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August investor update: We added AI, tripled signups to our video editor SaaS :-)

Huge update: We implemented a breakthrough AI feature ; Recurring revenue is up 3x from June, 5x from May, getting close to $100k ARR. Read on to discover why!

It’s been an awesome, but intense, start of the summer. We are now an AI video editor (the Artificial Intelligence engine is finally live!), signups are picking up and we are on fire!

It feels like things are moving so fast that it might be valuable to take the time and reflect a bit, and I’d love to get a fresh set of eyes on where we’re at!

🔥 TL;DR

  • Recurring revenue is up 3x from June, 5x from May, getting close to $100k ARR (Annual Recurring Revenue)
  • Our first free challenge was a success and we’ll do a new one in September
  • The « Magic button » (our AI which edits your videos for you) is now the single feature that defines what Nuro does. See a demo here
  • We now have a homepage! https://nuro.video/en 

⭐️ Elevator Pitch (how we talk about Nuro)

For experts and online course creators, Nuro.video is the AI video-editing software to create and publish video content in one click.
Just provide your unedited raw footage. Nuro will instantly transcribe, analyse and edit a ready-to-publish video with titles, transitions and animations!

Note: This has changed tremendously in the last 3 months, thanks to a comment from Victor Damàsio in March (see the « Learnings » section)

🏆 Growth: our key metrics

Up until the month of June, I was so deeply engrossed in shipping the AI feature that I didn’t focus much on signing up new paid users. (We had given free access to many of our coaching clients, but I didn’t do a lot of promotion to sell subscriptions).

Two people: Lorraine Dallmeier and David Albert, lit the fire under me for weeks to go out and get people to pay up!

So in July we started with a free 5-Day Challenge to my list which led into the offer for the software. I should say « offers », since we pivoted the offer 3 times until we found one that worked.

Obviously this is still early days, but I’m super excited by the shape of this curve 🙂

Number of active accounts is a sharp J-curve going up since we released the AI (Artificial Intelligence) video editor
Paid accounts went from 19 to 61 following our free Challenge
Monthly recurring revenue curve : a sharp exponential going up
Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) went from less than EUR 3,000 to over EUR 7,000

We are almost at $100k ARR (annual recurring revenue) now.

Annual recurring revenue is a sharp exponential curve going up
After we switched to a software-only offer, we went from $30k in Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR), to almost $100,000 in ARR now!

Almost all users are on the annual plan. I think we can afford to keep the focus on the annual subscription and roll out a monthly plan a little bit later. It’s better for cashflow and allows us to not worry about churn too soon.

❓How you can help

Now that our webinars are getting good conversions (10%) and users are starting to love the software, I want to progressively roll out a series of webinars with partners – starting in French for now.

  1. Any pointers on how to run this kind of rolling campaign are much appreciated (I’d like to do 2+ webinars per week with partners).
  2. Also if you know of potential promotional partners (preferably folks with an audience of infopreneurs / online course creators) – in French for now ; I’d love some intros since there are many new players in the market I might not know. Our software is  the perfect complement to programs on how to build/sell a video course!
  3. I want to improve on the English demo for the tool (See it here). All feedback is appreciated. I’d love to make it a bit more dramatic!

💪 Top 3 Learnings since last update

#1 The « Magic Button »: How Nuro became an Artificial Intelligence video editor

In March, I shared with Jeff Walker‘s Platinum mastermind group a link to a video I had edited from a guest presentation that happened at this mastermind’s last meeting.

A couple of « Plats » watched the video and happily used its content with their teams, but I had a call with Victor Damàsio and he was less than enthusiastic.

« You said it took you 5 hours to take notes from the presentation, and then 45 minutes to edit the video itself…
and I understand that 45 minutes is way shorter than it takes to edit this kind of videos normally.

But – dude – 45 minutes is a freaking long time, let alone 5 hours of taking notes! »

Victor Damàsio

And he added,

« What I want is a BUTTON. One button. I upload my video, I click the button, I’m done! »

This comment led us to spend the next three months developing the AI behind the « Magic Button » feature, and it kicks ass!

This might be the single most valuable feature we have and it’s now the thing that clinches the sale.

I no longer do a content webinar.

All I do is a demo : people give me a topic in the chat, I improvise a 1-minute talk on the topic, and I click the Magic Button. The video gets edited in 15 seconds, I show the result, attendees gasp, and then buy.

Thank you Victor 😄

#2 Going international… in time

Our software is already available in both English and French, and I was initially gung-ho on launching in English and Brazilian Portuguese in 2022.

However I got the chance to talk 1-on-1 with Marnix Van der Ploeg (one of the first people at Booking.com, and investor in Hotmart, a unicorn in the infoproduct space that we recently partnered with to run a fantastic event in June).

Marnix strongly recommended a more gradual strategy. He was kind enough to outline a ramp-up plan that I will execute diligently. This will give us time to get all our ducks in a row in the French market before selling abroad.

#3. Community is great

I’ve been hosting a live session with our users every 2 weeks, which lines up with each new release (we are at version 1.8 « Monster Carrot »).

It’s been a huge source of clarity to reprioritize our roadmap. And I enjoy the community-building element of having both the super-enthusiastic folks, in the Zoom room with the doubtful ones who encountered bugs / are waiting for XYZ feature.

I’ve also signed up to a « 100 paid users in 100 days » challenge which is hosted by Indie Worldwide. It’s a good goal at this stage and it keeps me accountable 🙂

🙌 Team

Throughout 2022 it’s been challenging to juggle the 15-person team on the coaching/training side (at the beginning of the year) while bootstrapping the software side with a team of 3 (two developers and myself)

Now we’ve shifted more people to the software side for marketing, customer support/success, and we’re winding down the training/coaching side so I can be laser-focused on the software side.

📅 Next Month Priorities

The ONE THING:

  1. I will be putting together our affiliate program! (my benchmark was to start it when we reached 10% conversion on the webinars, so it’s now time)

What’s also planned for August:

  • On the product side, we need to make our Player more robust so it’s lighter, supports iPhones better, and allows more customizations of the video look and feel. One of the key insights is our AI video editor, the other key insight is that video is a semantic medium, not a graphical medium (more on that in a future article). But despite this last point, making the videos look good is always very high in our priority list.
  • I am speaking at the Hotmart « FIRE » event in Brazil (one of the largest digital marketing events in the world!) in early September, and I want to nail it since it’s an opportunity to « dig the well before we’re thirsty » and meet great people who can be potential local partners in the future.
  • We are changing up our subscription plans. Currently we use Stripe and have a weird-ish payment plan for Annual (a yearly subscription is charged in 4 monthly installments) which isn’t supported by either Hotmart nor Paddle. It is also a big churn issue ; I’m expecting some churn in August that will happen from users who are getting their first re-bill after 30 days, for 1/4th of a year’s price. Since 30-days is our guarantee period, it’s just the worst timing possible.
    Since we want to move away from Stripe anyway, we need a simpler plan structure. It would just make sense to use quarterly payments, which means there is no anxiety-inducing charge on Day 31.
  • Over a hundred qualified leads have requested invites in the last couple of days, and I spent hours recording dozens of personal individual video invitations back-to-back through Bonjoro, but then their mobile app went ahead and deleted all of those before sending… so I’m all about automating the process next month 😅

📣Thanks

Thank you to Lorraine and David A. for motivating me to get the ball rolling on marketing instead of building forever.

Thank you Victor for igniting the « Magic Button » idea.

Happy to answer any questions you might have.

Thank you for all the support!

Sébastien Night
Founder, Nuro.video

P.S. I swiped Visible.vc’s update templates to write this (they initially designed it for startups to send updates to their investors. It’s super helpful to think through this format to reflect on our progress, even though I don’t have investors and am no longer planning on getting any)

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