Here’s our latest investor update that I just emailed to our investors last week.
Our average project size jumped back up in September to over $11,030 (+16% from $9,256) and was our 2nd highest average project size in a given month ever.
Since the start of Crew, the number of Approved Projects (projects that meet our vetting requirements) have increased every month with the exception of a few months to start each fall. We noticed this trend last year at a similar time – fewer projects being posted toward the end of summer and beginning of fall. Then, projects rebounded after and continued to grow.
This Sept., we had a dip in monthly Revenue that was as a result of a lower dollar value in Approved Projects that came in July/August. Because our average project duration is 1-3 months, Approved Projects from previous months are a leading indicator of future monthly Revenue.
In September, we also doubled the upfront deposit from 50 to 100 USD which may partially be related to the decrease in Approved Projects. The purpose of the upfront deposit is to see if it significantly improves conversion rates once a project is posted on Crew. Increasing Approved Projects and converting more Approved Projects are both good things. If both numbers go up, that means we have more of the right type of work for our members. We will know more about the impact of doubling the deposit in the coming months once we have enough relevant data.
September 2014 Metrics
Approved Projects (meet vetting requirements): $573,607 (-13% down from $657,147)
Revenue (15% Crew fee): $23,486 (-38% up from $37,844)
Avg. project size: $11,030 (+16% up from $9,256)
Burn rate: $57,469
Projected runway: 12-18 months
Team (full-time): 8
Project Conversion Rate (% Approved projects that complete payment):
– Avg. all-time: 40%
– Avg. last 3 months: 41%
We’re focused on improving upon this decrease in Approved Projects we had this month. So far, external marketing triggers have been a key driver of our growth but to 10x this growth again, we’ll be doubling down on our core product to push the experience to another level. In turn, this will accelerate repeat usage, referrals, and word-of-mouth. We’re confident with our new product team additions and upcoming product plans that we can push this top line number substantially.
We’ve identified multiple steps in the Crew process that can be dramatically improved to create an experience people love.
Estimating. We’re working on a new version of our app estimator tool (howmuchtomakeanapp.com) which was used by over 1 million people in the last year. This will be worked into Crew in a more substantial way. And expanded to other types of projects.
Matching. A main priority for us will be to make the connection between a project and a freelancer instant, removing the current 48 hr. wait time.
Project Management. Our project management system will be simplified with a focus on mobile devices.
Payments. Our top earners span 15 countries. We’ve partnered with Payoneer to deliver payment transfers worldwide.
Referrals. We currently get an average of $50k Approved Projects/month from referrals with an invite-only selection of agencies. We’re working on a way to build upon this element of Crew to allow agencies to refer projects they can’t take on due to budget, availability, and/or expertise constraints. We’re also working on helping agencies select and manage freelancers through Crew. We’ll be opening this offering up more within the coming weeks.
To gauge our progress on all of these items, we’ll be watching the number of project owners that post multiple projects and refer new projects.
Growing referrals. We’re working with agencies to help them recover deal flow. Agencies often need to turn away a large number of projects because the budget might be outside of their typical project budget range, availability, and/or expertise. These projects they normally would have to turn away can be sent to us instead and we can find the right professional. In exchange, they receive a referral commission of 5% of the project budget (that’s $400-500 on average per project).
If you know any design, ad, or development agencies, please forward me an intro.
Happy to discuss any of the above. Call me, text me, email me any time.