From:Joel Gascoigne
To:Shareholders
Subject:October 2023 Shareholder Update
Date:November 19, 2023

October 2023 Shareholder Update

ℹ️ Sent to shareholders on November 19, 2023

Hi there,

I’m happy to share Buffer’s October 2023 update. See below for our numbers, updates, and what’s coming up. As always, hit reply with comments or questions.

Key numbers

MRR
$1,502,260 0.00%
ARR
$18,027,120 0.00%
Customers
56,754 -0.44%
MAU
148,069 +0.75%
ARPU
$26.46 +0.42%
Team Size
79 -2 people
Net Income
-$52,210 +7.44%
Bank Balance
$3,725,834 -10.34%
Runway
32 months 2 years, 8 months
  • It doesn’t get much flatter than 0.00% change in MRR/ARR! We were literally $73 in MRR away from shifting into positive growth territory for October.
  • We’re seeing the flat phase I’ve talked about in recent updates continue. We’re happy to be here, and the longer we are flat the closer we are getting towards growth, since we’re still seeing the New Buffer segment grow at healthy levels. For more context on the New Buffer segment, see an update below.
  • The sharper bank balance decline was as a result of us taking the opportunity to repurchase shares from one of our seed investors. The cost was around $400k, and is an investment we’ve felt has been worthwhile a number of times in the past few years. As a shareholder, you have benefited from these buybacks as we’ve reduced our fully diluted shares by 20% since 2017, increasing the value of your shareholding.
  • The resulting runway number is quite a reduction from previous months, however it is worth noting that the calculation to arrive at 32 months includes this buyback, which is more of a one-off cost we took on. If we were to exclude buybacks from the runway calculation, our current runway is 74 months (6 years, 2 months). So we feel very comfortable in our current cash position.

Note-worthy updates and reflections

AI Assistant becomes Social Media Smart

We launched a significant upgrade to our AI capabilities during October. Buffer’s AI Assistant is now truly tailored to the network you’re sharing to, and we also took the time to really dig into the user experience and ensure that it’s seamless and delightful to utilize AI directly inside Buffer. Read more

Tags and upgraded organization features

We also launched our brand new Tags feature, which had been months in the making. You can now tag content (ideas, drafts or scheduled posts) with multiple tags. You can filter various views by tags, and this sets the foundation for even more organizational capabilities down the line. We had especially heard from users who use the Create space (ideas) extensively that it started to get unmanageable without tags or other ways to organize and filter out content. Read more

New Buffer crossed $1M MRR

Our New Buffer segment represents those on the new pricing we rolled out in mid-2021. This segment now represents 67% of MRR, and has been growing consistently at around 3% per month, or around $20K in net MRR growth. Around 20% of that growth has been from customers migrating over from legacy plans, the rest is pure growth. Therefore, once we see legacy fully churn out, or drive more migrations there, we should see growth months. Notably, in October our New Buffer segment crossed $1M in MRR, a milestone we’ve celebrated internally.

Exec Team meetup

In October, the executive team gathered in Boulder to dig into deeper topics and discuss our plans for the coming couple of quarters and focuses for 2024. Much of the meetup centered around ongoing cultural shifts and reflecting more diligently on the structure of the company and what’s needed for this next chapter as we turn the corner back towards growth. We’re ensuring that we’re set up for success in our efforts to go “down and wide” and serve the lower end of the market effectively (really succeeding with our freemium model) and getting closer to customers again both in terms of how we build the product and the quality of customer service we provide. We also discussed our operating principles (see below) to ensure our current efforts are reflective of the 4 principles. We specifically want to do more over the next year to live up to our Ambitious and Efficient operating principles.

Operating Principles

In our monthly company-wide All Hands meeting for October, I shared Operating Principles which I’ve been working towards for a while now. The principles add an extra layer of clarity and guidance for us alongside vision/mission and values. I see vision/mission as what and why, and both values and operating principles as describing “how” we work together. Values are on the individual level, how we each strive to work and what we can expect from one another; operating principles are at the org level, how we run the company. Our operating principles are: Long-Term, Independent, Ambitious and Efficient. Guiding statements slide from our All Hands.

What’s coming up

Universal Publishing

We’re ready to launch our first key step towards a vision we’re describing as Universal Publishing. This is a vision for Buffer to be able to help with publishing all types of content, to almost any imaginable channel. While Buffer can help to varying degrees when it comes to fully automatically publishing the content, we can do much more to help with planning, scheduling and providing reminders to share content. We can tee it up and just need the user to hit publish themselves. For our first step, we are getting ready to roll out a way to share more types of content formats to Instagram, via a way to toggle any post (feed post, reel, story) to become a mobile notification. This will allow users to plan and schedule all of their Instagram content, and still add unique content features such as trending audio and stickers (unavailable via API) at the time of posting.

Engineering Leadership & Product Management meetups

During November, we have our Engineering Leadership team and our Product Management team gathering together at meetups in Barcelona and Miami respectively. These meetups are very well timed with some recent structure and strategy changes as well as for looking ahead to 2024.

That’s a wrap for our October update. Thanks for your continued support!

More Updates