Presentation Deck Teardown: $80M WayRay Series C Deck

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We have quite today we have a unique presentation in our hands.

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A few years ago, the automotive hardware company AR WayRay raised $80 million with a half-billion valuation in the Porsche-led Series C round, and I am very excited to showcase their presentation today! Yes, it’s a bit older than some of the decks we usually parse, but I rarely come across a 100% unedited, unabridged deck that’s priced like half a unicorn.

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

We are looking for more unique pitch presentations, so if you would like to submit your own, here is how you can do it.

Slides in a deck

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I usually list all the slides in the deck here so you can get a general idea. But as I mentioned above, this deck contains 75 slides and many of them are not particularly clear in terms of what they actually represent. per. Just flipping through the deck confuses me in general, but I’ll go into a bit about why it’s bad.

Let’s start by describing what’s in the deck and then see how it all fits together, what works and what needs improvement.

  1. cover slide
  2. “What makes us different” – USP slide
  3. Our mission – Mission slide
  4. Graphic slide
  5. Investor’s last slide
  6. “Leadership in Holography” – a slide describing the platform
  7. Cover slide – “Our main goal”
  8. “We believe that the windshield of a car is the most natural vehicle for delivering AR content.”
  9. Technology Layers – Technology Stack
  10. Technological layers – Technical 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 Benefits
  17. Slide “Advantages of AR HUD by WayRay”
  18. Technology Comparison – Compare head-up displays with the competition.
  19. Technology Comparison – Compare head-up displays with the competition.
  20. “For us, conventional HUDs are not competitors” – Positioning slide
  21. “Deep Reality Display” – product overview slide
  22. “Normal HUD” – shows what competitors are doing.
  23. “Breakthrough in volumes” – shows how WayRay HUDs take up less space in cars.
  24. Cover slide – “Where are we now”
  25. “We are set to sign commercial contracts” – Traction slide
  26. “Real AR HUD: from concept to commercialization” – Product roadmap slide
  27. “When introduced into a car model” – explains the “stickiness” of the product between model years.
  28. business model slide
  29. Cover slide – “How we work”
  30. Graphic slide: “Engage in deep tech”
  31. Graphic slide: “Engage in deep tech”
  32. “Vertical Integration” – slide “Competitive Advantage”
  33. Graphic slide: “Holography”
  34. Graphic slide: “Holography”
  35. “Revolutionary Advances in Holography” – Technology Overview
  36. Graphic Slide: “Custom Lasers”
  37. “PGU Optical Design” – shows how the HUD works.
  38. “Best Engineering Practices” – shows how the products are arranged.
  39. “Augmented Reality Rendering Engine” – product slide
  40. “True AR SDK” – 3rd party app developer slide
  41. Cover slide – “WayRay Overview”
  42. Team WayRay – Team Slide 1
  43. WayRay command – command slide 2
  44. Team WayRay – Team Slide 3
  45. WayRay Team – organizational structure of research and development departments
  46. WayRay Team – Chemistry team slide
  47. WayRay Team – Design team slide
  48. WayRay Team – Electronics design team slide
  49. WayRay Team – Hardware development team slide
  50. WayRay Team – Optics and Holography team slide
  51. WayRay Team – Platform Solutions Team Slide
  52. WayRay team – QA team slide
  53. WayRay Team – Software Development Slide
  54. WayRay team — Swiss Technology Center team slide
  55. WayRay Labs – Laser Lab Slide
  56. WayRay Labs – Slide from the Holography Lab
  57. WayRay Labs – Pilot Production Slide
  58. WayRay Labs – PCB assembly shop slide
  59. WayRay Labs – Test Lab Slide
  60. WayRay Labs – CNC Workshop Slide
  61. WayRay Labs – Slide for metrological equipment
  62. Cover slide – “Where are we going”
  63. New Markets/Radical Innovation – Positioning Slide
  64. Optional Augmented Reality Holographic Display – Future Product Slide
  65. “Application in various industries” – brainstorming on entering the market
  66. Construction Equipment – Case Study Slide Example
  67. “Augmented Reality Side Window Solutions in Trains” – Case Study Slide
  68. “Cabin AR Side Window Solutions” – Sample Use Case Slide
  69. “Smart glass of augmented reality” – an example of a slide with a precedent
  70. Awards – Slide “Awards received”
  71. Events – CES 2017
  72. Events – CES 2018
  73. Events – CES Asia 2018
  74. Slide with media coverage
  75. Thank you slide

Three things to love

There are a lot of incredible things to grab onto with these slides. To begin with, these slides were designed remarkably well.

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

This is a daunting prospect because such deals can drag on forever. I’ve worked with startups that have had to wait over a decade from their first conversation with a car manufacturer for the technology to be available in a car you can buy. It goes without saying that such efforts are capital intensive, but it also means that once you get past certain hurdles, you are on a fairly clear path to market.

This deck has evidence of both.

Super clear roadmap

[Slide 26] WayRay’s roadmap clearly shows his plans. Image credits: WayRay (Opens in a new window)

I liked the way the company presents its plans and milestones to date in a very simple roadmap (pun intended). The company paints a clear picture of where it is and what it is trying to do.

I would have a lot of questions about this timeline (in my experience an RFP from Q2 2022 to production in 2023 doesn’t seem realistic), but I appreciate the clarity and specific targets the company has set.

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

[Slide 32] Full vertical integration. Image credits: WayRay

I often recommend that young companies do only what is absolutely necessary for their business, and outsource everything else or use platforms. WayRay takes a different approach – it has its own staff for every aspect of the product development and manufacturing process.

Specifically, the company lists optics and holography, hardware, software and electronics engineering, quality assurance, design, and chemistry. I wouldn’t expect anything different from some hardware manufacturers, but in this case it’s useful to point out that WayRay takes a rather broad approach. Here, and elsewhere in the deck, it becomes undeniably clear that the company is genuinely committed and inclined towards R&D.

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

Notably, the company does not say if it has an army of intellectual property lawyers looking after the protection of its assets. In fact, the word “patent” does not appear anywhere in the presentation, which looks like an oversight.

However, the company states, “The core intellectual property of our deep technology innovations is well protected and difficult to replicate.” As an investor, I’d like to hear a little more about how many patents the company generates, in which parts of the world, and how many patents have been approved.

Paint a picture of a completely different world

[Slide 67] The founders were very right about one thing: they help investors imagine a different world. Image credits: WayRay (Opens in a new window)

Being a founder is a lonely, wild journey into a future that you can clearly see but doesn’t yet have. Storytelling is an important part of making that story come true, and WayRay does a great job of showing off the world it wants to live in.

This deck has several slides showing possible use cases – like the augmented reality train window mockup above – like travel destinations with road and city overlays you can see that adds information. It’s necessary? Who knows. But it’s so cool that I’m interested in imagining what it’s like to live in this world.

As a founder, if you are capable of inspiring dreams for the world you describe, you are doing an incredible job. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if these visions – beautifully rendered and displayed throughout the presentation deck – represent excellent opportunities for this.

For the rest of this breakdown, we’ll look at three things WayRay could improve or do differently, as well as its full, unedited, unabridged 75-slide presentation.

Three things to improve

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

To make matters worse, some of these slides make you wonder who they are for. It seems like whoever put together these slides was really excited about the technology (which is great), but then they yell some wrong stuff from the rooftops, which somehow throws the field off track.

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