WeLivv Covid-19 Update
I hope you're all safe, healthy, and managing during these difficult times. Our world, as we knew it, at least for now, has changed, affecting us all in our personal and business capacities. Now, more than ever, we need to be our strongest, smartest, and best selves. People all over the world are feeling the economic effects of this crisis, and unfortunately, this is likely only the beginning. None of us chose this, but we do get to choose how we respond to it. Albeit difficult, I believe we have an opportunity and a responsibility here to one another, and ourselves. We must adapt in proportion to the challenges. If we do, we will not only survive, but I believe we will come out of it much better than we went in.
With much of Europe and the US being on lockdown, WeLivv revenue is at a standstill for the time being. We expect that this may be the case for another month or two, and even then, we don't expect a semblance of the old normal until months later. We are making adjustments to our plans, priorities, and operating strategies, based on a projected 80% average market drop-off for 12-18 months. We recognize that this may be overcompensating, and if things end up not being as dire, or getting back on track sooner, we too will recalibrate. During the current uncertainty, we will err on the side of caution.
We consider ourselves relatively lucky. Not only are we among a segment of businesses - purely digital, home-focused - that stands to ultimately benefit from the current situation and even more from the changes we expect may remain long after Covid-19 passes, but we have some unique opportunities based on our specific model and the stage of our company that can catalyze us. Our mission has always aimed to improve how people live. We're focused on doing this through the spaces we inhabit, the objects we surround ourselves with, and the human connections we foster. In my view, there has never been a greater need for this in our lifetime.
As you already know, the basis for us delivering on this mission starts with identifying and curating photos of great homes. We do this through the most celebrated designers and architects throughout the world. We also aim to make the products featured in the photos of homes being published to our platform available for purchase through our marketplace. Collectively, these are the primary drivers of platform growth and revenue. In both cases, for supply (the brands/sellers producing/selling products) and demand (the designers, architects, etc.), recognition and exposure are the primary motivators for them joining our platform. They, like almost all other businesses, are suffering during these difficult times. To compensate for the losses they're enduring, they are more interested than ever in joining the WeLivv platform. This is resulting in record-high enrollments and onboarding rates on the user and seller sides. To offset the 80% average market drop-off we're expecting, we're setting user and marketplace growth objectives of 5x our original targets. To this end, and to ensure we stay on solid financial ground, short-term, we're reallocating the majority of resources to supporting this aggressive growth and offsetting the projected revenue impact caused by this global pandemic.
I'd also like to share some of the other milestones we reached and what's ahead outside of platform growth and revenue objectives. Although only released in beta, we have developed v1 of our Visual Discovery functionality. We also secured MORO (Moro.com) as the new brand name, and we're working on intellectual property protections. Our team is also growing, now including a computer science Ph.D. While the vast majority of resources, for the time being, will be concentrated on maximizing growth, we're also continuing to invest in product development/engineering. We'll be releasing the new UX, including visual discovery functionality and the rebrand, in May. Because we've shifted engineering resources away from longer-term product development initiatives, we'll be releasing many advancements and features. These are primarily focused on and around our current growth priorities, as well as on enabling sharing and fostering connections in ways that can help users through these difficult times.
From a resource standpoint, we're in great shape today, however, we will likely delay our Series A. The investment group - which includes founders/leadership from Facebook, Stripe, Snapchat, Warby Parker and some of the other amazing companies of our generation - which we intended to give our deal to, is still interested. Despite their continued interest, however, we may delay opening the round for now out of concern that market conditions may ultimately play a role. We believe it may be prudent to wait until conditions are such that we are more confident we will close the round at the valuation and terms we expect. We have, however, allowed several existing investors to increase their investment, giving them access to our original capital raise terms, despite WeLivv being significantly further along. To further increase our financial buffer amid Series A delays, we are still allowing this for now. Reach out to me directly about this if you're interested.
While the year has certainly not begun the way any of us expected, for reasons beyond any of our control, again, we are in complete control of how we respond. WeLivv is in a unique position to not only get through these difficult times but, in doing so, come out of this closing the gap with today's market leaders significantly faster than we initially expected. I challenge you to look for those opportunities for yourself, as well.
In closing, I want to leave with you a question originally asked by Scott Galloway: How do each of us want to be remembered, years after this crisis? Near all of us will talk about this in grand terms one day. This is historic. What will be each of our roles in this moment of history?
I urge you to think about this in the context of your personal and professional lives. How can you grow through this? How can you play a role in the life of someone else?
Stay vigilant, positive, and strong.