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Buffer December Update: $2,819,000 run rate, 1,249,000 users

Jan 7, 2014 3 min readReports
Photo of Joel Gascoigne
Joel Gascoigne

CEO and co-founder @ Buffer

Another exciting month (and year!) has come to an end at Buffer and I wanted to take a moment to share the latest update I have just sent this evening to all our investors. I hope you enjoy reading the full details of our work on Buffer in the last month. I’m excited to hear from you in the comments if you have any questions about what we’re up to!

If you want to know how November went, you can take a look here.

Traction update

  • New users: 60,000 (Total: 1,249,000, from 1,189,000: +5.0%)
  • Daily active users: 28,700 (down from 30,600: -6.2%)
  • Revenue: $235,000 (Annual: $2,819,000 up from $2,347,000: +20.1%)
  • Awesome revenue: $179,000 (up from $174,000; +2.9%)
  • Business revenue: $56,000 (up from $22,000; +154.5%)
  • Cash in bank: $359,000 (last month: $319,000)

Thanks to the business revenue growth, we finished off 2013 strong with 20% month on month revenue growth. We are in particular happy about it as December was a slower month for us in terms of usage (drop in daily active users).

Our vision for Buffer

During our Thailand retreat, we spent a lot of time reviewing the past year and planning ahead our path. We have now shifted from our original vision. Our previous vision was to become the standard for social sharing, and to set the bar for great customer support. Our new vision is to become the simplest and most powerful social media tool, and to set the bar for great customer support.

Our market positioning moves from consumer and attracting large numbers of free and $10/mo users, to attracting more business users who subscribe for plans from $50 or above. We now have a high focus on building out our Business product and creating clear differentiation from our existing product. That said, we see huge value in our large userbase and it is a key early part of the funnel of business customers as well as impactful branding, so we will continue to improve the free and $10/mo product also.

Open Salaries & Our “Default to Transparency” value

December was a milestone month for our continued push for transparency as a core value. After almost a whole year of having salary transparency in place internally at Buffer, and after some months discussion within the team about making the information public, we were delighted to share all the details of the formula we use and individual salaries. We were lucky to receive a lot of interest and discussion: Quartz, SFGate, Inc, Entrepreneur,Business Insider.

Steps forward in our Happiness team

We made some incredible progress with our Happiness goals in December. We answered 55% of support emails within 1 hour, 78% within 6 hours and had a total volume of 7807 emails. We are doubling down on our customer support efforts by hiring a Weekend Warrior (to work 5 days a week including weekends and close our biggest gap in terms of having someone to respond immediately to customers), and we will soon hire another Happiness Hero in Europe to close our timezone gap (we currently have Heroes in US and Australia).

Finally, we are also planning to work more deliberately on growing our community, and are looking for a Community Champion to lead this. We are especially excited about the Happiness team with our new focus on business, as it means we can provide a very high level of service for the new business customers.

A new focus on Growth

We’ve started to focus a lot on growth. We’ve hired one more person for the growth team and also switched someone internally from a pure product development role to part-time focus on growth. Hiten has also been extremely kind to offer us more help in this area and we’re working together on a few initiatives. Key areas we’re looking at currently are improving landing page to signup conversion, and learning more about reasons for cancellation.

The Buffer Team is 17 people and growing fast

We’re growing the team faster than we ever have, and we’re more sure than ever about the areas we need help with and the roles we are looking for people for. In December 2 people joined the team (we’re now 17) and we’ve sent offers to another 2. We’re looking for several more people too.

Buffer for Business

We launched the business product officially this past month. The monthly recurring revenue this month is at 84% of the total recurring revenue since soft launch in July. Customers paying yearly also grew significantly to 68, versus from 4 last month.

  • MRR grew 69.3% to $32,491
  • Total revenue grew 154.5% to $56,208
  • Buffer for Business was 23.9% of total revenue (up from 11.4% in November)
  • 667 total paying customers (from 376 in November)

Let me know any questions you have on our progress, we’d love to answer them.

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