Investor Connect

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How to Negotiate Valuation With a Startup

How to Negotiate Valuation With a Startup The key to negotiating the valuation for a startup is to find and examine each value that is already in the business, as well as each value that must be built to achieve a successful exit. Start with the team and check to see how many of the […]

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Minimum Information an Investor Should Receive

Minimum Information an Investor Should Receive After closing an investment round, the startup should set up a monthly report to the investors. Here’s a list of information to send an investor: Customer wins — list out key sales successes. Celebrate every win. Key metrics — show the core 1-3 metrics that drive your business. Cash […]

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Investor, Advisor, Mentor, Board

Investor, Advisor, Mentor, Board There are four ways someone can help a startup outside of becoming an employee. You can be an investor, an advisor, a mentor, or a board member.  As an investor, you can fund the startup. As an advisor, you can guide the founder on strategy and make introductions. As a mentor, […]

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What You Should Do After You Sign the Check

What You Should Do After You Sign the Check An investor does a great deal of work before the investment is made and must also do work afterward. Here are some key points to consider: As an investor, you need to maintain contact with the startup. Make sure there’s control over the compensation of the […]

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Nine Types of Angel Investors

Nine Types of Angel Investors There are many types of angel investors. Here are nine types commonly seen in the startup community: 1. Networkers — they know a great number of people and can make introductions to them. They are helpful in finding more investors as well as team members for the startup. 2. Product-oriented […]

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Angel Investing Best Practices Continued

Angel Investing Best Practices Continued Angel investing is fun but difficult especially if you want to make a return on your investment. Here are more best practices to keep in mind: Take ownership of your due diligence and don’t rely solely on others. Work with angel investors both within your group and from other groups. […]

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Angel Investing Best Practices

Angel Investing Best Practices Angel investing is fun but difficult, especially if you want to make a return on your investment. Here are some best practices to keep in mind: Treat entrepreneurs well because word travels fast in the startup community. No matter how hard you study, the real learning is in the doing.  You […]

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Know Your Why

Know Your Why In funding startups, it’s important to know your why. This goes beyond making money, saving for retirement, and financial goals.  What is your mission or cause that you are passionate about? Start with your passion and what drives you. Consider what impact your investment will have on the community, the technology sector, […]

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Powerball vs. Moneyball

Powerball vs. Moneyball There are two approaches to venture investing: Powerball and Moneyball. Powerball looks for startups that will be unicorns and pay outsized returns upon an exit. These are called home runs. Moneyball looks for startups that will return a decent amount to the investor but not outsized returns. These are called singles and […]

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Evaluating the Startup’s Metrics

Evaluating the Startup’s Metrics In reviewing a startup, ask the founder or CEO for the metrics they use to guide the business. Check for these points in their metrics: 1. Do they have a key set of metrics? Many startups aren’t tracking anything. 2. Is the metric appropriate for their type and stage of business?   […]

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Beyond the Growth Story

Beyond the Growth Story In raising funding it’s important to demonstrate the growth story — sales, team, product, and fundraise are in motion. These are the core four things investors look for to judge the startup’s traction and momentum. Here are additional proof points to highlight to the investor: 1. Market size – show a […]

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Competitive Advantages

Competitive Advantages In the pitch, investors look for the startup’s competitive advantage. “Me too” companies are more difficult to fund because they have few if any competitive advantages. A true competitive advantage increases your revenue by 30% or reduces your cost by the same amount. Here’s a short list of potential competitive advantages you can […]

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Drawbacks to Convertible Notes

Drawbacks to Convertible Notes Convertible notes are often used by startups in the early stages of fundraising as they are fairly simple to use and need little legal work compared to equity agreements. There are drawbacks one should know.  Here’s a short list to consider: Convertible notes are not equity agreements and do not qualify […]

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Build Your Community

Build Your Community In funding startups, it’s important to build out your startup ecosystem. A stronger startup scene will bring better funding opportunities. Here are some key points for building your startup ecosystem: – The startup world goes through cycles every 3-5 years with new technologies, companies, and programs, so it’s important to keep up […]

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Testing the Serial Entrepreneur

Testing the Serial Entrepreneur Entrepreneurs who have failed are often strong leaders in their next venture. To know if a serial entrepreneur is on track to success after their first failure, check these points: – Character — if they don’t have character, then nothing else will matter. – Passion — burnout cases won’t make it […]

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Roadmap Investing

Roadmap Investing In funding startups, it’s important to look at not just the current product, but the roadmap overall. Some technology markets have a long, rich future ahead while other markets do not. Look for the technologies that have a broad future with a clear trajectory. Startups propose products to take to market.  While that […]

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Best Practices for Startups Raising Funding

Best Practices for Startups Raising Funding Raising funding is difficult. Here are some best practices for startups raising their next round: Investors are busy, so organize your fundraise around their schedule, not yours. Focus on investors who fund your stage and type of startup. Provide updates about your business and progress, and be proactive about […]

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How to Become an Accredited Investor

How to Become an Accredited Investor To invest in startups directly, one must be an accredited investor.  The Securities and Exchange Commission sets the criteria for who is accredited. Here’s a list of those who meet the criteria: Individuals who have a net worth exceeding $1M. Individuals who have earned income exceeding $200K per year […]

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How Investors Can Help Their Companies

How Investors Can Help Their Companies In funding startups, it’s important to choose companies you can help.  If you only write a check and nothing more, then the investing experience will be minimal. It’s only a return and nothing more.  It’s best to choose startups that you can help by adding value. Here are some […]

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After You Write the Check

After You Write the Check After you write the check, it’s important to remain engaged. Here are some key steps to follow: Stay in touch with the CEO and keep up-to-date on their status. Track the progress of the company to determine if it’s worth a follow-on investment. Review the financials regularly to stay up […]

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Asset Allocation

Asset Allocation In angel investing, it’s important to set aside funds for startup investments. In most cases, investors dedicate 5%-15% of their discretionary funds to angel investing. There are several issues with asset allocation for angel investing compared to publicly-traded stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Startup investments are illiquid as there’s no market for reselling. […]

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State Tax Credits

State Tax Credits Many states offer tax credits for startup investments. Those states with a state income tax will reduce your capital gains tax burden. The typical requirements are as follows: 1. The business must be a C-Corp or an LLC entity. 2. The entity was organized no more than 3 years before the investment. […]

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Stock Options

Stock Options Stock options are a key part of the compensation of employees. These are called Incentive Stock Options or ISOs. If you exercise and sell the shares immediately, the proceeds will be taxed at the ordinary tax rates for the difference between the exercise price and the fair market value. For ISOs, your options […]

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Gains and Losses

Gains and Losses There’s an old saying, it’s not how much you make, it’s how much you keep that counts.  Tax management is an important topic for angel investors.  There are specific laws that give tax breaks to investors for startup investments. The first is called Section 1244 which gives the investor the ability to […]

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When to Follow On

When to Follow On In most startup funding, there will be a need for additional rounds of funding. Here are some questions to ask before making that follow-on investment: 1. Does the team demonstrate integrity? 2. Do they have traction in the market yet? 3. Do they hit milestones and are they good to work […]

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Apply Your Investment Thesis to a Startup

Apply Your Investment Thesis to a Startup Before investing in a startup, apply your investment thesis to it to see if it makes sense. Write out the company’s strategy and how it fits into the overall market.   Review their position relative to the competition. For the target company, look for a material event that recently […]

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Building Your Investment Thesis — View of the Future

Building Your Investment Thesis — View of the Future For investing in a startup, consider the future and what will be needed then. Don’t just look at the world as it is today.   It takes several years to build a business and what you see now will inevitably change. Map the trends and extrapolate out […]

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Invest Early-Stage or Late-Stage – What’s the Challenge?

Invest Early-Stage or Late-Stage – What’s the Challenge? Venture capital has two choices in funding startups.  They can go for early-stage companies or late-stage companies. So, which stage to focus on? The risks are higher for early-stage companies, but the valuations are lower. Any meaningful acquisition typically leads to a successful investment outcome. Later-stage companies […]

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Diligencing the Exit

Diligencing the Exit In diligencing the startup’s exit strategy, check the following: – Do they have a list of potential buyers? – What companies are on the list? – What milestones must be met to qualify for a buyout? – What price is the going rate for buyouts in this sector? – Will the acquirer […]

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Diligencing the Use of Funds

Diligencing the Use of Funds In diligencing the startup’s use of funds, check the following points: – How much is spent on compensation? – Is it appropriate for an early-stage company? – How much is spent on sales, and does it align with the company’s sales strategies? – How much is spent on marketing, and […]

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Diligencing the Terms

Diligencing the Terms  In diligencing the startup’s term sheet, check the following points: Is the valuation or cap rate appropriate for the stage of the company?  If it’s out of line, then other terms such as liquidation preferences may be needed. What dilution will the investors go through, such as options pools and follow-on funding? […]

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Diligencing the Legal Issues

Diligencing the Legal Issues In diligencing the startup’s legal documents, ask the following questions: For the intellectual property, ask what was filed and when? Did they file a provisional patent or a utility patent? It takes three years from the date of filing for the patent to be approved, so it most likely will not […]

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Diligencing the Team for Skills

Diligencing the Team for Skills In diligencing the team, here are some key areas to check: Sales skills — the CEO and others must be able to sell their product or service.   In the early stages of a startup, there won’t be a dedicated sales force, and everyone on the team must be able to […]

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Diligencing the Financials

Diligencing the Financials In diligencing the startup’s financials, ask the following questions: What is the key assumption behind the financials? Does it assume a product will reach the market at a specific time? Does it assume we’ll have hired new team members by a certain date? What funding does the plan assume? What price and […]

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Diligencing the Customers in the Market

Diligencing the Customers in the Market In diligencing the customers in the market, check for the following: 1. Who is the target customer?   2. What is the ideal customer profile? 3. What is the customer acquisition strategy and cost? 4. Do they have a standard process for acquiring customers? 5. For pre-revenue companies, what is […]

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Diligencing the Competition

Diligencing the Competition In diligencing the competition, check to see how well the startup knows its competitors.   Do they know what the competitors offer, how they price it, and what their advantage is over that competitor? Even if the startup tells you there’s no competition, rest assured there is. Sometimes competition is for the customer […]

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Diligencing the Demand

Diligencing the Demand In diligencing the demand for a startup’s product, here are some key points to check: Is the product a nice to have or a must-have? For customers buying the product, assess their budgets. Do they have deep pockets, or do they have average pockets? Assess their place on the technology curve. Do […]

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Diligencing the Technology

Diligencing the Technology In diligencing the technology in a startup, here are some key questions to ask: How many of the tech modules have been completed and how many more must be completed before going to market? Does the technology provide a substantial advantage over the competition? One way to check this is to see […]

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Diligencing the Team

Diligencing the Team In diligencing a startup for investment, the team is one of the most critical factors and the one that is most often overlooked by investors. I see investors focus on the product, the market, and the competition and ignore the team assuming every skill is at the ready. The first and most […]

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Sizing the Market

Sizing the Market In diligencing the market, look for a market that is large and has strong growth potential. If a new technology has spurred the growth of the market, then this may be a good time to invest. Markets that are behind on the latest technology are ripe for growth. The Total Available Market […]

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The A Team With the B Plan

The A Team With the B Plan In funding startups, look for the A team working on the B plan. In this situation, the team can clearly accomplish the task at hand because they’ve done it before and the task is not that hard. The opposite of this is the team that has little experience […]

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Financial Analysis

Financial Analysis In diligencing a startup, analyze the financial statements to understand the business better. Here are key items to check: – Where does the revenue come from? – What could stop or halt the revenue? – How far is the company from profitability? – How much cash is on hand and, given the burn […]

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Business Model Analysis

Business Model Analysis The business model shows where the company incurs costs in order to generate revenue.  In diligencing a startup, spend some time analyzing the business model to determine how robust and profitable it is. Check the revenue to see how much is recurring, repeating, or one-off. The more revenue that is recurring based […]

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Due Diligence Mistakes

Due Diligence Mistakes There are several mistakes one can make in the due diligence process. Here are a few points to check: Focusing on every potential risk in the deal and not the primary risks. In this case, diligence turns into a never-ending slog with no endpoint. Many CEOs are successful entrepreneurs who did well […]

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The Risks in the Deal

The Risks in the Deal In diligencing a startup, focus on the key risks. Here’s a short list to review: The team — do they have the skills and will they remain committed to the company? The market — will the market continue to grow? The competition — will there be new competitors that come […]

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Risks and Assumptions

Risks and Assumptions In diligencing a startup, it’s important to articulate the risks and the assumptions you have about the startup. Start by identifying the risks in the deal. The team, product, market, technology, and competition are key sources of risk.  List out each one and what risks the company faces. Prioritize the most important […]

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Key Factors in Diligence

Key Factors in Diligence There are several factors to achieve success in running a due diligence process. First, dedicate at least 20 hours to due diligence.   Many investors dedicate less than 20 minutes. Share your diligence findings with other investor groups in return for their findings. Apply your skills and network to the process where […]

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Form C Disclosures for Crowdfunding

Form C Disclosures for Crowdfunding Equity crowdfunding is a regulated fundraise by FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. A company can raise up to $5M on equity crowdfunding. Anyone can invest. Those who are not accredited investors are limited to $2,200 per year per company. Those raising funding must file a Form C with the […]

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What Is Reg CF Crowdfunding?

What Is Reg CF Crowdfunding? Reg CF refers to the SEC regulation for equity crowdfunding. This form of crowdfunding offers the investor an equity stake in the company. By contrast, rewards platforms provide the product to those who provide funding. In equity crowdfunding, the investor must hold the stock for at least twelve months. Anyone […]

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How Equity Crowdfunding Is Different From Traditional Fundraises

How Equity Crowdfunding Is Different From Traditional Fundraises Equity crowdfunding is different from traditional fundraises. Here is a list of differences to consider: Traditional fundraises expose your company to accredited investors which is a much smaller group. Equity crowdfunding exposes your company to the general public which brings greater branding and awareness. This helps promote […]

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Legal Issues in Equity Crowdfunding

Legal Issues in Equity Crowdfunding There are specific legal issues regarding equity crowdfunding campaigns. Here’s a list to keep in mind: The regulations for fundraising are as follows: Reg CF — SEC designation for an equity crowdfunding raise that lets anyone invest in a startup for equity up to $5M. Reg A+ — SEC designation […]

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How Long Does It Take to Run an Equity Crowdfunding Campaign?

How Long Does It Take to Run an Equity Crowdfunding Campaign? In running an equity crowdfunding campaign you’ll need to budget time to prepare for the campaign as well as run it. Preparations include applying to launch a fundraise campaign. This requires completing a Form C and setting up your campaign on a crowdfunding portal […]

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Equity Crowdfunding Checklist

Equity Crowdfunding Checklist There are several key elements to running a successful equity crowdfunding campaign. Here’s a checklist to consider: Create a campaign plan — list of what you will promote and when.  This includes updates, events, and other activities to promote your fundraise. Build the campaign documents — the pitch deck, video, and talking […]

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How to Find More Investors for Crowdfunding Campaigns

How to Find More Investors for Crowdfunding Campaigns In running a crowdfunding campaign, you may need to find additional investor groups for your fundraise. These investors include those who are interested in your industry category, or have a passion for the cause, or share the same affinity for the product or service you are promoting. […]

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What to Do for a Successful Crowdfunding Launch

What to Do for a Successful Crowdfunding Launch Before launching your crowdfunding campaign, make sure you do the following: Create high-quality images and videos for the campaign page.  Poor visuals reflect poorly on the company. Create a well-organized and compelling story about your fundraise. Focusing solely on the product and nothing else will leave the […]

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Telling Your Story in a Crowdfunding Campaign

Telling Your Story in a Crowdfunding Campaign  Storytelling is an effective tool in a fundraise. Here are some key points on how to tell your story in a crowdfunding campaign: Start with your overall cause, such as helping students graduate or improving people’s wellness. Call out your value proposition upfront — for example, “we help […]

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Testing Your Deal for a Crowdfunding Raise

Testing Your Deal for a Crowdfunding Raise Crowdfunding works well with certain types of products and businesses. Consider these points in determining if crowdfunding is a good fit for your campaign: 1. Is the value proposition immediately clear when someone sees it? 2. Does it solve a specific need rather than a general tool? 3. […]

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How to Choose a Crowdfunding Platform

How to Choose a Crowdfunding Platform There are many platforms available for crowdfunding. Consider these points in choosing one for your fundraise: Set your fundraising goals so you know how much money you need to raise. Do you want a general platform with broad coverage or a niche platform with deeper relationships? In addition to […]

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More Mistakes in Crowdfunding Campaigns

More Mistakes in Crowdfunding Campaigns  Fundraising requires preparation and execution.  Avoid these additional mistakes in running your crowdfunding campaign: Not building your crowd before launching your campaign. It’s important to identify your crowd and raise awareness about your upcoming campaign. Not developing relationships with influencers and networkers who can extend the reach of your campaign. […]

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Mistakes in Crowdfunding Campaigns

Mistakes in Crowdfunding Campaigns  Fundraising requires preparation and execution.  Avoid these mistakes in running your crowdfunding campaign: Not understanding the rules and regulations around crowdfunding, including what you can and cannot do. Launching without market validation or product validation.   You must prove to the investor that customers will pay for the product, and it works. […]

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Benefits of Crowdfunding

Benefits of Crowdfunding Crowdfunding brings many benefits to the startup raising funding. Here are some key points to note: It gives the startup a whole new network of potential investors to pursue. Instead of raising only from accredited investors, crowdfunding raises from everyone. It gives the startup a way to raise money for reasons beyond […]

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Best Practices for Crowdfunding Campaigns

Best Practices for Crowdfunding Campaigns In running an equity crowdfunding campaign, include these best practices: 1. Tell a story — show how you came up with the idea for the product and how customers and partners validate it. 2. Prepare your investor network — build a list of potential investors who you can pursue. 3. […]

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Key Components of a Crowdfunding Campaign

Key Components of a Crowdfunding Campaign There are several key components of a crowdfunding campaign. Consider how to include these in your fundraise: Goals — set goals for the campaign including mailers sent, investors contacted, and funds raised. Draw from the experience of other crowdfunders to set realistic goals. Platforms — research the various platforms […]

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How to Set Your Crowdfunding Goal

How to Set Your Crowdfunding Goal In setting your crowdfunding goal, create a list of needs for growing your business. From this list, create an overall fundraise goal.  Break the goal into three stages. Set the first stage relatively low, as the initial funding is the most difficult. Focus on family and friends to fund […]

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Key Elements of a Crowdfunding Campaign

Key Elements of a Crowdfunding Campaign Successful crowdfunding campaigns share several key elements. Here are some key points to include in your fundraise campaign: Clear value proposition — make clear what your product does and the value it brings. Story — tell what problem it solves and the background on how the product came to […]

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What Is Crowdfunding?

What Is Crowdfunding? Crowdfunding refers to fundraising in which you can raise funding from anyone and not just accredited investors. Typically, these investors fund early-stage companies in various ways. Here’s a list of the different types of crowdfunding: 1. Equity-based crowdfunding — the investor receives an ownership stake in the company. 2. Reward-based crowdfunding — […]

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Mistakes to Avoid in Financial Modeling

Mistakes to Avoid in Financial Modeling Your financial model can be used not only for fundraising, but also for running your startup. Avoid these mistakes in setting up your financial model: Tying your revenue to a factor that doesn’t actually drive revenue. Figure out what actually drives sales and build your model around that. Trying […]

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Back of the Envelope Financial Model

Back of the Envelope Financial Model In setting up a fundraising plan at a high level, you set a revenue target five years out.  You then draw a line from today to that five-year mark.  Your fundraise and hiring plan will come from that. To calculate this quick and dirty version of the financial model, […]

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How to Show Financials in a Pitch Deck

How to Show Financials in a Pitch Deck The financial projection is a key element in the presentation to investors. Many founders cut and paste cells from the financial model spreadsheet into a slide. This renders the information unreadable as the spreadsheet doesn’t fit with the presentation format. To show your financial projections, consider the […]

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Assumptions and Drivers in the Financial Model

Assumptions and Drivers in the Financial Model In building out your financial model, make explicit the assumptions you are using and identify the drivers in your business. Create a tab on the spreadsheet for assumptions and drivers for the investor to review. As you build out the revenue forecast, capture the assumptions behind the growth […]

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How Investors Use the Financial Model

How Investors Use the Financial Model Investors use the financial model to understand not only the business, but also to learn about the founder and their skills.  Here are some key points investors look for: 1. Salaries — investors look to see how well the team is compensated and if it fits the stage of […]

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Characteristics of a Good Financial Model

Characteristics of a Good Financial Model The purpose of the financial model is not to predict the future with great accuracy but rather to understand the business and how it works. Here are some characteristics of a good financial model: The model shows what drives the business, such as leads generated, products launched, or sales […]

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Best Practices for Building a Financial Model

Best Practices for Building a Financial Model Here are some best practices in building a financial model for your startup. Consider setting up the model to use for managing the business as well as the fundraise. Design the layout so you can test assumptions and scenarios. Capture your assumptions into the model so you can […]

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Using Your Financial Model in a Pitch

Using Your Financial Model in a Pitch The financial model is a key component of your pitch. Use key financial numbers from the model to tell the story of how your business can scale up. Here are the steps: Start with your unit economics to show the business works. Show how the systems you have […]

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How to Use Your Financial Model

How to Use Your Financial Model After building your financial model, you can use it in several ways. Here is a list of use cases: Raising funding for the business by determining how much you need to raise and when. Generate financial forecasts and projections for managing the business. Project key financial statements such as […]

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What to Include in Your Financial Model

What to Include in Your Financial Model In building your financial model, make sure you include the following: 1. Revenue projections — your estimate of revenue from all sources. 2. Cost of Goods sold — your estimate of how much it will cost to build and deliver the product or service. 3. Customer acquisition costs […]

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How to Build a Bottoms-up Financial Model

How to Build a Bottoms-up Financial Model There are two approaches to building a financial model: top-down and bottoms-up. The bottoms-up approach uses specific data from your financials, such as historical revenue, specific expenses, working capital, etc. You apply assumptions to the historical numbers to build out the projections. To build a bottoms-up financial model, […]

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How to Build a Top-Down Financial Model

How to Build a Top-Down Financial Model There are two approaches to building a financial model: top-down and bottoms-up. In general, you should use a bottoms-up approach for preparing the financial projections, which will be more detailed. To build a top-down financial model, consider the following: Start with the size of the market. Estimate the […]

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Benefits of a Financial Model

Benefits of a Financial Model Many startups build a financial model to show the investors and then leave it alone ’til it’s out of date and no longer useful. The benefit of an up-to-date financial model is that it can actually help you make management decisions. Here are several ways to use a financial model […]

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How to Build a Financial Model

How to Build a Financial Model It’s best to build your own financial model so you understand it thoroughly. Here are the steps to build your financial model: Define the goal for the model.   Figure out how you will use it and what decisions you need to make. This will determine what details you need […]

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Why Build a Financial Model?

Why Build a Financial Model? In building a startup, the financial model is a key step in validating the viability of the business. Templates can educate on what to include and how to format, but it’s best to start from scratch. Every founder should build their own financial model at the beginning of the company […]

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Founder Business Skills Required

Founder Business Skills Required In starting a company, there are key skills required of the founder: Here is a list of basic skills: Team building — the founder must find a co-founder, build a board, and make the initial hires. Leadership — the founder must set the vision of the company and build support within […]

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Metrics for B2B SaaS

Metrics for B2B SaaS Here are the key metrics for B2B SaaS startups: Committed Annual Recurring Revenue (CARR) – this shows the overall health of the business as it includes new users as well as churn. To calculate, take the current ARR and add new bookings and upsells, and subtract downgrade bookings and churn. Net […]

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Metrics Investors Use

Metrics Investors Use Investors also use metrics. Here’s a list of key metrics investors focus on: Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) Growth – the overall growth rate of the revenue is a key factor. Month-over-month growth demonstrates product-market fit. Magic number – shows how sales and marketing spend drives revenue. To calculate, take this quarter revenue […]

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Your Top 3 Metrics

Your Top 3 Metrics  There are many metrics you can use for your startup. Focus on these top three metrics for your startup at each stage: For pre-seed, focus on qualitative activities such as customer interviews and community development. Track the number of calls made, the number of interviews completed, and the number of communities […]

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Efficiency and Predictability Metrics

Efficiency and Predictability Metrics In addition to growth, there is efficiency to measure. This is important to consider as you grow your business. Here are some key metrics to use: Magic number – shows how many revenue dollars your sales and marketing dollars generate. To calculate, take current quarter revenues minus previous quarter revenues times […]

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Metrics for a Downturn Economy

Metrics for a Downturn Economy In a downturn economy, metrics can help you make decisions about your business. Here are some key metrics to consider: Net burn rate – measures the actual cash lost in a single month.  To calculate, subtract the total revenue from the total amount of money spent month over month. Use […]

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Segment Your Data

Segment Your Data In running metrics, it’s important to segment your data as you grow. Segmentation helps identify the factors driving growth. Here is a list of ways to segment your data: 1. Location – the geographic location of the customer such as city, state, region, or country. 2. Industry – the market the customers […]

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Meaningless Metrics

Meaningless Metrics   Some metrics are actually meaningless and tell you little about the business. Metrics should demonstrate customer interest and satisfaction through commitment of time or dollars. Here’s a list of metrics to avoid: Number of downloads – by itself, it doesn’t show the level of interest or progress. A more interesting metric is how […]

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Marketplace Metrics

Marketplace Metrics  Here are the key metrics for marketplace startups: Match rate – the rate at which buyers and sellers engage with each other. To calculate, take the number of transactions in which there is a successful match and divide by the total number of attempted transactions. Time to match – how long it takes […]

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Customer Traction Metrics

Customer Traction Metrics In raising funding, customer traction is a key focus point. Here are the metrics for measuring your traction: Customer acquisition – this includes all sources of leads such as website, email, social media, and referrals, as well conversion of leads to customers. You can look at these metrics for each marketing action […]

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Challenges With North Star Metrics

Challenges With North Star Metrics The North Star Metric seeks to capture the essence of a business in just one metric. It makes decision-making easier. Anything that doesn’t foster that metric is deprioritized. It does change over time as the company’s priorities change especially with growth. It’s not always a simple metric and can be […]

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Finding Your North Star Metric

Finding Your North Star Metric The North Star Metric is the one metric that drives the growth of the core business. Founders use it to focus the company around a common goal. Some startups focus on signups, others focus on retention, and still, others focus on engagement. If you don’t have much startup experience, then […]

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Operational Metrics

Operational Metrics An efficient operation is one key to a startup’s success. Here are operational metrics you can use to check your startup: Basic efficiency – measures the overall efficiency of the business.   To calculate, take operating expenses divided by the revenues.   The smaller the number, the more efficient the business. Marketing efficiency – measures […]

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Product Metrics

Product Metrics The product is the core focus of the early-stage company. Here are two key metrics for understanding the performance of your product: The Heart Metric measures the quality of the user experience with the product. Here are the components of it: 1. Happiness – measures user satisfaction and ease of use through the […]

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Scale-Stage Metrics

Scale-Stage Metrics After the growth phase comes the scale phase in which you ramp up the business. Here are the key metrics to consider at the scale stage: 1. Break-even per customer – this shows how many days until the new customer turns profitable. This is a key factor if you are using funding to […]

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Growth-Stage Metrics

Growth-Stage Metrics Once you have product-market fit and start seeing growth, consider these metrics for your business: 1. Activation rate – the percentage of users achieving some step in activating your product. This helps you determine where users are dropping off. 2. Active users – the total number of users who used the product either […]

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Startup Customer Success Metrics

Startup Customer Success Metrics Once you have customers, the next step is to measure their success with your product. Here are some key metrics to use: Net Promoter Score – also referred to as NPS, this metric measures how loyal the customers are to the company. The metric asks the customer to rate the company […]

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Seed-Stage Metrics

Seed-Stage Metrics Seed-stage startups have a few users trying out a beta product. The startup is working on the go-to-market strategy and focusing on customer acquisition. Key metrics to use are monthly unique users, monthly new leads, customer acquisition rate, and churn rate. This measures basic customer acquisition. To measure conversion, use the visit-to-lead rate […]

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Start With Your Key Metric

Start With Your Key Metric There are many metrics you can use to guide your startup. In the growth stage, start with your key metric that captures what drives growth. You can either focus on the total number of users or look at the total number of actions the user takes. Look for the value […]

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