Tips for Communicating with Angel Investors

You’ve signed up several angel investors for your entrepreneurial venture and are about to close the round. Congratulations! As you start to compose an email to the investors, a stream of questions start to flood in. Should the angel investors meet each other in person at some point? Or maybe a phone call or video conference is the better option? Should I introduce my angel investors to each other at all? Do my angels prefer to keep themselves anonymous? We’ve collected some tips for communicating with angel investors from ICELab mentors with firsthand experience.

 

Do angel investors want to meet each other?

Is that the right question? Maybe not. “Good leaders wake up every day focused on the mission and are good at prioritizing ‘should do’ over ‘could do.’” This was one of the responses I received when asking about angel introductions. The question shows a lack of focus, and no matter how grateful you are for the angel’s confidence in you, focus on success in the mission should never be lost or put on hold.

For completeness, we had angels who nearly always get introduced to the fellow angels and others who have never met or been introduced to each other. In addition, one person said she only gets introduced if there are just a few angels in a round. This becomes less likely with each additional person on the cap table. Finally, the desire of the angel investors to meet their peers seems to be more related to their individual personalities than anything else.

 

How often should I send updates to angel investors?

Assuming the angel investor isn’t on the board of directors, our group of interviewees’ experiences ranged from monthly to quarterly updates with more frequent updates as the company has more news to share. Very early-stage startups may have quarterly updates. As progress begins to increase, a cadence of every other month or monthly may become more appropriate.

 

What should I share with angel investors once they are invested?

The reason an entrepreneur could choose to provide updates is for future fundraising.  This response is another reality check. Another angel referred to these communications as public relations. Most agreed that keeping the updates high level and with little to no operational detail is the right information for an update. Investors can always reach out for more information if they need it. If you are facing a problem, a conversation with an angel or a board member is probably a better place to ask for help or advice.

As you stare at that empty email you are attempting to write, remember that your angel investors are investing in you because they trust your judgement. You have a startup to run, and your focus should always be on your customers. Everything (and everyone) else are there to support customer satisfaction. Angel updates are a tool to keep funding options available later and a small token of gratitude to those who believe in you. However, actions speak louder than words so keep it brief and get back to satisfying customers.

 

 

A mountain biker rides Strawberry Trail near Crested Butte, Colorado.

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