Our plans for making this Seller-owned strategy successful are simple:
We'll continue building innovative, Square-powered technologies, tools, websites and especially (and primarily) mobile apps that help all our businesses, while sharing the profits created by giving other Sellers access to that very same technology (and trust us, they need it and want it).
And, hopefully you, our Founding Customers, will all chip in a little bit (here and there) to collectively help spread the word. That's it.
Just imagine, a group of 400 of us all working together. Maybe not at the same exact time all the time or even at the same exact intensity all the time, but at least on the same page overall. That's how you build real traction. Everybody knows somebody and by all working together we believe we'll start to reach a lot of the right people that'll lead to all kinds of cool opportunities for growth (on top of all the cool opportunities we already have).
The general idea behind this is, you, the Founding Customers all chip in and help the company get the initial traction and then the "company" will be able to do all the work once we reach a certain point of validity and market saturation. And that's when we bring in new money that pays you.
Investors do it all the time. And most of the crap they back is average at best. So, why can't we? We can. And, we will. And everybody who misses out is going to look back and wish they got in when they could.
We don’t expect your monthly revenue share checks/deposits to be earth shattering, but it should be a nice little bonus. Plus, we can guarantee you you’ll save at least $5k per location per year (using just 3 of our key features: Loyalty, E-Wallet, Auto-Reload). And, we do have quite a lot of other opportunities that will bring in more revenue also - to increase your revenue share checks - and, we'll be aggressively rolling those out one after another this year - which we detail below).
Oh and for the record here is our exclusive sign up page for new Customers/Clients who we bring to Square:
Note: these have our parent company's branding on them, which is ThinApp - https://getthinapp.com. We are giving ownership away of the Pre-Order Division of ThinApp, which is exclusively all our Square-powered Technology. Under ThinApp, we do high-end custom apps (and websites) of all kinds, which is how we developed the skills and existing portfolio of technology that helped us get our Square deal.
In addition, the Seller Community Team has started to show us some love and have even been recommending us slowly to requests and Sellers who's problems are solved by something we make. They also recently promoted us throughout the entire Seller Community for over a week:
On top of that, we are in the process of finally getting our Partner Page within the Square Apps Marketplace, which will make us visible to tons of businesses who use Square and are looking for various solutions to help with operations, etc. After that, we'll be working on becoming a "Featured App", which will put us in front of even more businesses who use Square.
The Additional Capital (From You, the Founding Customers) Will Help:
400 x $299 one-time setup fee = $119,600 (but you only have to pay $75 upfront because of our ViaBill Deal)*
400 x $50/mo. support fee = $20,000 per month
$20k (for monthly support) x 12 months = $240k (which is basically like a seed investment)
Total Annual Revenue:$359,600 (setup fees + support fees)
*ViaBill is a global payments company that allows all our Customers to make payments towards any service we sell for $300 or less. So we can offer a setup fee of $299 and every client/customer can pay that in 4 easy payments of $75 (no credit check required. You just need a valid Credit or Debit Card). Here's our Setup fee page: https://getpreorder.com/shop/product/pre-order/
Most Angels will usually only get 10 - 20% equity for that amount of investment. Maybe 25%. Below we'll explain why we're bold enough to double the equity we're offering/giving for that amount.
Note: Remember after the first year, you'll only pay $5/mo for monthly support for life. No contract. Plus, you can stop paying and get out whenever you want - and you'll keep your equity. Your equity fully vests (and is yours officially) after 12 months. We guarantee you revenue shares based on your unvested equity for the first full year. So you'll be getting paid as if the equity is already yours even though technically it's not yet. This is very similar to how famous corporations do it.
Why We Believe This Will Work
A few key reasons.
1) What better way is there to cultivate a product and service than by working with real customers? We've been active in Square's Sellers Community Message Boards, which has allowed us to learn a great deal about what Sellers want and need, as well as what things frustrate them. Having Sellers as "Partners" only takes that to another level of honesty and transparency - thereby giving us valuable insights into what stuff to make, that'll be needed and actually sell.
2) We knew we needed to give everybody enough equity that they felt they had some real skin in the game (as they say). 25% just wasn't enough. We need our Founding Customers to be motivated. We don't want to have to convince you to spread the word or make an intro or refer a new Customer. We want you to do it because you truly believe in this cause and because you know you'll make money and be fairly compensated.
3) We already have so many different coals in the fire and things going for us (relating specifically to this Square operation), that we're sure with a little more fire-power we can really force the issue. A lot of startups get tons of funding and go out there and make average products and services. A big reason why they succeed is the funding affords them the ability to make mistakes, as well as buy themselves time until they find an angle that works. We already have awesome products - AND an official partnership with Square, not to mention a potential Customer Base of 2M+ Businesses who are currently using Square.
Where We're At With Square Currently
We've already made some excellent progress on our own and are even starting to get some nice support from different departments and divisions within Square, however, we know how great the potential is - and to reach that potential we know we're going to need some help.
The "Investor" Route vs Seller-Owned
We inititally considered going the "investor" route and even met with and pitched tons of Angel Investors all over America, but time and time again we just felt like their passion and interest wasn't deserving enough of what we were trying to do. So, we thought to ourselves who better to help us grow this venture than other Square Sellers themselves? And, the more we thought about it, the more sense it made. And, as we formulated strategies around the idea, we realized this is not just a good idea, it's a great idea.
Note: We are still talking to some famous and renown Angel Investors, but at this point they'd have to be willing to work with all of us - in the capacity of this being a 100% Seller-owned venture with 400 Partners.
Our mission is to build the profitability and revenue of Pre-Order Apps, LLC, so it's profitable for all our Founding Customer Partners. And, if we do that well enough it should naturally position us as an attractive acquisition target to Square.
Below are our Immediate Growth Plans for growing our revenue and our Strategic Acquisition Plans.
Immediate Growth Plans
We are planning on creating 1 universal Pre-Order App for All Square Sellers (Multi-Seller) - there's been a lot of domination in the Food Industry (even though our technology works for Food, Retail AND Services) by "aggregator" apps, like GrubHub, DoorDash and Postmates. In the Credit Card Industry these are referred to as PayFacs or Payment Aggregators and are typically backed by banks because they take payments FROM Customers and re-distribute them back out to all the restaurants.
This is SUPER hard to manage and get approval for, but because of all our crazy work with Square's Technology and API we actually have a completely secure, safe and legal way around this.In fact, we already have it 90% built. We just need a little more time and funds to finish it off (for both Apple iOS and Google Android Apps).
Then we can release ONE single Mobile App that allows ANY business who uses Square to sign up and utilize some of our coolest features, like Pre-Ordering for Pickup instantly. And we won't charge businesses a large percentage of their order like those other "aggregators" do AND we'll be specifically integrated with Square, so you know people who use Square will do it.
We've gotten good at on-boarding people and this will basically be a whole 'nother level of on-boarding. It'll take 5 minutes for a business to sign up and the App will pull their entire Square Inventory of Products, Menu Items or Services instantly (like our individual Pre-Order App does now). So, imagine. If we run social media ads and on-board 20,000 of the 2M+ Square Businesses at $20/mo. we'll pull in $400k per month x 12 months = $4.8M per year.
Take 50% of that for our Founding Customers and that's $4800 each and $9600/ea for our First 100. We're also working on a part of our final Equity Offering where once we make it over a certain amount of revenue per year, we distribute another 25% of the company's earnings to Founding Customers. So instead of 50% of $4.8M, it'll be 75%, which is $3.6M divided by 400 for an average of $7,200 each and $14,400/ea for our First 100.
And, the big reason why a Multi-Seller App is so important is, we've found some Customers want to just use a branded app of their few favorite places, while for some Customers it's all about having 1 app and all those options in that one apps. It's just smart for us to continue offering both - individually branded apps and one single, big one.
Food Hall App (Multi-Seller) - The architecture of the Multi-Seller App above could also be used for Food Halls. We've spoken with a ton of them and they all want what's called "Closed Loop" Apps, which means just for their Food Halls. That way they can have their own Loyalty Programs and control things a little bit more. That's fine with us. We have to cater to certain preferences in order to cover our major bases.
Launch College Rep Referral Program - This one is a no-brainer. College towns are full of businesses that use Square and most College Kids will do just about anything for "pizza" money. We can really put a physical presence behind our brand by sending kids in these businesses and having them demo one of our apps. We've done this for a previous Tech Startup of ours before - and have it down to a science. We typically send the kids their own cheap, branded business cards that say "College Rep" with their own exclusive promo-code, which gives the business something off (which helps us track the sales to the kids).
Launch Referral Program - This is basically the same as the College Rep program, just every body else.
Landing Large, National Square Sellers - We're in talks with 2 MASSIVE National Chains. IF we get these contracts it'll create so much free Media and Press for us, which will basically blow the whole thing up and get everyone paid.
Strategic Acquisition Plans
In Talks with a Top 10 US Angel
In Contact w/ Equity Firm/Major Square Stakeholder
In Talks with a top Chicago Angel
Make no mistake - the eventual goal is to be acquired or acqui-hired. Preferably by Square. There are lots of reasons why. Namely, survival.
Lately, Square's been gobbling up companies for around the $250M to $500M mark, so we think it's very likely that's about where we could end up. If they wait too long to acquire us and we all keep kicking butt, then obviously we'll be worth more and able to demand/command more, but they already are fully aware of us and we've been in their Headquarters in San Francisco and there's even been talk of possibly adding a Square Chicago office if we prove that we can deliver enough traction (not just necessarily in Chicago, but in general).
That's another interesting thing. They are a St Louis founded company and don't have an office in Chicago - one of the top 3 retail and restaurant markets in the US. Talk about opportunity.
We're also in touch with a major Equity Firm (and planning on establishing channels of communication with more) who owns a significant stake in Square's stock. Think about that for a minute - can you say win-win.
If they invest in us and we pull off good US traction, then all of a sudden Investors will see us as a major value-adding "Partner" of Square, which will boost Square's stock, thereby making the Equity Firm money in the process. It's a no-brainer.
And, Equity companies have a track-record of making way bolder and smarter investments than VCs and Angels. Plus, they don't make small investments. When they bet, they bet big. From similar situations we've researched and people we actually know who've done it, we could potentially get $25M to $50M from an Equity firm like the one we're in touch with, right out the gate. It'd basically be game-over.
If they give it to us for 10% (you know, of the remaining 50%) then it would value Pre-Order at $250M to $500M instantly. Then if we can show that we have an upward trajectory of a growth curve, well you have to take that into account too, when calculating what we could command in an acquisition.
To sum it up, if we all do our jobs and make this company "attractive" there's no way Square won't want to acquire it. And that's what we want, because if we build a great company and Square acquires it, then hopefully some of what we built will absord into Square's culture and continue to live and thrive. Whereas, if we aren't careful and aggressive, eventually time will catch up with us and one of Square's competitors may just do what we're doing or something totally different that makes us obsolete.
That's pretty much the big stuff for now. We really are excited to see who steps up and joins us!