Back in January, Natasha covered Juro’s Series B round, which added $23 million to his coffers. Juro aims to end the contract negotiation frenzy by moving the workflows of Microsoft Word and a handful of other underpowered tools into an all-in-one, web-based platform for the workflow from contract negotiation to signature. It seems like a very good idea. The deck worked; it helped Juro raise a nice stack of dollars. But is his deck any good? Let’s take a closer look at that.
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Slides into this deck
The company used a 15-slide deck, which it shared with TBEN, and made only a few light edits; all the slides are there, but the company blurred some of its future roadmap and actual numbers for the financials.
- Cover slide
- “It takes ~5 tools to process just one contract” – problem slide
- “Initiating contracts in MS Word files exacerbates the pain” – problem slide
- “We make contracts browser native” — solution slide
- “Companies are switching to Juro’s browser-native format” – traction slide
- “ARR is at $XXm+, growing predictably and sustainably” – financial traction slide
- “We are the only all-in-one system used by legal teams” — contest slide
- “We have a repeatable GTM engine, powered by inbound” – customer acquisition slide
- “While churn is trending sharply down” – retention slider
- “Our community of champions drives growth” – customer slide
- “Helping Us Grow ARR With a Country/Expansion Movement” — go-to-market/market expansion slide
- “We have an experienced team on board and involved” – team slide
- “With a track record of capital efficiency” – financial high and investment partners slide down
- “And a broader goal of becoming the standard way to agree terms” – product roadmap slide
- Closing slide
Three things to love
There are many good things about the Juro deck, but the clarity of the story is a particular highlight.
Yes, that’s quite a problem
Anyone who has dealt with contracts, especially contracts that are tailored or at least flexible for each customer, has experienced this problem in one way or another. This stands up to anyone doing big B2B or corporate deals; if you’re negotiating with someone taller than you, chances are their in-house legal team has a capital T thoughts about your contracts, and that you won’t be able to use your lovingly crafted standard contracts as you hoped.
For startups, this comes up from time to time in due diligence; you both need to have contracts with all your customers and suppliers and be able to locate and show the signed versions of them in the due diligence process if requested. If your contracts are in your email or (maybe) in a shared folder (hopefully somewhere), this can turn into a stressful nightmare.
The extra cool quirk here is that most VC deals fall into this category; the term sheets tend to be pretty standard, but by the time the investment documents are complete, there’s a ton of custom language that can sneak into any contract, varying from deal to deal. As a result, this company would probably have been a pretty easy sell for many VCs looking at this deck: While the company isn’t specific to the startup and VC ecosystem, Juro solves, at least in part, a problem every VC has ever experienced it.
If your company does something that VCs are likely to be familiar with, you can take advantage of it; it speeds up the “that’s why this is useful” story considerably. What a great benefit!
Just enough product to make sense
Many startups are tempted to spend way too much time talking about their product. The product is important, of course, but rarely as important as founders think. This is a Series B deck, and Juro is telling the right story here: if you have a lot of customers (and, as we’ll see in a moment, Juro has), you don’t need a lot of time on your Product. The customers love it, they give you money and they stay. For Series B, we’re talking about growth. Yes, the product should be good enough not to actively drive customers away, but if you can sign them up and keep them around, at least you’re on the right track.
In this slide, Juro shares just enough details for investors to get a general overview of what the product is and what the benefits are. Very well done, and it lifts things up high enough to make it all pretty easy to understand. Well done!
What you can learn from this slide as a startup is not to get bogged down in the details. Keep it as simple as possible. With my pitch coaching clients, I sometimes challenge them to tell the whole story without mentioning the product once. A bit extreme, of course, but it helps reinforce every other part of the story enough to the point that once you add the product back in, it takes the right amount of time and energy into a pitch.
Traction, traction, traction
If Juro has ‘number of contracts signed’ as its main KPI, this chart is exceptional.
Traction is the single most important slide you will have in your pitch deck. If you have it, lead with it as early as possible. Well, we’ve made it to the fifth slide in Juro’s pitch deck and we’ve already talked about the slides that preceded it. Realistically, this is the first time the company has been able to talk about how well it is doing. And goodness, is it ever — that’s as exponential a graph as you’ll see for any startup, and if Juro has “number of contracts signed” as its main KPI, this graph is exceptional.
You will have noticed the “if” in the sentence above. As an investor, I love this chart. I like that the company is growing fast. But there’s a quirk: According to the pricing page, the company doesn’t immediately make more money if it handles more contracts. Of course, the two will be strongly linked, but I would have liked to see a more direct traction stat here. ARR maybe. Number of paying customers. Leading with a nice chart for a secondary KPI always comes across as a bit suspicious. I’ll let them get away with this because slides 6 and 7 are about the company’s ARR growth, which is the Real metric number driven VCs will care.
The lesson? Be careful what stats you lead. Some are important internally, but less important to investors. Some will be valuable to certain aspects of the business (time to close customer support tickets and system uptime, for example, are critical to customer service and technical operations teams), but it seems curious to see them appear in pitch decks.
In the rest of this teardown, we take a look at three things that Juro could have improved or done differently, along with the full pitch deck!