September 2020 investor update
Investor updates can be particularly interesting when you don't accomplish what you thought you would. We failed to hit our goals in September, and furthermore, stated in our previous newsletter that August had been slow in preparation for a strong September.
You can't always get what you want - and it is important to communicate disappointing news transparently and truthfully. It's part of the journey of building trust with your investors.
After all, the reality is that if we were on-track all the time and never faced any hiccups, it would probably mean that we were cooking the books (lying) or not being ambitious enough.
September was the first month we were truly balancing our time between pushing to get more customers, and delivering on our value prop for existing customers (onboarding talent and placing additional talent, managing ongoing operations).
We are certainly starting to learn the dance between nurturing supply and demand in a way that feels balanced. While we did not close any additional customers in September, we made progress maturing sales opportunities and completed our first product management 3-month cycle. Finally, we completed the first version of our API and people database on gitsight.
Net Cash Balance: $1.22M (net of security deposits)
Last 30-days cash consumption: $50k
Months of run-rate: 24
MRR: $7,083 ($83 in substack subscriptions)
Customers: 3 (1 is non-recurring)
Talent placed: 10 (1 is a one-off placement)
Open positions currently hiring for: 15 (for current and prospect customers)
How can you help?
Introduce us to founders of VC backed startups that are hiring tech talent that either just raised a seed round, or are scaling up.
Intro to VC’s or accelerators that have access to top-quality NYC or SF startups mentioned above.
What we've done in the last month
In our last newsletter we said we would:
🔜Finalize v1 of our legal infrastructure.
✅Test video profile packages for candidates.
✅Prove that VC’s are a good referral source for quality startups
🔜Test email reach-outs to developers identified via gitsight.
🔜Close 2 more customers.
✅ Explore partnership with joppy.me.
On the demand side, we fell short in closing new customers. That said, we're made some progress moving deals in the pipeline. We also spent time closing opportunities to avoid wasting time. Since inception, we've evaluated around 40 sales opportunities, of which 10 are still in active play.
Unfortunately, we couldn't close two additional customers in September, but we enter October with strong leads we believe we can close this month.
We need to put an emphasis on creating more pipeline. Our efforts to generate qualified leads from VCs did not work as expected: we learned that VCs do not serve as strong referrals (startups don't engage despite their intro.)
We also have closed 20 opportunities as "hibernating" as they've mentioned they are interested in Remotely's services, just not now.
Our legal infrastructure is moving along, but slowly. In Spain, we will likely be fully operational in a couple of weeks (including bank account). In Argentina, we will finalize our subsidiary set up in the next two months (registering our US corporation in Argentina, acquiring the subsidiary, and opening a bank account).
We haven't reached a partnership agreement with joppy but we will continue to collaborate as customers and iterate on the terms to see if we get to a place that is acceptable by both parties.
We were not able to reach out to developers identified in Gitsight. We learned that we needed to further categorize them by ecosystem/framework to be able to properly search/identify talent. Now that this is complete, we will run our first test in October. Alongside of these improvements, we successfully migrated our database to improve its cost/scalability.
Gitsight has released an alpha version of our API to allow potential customers to test our data services.
We have learned a ton from onboarding and hiring the first 10 people. We continue to document our process and iterate to make it more efficient. Once we feel it is in a good place, we will start to think about how we can best use technology to scale it.
We refactored our airtable setup. Airtable released the ability to connect databases, and we were able to split the different parts of our business individual databases, making the setup more clean and intuitive.
We concluded our first short term goal from a product roadmap perspective. We did not hit our MRR goal ($12k) but we did hit every other milestone (customers, demand, supply). Most importantly, we completed our first product management cycle and are excited to start the next.
What we'll be doing during the next month:
Finalize v1 of our legal infrastructure.
We will reprioritize our product roadmap for the next 4 months based on the insights we got this last quarter.
🧾 We will map out our demand funnel and design 3 tests to scale demand.
🧪 We will conduct 2 talent sourcing tests.
Increase our marketing efforts: IG, Testimonials.
🔝 Close 3 more customers.
🧿 Gitsight: we will run our first email campaign. We will release our API (probably not to the public, yet) and iterate on our slack bot. We will enrich our database with new data sources.
We look forward to updating you again next month, in the interim, let us know if you have any questions.