Pitch wants to disrupt Microsoft’s presentation software domination

Pitch is a communication software startup hoping to challenge the dominance of Microsoft's PowerPoint.
Image: Pitch

In 1990, Microsoft introduced the world to a presentation program called PowerPoint as part of its Office productivity suite. Since then, a host of companies have released more robust and innovative programs to little effect. According to Technical Communication, the 32-year-old application has a market share of 95 percent.

However, a European startup, Pitch, wants to disrupt Microsoft’s dominance. Moreover, thanks to a recent funding round, the company now has $30 million in capital to pursue that goal.

What Pitch Does Differently

PowerPoint has become the default presentation software for millions of organizations for two reasons. It’s bundled with the world’s most popular operating system and it’s incredibly easy to use. With a half-hour of instruction, a novice can use it to turn any dataset into a presentation. However, as a consequence of its unchallenged ubiquity, Microsoft hasn’t felt the need to refresh the communication tool.

However, Pitch’s founders, who developed Wunderlist (which recently shut down, but please check out these Wunderlist alternatives), have given the concept of presentation software a 21st-century update. The company’s program, which just entered private beta testing, features the multifaceted functionality and intuitive interface of contemporary productivity applications.

With it, users can create visually engaging slideshows that impart vital information without making the observer’s eyes glaze over. The program’s color palette and design elements are vibrant and clean like a killer mobile app or popular online publication. Moreover, the software is interoperable with Microsoft Excel (let’s face it, no one is going to upend Excel), YouTube, and Twitter.

In essence, Pitch has the potential to disrupt PowerPoint in the same way that Slack disrupted corporate group emails. Plus, as good as it is now, the program will be even better once it exits the beta phase being conducted by thousands of active organizations.

High-Profile Backers

Besides pedigreed founders, Pitch also has the backing of some high-profile investment groups and angel investors. The firm’s recent Series B funding round was led by Thrive Capital, a technology-focused group that has racked up 37 exits since 2019. Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, founders of Instagram, also contributed to the company’s $30 million cash infusion.

Notably, Slack, via its Slack Fund, also poured money into the software startup. Yes, it is ironic.

Indeed, Pitch has generated so much interest in the tech sector, that it has raised a whopping $52.7 million since being founded in January 2018. More impressively, the firm has done so without ever publicly releasing a product.

Admittedly, in the post-Peloton landscape, startups seemingly destined for unicorn status seem like a riskier proposition than they once did. While nothing in business is guaranteed, Pitch likely won’t become the next Juicero. It has better leadership, smarter backers, and a product that offers consumers something genuinely new and valuable.