How to track the fundraising performance of your startup?
It doesn’t get measured, it doesn’t get improved, right? If you aren’t tracking your progress and performance then you can’t measure or even know where you are.
Measuring and tracking, in general, is so important as an entrepreneur and startup. Yet, while it sounds obvious that with fundraising being so critical of a factor for your business that it should be one of the top things tracked, many don’t.
Many entrepreneurs and startup founders are just rushing and doing and throwing things at the wall and trying to use their brawn and hustle instead of using their brains.
Don’t fumble the ball here. Your venture and getting funded in general relies a lot on metrics and tracking performance. Just imagine if you applied those same principles to your fundraising efforts. It could be far more effective, efficient, and profitable.
Tracking Your Fundraising Performance
Understanding how to track the fundraising performance is all about knowing what you are doing, and benchmarking that against what you need to do and can achieve. As well as seeing what you are performing well on, and where you need to step up your game and improve.
How To Track Your Fundraising Performance
There are a variety of tools to use to track your fundraising performance. It needs to be done. Just don’t let it become a time drain or distraction which takes away from your real goals and putting money in the bank.
You may want to use your Google Drive for easy collaboration and a real-time view of a specific spreadsheet for this part of your tracking. Existing project management software may also be useful, as well as for prompting action on these items among your team members.
Some of these metrics may also already be getting recorded in your CRM. Find an efficient way to import those to any other tools and reporting software you are using. Drop or add line items as you go. Reorder and reprioritize metrics as they prove helpful to what’s most important to you, or not.
Keep in mind that in fundraising storytelling is everything. In this regard for a winning pitch deck to help you here, take a look at the template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.
Remember to unlock the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.
The Basics Of Tracking Your Fundraising Journey
Some of the basic fundamentals that you should have on your dashboard and that your team members should be aware of include the following.
What Round Are You At
What rounds of funding have you raised already? What are you calling this round? Pre-Seed, Seed, Series A, B, C, or later? Or is it a bridge between rounds?
This can make a big difference in a lot of ways and your teams need to be on the same page with it.
Funds Raised In Previous Rounds
How much money have you brought in at each round so far? You may also want to add any debt financing that has been raised in addition to equity capital.
Valuation At Previous Rounds
What were your valuations at each of your previous rounds? You can include pre-money and post-money valuations when figuring out how to track the fundraising performance of your startup. This is important for avoiding a down round.
Returns On Dollars Raised
This is truly one of the most important metrics for founders to track. What has the return been on previous dollars raised?
What tangible benefits has your startup gleaned from the money raised last time? Ideally, this will be measured in real dollars and financial benefits. Though there may also certainly be soft returns or measurable benefits that may yet be monetized.
These metrics may include:
- Business growth since the last round
- Income derived from capital raised
- Net profits
- Customer acquisitions
- Sales unit volume
General Performance Metrics For Startups To Be Tracking
These are some of the most important metrics that your startup should be tracking already. Some of these may intertwine with the process of how to track the fundraising performance of the new enterprise. Though they all certainly may play a role in your pitch and pitch deck for this fundraising round and getting funded.
They may also represent side effects of your fundraising efforts, presenting well, marketing and PR, even if you haven’t been securing the capital and investors you are pursuing.
- Accounts receivable, but not yet realized as revenue
- Recurring revenue, including per customer, monthly and annual revenue, and versus total revenues
- Gross profit
- Customer retention rates, and average life span of a customer, churn rate
- Lifetime customer value
- Customer acquisition cost, including paid, organic and blended
- Active users
- Growth rate, monthly, quarterly and annual
- Cash burn rate
- Financial runway
- Revenue per employee
- Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Fundraising Campaign Specific Metrics To Track
Here are some of the specific factors to track to measure your fundraising performance.
Days Of Campaigning
How much time are you using in fundraising? How many days have you been fundraising for? If you have a deadline, then it is also worth having a countdown as well. To help with preparing better for future funding rounds, it is wise to include the days of prep time prior to launching your campaign, and from commitments to closing. Measuring how many labor hours go into this can also aid in budgeting for future rounds as well.
Number Of Investors Committed
How many investors have already committed to investing in this round?
Number Of First Investor Meetings
Funding often doesn’t happen on the first meeting with investors. You may end up with several rounds of meetings before getting a term sheet, or being told no.
Figuring out how to track the fundraising performance of your startup will help you not only see how well you are doing at enticing prospective investors but at presenting live. Or, when converting immediately or earning more attention.
Number Of Follow Up Investor Meetings
How many follow up meetings have you earned? You may want to break this down by round of meetings and track where you are losing or winning investors.
Number Of Pitches & Presentations
How many pitches and presentations have you given? You may also want to break down how many investors you have presented to. In some cases, you may be presenting to angel groups or other panels or groups of investors.
Number Of Target Investors Pitched
More important than the broad number of investors you are getting in front of, how many of your ideal target investors on your list are you pitching. If your percentage isn’t high enough you may need to make tweaks. Or if you’ve burned through your list, you may need to broaden your list or take another look at your filters and criteria.
Investor Retention Rate
How many investors from previous rounds have committed to participating in this round? How many rounds have they stuck with you? Not every investor will be able to participate in rounds that are growing in size. Not all will be the best strategic fit. Yet, it is a great sign when they are sticking with you and investing more capital. New incoming investors will love to see that.
Referrals & Introductions From Previous Investors
How many referrals and introductions to investors are you getting from previous investors? Assign them to the sources so you know your power users and ambassadors. Make sure to thank them and continue to invest in maintaining those relationships as well as building new ones.
Pitch Deck Views
If you have your pitch decks hosted online, how many views is it getting? How does this compare between versions of your deck? Track how it is trending over time during your campaign and in relation to different messaging.
If you have the ability, it is worth tracking the time spent viewing your deck, and even time per slide. This helps you see where you are losing possible investors and what you can do to improve your pitch deck. This is an important factor to consider when learning how to track the fundraising performance of your new venture.
Whether you are directly driving investors to your website or not, they will be checking you out if they are interested. Checking your website traffic can tell you a lot about how your overall campaign and marketing is working at this time. You should also be able to track where they are coming from and attribute this to your campaign and see where they are leaving to.
If investors are interested they are going to look you up across the web, including sites like Glassdoor, Crunchbase, and LinkedIn. Watch your activity here. Look out for new connections and messages too.
Data Room Views
A good online data room will provide additional metrics, including how many views you’ve had, repeat visits, and who is viewing your campaign information.
How many dollars have you raised in this campaign? Also, track this as a percentage of your total funding goal.
Other Resources & Value
While it may be hard to put a dollar figure on some of these items, money is often just a small part of what you are raising. What other resources and value have you secured by landing investors in this round? It could be space, introductions, suppliers, and distribution channels or contracts. Keep these metrics in mind when learning how to track the fundraising performance.
This is a key box to check. Every investor wants to see someone taking the lead on the round. Getting someone to take that lead is more of an achievement. After that, everyone else will fall in line much more easily.
Conversion Rate To Pitches
How many investors have you converted into commitments after pitching? What is your closing ratio?
Funds Closed Per Pitch
How much funding in dollars have you secured in relation to the number of pitches you have given? What about the average per investor closed?
Cost Per Dollar Raised
How much have you spent and invested in fundraising compared to the amount of capital you’ve brought in? Don’t forget to include labor, software, and your time. It isn’t uncommon to spend 25% or more of the amount raised depending on the type of campaign you are conducting.
Average Invested Per Investor
You may also want to extract the top 20% of your funders and search out for more lookalikes. How about the average potential these investors have? How much is in their current or average fund, and what is the max they are investing in other startups?
Email Open Rates
How high is your email open rates when sending cold pitches and investor updates and follow up messages after pitching or sharing your pitch deck? Track this for any other methods you are using too, like social media DMs.
Social Media Metrics
Pull in your social media metrics, for posts and ads running in tandem with your fundraising campaign.
Google Ads Metrics
Import any metrics from Google related ads, including PPC ads, Gmail ads, and YouTube ads.
Track all of the press you are putting out. How many views and clicks and shares are you generating with your press releases? And, how many reprints and syndications?
How many actual asks are you making? How many emails and messages are being sent outbound? Are you doing enough? Is it just a matter of scaling up to get the results you need?
Online Vs. In-Person
Of the funding you’ve secured, how many investors and dollars are coming from online versus real-world interactions?
Cold Pitches Vs. Warm Introductions
Is the money raised mostly coming from cold marketing or warm introductions?
Successful startups are built on tracking and measuring their data. As well as presenting it. There are many common business and marketing metrics you may already be familiar with, but are you learning how to track the fundraising performance of the company? It’s the best way to boost your funding performance and executive the most effective and efficient campaigns.
You may find interesting as well our free library of business templates. There you will find every single template you will need when building and scaling your business completely for free. See it here.
I cover this topic in detail in the video below which is How To Track The Fundraising Performance.
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FULL TRANSCRIPTION OF THIS VIDEO:
Hi, everyone. This is Alejandro Cremades, and today we’re going to be talking about how to track the fundraising performance. Before we get started, make sure that you hit that Subscribe button, and this way, you will never miss out on any of the videos that we roll out every week.
As they say, if it doesn’t get measured, you don’t really know about the performance – what you’re doing, how you could optimize your chances of getting that investment when you are in front of investors. In today’s video, we’re going to be breaking it down for you and giving you the insights as to how you know if you’re doing a good job or if there’s a lot of room there for improvement. Let’s get into it.
When it comes down to tracking your fundraising performance, there are great tools that you can use. You can use Google Drive, you can use Dropbox, and you can even use a CRM to know how people are engaging. How many times are they opening your emails? What are they clicking on? All of that good stuff. Those are things that you actually can do. Those are tools that you can get.
You want to make sure that you’re using some of those tools to see whether they’re spending time on your deck, on your materials, or perhaps they just don’t care. When that’s the case, you don’t want to invest more time with that lead.
Try to prioritize the time with the people that are going to be more inclined to actually make an investment. Those are going to be people that are on your CRM, on the tool, where you can see how they’re engaging with your interactions, with your communication. Maybe there’s someone who is opening your email a lot of times, and maybe that’s someone you want to invest in and more time to close them and to become investors.
When you’re out there, one thing that you want to do to optimize so that performance is actually increasing is to have a good grasp, you and also your team, on some of the key metrics that showcase the health of your business over the course of time. Some of those could be the following:
- Accounts receivable, but not yet realized revenue
- Recurring revenue including per customer, monthly, and annual revenue
- Gross profit
- Customer retention rates & average lifespan of a customer
- Lifetime customer value
- Customer acquisition cost including paid, organic, and blended
- Active users
- Growth rate
- Cash burn rate
- Financial runway
- Revenue per employee
- Net promoter score
One of the metrics to keep in mind is the amount of days that you have been out there raising money. If you’ve been out there raising money for more than three months, then it starts to become tricky. When you hit six months is when you know that things are not working out at all.
At that point, you need to go back to the drawing board, and potentially, you need to stop fundraising and reflect on those previous discussions that you’ve had and to try to implement that feedback so that you can perhaps increase the chances of getting financing from those people that you were engaging. Maybe you target them in a few months from now with some of those changes that they suggested implemented so that you can get them excited to jump in.
Then, the number of investors committed could be another interesting metric. Maybe they have not given you the money yet. Maybe they need a lead investor, which is the one that comes in, puts a price tag for everyone to jump in and invest. But, essentially, maybe what they said is, “I’m going to commit x-amount of money to your round of financing.”
Perhaps there’s a certain amount of money committed, or there is a certain amount of people that have committed some money whenever you get that lead investor. Those are all people that you’re going to be counting towards understanding if there is some momentum or not.
Next is the number of investor meetings. Remember one thing. More emails, more communication to investors may lead to more meetings, but more meetings don’t equal more money because investors, for a living, are meeting with entrepreneurs. Who is introducing that entrepreneur? That type of social proof and background-relatedness is critical to the investor. So, remember that it’s not about quantity; it’s about quality when it comes to meetings.
You need to have warm introductions to those investors. But if you have warm introductions and there are quality meetings, you can keep track on what’s the amount of those meetings, which is going to tell you whether or not you have a healthy pipeline. It’s like sales. You need pipeline; you need numbers. The more quality meetings, the more chances of getting that money in the bank.
Then, you want to track the number of follow-ups with investors. How many follow-up meetings are you getting? How many follow-up Q&As, calls, or emails are you receiving from those investors that are showing interest. That is going to lead you to potential interest in your business, and that’s a good metric to keep track of.
The number of targeted investors that you’ve pitched. For example, if you have a list of 150 people that you can get an introduction to, how many of those were you able to secure a meeting with? That’s going to help you in understanding what kind of appetite there is in the market for a business and for an opportunity like yours.
Also, the investor retention rate, meaning those investors that have invested in your company in the past that are reinvesting, that is going to be an excellent metric because if you have investors that have invested in the past and that are not reinvesting in your current round, that ultimately sends a negative signal to the market.
I can tell you how many times I have seen entrepreneurs where, unfortunately, the investor didn’t come through, didn’t reinvest, and then other potential investors are left with thinking, “They’re not investing. There’s probably something wrong with this business,” and they don’t end up investing. That, in many instances, is leaving the company to die.
You want to always have those existing investors excited about the future, being up to date, so that you have good rapport with them so that they have the trust, and they know what’s coming. Then, when that round opens, they jump in because that’s going to tell a lot to other new investors that you’re trying to pitch to get onboard as well.
Existing investors are great for introductions. This is another interesting metric. How many of your existing investors have made introductions to other investors in their network. In many cases, those investors co-invest with other investors. The venture world is very small. Everyone knows each other, so how many of your investors have introductions to others? Are they excited enough to grab the phone and make those phone calls so that you can secure that round?
Then you can take a look at the pitch deck tools. There are tools, for example, like DocSend, that allow you to see who is viewing your slides, how many times, what are the slides that they’ve viewed the most.
And there are other tools that you can use. You’ve got to be careful here because in many instances, for those types of tools to really make sense, the investor is going to need to input their email. To input the email, to be able to view anything, that’s friction. Fundraising is not about adding friction. It’s about removing friction.
If you’re able to come across tools where the investor doesn’t need to input anything to actually view what they’re seeing, that’s great. Maybe you can track the actual views without having to track the actual individual because some people are concerned about those tracking tools, so be careful with that, and use it to your benefit when it comes to the views and the analytics that you may be able to have access to on your presentation.
What about your LinkedIn views? Who has viewed your profile? The premium membership of LinkedIn is great. You can actually have access to see who has viewed your profile in the last month or perhaps a couple of months, and that is going to allow you to see that maybe there’s someone on that venture capital firm or in that angle group, or even that individual investor that you’re looking to target. They’re looking at your profile. They’re looking at your bio to see your expertise, your skillsets, what you’ve done in the past. Those are going to be people that are engaged, that are interested in learning more about you, in learning about what you’re building. That could be another great metric or something to keep in mind to do those follow-ups and close that investor that has interest.
The data room that you put together, which is that room, that folder on Google Drive or on Dropbox that you’ve created, how many people are viewing that? You can actually track this on the analytics. You want to know how many times they viewed it. What are they viewing the most? What kind of documents they like to download or that kind of stuff so that it leads you to know what kind of momentum is happening because the diligence room is one of the last steps to actually close the round? This is where they actually verify your claims.
There’s enough interest to go one step above to really put your company through the x-ray and see if it makes sense or not to follow-through. This is one of the last steps to actually give you the money. If you have a lot of views and a lot of momentum in your diligence room, that is a very, very good signal.
Then take a look at the actual funnel from top to bottom. The top is when you’re getting the introductions, and the bottom is the dollars raised. You want to see, out of the people at the top, how many people you were able to push all the way to the bottom and give you that money.
The rule of thumb is that per 100 meetings that you get with 100 different investors, one of them is going to tell you Yes when it comes to making an investment. If you put that into perspective, what kind of performance are you getting? What kind of results? So, dollars raised is an easy one, but you want to benchmark that and put that in parallel with the people that you have at the top of your funnel.
Then, on your CRM, you want to take a look at the percentages. So, you want to take a look at the open rates on the emails. You have to take a look at the clickthrough rates, at the response rate and put that into perspective and know whether or not those are good numbers if you put them with industry numbers. This is going to help you in understanding how to optimize the language, the subject line, the email. You always want to constantly iterate. Use different templates, different formats so that you can see where you’re getting the best results and go all-in when you find a certain email or language that is performing the best.
When it comes to fundraising, you’re going to have the cold approach to the investor, and you’re going to have the warm approach to the investor. On the cold approach, you’re going to see that that’s going to destroy your metrics because you’re going to be having a lot of numbers, a lot of quantity, but then not a lot of investments.
On the warm side, you may have a few meetings, and that’s all it takes to actually close the money. That’s why I’m always going to recommend that you make sure you’re getting someone that is already in communication and perhaps in touch with that investor that you’re looking to target.
Typically, the best profile of people to make that introduction are entrepreneurs that have received an investment in the last 6 to 12 months from that investor that you’re looking to target because ideally, those people are still getting to know each other with the investor. They’re still in the honeymoon.
Nothing bad has happened in their relationship or in their company, and that’s why they’re great people to open that door for you because that is also going to help to reduce the amount of time that it takes from the first touchpoint to money in the bank.
Hopefully, you liked this video today, and if that’s the case, please hit a Like. Also, leave a comment below, and let me know what you’re thinking in terms of tracking your own performance. And Subscribe to the channel so that you don’t miss out on all the videos that we roll out every week. If you’re raising money, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to help you out. Thank you so much for watching.