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Best Practices In Leveraging Your VC Investors

Struck
09.19.23

Overview

Your VC investors are there to help your company succeed and can be a valuable part of your network. From providing introductions to offering advice based on their horizontal view across companies and industries, in addition to their learnings from pattern recognition, they have a wealth of information to tap into.

While your VC investors are always happy to hop on a call to have a quick chat about a topic, there are other ways to leverage their connections and knowledge: introductions and consistent communication.

Sending forwardable messages to request introductions

There’s a saying that goes “help me help you”. A forwardable email or message is the best way to help your VC provide the introductions you request.

How does this work in practice? Your VC may have the connection to the right decision-maker or may know someone who can introduce you to the right person. What he/she does not know is the full context behind the ask – this is where it helps to provide the VC with the exact message you want to convey to the recipient.

In addition, the more detailed the message (along with any sales paraphernalia), the more the recipient can catch up on background information so that he/she enters the meeting without needing to be caught up about information that was previously shared. This gives more time to discuss the specific topic at hand vs. giving context.

A strong forwardable message will include the following:

  • An introduction about who you are and your company
  • A specific ask and who in the company you’d like to speak with
  • Your company’s value proposition / benefits to the other side
  • Sales paraphernalia – sales deck, one-pager, or at the minimum a link to the website
    • Note: oftentimes a customized sales deck branded for the other company can be a nice touch

Here’s an example of a strong forwardable message:

One of our portfolio companies, [ ], would like to connect with [ ] to discuss their platform.

Specifically, they’d like to speak with [ ] on the Finance/People Ops team to see if [ ] could save the team time.

For context, [ ] helps crypto companies automate and track [ ]. They are working with projects like [ ] and more.

More details on [ ] in the deck attached.

Sharing consistent communications

A consistent cadence of communications with your VC investors helps your company stay top of mind.

Your investors are always interested in hearing about your company’s latest wins and accomplishments, but also want to know what’s not going well so that they can help. One way of sharing what’s going on is through investor updates done on either a monthly or quarterly basis.

One way of structuring an investor update would be to include the following sections (from the Visible VC template):

  • Key metrics – KPIs such as monthly burn, runway, revenue, etc.
  • Highlights – wins and accomplishments from the period
  • Lowlights – what didn’t go well / challenges
  • Asks – specific asks for your investors such as requests for introductions
  • Shoutouts – recognizing team members / VC investors

The shoutouts section is a fun one that can be used to gamify your requests. It serves as a public-facing leaderboard for who has been most helpful to your company. Leveraging this can motivate others to help out!

Conclusion

Sending forwardable messages for introductions and sharing consistent communications are some of the best practices in leveraging your VC investors.

The first best practice helps your VCs help you by giving them as much information as possible to send the right message to the right person at the company you are looking to access.

The second best practice helps you stay top of mind with your investors and motivates them to add value to receive recognition.

Your VC investors are invested in the success of your company and these best practices help you take them along the journey.

Disclaimer:

Struck Capital Management LLC is registered with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) as a Registered Investment Adviser (“RIA”). Nothing in this communication should be considered a specific recommendation to buy, sell, or hold a particular security or investment. Past performance of an investment does not guarantee future results. All investments carry risk, including loss of principal.