How to write a great investor update
Crafting your quarterly note to stakeholders
Minoan is changing the way short term rental owners outfit their properties with furniture, while also making those same rental spaces shoppable experiences for guests. They’re pioneering a category they call “Native Retail”.
I’m an angel investor in the company, and their quarterly email update inspired this post. You see, their progress was 🔥… they’re killing it! But I noticed a few gaps and changing metrics. I spoke with the CEO, offered some advice.
Here’s a guide to crafting a world class investor update.
The note before the note
Crafting a monthly flash note to the board
The quarterly investor email (with a template you can steal)
Picking the metrics to report on
Areas for improvement
Reminders for next board meeting
Some potentially controversial opinions
The note before the note
You don’t want to leave your board hanging until the end of the quarter for an update. This group deserves some extra TLC. That’s why I recommend writing a monthly “flash” note to your board.
This should be sent within 48 hours of each month end. That means there’s no need (or ability) to include accounting metrics like GAAP revenue or operating income, since the books won’t be closed yet.
The idea is to get in, and get out, with a handful of key performance metrics to hold them over until the broader quarterly update to all investors on the cap table.
Note that all of these metrics should minimally have a Y/Y growth rate to demonstrate pacing, and also a M/M rate if it’s relevant to your business.
Or GMV if you are a marketplace
You probably won’t have net revenue this early in the close process, but if you do, you should include that, or an estimated range of where you’ll land (unless your take rate is volatile)
Monthly ARR Additions
New + Expansion
Avg. ACV (Annual Contract Value)
Net Dollar Retention
And consider including a churn metric specific to your business model
Month one churn
Activation rate… etc.
Total Employees to end the period
Number of new employees hired that period
Any key management hires (VP and above)
While this sounds like a lot, all of these should be automatically calculated at the end of each month and show up in a single dashboard for you to pull from. Great teams will build these in Sigma or Looker and simply login the morning after the month closes to see where they landed.
To close out this note, remind your investors as to when the next board meeting is (and extra points if you include some things you’ll be talking about).
Now that we’ve finished the appetizer, let’s get to the entrée.
The Quarterly Investor Update
Here’s a template you can repurpose each quarter: