3 Proven Templates To Boost Your Startup Results

By Oran Yehiel, CPA (MBA) · Updated March 1, 2022  

Startup Templates

If you are looking for professional templates such as budget plan, investor report and cap table, to help you effectively manage your startup metrics, you are in the right place.

This article doesn't list every template out there but focuses only on the 3 proven financial templates for venture-backed startups you'll need to run your financials effectively.

These 3 templates passed the investors' test and are used by top startups who raised millions of dollars in venture capital.

Every business is relying on financial reports and metrics to make proper decisions, track performance, and report to stakeholders like investors, banks, auditors, suppliers, clients, and more.

As soon as you start using them, the easier it will be to keep proper and updated records of your financials and get ready for any due diligence or government support application process.

Professional Startup Template #1: Budget Plan 

What is a budget plan and when we use it

According to Investopedia: "A budget is an estimation of revenue and expenses over a specified future period of time and is utilized by governments, businesses, and individuals. A budget is basically a financial plan for a defined period, normally a year that is known to greatly enhance the success of any financial undertaking."

While it mentions one year, it's a common practice to have a 5-year budget plan, especially when you are looking for venture capital.

It is advisable to build one as soon as you are starting to work on your startup.

What to include in a Budget Plan?

  • P&L Summary
  • P&L Details
  • Headcount
  • Revenue model
  • Assumptions
Financial Runway

What makes a good budget plan template?

  • Timing — investors expect to see a financial plan that can demonstrate a healthy growth of your startup and that can be achieved in mid-term 5-year projection plan. In five years, you should be able to present the transition from research and development stage to sales and global expansion phase. It will give you enough time to have reasonable financial metrics.
  • Flexibility — we all know that planning and reality are two different beasts. As we are dealing with a high-risk business profile, changes and pivots are more often than not. For that reason you need to manage a budget plan that can support any business model change and to reflect it without additional efforts from your end (no need to re-build the budget plan again) 
  • Structure — I saw many strange structures of budget plan reports. Many of them didn't make any sense accounting wise and it was very hard to understand the metrics and the KPIs. Budget plan should follows very strict structure that is commonly used in practice (take a look at Slack financial statements)
  • Simplicity — You don't need more than 5-6 tabs max. If your grandma can't understand your budget plan report, then don't expect any other person who is not familiar with your business to understand it, including investors. I'm serious, don't overcomplicate your business model and cost structure. Don't add macro commands that extract data from different files...keep it very simple so anyone can understand and to make it easier to maintain. 

We have built a professional 5-YEAR budget plan template for you. The template was prepared by veteran startup CFO and it includes eye-catching graphs to emphasis the company financial trends and growth. You can use this template when pitching to investors and when running your day-to-day financials or submitting a government support application. It will help you make the right business decisions, will save you time and make it easy for you to plug in your numbers.

Professional Startup Template #2: Investor Report 

What's Investor Report and when we should use one

A data-driven report which helps the investors to understand the use of their investment money over a specific period of time. 

As soon as you raise venture capital, you should update your investors on the state of the startup and its progress on a monthly/quarterly basis. 

sometimes, there is a written demand in the investment agreement for such report, with the breakdown of the information they would like to get at a certain period of time.

What to include in an Investor Report?

  • One liner for the month/quarter
  • Product dev summary
  • Sales & marketing summary
  • HR summary
  • Finance summary
Investor Report

What makes a good Investor Report?

  • Detailed investors would like to get as much information as possible about your startup progress in the last period (whether monthly or quarterly) of activity.  It should cover all aspects of your business with a summary about the progress that's been made and milestones achieved.
  • Quality while the budget plan report is more of a quantity type, the investor report is a qualitative one, all about the startup progress in the eyes of the founder. This help investors to connect the dots between the numbers and the verbal description in terms of tasks and milestones.
  • Structure very condensed report with CEO one liner and 2-3 sentences about each segment. Don't forget to include important KPI metrics & financial table.

We enhanced a professional Investor report template prepared by one of the largest and most prominent VC firms in the world. When you are using this template, you know it passed the investor test! This report is best used for your monthly reporting, both qualitative and quantitative information you would like to share with your investors.

Professional Startup Template #3: Cap Table 

What is Cap Table and why we need one?

According to Investopedia: "

"A capitalization table, also known as a cap table, is a spreadsheet or table that shows the equity capitalization for a company. A capitalization table is most commonly utilized for startups and early-stage businesses but all types of companies may use it as well. In general, the capitalization table is an intricate breakdown of a company’s shareholders’ equity.

Cap tables often include all of a company’s equity ownership capital, such as common equity shares, preferred equity shares, warrants, and convertible equity."

Once we register our company, we need to start building and managing a cap table report.

What to include in a Cap Table?

  • Summary including on fully diluted basis
  • Tab for each round
  • ESOP details
Cap Table

What makes a good Cap Table report?

  • Detailed you should record all financing rounds since inception and keep the supporting documents handy (link to Drive/Dropbox). Make sure to allocate a different tab for each financing round.
  • Dilution Cap table should reflect 2 scenarios. One is current holdings and the other is on a fully diluted basis, which includes ESOP, warrants, SAFE, CLA, etc. 
  • Valuation You should have the ability to plan future financing rounds with multiple valuation variables. It will help you estimate post round holdings structure with and without dilution.

We have built a professional cap table template. In this template, you'll find a breakdown outlining an analysis of a company's shareholders ownership, equity dilution implications, and essential records of each equity round no matter if its founders, investors, employees and consultants. It also includes a future round scenarios with multiple valuation, CLA and SAFE assumptions.

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