CrowdConnect – How To Handle Pivots & Become Cashflow Positive


PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF (ANY CO-FOUNDERS) AND YOUR STARTUP?

Jonathan Lim founder of CrowdConnect. Founded a company called Cupflick a pre-ordering app for coffee shop and pivoted to CrowdConnect. CrowdConnect offers small to mid size master franchise a responsive marketing technology that simplify customer loyalty.

We provide technology (branded POS, mobile app, inventory system etc.) to stream line operations for franchise businesses and using big data to execute on marketing campaign and focusing on ROI.

HOW DID YOU GO FROM IDEA, TO MVP AND LAUNCH?

We started off going to the market with Cupflick which is a pre-ordering app for boutique coffee shop. With Cupflick, we launch with 1000 users and we did 3 version of the platform as our expectation on how the market would react to discount was not favourable.

Over the period of 6 months, we noticed that the industry is not doing really well and getting cafe to spend money on marketing and technology was a hard sell.

We then decided to pivot our technology and our marketing know how to focus more on small size master franchise business in the F&B sector.

WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE DURING THIS PERIOD AND HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?

The biggest challenge for us during the pivot from Cupflick to CrowdConnect was to figure out how we can scale. We’ve acquired our first franchise client back in February and have decided to break apart the Cupflick platform and rebuilt it to fit a franchise business. But what we’ve found is that in the franchise industry, there seems to be a lot of different challenges that they face compared to a traditional coffee/restaurant operations. Trying to figure out how to built a platform that other franchise would buy was a big challenge for us.

We are still figuring this out as we go but we have finally managed to modulize our where customization and add on can be done as a separate module during our on boarding session.

DURING THIS JOURNEY TO BUILD AND LAUNCH YOUR STARTUP WHAT IS ONE THING YOU LOOK BACK ON WITH A SENSE OF ACHIEVEMENT?

When we started off with Cupflick, the idea was to raised fund and fund acquisition and accelerate growth. To do that, it require a lot of capital to sustain the business while funding acquisition for both channel (cafe and end user).

As a few of our competitors were struggling to raised fund locally here in Australia, we’ve decided that the business model will not work if funding becomes a problem and have decided to pivot to CrowdConnect.

Within a period of 4 months, we were able to get CrowdConnect to a position where we are cashflow positive with a new business model in place servicing a different market.

OFFER US ONE INSIGHT, TIP, MARKETING STRATEGY OR GROWTH HACK THAT HAS WORKED REALLY WELL FOR YOU AND YOUR STARTUP?

Personally, I believe that ensuring that you have a sound business model is key to success. Continues checking and tracking your business performance on a month to month basis needs to be a habit to ensure the business is on the right track or whether the business model needs to change.

Since we launch Cupflick back in April, our business model has changed 7 times which has gotten us to where we are today with CrowdConnect. However, if we did not validate our business model, i dont believe the business would exist today.

HOW IS YOUR STARTUP GOING AND WHAT DO YOU AIM TO ACHIEVE IN THE NEXT 3, 6, 12 MONTHS?

CrowdConnect has fully launch all 3 of our products with our first client here in Australia (Perth) and a lot of our assumptions has been validated. In the next 6 months, our plan is to further develop our technology and further modulize it and acquire our next client.

Planning for our pre-series A round and overseas expansion within the next 12 months.

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