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Investor Update - August '19

Just like having a newborn baby, we've been celebrating lots of 'firsts' lately, including this newsletter - our first monthly investor update. Thanks for the recommendations to get this started. After working for PE-backed technology businesses, I understand the importance of providing visibility to investors and the value of that accountability.

Speaking of firsts, August was our first full month after the Beta launch in July. We’ve been busy talking with users and have learned a lot. With those lessons, we've locked in our MVP features and will finally have a 'complete' product by the end of September (obviously still a million and one things we would do if we could).

KPIs

We'll start reporting on KPIs for the October newsletter at the latest. We need to use precious dev resources to build the analytics plus we'll start managing to our targets once we have MVP ready.

We do know from our limited data that many people are ‘showrooming’ the app - downloading and checking it out - and not adding their family members to begin messaging. Our biggest challenge right now is driving usage. Once we have our new social features complete, we will spend the majority of our development time on features to drive usage.

Better than texting (and everything else)

Image & message screening

In August, we released features that give us a strong safety advantage to text messaging, which was a common question in early market feedback.

Explicit images are blocked. Yes, that's protection from life-damaging 'nudes' and/or porn.

Parents have the option to receive alerts for suggestive images and bad language. This enables parents to have conversations with their kids and be involved in their digital life.

Finance guy learns graphic design

My background is finance and economics, making me a certified math geek. In August, I upped our graphics game by overhauling our branding including new app store copy, a new (animated) website, and onboarding emails.

Screens from Apple App Store

GSD (get stuff 😉 done)

We love seeing progress and making sure we're getting the right stuff done.

Additional product features
Other stuff

Coming soon

Village's private social features will be released in September and is the last big piece missing for the MVP. We're excited to give users a more controlled and private way to share with people they know. Plus posts are easy to share via text or email with people outside of Village, creating a super easy way to spread the word.

Other stuff

Past Updates

We'll archive past versions starting next month!

About Village

The future of social, starting with families

Problem: social media is harmful to kids' health yet used by >70%. Examples of harms include cyberbullying, addiction, predators, pornography, adult content, depression & anxiety.

Solution: a social app focused on users* that eliminate bad features (snap streaks, likes,  etc) and includes built-in safety features for parents.

Product:
  • Village app is available on any device (iOS, Android or any browser).
  • Socialize with individual and group chats.
  • Safety features include: controls to set content ratings, receive alerts for new conversations, blocking of explicit images, alerts for inappropriate messages, and more.
  • Our innovative private social sharing (coming in September)​.
Advantages: 1) easiest and safest option for parents to empower and protect their kids. 2) no ads, which is a big deal. Other platforms that rely on ads can't copy our strategy, because they rely on addictive content to engage users.

Business model: messaging on Village is always free. Parents can purchase a monthly subscription to access the great safety features ($4/mo 1st kids and $2/mo for additional). We anticipate future revenue streams from social and add-on messaging features.

* a major change from platforms where users are the product sold to advertisers. Ad-driven platforms are incented to drive engagement and make decisions not best for users.

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Meet the Founders

Adam Ahern, CEO

Ezra Morse, CTO

  • Leader that helped transform and rapidly grow two PE/VC-backed businesses. Experience to build Village 'right'
  • Corp dev, revenue accounting, strategic finance, strategy and sales ops at SilverLake-backed Mercury Payments
  • Led IPO prep then $1.9 billion sale of Mercury to Worldpay
  • CFO for OthoFi (164 on Inc’s fastest growing companies)
  • Raised over $750 million of debt and equity
  • 20 years software development experience at startups
  • Lead engineer at 7 Cups, YC-backed mental health therapy chat
  • Ezra has built a very similar platform and knows the intricacies of doing it right
  • Key architecture to allow quick scalability both as the team and user base grow

Download Investor Information

Executive Summary
Pitch deck (coming soon)
We'll archive past versions starting next month!