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From:Joel Gascoigne
To:Shareholders
Subject:January 2023 Shareholder Update
Date:February 10, 2023

January 2023 Shareholder Update

ℹ️ Sent to shareholders on February 10, 2023

Hi,

I’m back with a monthly shareholder update for Buffer. See below for our numbers, updates, and what’s coming up. As always, hit reply with comments or questions.

Key numbers

MRR
$1,501,120 -1.38%
ARR
$18,013,440 -1.38%
Customers
58,562 -1.61%
MAU
143,949 +5.56%
ARPU
$25.63 -1.00%
Team Size
79 +1 person
Net Income
$12,771.97 +109.03%
Bank Balance
$4,749,870 -6.23%
Runway
42 months 3 years, 6 months
  • As a reminder, we expect a higher pace of MRR decline for a few months as we have introduced a way for customers to migrate to our latest plans, and on average our new plans have a lower price point.
  • With that said, we are seeing very strong growth in our leading indicators (more below).
  • We were happy to see a small net profit for January.
  • One other reminder - we are planning for a ~$1m reduction in cash in the coming months due to our VAT liability in the UK.

Note-worthy updates and reflections

Leading indicator growth

As I mentioned last month, we’re pursuing a “down and wide” strategy of moving down-market to serve individuals (creators, entrepreneurs, influencers, professionals) as well as small businesses, and increasing the breadth of our product and serve customers beyond just their social media needs. With this in mind, we’ve been doubling, tripling down on freemium and streamlining various user flows. This has proven to give us some immediate wins in our most leading indicators, and thankfully these are being retained through the funnel too. Here are our January numbers of key leading indicators, and growth compared to December:

  • Signups: 81,971 (+30.11%)
  • Activations: 23,019 (+25.78%)
  • New customers: 3,614 (+35.10%)

We’re still seeing a decline top-line, however in the coming months as we maintain strong leading indicators and see our legacy customers continue to migrate to our latest pricing, we expect to see a flattening of the decline and a shift to growth.

Mastodon as a channel

Our big launch in January was Mastodon, and despite still being an emerging platform, we saw very high engagement and excitement around our support for Mastodon scheduling. See all the details of our offering, and if you’re already on Mastodon then follow Buffer here, and I’m here! Mastodon is a fundamentally different type of platform, being federated (essentially decentralized) and based on open standards. As a business built on a variety of networks, this is a unique type of network that makes sense for us to invest in. Mastodon is a key milestone for us, being our 10th channel.

Twitter API changes

You have likely spotted the API changes announced via @TwitterDev. This will unfortunately have an impact on us. Twitter is the largest line item of our COGS, and it is set to increase significantly. Thankfully, we have a 12-year relationship with Twitter and strong advocacy within the company and are working closely with them on a new package for our API access and usage levels. Customers will not be impacted on February 13, and we do not expect to make any immediate changes to our offering. Our goal is to maintain our offering and assure customers that we are a stable platform throughout the numerous changes that will happen over the coming weeks.

What’s coming up

AI assisted functionality

We’re launching our AI Assistant in open beta next week! We’re starting with AI as a writing sidekick within the composer in our new Ideas / Create section (preview here). We’re building this on OpenAI, and we plan to start with a lightweight credit system tiered based on the pricing plan a customer is on. As we see usage, we’ll be able to calibrate the pricing and figure out what makes sense overall. Our hope and expectation is that the AI Assistant is used in ways that lead people to share more via Buffer, so we see expansion of revenue that offsets our costs. This launch will put a stake in the ground that we are incorporating AI in a thoughtful, useful way and over time AI can pop up and help in many parts of the product.

YouTube as a channel

We’re in the discovery and design phase of building YouTube as a publishing channel within Buffer, and are aiming to launch in the next couple of months. We’ve found great success in adding new channels in the past year, and YouTube is of course a very significant one to add to the product. Since our pricing is per channel, we expect to see a positive impact to growth of rolling this out. We will be further along in development by next month’s update, so I’ll share a little more detail on the UX and functionality then.

Thanks for your support,

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