Sources and use, and runway calculator. How much does your startup need to raise?

Alexander Jarvis

Alexander Jarvis

Startup sucks and fundraising is a nightmare. I make awesome (allegedly) tools and write no BS content to help founders be more awesome and not get taken advantage of. If I can help, reach out.
Alexander Jarvis

How much investment do you need to raise? What is your runway? What charts should you show on your sources and use page (‘The ask’)? These are all questions I’m sure are in your head right now when you’re thinking what venture capitalists are looking for from you when pitching. I know it’s something founders ask me all the time. Here’s the tool for you!

But here is a question for you, in case you are wondering if you want to keep reading. Would you love to make this chart with very little work?


I love nerding out and making the best possible tools for founders, from the cap table, due diligence template, board deck template, ESOP model… to the Q&A of VC questions will ask etc. The most hardcore tools I made are fundraising models, for SaaS, Enterprise SaaS and Ecommerce. In the course of making them, I thought of what cool things I could also build that would be useful to the founders that use them?

One cool thing I made was a sheet for your Sources and Use- how much money do you raise from investors and how you are going to spend it? Groan (I can hear you from here). Yeah, that’s a pain in the arse and all you ever get is high-level overviews and no real instruction. So I made it.

I’m constantly mentoring founders and doing consulting on fundraising, so ‘how much to raise‘, ‘when do we run out of cash‘ and ‘how do we present our spend’ are questions I deal with twice a week at least. I thought… do you know what. Why don’t I make my sources and use sheet free to everyone and they can use it for that critical final page when they are asking for cash, hand outreached 😉 So I hacked out and made this tool just for you.

The sources and use and runway calculator

This Excel tool has four sheets and is set up for two types of startups: ecommerce and SaaS. Though if you have a different business model you can adjust it for your own purposes.

For both business models there are two sheets:

  • Detailed: If you want instructional line items, you can input all your cost items and the model will add them up and stick them in the right buckets
  • Short: If you have a model already and want to use the template to get the cool charts, you can just fill in the high-level numbers and stick em in

Now the detailed version has a lot of helpful line items! Too many to show on a webpage properly. So the screenshots below are indicative. There is a hack line to input the headline numbers where you want to hybrid (I do think of how you might use it).

Once you fill in the yellow boxes all the calculations are done for you and out will pop 5 charts you can use as you see fit.

Now let’s look at some of the cool stuff.

Runway calculator

Once you filed in the yellow revenue and cost boxes, you can play about and see what the effect is on your fundraising plan with only 4 assumptions!

  • You can set your planned runway and it will tell you how much you need to raise
  • You can type in how much you plan on raising and it will say how many months it will last

Here is a video I made for the SaaS model to explain this sheet:

A really pimp thing is you can set your length of runway you want (e.g. 18 months) and the formulas will dynamically select all the data for that time period and update your charts. So let’s say you decide you only want to raise for 12 months, or say 24 months, you type that number in one cell and all the calculations and charts will update. Sorry, I think that’s epic ;).

Inputs sheets

The model is set up logically by main departments; R&D, G&A and S&M and COGS and additional main ones for ecommerce such as buying.

There are yellow boxes to fill in. Where you have come complicated calculations, such as paying bonuses at your year end, the calculations will dynamically calculate this for you.

All the numbers are calculated on a cash not GAAP/IFRS basis, so you actually know when cash is going out of the bank (and not BS accounting with depreciation and stuff which is blergh).

Charts

This should be self-explanatory, but let’s break down the goodies:

  • Marimekko chart: It’s really pimp. It breaks up your costs on two axis’ so you can see the spend relatively
  • Pie chart: This is probably what you do at the moment. It’s a pie, with slices and stuff
  • Radar chart: I think this is kinda cool, but not as much as the Marimekko (of course). It shows relatively where costs are allocated
  • Costs vs revenue and orders: This is a stacked chart of your costs, with lines on your revenue (and orders)
  • Costs % spend over runway: This shows how your costs are spent as a % of total each month over your runway

I can go on about the details, but by now you should be sold already (Dude, it’s free)! So let’s get our screenshot on.

Ecommerce Overview

Assumptions

Detailed assumptions

Simple assumptions

Marimekko chart

Pie chart

Radar chart

Costs vs revenue and orders

Costs % spend over runway

SaaS Overview

Assumptions

Detailed assumptions

Simple assumptions

Marimekko chart

Pie chart

Radar chart

Costs vs revenue and orders

Cost vs billings and MRR

The end

If you love this, click on the picture on the right or below and it’ll be in your download folder in a jiffy.

If you love it, do me a solid? It takes a sick amount of time making this stuff for you. Click on the left and share this with your network so they can benefit too. It motivates me to make more cool tools.

Any questions or love, sound out in the comments. God bless.

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