Hello Wefunder Investors,
We’ve now concluded the eight month since the Wefunder first round seed financing was successfully completed and closed. As in previous months, I wanted to provide you with an update on the many things happening with our OodlesDeals mobile app, and overall at the company.
10,000 Users On App
In last month’s update, I described the user growth effects of LawnTopia ’18, an annual event at UC - Davis held in early April, that OodlesDeals sponsored this year. The growth of users resulting from this sponsorship, along with the on-going growth in users we see every week as a result of deals on the app being shared by users to their friends to achieve the SCORCHING tier, has allowed us to sign-up 10,000 users on the OodlesDeals app earlier than planned in the original August ’17 Wefunder investment deck — the original plan was to achieve this goal by mid-June, i.e. the end of the school year.
Each of these sponsorships involves the creation of a three-tier deal, that both entices new users to sign-up and for current users to transact via the app. As you know, this process is a patented protected one, and is what makes Oodles - Deals & Events truly unique and added-value to use.
April Daily Notifications Engagement
One of the ways the OodlesDeals marketing team communicates with the students on the app is via daily in-app notifications. In-app notifications give timely awareness to the deals available on the app before each meal of the day (breakfast, lunch, dinner). Events held at each University with our vendor-partners, are also communicated via in-app notifications a couple of days before the event to ensure turnout. The in-app notification is the critical communication tool for the OodlesDeals marketing team, as it is a “megaphone” with direct access to each student via their OodlesDeals app.
In the past month, i.e. the month of April ’18, ~20% of daily notifications sent and tracked were clicked through directly to the deal or event being showcased. This is a very important metric for OodlesDeals…as the unique added-value of OodlesDeals is the transaction volume the app creates for our vendor-partners. Many students have commented to the OodlesDeals management team that these notifications not only remind them of the deals available on the app, but actually help decide which place to go and eat at with their friends. There is a direct cause-and-effect from the notifications sent to the number of transactions created for each vendor-partner, and April ’18 was no exception.
In next month’s update, I will provide more detail on a final metric, i.e. customer transaction activity. It will be a good summation of the results driven by OodlesDeals over the course of the year, given that the school year is coming to an end between mid-May and mid-June across the three schools where OodlesDeals is available.
New Website To Enable Vendor Sign-ups
In last month’s update, I explained that OodlesDeals had > 15 paying vendors across the three Universities where the app is present. That number has grown further this past month, and now includes some of the restaurants at the University of Oregon - Eugene that had signed up as trialers when the app was originally being tested in the ’17/’18 school year. We are grateful to have these vendor-partners as paying customers on the app, and the students using the app continue to take advantage of the deals these vendor-partners have provided.
With scaling to the next round of Universities in mind, the OodlesDeals marketing team is now working on an updated website, due to be completed before the end of this school year, that will focus on new vendor recruitment via an in-bound marketing approach. Wireframes of the website are done, and the web team is busy getting the actual website completed in time for summer ’18, when new University recruitment will initiate. I will provide more details on this enhanced website in next month’s update.
Customer Case Study #4
In last month’s update, I provided a case study of a Mexican food truck, and the growth in student transactions they gained with the OodlesDeals app. This month’s case study is a pizza restaurant that is an institution in Eugene, Oregon. Since 1978, this establishment has been known as the place to go to in Eugene, Oregon for their award winning pizza. The U of O - Eugene is known as one of the world’s most prominent track and field schools, and the restaurant also shares and builds on this history. It’s a real experience to eat at the restaurant.
The restaurant is a small distance from campus and students being busy all the time with homework, etc., frequently take the easy way and order take-out pizza that is delivered to their dorm rooms. Experience is replaced by price, and the cheapest and least tasty pizza wins out in these instances.
The challenge for restaurant management was to get students to come to their location, experience first-hand their amazing tasting pizza and the overall experience of the restaurant. Once they did this, previous trends showed that they would become long-term customers.
Said a General Manager of the restaurant, “I decided to give OodlesDeals a try as one of their first customers. Knowing their marketing approach was to continually make students aware of us and the offer we had on the app, it would be a matter of time before students using the app came to our restaurant.”
Within weeks of the deal being put on-app, the restaurant started seeing U of O - Eugene students in-store, and the number of students with OodlesDeals eating at their establishment grew with each passing week. “I was impressed with the results,” said the General Manager. “We now have many U of O - Eugene students come to our restaurant due to OodlesDeals. The Vendor Days are outstanding, many hundred students come and try our award-winning pizza during the course of each Vendor Day, and become long-term customers.”
In the eight months since the initial Wefunder seed financing round closed, and in reviewing the growth & metrics we’ve experienced to-date, we continue tracking in-line with the quantitative & qualitative expectations outlined in the original investment deck — an updated version of this deck is embedded on the recently refreshed Oodles Wefunder site (www.wefunder.com/oodles), and includes a ‘dashboard’ page that gives a summary view of each of the metrics we’re tracking, and the progress against each of these metrics.
This next statement is the same one I’ve made in the past, and will always remain sincerely true — while our journey is just beginning, Asheesh and I owe our sincere thanks to all of you who have helped us get to this point.
Co-founder & CEO
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