Here’s the latest update we sent to our investors.
Our topline Approved Projects went up 26% (from $1.5M in Feb.) to $1.9M in March. We had $5.3M in topline Approved Projects in Q1 2016, our top performing quarter all-time, up 25% from Q4 2015 ($4M).
Approved Projects (meet vetting requirements): $1.88M (+26% up from $1.48M)
Net Revenue (15% Crew fee): $48k (+30% up from $37k)
Avg. project size: $11.4k (+14% up from $10k)
Net Burn (Total Spend – Net Revenue): $236k (+25% up from $188k)
Expected Fill Rate: 30%
Projected runway: 18-20 months
Team (full-time): 30
In trial: 3
Though we’re happy about the recent progress, our main focus is still on defining the best way to drive repeatable growth month over month. Right now, growth is happening but we’re not predicting it as well as we would like.
Though it’s improving, we feel our core product still doesn’t drive enough growth.
To do this, our product needs to get better in the following main areas:
- Submission intelligence: Guiding members on budgeting and other important factors based on project variables. We need to better leverage the data we’ve collected over the past few years to build a “smarter” onboarding.
- Ongoing contracts: We currently have options for extending and repeating projects but they are not “sold” well to our customers. We have the what, but we’re missing the why.
- Mini Crew offering communication: The Mini Crew product benefits are still not communicated as clear as they need to be. We need to refine the offering and streamline the process.
To address these improvements, we have 3 main product launches that are on time for Q2 2016:
- Real-time submission chat: Our Happiness team will be able to live-chat with customers as they submit their project to improve the onboarding and speed up the process.
- Communication and flow improvements: We’ll be looking at our various product flows one-by-one to improve the communication and better guide customers. This will include guiding them into further processes.
- Mini Crew offering communication: We are doing weekly / bi-weekly enhancements to the Mini-Crew product to improve the keep-rate and make the offering more appealing to our core customer base.
Our product release cycles are on time. This is mainly a result of:
- New release processes: We moved to full continuous deployment starting in March 2016 so we can deliver faster. We are now releasing up to 10 times per day.
- More diverse and organized team: We now have specialists in all areas, along with generalists to help where needed. As well, everyone on the team has a purpose and ownership over certain areas, Team morale is high, the the product quality has risen along with it.
Our Operations/Community team focused on the following in March 2016:
- Improving time from Submitted to Approved Project: 6.4 days (+25% from 8.5 days)
- Increasing Fill Rate for projects (aiming to hit 50%): 32% (+28% from 23%)
- Building regional communities in SF/NY to support local partnerships
- 75% member active rate: 48% (+6% from 45%)
- 90%+ review score: 2.91/3.0 (91%) (Down 6% from 97%)
These improvements are mainly a result of:
- Shift in project management: One team now handles a project owner from beginning to end, instead of having one team for incoming projects and another team for matching
- Creation of a new Happiness Support role to assist in daily tasks
- Improved member onboarding process
These deliverables impact our expected revenue in that we anticipate improvement in 2 levers: Conversion of Approved Projects (Filled Projects) and Repeat Projects from existing customers.
In March we had 844 project submissions. Of which 166 were approved
(+7%/+11% from 792 / 149 in February).
Acquisition methods for Approved Projects:
- Repeat/Referral: 47% (+2% from 45%)
- Unknown/Word of mouth: 28% (-4% from 32%)
- Content: 25% (+1% from 24%)
Top external source for Approved Projects: howmuchtomakeanapp.com (18% of project submissions)
Priorities in Q2 2016
One of the most efficient ways to grow is through word-of-mouth from your existing customers. To do this, we want to ‘wow’ our customers by doing even more for them than they expect when they come to Crew. We’ll continue to create featured Stories (http://stories.crew.co/) for our members, but we will also go a step further. We’ll help them launch/market their product through our community. We’ve define a much clearer process to feature our members who do work through Crew.
Another main focus is to organize all of our content (tools, courses, articles, etc.) into one main place. We will also use our existing content to create specific landing pages optimized for search/paid distribution. We’ve created lots of value with our content. Organizing/Optimizing this content is the most efficient we can do right now.
In Q1 2016 we made significant progress in building out our team.
Current team distribution:
- 30 full-time; 3 in-trial
- 9 – Marketing/Sales
- 8 – Product
- 8 – Member Happiness
- 6 – Unsplash
- 6 – Operations
One in Product: front-end/designer
- Partnerships Account Manager (Location: Montreal)
- Special Projects Designer (Location: Anywhere)
Two in community/operations:
- Happiness Account Manager
- Community Ambassador
We’re looking for introductions to digital agencies in need of regularly hiring design/development contractors.
If you’d like to chat about any of the above, feel free to email me or you can reach me on my cell: 514.653.0228.
Previous investor update for reference: Crew Jan/Feb 2016 investor update