How Hockeystick Helped Plum.io Turn Its Investors into Champions.
My name is Caitlin MacGregor, and I am the CEO and Co-Founder of Plum.io (Plum)—a Kitchener-based startup that helps organizations create high performing teams and businesses by matching them to the right job applicants. More specifically, Plum allows employers to identify the best candidate match by using cutting-edge behavioural science and generating competency models for open positions.
My team and I developed this technology because 89% of failed hires are due to attitude, not skill.
Three years ago, Plum received a BDC Capital convertible note after graduating from Communitech’s Hyperdrive program. This investment not only gave my company the ability to grow, but also the added responsibility of providing monthly financial updates to BDC Capital.
That’s how I met Hockeystick.
Three Benefits of Investor Updates
I believe that all venture-backed businesses have a responsibility to be transparent with their investors and that consistent communication has a number of advantages. Here’s three.
Informed investors. Providing investors with financial updates keeps them in the loop. Plus, informed investors are generally happier and more valuable to entrepreneurs. They are more likely to identify weaknesses and offer advice that’s backed by expert knowledge of the company.
Follow-on. If you’re out raising another round, chances are your current investors are the ones that can make new introductions. They will be more willing to share their Rolodexes or open their wallets again if they hear from you more than once every 12-18 months.
Yardstick. If you’re not raising, you might think you don’t need to track and report company data. Big mistake. Financial reports are still vital as they enable you to plan and budget.
By comparing reports, you’ll know if your business is consistently falling short or surpassing expectations. If your reports indicate that you’re falling behind, then you’ll need to make some changes by raising prices, cutting costs or rethinking your business model. Conversely, if your income is steadily growing month-to-month, then you may need to hire new employees, expand your facility or seek financing sooner than you expected.
The simple truth is that you don't need an MBA or an in-depth understanding of double-entry accounting to know that tracking and reporting your company’s financial metrics is important.
I have to say that getting started with Hockeystick was easy and straightforward—its user interface is really intuitive. Personally, I like the adding a document feature best. It allows me to share files that give my investors greater context to what I outlined in my monthly report.
Using Hockeystick has made Plum disciplined, accountable and transparent. It has instilled best practices into our reporting and created habits of good governance for our business. From our investor’s standpoint, it has led to better information transparency and reduces the time and cost of gathering data.
Hockeystick has helped turn our investors into champions.
Caitlin MacGregor is the CEO/Co-Founder of Plum, a SaaS hiring solution that matches employers and applicants using cutting-edge behavioural science. Plum is Caitlin's 3rd startup. She was Employee #1/Director of Operations for Me to We Style in Toronto and was President of goQ software in New Hampshire. Caitlin has been making waves as she was selected as 1 of 10 women run businesses by Springboard Enterprises in NYC and was selected by Google for Entrepreneurs Blackbox Connect program in San Francisco in Oct. 2014. Plum graduated from Communitech Hyperdrive and the Accelerator Centre, are winners in the 43North Buffalo Pitch Competition and winners of the 2015 Gold Stevie Award for Best New Product or Service of the Year - Software - Human Capital Management Solution.