Yesterday I provided an investor's perspective on how to write an investor update. There are literally hundreds of different variations on this, but below you'll find a template I've used many times myself, and tweaked over a decade of running venture-backed businesses. Depending on the kind of business you're running (SaaS, B2B, B2C), you'll want to adjust the metrics you're reporting against, but overall this should stand you in good stead.
Since the last update, [the business] has [beaten/met/missed] expectations. Users have grown [hopefully not shrunk!] by X00 (Y%), with a net churn of Z%. We have [enter best highlight], while [enter second-best highlight]. As a result of this momentum, we believe [we're on track to do ABC]. Our runway is now X months, and we believe we are Y months from breakeven. As a result, our plan it to [enter plan]. If you know anyone who can [enter your number one ask], please [enter very clear call to action].
[Metrics will vary from business to business, but try to include the key business drivers, such as customer acquisition cost (CAC), lifetime value (LTV), and CAC payback. If you have a north-star metric, make sure that's highlighted. If possible, add some colour and make it real using charts, tables, or actual dashboard screenshots. This will reassure investors that you're tracking the right metrics on a regular basis.]
[This is arguably the most important section. Don't hide it away, or make it sound better than it is. Your investors hate surprises. Share with as much transparency as you can. That will give them the best chance of being able to help.]
- Highlight 1: for example where you exceeded a sales target or core expectation.
- Highlight 2: for example, your cost of acquisition is dropping by X% month-on-month.
- Lowlight 1: for example you didn't close that big deal, so your sales are lower than expected.
- Lowlight 2: costs are higher and runway is shorter than you anticipated.
- Lowlight 3: you will need to raise sooner than expected.
Growth, retention, and churn
[These are almost always worth spending some time on, and focusing on changes over time, especially since the last update.]
- Our growth is still driven mainly by [list channels].
- We are seeing particular success in [channel], with conversion rates of X% (significantly higher than industry standard of Y%).
- Monthly churn is sitting at X% (a "good" churn rate is Y%). We are doing X, Y, and Z to improve this.
- We are seeing some success with reactivations, now that we have improved [feature], which we know contributed to early churn.
- Our CAC payback period dropped from X to Y since the update in [month], and our LTV:CAC ratio has improved to [X : 1].
[Include this section, even if you're not going to raise. If you have enough runway and/or revenue that you won't need capital, that is big news.]
We plan to start fundraising in [month, year] and have already begun building our list of investors (see below). We will be targeting funds, family offices, and exited founders who invest in [stage, sector, markets]. If you know someone that fits this description, please let us know. If you can make an introduction, we'd love to discuss it with you. We will share our investor deck next quarter.
[Many founders include separate sections for product, engineering, HR and key hires, operations, and more. This is overkill. Generally your investors care a lot less about these details than you do, so it's best to keep it to one section with just a few select details.]
- We hired X.
- We shipped the following features...
- We moved office.
- We'll be attending XYZ event in [city]. Let us know if you'll be there.
Requests and thanks
- It was great to see everyone at our investor dinner in [month]. Sorry we missed you, [first name] and [first name]. Hope to see you at the next one.
- We're looking for a new CRO with experience in [specific requirements]. If you think you know someone that sits, please let us know.
- Please find our list of target investors attached. If you can introduce someone at one of these funds, please let us know.
- Thank you to [name of investor] for introducing [client] last month. We've sent a little gift. Let us know how you like it, or even better send us a picture for the next update!
Last but not least
Thank you, as always, for your support. Although the business is going well, there is always still risk, and the current economic situation has a lot of startup people worried. We will tackle this by [strategy] in an effort to maintain the company's strong financial position. We are always open to chatting with you, and will appreciate any help, ideas, or introductions you can make. Thank you for continuing to believe in us.
[Founder first name(s)]