careerists claim it shut down An $8M funding round with a compact 12-slide deck gave us a a lot of Learn in the process. Not everything is great, but I’m getting a little ahead of myself.
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slides in this platform
The team submitted this slide, with instructions, and it was presented exactly as it was pitched to investors.
- cover slide
- task slide
- question slide
- Solution slide
- Traction slide part 1
- Traction slide part 2
- Business Model Slides
- Go-to-Market/Customer Funnel Slideshow
- Customer Ratings and Net Promoter Score Slideshow
- market decline
- team slides
- thanks slideshow
three things to love
What can you do to gain a foothold in the market? What are your marketing and customer acquisition channels? Careerist only partially answers this question, which worries me a bit.
This platform rang a lot of alarm bells for me – and I’ll see why in a moment – and I think the founding team fought an uphill battle pitching the platform to investors.Having said that, the company does by Y Combinator and claims that it succeeds from Concentrate, explore, cold start venture capital, Grant Park Ventures and others. Let’s dig a little deeper and see if we can find some clues as to why the company is catching the eye of these investors.
If you have traction, nothing else matters
Traction really addresses any issues a company may have.Building a company that grew from $500,000 in revenue to $12 million in four years is pretty impressive, especially considering that, according to its own press release, the company Only $1.2 million in funding raisedIt turns out that turning a $1.2 million investment into $12 million in revenue is enough to get investors’ attention.
Extraordinary Client Acquisition
In order to generate that much revenue, you have to find your clients somewhere, and Careerist seems to solve that problem:
In its slideshow, the company claims that 35 percent of its traffic comes from organic traffic and another 25 percent from referrals. These are two very powerful low-cost acquisition channels that can attract extraordinary high-value customers. But this is a double-edged sword. Referrals usually scale well with other channels: if you average 0.2 referrals per customer, and you acquire 10 customers, you’ll get two “free” customers because of the referrals. The challenge is organic traffic, which is harder to scale on demand. In other words, once you close an $8 million round, how are you going to dramatically accelerate sales?
It does not specify whether other channels (Google, webinars, and Facebook) are paid acquisition channels. If yes, I’d like to see the acquisition cost (CAC) here and analyze whether those customers end up referring other customers as well. But overall, there’s a lot to like about this slide: Finding 1,600 customers who pay you over $12,000 each (see slide 7 in the slideshow below) is objectively impressive.
It’s cool that you can check the numbers with your senses: The company claims it has 1,600 customers and $19 million in cumulative revenue. This equates to approximately $12,000 per customer, proving that these numbers are consistent internally.
It’s a hell of a market size
Careerists find themselves in a curious space with great opportunity. In fact, these numbers would be mind-boggling if the company hadn’t seen extraordinary traction and lifetime value (LTV).but with With traction in place, the numbers seem more or less reasonable. Also, in really huge markets (hiring, training, etc.), market size is basically just a checkbox.
Toothpaste is an example: there’s no question that there’s a huge market for it, and no investor is going to argue with you about it. The questions then become “What can you do to gain a foothold in these markets?” and “What are your marketing and customer acquisition channels?” Careerist only partially answers these questions, which worries me a bit.
Those are some positives on Careerist’s pitch deck, but unfortunately there are also some Texas-sized red flags that make me wonder how the company managed to raise money. As I mentioned above, I suspect the answer is because of its traction. In the rest of the teardown, I’ll take a look at three things Careerist could improve or do differently, along with its full pitch deck.