We’ve been reinventing Kibin over the last two years. It began in late 2014 with the launch of our essay examples database (EDB), a research tool to help students brainstorm ideas for their essay topics. This marked a major branch out from our core editing service, but also opened the doors to a more scalable business strategy.
Then in mid-2015, noting the early success of the EDB, we made a big decision to focus Kibin exclusively on students and abandon our other customer segments even though this would mean a hit to top line revenue in the short to medium term.
I’ve remained relatively quiet about this transition, sharing little of our story publicly. Sure, I’ve talked about our reasons for moving away from Stripe and some other tidbits. But I haven’t really gotten into the guts of what’s been going on behind the scenes.
So why now? Why have we decided to open up and talk about our numbers and growth after not having done so for so long? Let me explain.
Kibin’s WeFunder Campaign Is Closing
Equity crowdfunding was legalized in May 2016, which allows anyone to invest in startups. This was something that was previously closed off to all but accredited investors (e.g., the wealthy). We viewed the new legislation as a great opportunity to open the doors to our amazing editors, customers, and friends who had not previously been able to invest in Kibin.
In response, we launched a WeFunder campaign, which is closing on November 15th. With the campaign closing in a few days, we figured it was a good time to dig into our numbers and recent growth and open the books a bit more for those who are still undecided about joining us on our journey.
Revenue & Traffic Growth
There has never been a more exciting time in Kibin’s history. Take a look at our traffic growth since inception:
Our projection of 4.3 million unique visits in Q4, 2016 would be 10x our traffic in the same period just two years ago. And while traffic in itself can be a vanity metric, ours tends to correlate well with revenue.
While our revenue hasn’t grown 10x in the last two years, it has grown substantially. You can clearly see our efforts with the essay examples database starting to pay off. Of our projected $280,000 Q4 revenue, we expect 34% of this to come via the essay database.
Q4 is On Track
Projections are nice and all, but you can manipulate a spreadsheet to show just about any future growth. Projecting the future, especially with our recent growth, is always tricky. But we now have enough data where we’re accurately predicting future growth and revenue.
October: By the Numbers
This year we kicked off Q4–always our best quarter–with a bang. Here’s a look at the numbers:
- $55.6k editing revenue: +1.1% y/y
- $30.7k essay database revenue: +185% y/y
- 1.56MM unique visits: +159% y/y
Perhaps the most important aspect of this growth was that all of the above numbers fell within 3% of our projected figures. In short, we’re extremely confident in the Q4 projections I showed earlier in the graphs.
You’ll notice our editing revenue was rather weak on a year-over-year growth perspective at about one percent. We’re still a very small team and the essay database has been our total focus. The flat growth we’re experiencing on the editing side of the business was expected and planned for. That said, as our team’s capacity grows, we will be putting more focus into that side of the business as well. This untapped potential is a great problem to have.
Become Part of Our Journey
Our team has never been more excited about Kibin’s future. It’s been a tough couple years reshaping the business and positioning it to scale, but we knew it was the right thing to do. If you want to be part of our journey, join us as an investor through our WeFunder campaign. We’ll be doing regular updates like this one for our WeFunder investors.
We’d love to have you along. The deadline to invest is November 15th, so don’t procrastinate!
As we like to say at Kibin: “To the moon!”