Pitching investors is a big part of running your startup, but no matter the outcome of the meeting, the opportunity does not end there. You should not only be logging your hard-earned contacts into a CRM, but also keeping these relationships warm through investor updates.
But what exactly is an investor update?
It’s a regular email a startup sends to its investors to inform them about the company’s recent progress, key metrics, challenges and future plans.
These updates demonstrate to investors your commitment to progress and learning through trial and error. Over time, this builds trust while allowing you to leverage investor expertise and their networks. With enough trust, these investors may participate in your next round and refer you to new potential investors too.
Although it may sound like a simple email, there really is an art to writing an effective investor update. The following is everything you need to know about how to craft and send an update that keeps investors engaged, communicates momentum, and garners support on your journey.
Your update should feel like an insider report that’s almost impartial, letting the facts and figures speak for themselves.
The role of tone and transparency
Investor updates make a critical tool for nurturing relationships, so you’ll want it to come across as genuine and relatable. Strive for transparency rather than salesy or unrealistically optimistic. Your update should feel like an insider report that’s almost impartial, letting the facts and figures speak for themselves.
It’s also perfectly okay to acknowledge areas where you didn’t quite meet your goals. I’ve seen founders turn these types of situations into pure gold by simply spinning them into lessons learned.
For startups at the seed or Series A stage, updates should be about 250 to 750 words, while quarterly and annual updates should be up to 1,500 words to account for more areas of the business. Your investor update should be concise and straight to the point, because investors are often bombarded with emails. Plus, information overload can cloud your main takeaways.
Aside from charts and graphs, your updates should be primarily text. Use bullets and subheadings to break up the text for ease of readability.