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Outlier’s Path

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Summer Health co-founder and CEO Ellen DaSilva for several years, first as a Scout, then as a founder. Sequoia partnered with Summer Health at the pre-seed round in 2021. Ellen and her co-founder Matthew Woo also participated in Arc, Sequoia’s company-building immersion for pre-seed and seed companies. This redacted investor update demonstrates a focus on first-order issues and clarity of thought. They also communicate at the right altitude by providing the necessary level of details where it matters. Update your first believers, and they might find ways to help you and your company reach your full potential.

Summer Health’s update structure:

  1. Health of the Business: show your velocity (speed and direction of progress) with key data such as cash runway, growth, and traction metrics
  2. Investor Asks: put your investors to work by suggesting a few important asks for help
  3. Investor Shoutouts: thank any investors who helped solve a problem to encourage all of your investors to do more in the future
  4. People Updates: communicate your ability to build an enduring company by recruiting and retaining productive team members, and parting ways with those who no longer fit
  5. Monthly Highlights: provide context for product, go-to-market, or business wins (since data doesn’t tell the full story)
  6. Monthly Lowlights: provide important context on challenges and lessons learned 
  7. What’s on Deck: articulate upcoming business and product milestones, and why they matter  
  8. Word of Mouth/Press Roundup: link any meaningful word-of-mouth or press moments 

Feel free to modify Summer Health’s format and create your own version to provide the best update to your investors. Some details here are very specific to Summer Health’s business, so you will want to substitute what is relevant to your business.

Summer Health redacted investor update

Health of the business

Investor asks

  1. Do you have benchmarks on the magnitude of users and the breakdown of source (i.e. DTC, employers, payers) for early-stage healthcare services companies?
  2. We are looking for more pediatricians and family medicine doctors. 
  3. We are looking for a new PR firm focused on consumer press and welcome any recommendations.

Investor shoutouts

People updates

Monthly highlights

Product updates

Operations updates

Go-to-Market updates

Monthly lowlights

What’s on deck

Press roundup