Regular Investor Updates

After investing in a number of startups over the years, it’s clear that entrepreneurs need some guidance around regular investor updates. At the most basic level, investors should be updated on a regular basis either monthly or quarterly, both to help the investor understand how things are going as well as to let the investor know areas where they can help. Almost all investors want to add value, and regular communication is key.

Here are a few items to include in regular investor updates:

  • Key financial metrics including monthly recurring revenue, cash on hand, monthly burn rate, etc.
  • Quick department updates (e.g. 3-4 bullet points for sales, marketing, services, support, engineering, etc.)
  • Culture update (it’s important to highlight the culture, even with investors)
  • Company needs and areas to help

Entrepreneurs that have raised money should put a recurring event on their calendar to provide regular investor updates. Ongoing communication is critical to a healthy relationship.

What else? What are some more thoughts on regular investor updates?

4 thoughts on “Regular Investor Updates

  1. Hey David,

    As an investor, it’s always a great surprise when startups actually meet their reporting requirements. It’s an opportunity to get involved and help the company with their problems.

    There are also some great online tools we have used for this: invrep.co, seederboard.com, etc. I find these are even better than sending out an email- I can look at all my startups in the portfolio.

    Over the years, I have helped several startups raise money faster and avoid nasty problems.

  2. Another great tip for entrepreneurs that take other people’s money. From the day we took outside investment, I treated the company like a pseudo-public company and issued quarterly reports. These started out as basic reports (1 pagers) with good things, challenges, financials, and key metrics. We would issue annual reports that were simplified versions of a public companies annual report. While it would have been easy to rationalize that I could be using my time doing other things, I believed it was part of the CEO’s responsibility and obligation to the investors. Also, it takes courage to raise the kimono a bit.

    While most of our investors were not interested in the reports (they were just interested in the outcome), the open communication was appreciated and there were never any surprises.

    Far too many entrepreneurs misunderstand their relationship with their shareholders after an investment. Some still perceive that they still “own” the business after an investment and the investors is just another external influence. Personally, I considered them to be part of the business and deserving of the communication.

  3. Hello

    Your newsletter is extremely interesting and quite helpful. .

    I would appreciate your follow up noting a few examples of ” Culture” Updates that you reference.

    Thank you.

    Best regards,

    Susan

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