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From:Joel Gascoigne
To:Shareholders
Subject:July 2023 Shareholder Update
Date:August 31, 2023

July 2023 Shareholder Update

ℹ️ Sent to shareholders on August 31, 2023

Hi there,

I’m back with the monthly Buffer shareholder update. See below for July numbers, notable updates and what’s coming up. Reply to this email if you have any comments or questions.

Key numbers

MRR
$1,505,331 +0.11%
ARR
$18,063,972 +0.11%
Customers
57,444 -0.44%
MAU
146,815 -1.70%
ARPU
$26.20 +0.54%
Team Size
80 no change
Net Income
-$43,570 -28.56%
Bank Balance
$4,209,958 -2.65%
Runway
61 months 5 years, 1 month
  • We’ve seen another month of slight growth, it is great to see that our trajectory continues along our expected path of flat to small growth.
  • At this stage it feels clear that we’ve stalled our decline and are on our way to some months of growth ahead. We are working hard to achieve higher growth, and ensure that we aren’t on our way to a growth ceiling down the line.
  • In July we experienced a lighter month on the cash receipts side, which contributed to the bank balance decrease. Some of this is related to seasonality, for example we collected about $64K less in annual subscription payments than we did in June.
  • Despite current losses we have very solid runway which allows us to continue to be patient and take a long-term view.
  • We plan to keep our team size stable which will allow us to work back to profitability as we see growth months.

Note-worthy updates and reflections

Buffer Build Week 2023

We had our second annual company-wide Build Week in July. This is an event where we take a week to work in a small 3-5 person group with people we don’t normally work with and a goal to ship something of value to customers or the team. The emphasis is on shipping value, and building connections and understanding across the company. This year’s event was a great success; we had 19 small teams and shipped a ton of value. Read more.

Buffer Suggestions

We’ve launched a new feedback hub for customers to request features and improvements, and vote and comment on existing ideas. This is a significant step towards our strategy of embedding customers much more into how we work and build as a company. We’ve moved from a Typeform which was not transparent to the community, to a transparent suggestions board that keeps us more accountable to our customers. We’ve already found this to be a goldmine of insights for us in building the product. View the suggestions board.

Open Beta

As part of rolling out Buffer Suggestions, we’ve also launched an Open Beta program. In the past we’ve included customers in the rollout of new functionality, however this was done through a closed beta approach where we would reach out specifically to a subset of customers and invite them to try new features. With Open Beta, we’ve made it possible for any user to opt in to access and receive new functionality on beta in advance of it launching to the wider customer base. We have a new page in Buffer Accounts where users can view all the current functionality in beta, enable or disable beta at any time, and a button to share feedback (this links to the Buffer Suggestions page for that feature). Check out Open Beta within Buffer Account.

Referral Program

One of the Build Week projects was to create an MVP for a referral program. This is something we had in the earlier days, but dropped over the years as we experimented with moving more towards B2B SaaS. Now that our strategy is firmly in supporting small businesses, entrepreneurs and creators, we are taking inspiration from B2C SaaS and a referral program is a key way we’ve identified that we can leverage our brand and enable our happy users to invite people from their network to use Buffer. At this stage, we have built the groundwork to allow for tracking of referrals, and even without incentives yet in place for referring Buffer to others, we have seen quite a number of people go ahead and do so. See our Help Article on the Referral Program.

What’s coming up

Revamped Reminders

We’re in the midst of upgrading how Reminders work for Instagram, with plans to roll out these improvements to all channels. Reminders is the approach we’ve used for years to support channels or functionality that we can’t offer due to it not being part of APIs. For example, adding trending audio or stickers to Instagram posts. We’ve now realized that Reminders should be a first-class experience alongside our standard publishing capabilities, as there are many situations where you’d want to add final polish or native functionality to posts. We’ll be renaming the feature, and allowing users to choose on a per-post basis whether to publish fully automatically, or to get a phone notification to add final touches.

Visual Refresh

As part of our push to double down on freemium and serving individuals as well as businesses, we are in the midst of a visual refresh project. This will bring a visual upgrade to the web dashboard, and pave the way for better UX, a responsive experience and themes (dark mode). It will also make it easier for us to significantly improve accessibility of the Buffer product.

Equity + Salary updates

For a few months, I’ve been working with our head of finance Jenny to revisit our equity and salary formulas. We’ve gone all the way to rethinking these from first principles, and in the coming months we plan to roll out a new stock options plan for the team, and transition to a new salary system which will simplify how salaries are calculated and remove some discrepancies which have been introduced over the years.

Thanks for reading - I’ll be back soon with the August update!

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