In April 2017, MySwimPro launched a Wefunder campaign to raise capital for their app, a personal swim coaching program that was named best Apple Watch app of 2016. They raised $131K in 4 months, on a SAFE with a $5M valuation cap. In February of this year, they launched a second Wefunder campaign. This time they raised $468K in 7 weeks, with a $10M valuation cap.
There are many reasons for MySwimPro’s successful second raise. This chart of their growth for one:
But I expect another important reason for MySwimPro’s larger second raise is this – their CEO, Fares Ksebati, did a tremendous job of updating their first-round Wefunder investors in the 17 months between their raises.
Fares sends an email update to investors every month. It’s brief. Pithy. Positive (the chart above helps on that front!). We asked Fares a few questions on how he thinks about these updates.
Wefunder: How often do you send investor updates?
Fares Ksebati: Monthly. I send an email to investors, which is private, and post a vlog and a blog, which are both public. Our vlog includes every team member, and they each have a couple of lines.
Wefunder: What do you typically cover?
Fares: The monthly investor update email includes the following:
Having a standard template makes it pretty quick and easy to put together.
Wefunder: Why do you write these updates? What are you hoping to get out of them?
Fares: Investor updates are important to keep our supporters aware of, and engaged in, the growth of the company. Including every team member in the vlog update keeps everyone on our team engaged and connected with the core of the business. If and when we want to make an ask of our investors, it's much easier to find support if we have been regularly communicating with those investors over the preceding months.
Wefunder: Have you had any good things come out of these updates?
Fares: As a direct result of our regular monthly updates, we raised a second Wefunder round (3x the size), and have secured significant strategic partnerships.
The best example is that the VP of Biz Dev at one of our strategic partners has been on our list since 2016. A couple of years later he emailed me and said we should talk. A few months later we had a partnership. I don't think he would have been as inclined to implement this partnership if he didn't get the 24 emails from me prior. This exact example has been repeated at least two more times with other high-value strategic partners.
There's also a lot of social proof for lead-generation that comes out of regular communication with investors. Many of them promote the company and product even if they're not users themselves.
Wefunder: If you could give one piece of advice to other Wefunder founders about writing updates, what would it be?
Fares: Be consistent. You should be so consistent to the point that Pavlov's classical conditioning model takes effect 😊
Fares sends his updates by email, outside of the Wefunder platform. But for companies that use the Wefunder tool to update their investors, here’s the data.
Of the 154 companies that have successfully fundraised through Regulation Crowdfunding on Wefunder, 130 of them wrote an Update to investor and followers during the campaign, but only 92 have written an update to investors since completing their campaign.
As can be seen from the table below, 62 companies have not written any updates to their investors since completing their Wefunder campaigns (at least through the Wefunder updates tool). And only 14 companies have written 11 or more updates. Shout out to Klaus Moeller, the founder of Boardwalk Hospitality, who has written 89 updates to his investors! He’s going all in on building community among his investors. (And he also just completed a successful second campaign for his next company Surf Dog).
Long story short – most Wefunder founders could (and should) do a better job of updating their investors after the campaign closes. (Unless this is happening outside of the Wefunder platform, in which case – carry on!).
You’re starting a company. You’re swamped. But taking an hour every month (or at least every quarter) to update the Wefunder investors who believed in you, and backed you financially, can have a very powerful ROI.
The superpower of equity crowdfunding is that you recruit an army of supporters and champions. Founders have leveraged their Wefunder investors to share a job description for a position they’re hiring; make connections to key customers and partners; provide early feedback on product feature rollouts, etc. And of course, when you conduct a repeat raise on Wefunder, your first port-of-call should be the investors from your first round. If you consistently and regularly update your investors, they will be a lot more willing and able to help you when you need them to.
Fares writes his updates by email. But you can also easily do this through the Wefunder website. Just log in to your Wefunder account, and append /write to your campaign page. For example: wefunder.com/[yourcompanyname]/write.
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