Slidebean helped Squeezee tell its story the right way and redefine their strategy

When Shiv Shankar -founder of Squeezee- saw his team build and launch a product in only ten weeks, he knew he had something special in his hands.

Shiv is a seasoned leader in product development, with almost 15 years under his belt as Yahoo’s former Sr. Director of Products, Consumer Experience, and Product-led Growth. Yet despite a long and fruitful career, the entrepreneurial itch kept calling to him, and made him finally take the plunge in 2023. Along with longtime Yahoo collaborator Kelly Xu as his fellow co-founder, they quickly developed and launched Squeezee in just under two and a half months.

“After spending over two decades in product development and achieving significant leadership milestones, I realized that the next step in my professional growth wasn't about ascending to higher corporate roles but forging a new path that could make a tangible difference in people's lives,” Shankar explained.

Squeezee is a ‘social commerce’ platform for college students. It allows users to buy as a group, offering the benefits and savings of buying in bulk but splitting the quantity among many buyers who couldn’t afford the expense and space otherwise. 

Shankar’s startup was born from an intersection of his career experience, entrepreneurial spirit, and personal experience as a parent. As he tells it, the idea that would later become Squeezee sprung from repeatedly meeting the same parents while buying diapers at Costco, shortly after the birth of his twin daughters. 

The same group of people buying the same items in bulk over and over caught his attention. A few years later, this idea found an unaddressed market in the form of college students living on campus, and shortly after, Squeezee was born.

“The response was overwhelmingly positive when we presented this first version to angel investors.” He says. “They were not just impressed by the swift product development but also by the robustness and potential of the initial build.”

How Slidebean brought Squeeze’s pitch deck to new heights

Squeezee’s early success prompted Shankar and his co-founders to double down and continue to drive growth and expand to multiple university campuses - for which further investment was required.

While the customer-facing premise of Squeezee might be simple, it’s the product of an intricate and complex chain of logistic and distribution challenges it manages to solve.

“I have been a regular viewer of Slidebean's YouTube content, which consistently impresses me with its clarity and depth. The way your team breaks down complex concepts into understandable, actionable insights is not only educational but also highly engaging,” Shankar explained. This drove his team’s decision to recruit Slidebean’s help and craft a pitch deck that explained the ins and outs of Squeezee in an accessible and compelling manner.

In the case of Shankar, he had the team, the product, and the track record to convince investors; all he was lacking was a way to communicate all this in just a few minutes with a killer pitch deck.

“Initially, our pitch deck was built on a standard template and lacked a compelling narrative arc. Working with Slidebean transformed our approach to storytelling and financial planning.”

Slidebean’s Financial Model made Squeezee rethink their business strategy

While crafting Squeezee’s pitch deck with Slidebean, Shankar was required to delve deeper into the fundamental aspects of his business—such as the problem, solution, and business model—  and was encouraged to analyze his unit economics thoroughly. This led to the second part of his collaboration with Slidebean: a customized Financial Model

“This process was enlightening, pushing us to define clear economic sustainability goals, including a timeline for achieving EBITA positivity. The insights gained from these exercises brought clarity and depth to our pitch, making it more strategic and persuasive,” Shankar explained, highlighting the synergy between pitch deck and financial model.

This synergy was key in kickstarting Squeezee’s subsequent fundraising round, after successfully launching a closed beta at the San José State University campus and securing an initial investment from angel investors.

“As a founder, understanding the financial trajectory of your company is crucial—not only to manage expenditures but also to articulate how an idea can evolve into a sustainable business. [The Financial Model] helped us answer critical questions and demonstrate our team's forward-thinking approach and our business's scalability.”

Squeezee’s path forward was outlined by their Financial Model

The early success of Squeezee motivates Shankar to continue expanding with his new economic strategy as a key aspect of his path. 

“During our pre-seed funding round, nearly all investor discussions centered around our growth potential, precisely our strategy for reaching $10 million and then $100 million in annual revenue. The financial model was pivotal in these discussions, allowing us to present a clear and convincing roadmap to these milestones,” he recounted.

“This round has already seen promising traction, with $200k raised from a distinguished group of angel investors who hold leadership positions at major tech companies like Apple, Airbnb, Meta, and Yahoo.”

Squeezee continues to take bold steps in its growth path, having joined Cohort 7 of Founder University, and recently launching the app to the student body of SJSU after a successful closed beta. 

Looking ahead, they aim to expand to more university campuses in California and pursue strategic partnerships with major retail brands to enrich their offerings. To accelerate this expansion, Shankar is already preparing for the next round of pitching key investors with the help of Slidebean’s Pitch Deck and Financial Model.

Get Slidebean’s help with your pitch deck and financials

We help companies like Squeezee, and yours, navigate the fundraising process with confidence. Our team of experts with 10+ years of experience can help you craft a pitch deck with a compelling narrative, and create a financial model that answers to your business needs.

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