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[Friday Freebie] My old investor updates
Here's the Wine List investor update archive
I met an early-stage founder a couple of weeks ago and we were discussing how best to update your investors. It prompted me to revisit the investor updates I did at Wine List. Today, I am sharing that document with all of you.
NGL, it was quite an emotional read back through some of this. There was unknown at the start, following by insane optimism thanks to covid, and then the journey to find product market fit as we realised we didn’t have it.
One of our investors asked me the other day if I’d been too optimistic in these. I think there are moments of being too optimistic, moments where I was too pessimistic, and some which were just right.
A few reflections I had on re-reading this now.
We were trying to lower our price point a lot. The hypothesis being that our paid CACs which were from memory around £80-100, were high because of £40 first basket. BUT those customers had very strong retention. And if we’d nailed a 40% margin, would have paid back within about six months. I remember that felt crushingly long with only £200k in the bank or later £500k, and so we did everything we did to optimise towards lower AOV + lower CPA but our rebottled product created huge operational overhead.
Amongst my topline metrics I reported each month, I should have included cash in bank + burn rate. Any investors who were surprised when we eventually went under wouldn’t have been if we’d included these figures
Our death happened insanely quickly – within two months we went from being months away from break-even to losing everything. How? Well we had under £100k of cash in the bank, and so when burn went from £20k to £50k one month, it was almost immediately over.
I spoke about our need to find product market fit more than I remember doing. In my head it weighs down around the entire experience, but I worried that this was a bit of retrospective bias. But actually, from end of 2020, I was talking about how needed it was to do.
Back to usual programming next week.