”
  25. “We are ready to sign commercial contracts” — Traction slide
  26. “True AR HUD: From Concept to Commercialization” – Product Roadmap Slide
  27. “When introduced into a vehicle model” – Explains the product’s “stickiness” between model years
  28. Business model slide
  29. Cover Slide – “How We Work”
  30. Graphic slide: “Do Deep Tech”
  31. Graphic slide: “Do Deep Tech”
  32. “Vertical Integration” – Competitive Advantage Slide
  33. Graphic slide: “Holography”
  34. Graphic slide: “Holography”
  35. “Revolutionary Advances in Holography” – Technical Preview
  36. Graphic Slide: “Custom Lasers”
  37. “PGU Optical Design” – Shows how the HUD is designed
  38. “Advanced Engineering Techniques” – Shows how products are designed
  39. “AR Renderer” – Product Slide
  40. “True AR SDK” – 3rd Party App Developer Slide
  41. Cover Slide – “WayRay Overview”
  42. WayRay Team — Team Slide 1
  43. WayRay Team — Team Slide 2
  44. WayRay Team — Team Slide 3
  45. WayRay Team — Organization chart of R&D departments
  46. WayRay Team — Chemistry Team Slide
  47. WayRay Team — Design Team Slide
  48. WayRay Team – Electronic Engineering Team Slide
  49. WayRay Team – Hardware Engineering Team Slide
  50. WayRay Team — Optics & Holography Team Slideshow
  51. WayRay Team — Platform Solutions Team Slide
  52. WayRay Team — QA Team Slide
  53. WayRay Team — Software Engineering Slide
  54. WayRay Team — Swiss Technology Center Team Slideshow
  55. WayRay Labs — Laser Lab Slide
  56. WayRay Labs – Holography Lab Slide
  57. WayRay Labs — Experimental Production Slide
  58. WayRay Labs – PCB assembly facility slide
  59. WayRay Labs – Test Lab Slide
  60. WayRay Labs – CNC Shop Slide
  61. WayRay Labs — Metrology Equipment Slide
  62. Cover Slide — “Where Are We Going?”
  63. New Markets/Radical Innovations — Positioning Slide
  64. Additional Holographic AR Display – Future Product Slide
  65. “Application Across Multiple Industries” – Go-to-Market Brainstorm
  66. Building Material — Example Use Case Slide
  67. “AR Side Window Solutions in Trains” – Example Use Case Slide
  68. “AR Side Window Solutions in Cabins” – Example Use Case Slide
  69. “AR smart glass” – Example use case slide
  70. Awards — Rewards Received Slide
  71. Events — CES 2017
  72. Events — CES 2018
  73. Events — CES Asia 2018
  74. Slide Media Coverage
  75. Please swipe

three things to love

There are many incredible things to put in my mouth with these many slides. To begin with, these slides have been designed in an extraordinary way.

WayRay operates in the automotive OEM space. In other words, for its products to be seen in the world, they must be tested and accepted by automakers, who then must add the product to a future version of the car.

It’s a daunting prospect, because these types of deals can go on forever. I’ve worked with startups that had to wait over a decade from their first conversations with an automaker until the technology was available in a car you could buy. It goes without saying that such a business is capital-intensive, but it also means that once you overcome some hurdles, you are on a pretty clear path to market.

There’s evidence of both in this deck.

Super clear roadmap

[Slide 26] The WayRay roadmap clearly shows its plans. Picture credits: WayRay (Opens in a new window)

I loved how the company lays out its plans and milestones to date in a very simple (pun intended) roadmap. The company draws a clear picture of where it is and what it is trying to do.

I’d have a lot of questions about this timeline (a Q2 2022 tender for production in 2023 doesn’t seem realistic in my experience), but I appreciate the clarity and defined goals that the company s is fixed.

One of the deepest ditches I’ve seen in a while

WayRay’s $80 Million Series C Deck – TechCrunch

[Slide 32] Vertical integration all the way. Picture credits: WayRay

I often recommend that start-ups only do what is absolutely essential to their business and outsource or use platforms for everything else. WayRay takes a different approach – they have in-house staff for every aspect of their product development and manufacturing process.

The company specifically lists optics and holography, hardware, software and electronics engineering, quality assurance, design and chemistry. For some hardware companies, I didn’t expect anything else, but in this case it’s worth mentioning that WayRay takes a pretty broad approach. Both here and elsewhere in the game, it becomes unwaveringly clear that the company has a genuine interest and penchant for research and development.

WayRay does a great job of showing the world it wants to live in.

Notably, the company doesn’t say whether it has an army of intellectual property lawyers who make sure its assets are protected. In fact, the word “patent” does not appear anywhere in the pitch deck, which seems like an oversight.

Nonetheless, the company says, “The underlying intellectual property of our deep technology innovations is well protected and difficult to replicate.” As an investor, I would have liked to know a bit more about the number of patents the company generates, in which regions of the world and how many patents have been approved.

Painting a picture of a very different world

WayRay’s $80 Million Series C Deck – TechCrunch

[Slide 67] One thing the founders understood very well: they help investors imagine a different world. Picture credits: WayRay (Opens in a new window)

Being a founder is a lonely, wild journey into a future that you can see clearly but doesn’t yet exist. Storytelling is a big part of turning this story into reality, and WayRay does a great job of showing the world it wants to live in.

This game has a number of slides showing potential use cases – such as the augmented reality train window mockup above – like tourist destinations with road and city overlays that you might see that add information. Is it necessary? Who knows. But it’s so cool that it makes me want to imagine what it might be like to live in that world.

As a founder, if you’re able to inspire daydreams of the world you describe, you’re doing an amazing job. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if these visions – beautifully rendered and presented throughout the pitch deck – are great opportunities for that to happen.

In the rest of this teardown, we’ll look at three things WayRay could have improved or done differently, along with its full, unedited, unabridged 75-slide pitch deck.

Three things that could be improved

Ho boy! OK, so let’s put that aside: 75 slides is way, way, way too many slides.

Worse still, some of these slides make me wonder who they are for. It seems whoever put these slides together was really excited about the technology (and that’s wonderful), but then they’re shouting about some of the bad stuff from the rooftops, which derails the terrain, somehow another one.


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