WayRay’s $80M Series C deck – TechCrunch

We pretty much a unique pitch deck that we hold in our hands today.

A few years ago, AR car hardware company WayRay raised $80 million in a Porsche-led Series C round at a half-billion valuation, and I’m very excited to show their pitch deck today ! Yes, it’s a bit older than some of the decks we usually rip off, but it’s rare that I get my hands on a 100% unedited, unabridged deck that resulted in a half unicorn rating.

WayRay’s deck consists of a whopping 75 slides – about 50 more than I would normally recommend for a deck like this – and it’s clear the founders took a different route than we’re used to these days. Nonetheless, one cannot disagree with a successful fundraiser of this caliber.

We’re looking for more unique tear-off pitch decks. So if you want to submit your own, here’s how to do it.

slides in the deck

I usually list all the slides in a deck here so you can get an overview. But as I mentioned above, there are 75 slides in this deck, and many of them aren’t particularly clear as to what they actually are to the. Generally just flipping through the deck makes me really confused, but I’ll get into why that’s a bad thing in a moment.

Let’s start by outlining what’s included in the deck, and then take a look at how it all ties together, what’s working, and what needs improvement.

  1. title slide
  2. “What sets us apart” – USP film
  3. Our mission – mission slide
  4. Graphic slide
  5. Past investor slide
  6. “Leadership in Holography” – platform description slide
  7. Title Slide – “Our Focus”
  8. “We believe that the car’s windshield is the most natural medium for delivering AR content.”
  9. Technology Layers – Tech Stack
  10. Technology layers – tech implementation
  11. AR Marketplace use case 1
  12. AR Marketplace use case 2
  13. AR Marketplace use case 3
  14. AR Marketplace – For the driver
  15. AR Marketplace – For the passenger
  16. technology advantages
  17. Product features slide “Benefits of WayRay’s AR HUD”.
  18. “Technology Comparison” – Compare head-up displays to competitors
  19. “Technology Comparison” – Compare head-up displays to competitors
  20. “Traditional HUDs are no competition for us” – 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 take up less space in cars
  24. Title Slide – “Where We Are Now”
  25. “We’re set up to sign commercial deals” – Traction Slide
  26. True AR HUD: from the concept to commercialization product roadmap slide
  27. “When introduced into a vehicle model” – Explains the “stickiness” of the product between model years
  28. Business model slide
  29. Title slide – “How we work”
  30. Graphic slide: “Do Deep Tech”
  31. Graphic slide: “Do Deep Tech”
  32. “Vertical Integration” slide to competitive advantage
  33. Graphic slide: “Holography”
  34. Graphic slide: “Holography”
  35. “Breakthrough Advances in Holography” – Tech Overview
  36. Graphic Foil: “Custom Lasers”
  37. “PGU Visual Theme” – Shows how the HUD is designed
  38. Advanced Engineering Techniques – Shows how the products are designed
  39. “AR Rendering Engine” product slide
  40. “True AR SDK” slide for third-party app developers
  41. Title Slide – “WayRay Overview”
  42. WayRay Team – Team Slide 1
  43. WayRay Team — Team Slide 2
  44. WayRay Team – Team Slide 3
  45. WayRay Team – organizational 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 – team foil for optics and holography
  51. WayRay Team – Team slide for platform solutions
  52. WayRay Team – Slide of the Quality Assurance Team
  53. WayRay Team – Software Engineering Slide
  54. WayRay Team – Swiss Technology Center team slide
  55. WayRay Labs – Laser Lab Slide
  56. WayRay Labs — Laboratory Holography Foil
  57. WayRay Labs – Experimental production chute
  58. WayRay Labs – foil for a PCB assembly line
  59. WayRay Labs – Test Lab Film
  60. WayRay Labs – CNC Workshop Slide
  61. WayRay Labs – Metrology Equipment Film
  62. Title slide – “Where the journey is going”
  63. New Markets/Radical Innovations — Positioning Slide
  64. Additional holographic AR display – Future product slide
  65. “Multi-Industry Application” – Go-to-Market Brainstorming
  66. Construction machines – sample slide for an application
  67. “AR side window solutions on trains” – example use case slide
  68. “AR side window solutions in driver’s cabs” – example slide for a use case
  69. “AR Smart Glass” – example slide for a use case
  70. Awards — slide with awards received
  71. Events — CES 2017
  72. Events — CES 2018
  73. Events — CES Asia 2018
  74. Media coverage slide
  75. Thanks foil

three things to love

There’s a lot of incredible things to dig into with these many slides. First of all, these slides are exceptionally well designed.

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

It’s a scary prospect because these kinds of deals can drag on forever. I’ve worked with startups that had to wait more than a decade from their first discussions with an automaker for the technology to become available in a car you can buy. Obviously, such an endeavor is capital intensive, but it also means that once you’ve cleared certain hurdles, you’re on a pretty clear path to market.

There is evidence of both in this deck.

Super clear street map

[Slide 26] WayRay’s roadmap clearly shows its plans. Photo credit: WayRay (opens in a new window)

I loved how the company presented their plans and their milestones to date in a really simple roadmap (pun intended). The company paints a clear picture of where it stands and what it is trying to do.

I would have many questions about this timeline (a Q2 2022 RFQ for production in 2023 doesn’t seem realistic in my experience), but I appreciate the clarity and defined goals that the company has set.

One of the deepest moats I’ve seen in a long time


[Slide 32] Consistent vertical integration. Photo credit: WayRay

I often advise young companies to only do what is absolutely core to their business and outsource everything else or use platforms. WayRay takes a different approach – it has in-house staff for every aspect of its product development and manufacturing process.

The company specifically lists optics and holography, hardware, software and electronics, quality assurance, design and chemistry. I wouldn’t have expected otherwise from some hardware companies, but in this case it’s helpful to point out that WayRay takes a fairly broad approach. Both here and elsewhere in the deck, it’s unmistakably clear that the company has a genuine interest and passion for research and development.

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

Notably, the company doesn’t say if it has an army of IP lawyers to ensure its assets are protected. In fact, the word “patent” doesn’t appear anywhere on the pitch deck, which feels like an oversight.

Still, the company says, “The intellectual property underlying our deep tech innovations is well protected and difficult to reproduce.” As an investor, I’d like to know a little more about how many patents the company is generating, in which parts of the world, and how many patents have been granted.

Paint a picture of a completely different world


[Slide 67] The founders did one thing quite right: they help investors imagine a different world. Photo credit: WayRay (opens in a new window)

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

This deck contains a series of slides that show potential use cases – like the augmented reality train window mockup above – like tourist destinations with overlays of roads and cities that you might see and add the information to. It is necessary? Who knows. But it’s so cool that it gets me excited to imagine what it might be like to live in this world.

If you, as a Founder, are able to inspire daydreams about the world you describe, you are doing an incredible job. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if these visions – beautifully rendered and featured throughout the pitch deck – were some great opportunities to do so.

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

Three things that could be improved

Hey boy! OK, so let’s get that out of the way: 75 slides is way, way, way, way too many slides.

What’s worse, some of these slides make me wonder who they are for. It seems like whoever put these slides together was really excited about the technology (and that’s wonderful), but then they start yelling some of the wrong things from the rooftops, which kind of throws the playing field off track. WayRay’s $80M Series C deck – TechCrunch

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