Life has been quite brutal in hospitality over the years, but that hasn’t stopped it Coin house from vibrant to the top with a series of tech-forward apartments.
Under the motto “The comfort of home. The luxury of a hotel. Tech-enabled and tailor-made for you,” the company aims to make being away from home a little less crappy. Mint House recently caters to high-end business and leisure travelers a series B of $35 million from Mohari hospitality, with participation from Revolution Ventures, Allegion Ventures and Ingleside Investors. In this teardown, we take a look at the deck the company used to land its Series B.
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Slides into this deck
- Cover slide
- Summary slide
- Business model slide
- Consumer products slide
- Competitor comparison slide
- Scroll key stats
- Value proposition for real estate slide
- Slide results
- Business partnerships slide
- Team slide
- Appendices cover slide
- Slide from the case study appendix
Three things to love
I’m curious how they raised this round, especially considering the deck has a red flag the size of Texas.
Raising $35 Million in the Hotel Space at the End of a Pandemic? My goodness, I wonder how they managed to do that. That’s doubly true, given that the deck has a Texas-sized red flag on what’s widely accepted as one of the most important slides of any deck (more on that in the “things that could be better” section below.
But hey! That’s what we’re here to investigate! Let’s start with the big wins:
Excellent 1 page summary slide
I’ve made no secret of my love for a good summary slide – it can really set the tone and pace of a presentation. This cover plate isn’t great to use in a pitch setting; for presentations, I’d probably recommend simplifying it further. But for a forward deck, this gets investors up to speed very quickly and explains the macro economics of what the company is doing and the traction and progress to date and provides a brief summary of what the company is doing do and for whom they do it.
I wish it also mentioned how much money it raised, here or on the cover slide – but other than that, this slide is a beacon of perfection.
As a startup founder, what you can learn from this slide is how to get an investor to fill in the context for the company and the round at lightning speed, so you can focus the majority of your pitch on the things that really matter: what you are raising, what your plans are and where the market is going. This is especially important for later rounds – dwelling on the past is only important to prove you know what you’re doing. After all, investors invest in what will happen next.
Load the longest pole in the tent at the front
As a startup founder, you can probably predict the biggest challenges for the company you’re about to pitch. In the case of Mint House, the third slide says something about what the company opposes when it comes to investments. Hotels can be a lucrative business, but the business model is flattened. The company promises to innovate on that model, and for investors, that’s both the biggest risk and the biggest opportunity.
In the unforgiving world of hospitality, it’s fantastically hard to stand out, and non-specialist investors often don’t even look at the vertical line. Finding a way to tell the story well and clearly differentiate yourself from the status quo is a critical part of telling the story. Mint House does that beautifully here, touching essentially every part of the business model on a single slide. Is the slide itself good? Not exactly – the text is so small it’s practically unreadable. But it sums up the key differentiators really well.
What you can learn here as a startup is how to differentiate yourself from a wall of incumbents. If you can’t, then you really don’t have a business at all.
Show me the numbers!
Companies that are in business and scale-up mode have metrics. It is indeed very silly not to show them in your pitch deck and just as important as the numbers themselves are the numbers you select to represent your company to your potential investors.
The fact that this slide is here is great and encouraging, but investors will be watching very closely. Operating profit margin, revenue per available room and occupancy rate are crucial to the operational side of the business. In other words, if you’re responsible for Mint House’s growth and development for the next three months, those metrics are critical.
However, those are not necessarily the metrics investors care about. I would have expected to see graphs here, including revenue, occupancy over time, and perhaps acquisition costs and other metrics that show what’s going on under the hood. Operating efficiency and cash flow can be another set of metrics worth taking a closer look at.
The kind of metrics an investor cares about is directly tied to the fundraising itself. Will you raise $35 million? Great. Show in an operating plan what you will do with the money and what the most important milestones are for the next six to eighteen months.
However, there’s also a deep orange, if not red, flag here: the net promoter’s score is shown as a percentage, which is incorrect. NPS is an absolute number from -100 to 100, calculated using a formula you can find on every growth hacking blog that has ever existed. The fact that the founders (and anyone who watched this deck) didn’t understand that – along with the oddly not quite accurate selection of stats above – makes me wonder about the quality of the overall team.
What I’m thinking about is whether the team is made up of tech startup founders or hotel operators. There’s nothing wrong with being last, but Airbnb can operate at much better profit margins than someone operating a string of dozens of physical buildings. I’m not saying this wouldn’t be a good investment, but I wonder if it makes sense as a VC investment.
In the rest of this teardown, we take a look at three things that Mint House could have improved or done differently, along with the full pitch deck – and that big red flag I mentioned earlier.
Three things that can be improved
As good as Mint House’s pitch deck is, there are a few things that left me scratching my head – some mistakes that were so serious that I was kind of curious how the company was successful in raising them in the first place, if I’m being honest. Let’s take a look.