I"m developing an app for the travel/health space, and looking at runway numbers to get to our first raise. What would today's angel investor consider to be solid traction, in terms of downloads, user consistency, stickiness, or feedback? Thanks!
Mobile app that has launched: You need ALL of the following:
1) Trending towards or at 100000 installs within first 90 days of launch;
2) Day 30 retention rate of at least 20%
3) Core "MTM" (metric that matters) healthy (dependent on business model, usage model etc)
4) Evidence that growth is just "getting started" with plenty of upside left.
Happy to talk more in a call.
I've written an article on TechCrunch on Traffic, Traction and Growth which investigates this issue in depth: http://techcrunch.com/2014/11/08/littles-law-is-big-for-startups/.
To expand on the issue of traction alone, here are some questions I ask as a VC:
1. Has anyone bought the product other than friends and family?
2. Is the product giving away more value than it costs?
3. What's the highest number of signups/downloads that the product achieved on any day?
These questions bring "context" to the issue of "traction" and it's not useful to merely look at some number. So I would recommend framing your traction figures around meaningful business context such as market size, global applicability and competition. From there, I'd look at the most recent traction figures. So the short answer is it depends. 100 signups in a new space can be meaningful whereas 10,000 free downloads in a crowded space may not mean much.
I'm a developer, not an investor, so it's difficult to give you specifics on the metrics you mentioned, but from my very hard-earned experience, you want to be able to demonstrate the following, to get an investor interested:
1) Solid product-market fit, in terms of your value proposition and how it is meeting the needs of your audience.
2) Community exposure. Is your app being well-covered by the main blogs and networks in your niche? What are your conversion rates for new visitors or linked content?
3) Can you accurately measure churn? User return rate? Daily active users? Small but consistent user base is what they want, rather than large but sporadic.
4) What feedback you have had. Positive and negative. Negative is good because of point 5.
5) Show how you act on negative feedback. If an investor can see that you are listening to, and adapting to your audience feedback, they know you really care about the end user, not just fulfilling your grand startup vision.
6) Show your roadmap (including historic). In my experience, investors need to know what their money is going to be spent on, how those decisions are being made, and have been made in the past.
I've been involved with a dozen or so startups myself, and have consulted with many more, so if I can offer you and more advice, or if you would like your deck reviewed, feel free to get in touch.