In this letter, I am going to detail our growth plan for the rest of 2019 and into the first half of 2020. It will mainly cover our product development plan in this letter.
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Genuine Impact 2.0
As for our product development plan, it will break down into two categories: existing feature enhancement and new feature development. I will focus on existing feature enhancement in this letter, which is our focus for the near term.
Our existing features include Ranking, Portfolio, and Insights which you will find in our existing beta app.
For Ranking, the enhancement will include:
1.1 Much more stocks and funds.
For stocks, expansion of the universe to both include smaller cap companies and more developing market exchanges. This will significantly increase the number of stocks we cover in our ranking which currently sits around 3,000. For funds, we will have no matter how young they are. Current requirement is more than 5 years old. This will more than double the funds we cover, from existing 7,000.
1.2 We will introduce dynamic filters and sorting options.
For example, this will allow users to rank Microsoft not only within the global universe but also inside U.S information technology. It will as well allow sort by specific factor of quality, value, and momentum; and choose specific market cap buckets such as only within U.S large-cap stocks.
1.3 We will have a good long list of other important metrics to show inside a security detail page.
Just to name a few, for stock: relative return, share price volatility, beta, ESG, sell-side ratings, % of revenue by region and a dedicated section of Accounting Strength; for funds: inflow and outflow, top 10 holdings for funds, investment country breakdown, if or not beat benchmark, etc. We want to arm our users with the best and most needed analysis tools. My personal favorite is to show the changes in the underlying ranking results, for instance, daily biggest move stock based on Quality Ranking, and show its ranking history.
1.4 Terminal as a service.
Our ultimate plan is to enable users to specify whatever metrics they wish to include in the rankings and their respective weights. All Genuine Impact does is to provide background data and calculation. For instance, if you wish to give more weights to capital allocation metric inside the Quality factor and give Quality factor higher weights than Value and Momentum, and want to introduce ESG as a brand new factor into the final ranking, you can do all of these customized functions through a centralized dashboard.
For Portfolio, the enhancement will include:
2.1 A faster way to create and edit portfolios.
Some have said the process to manually input an entire portfolio and keep track of the changes of value is onerous. We heard that completely. We solve it through 2 steps. The first step is to allow the creation of portfolios through both % method and value method where users enter the actual amount. In the medium term, we will enable broker account integration, which is dependant on how ready the existing brokerage firms are on their sides.
2.2 Whatever is in 1.3 above will be available for an entire portfolio level.
As an example, isn’t that cool to see the underlying country exposure by combining the revenue exposure for companies and the country allocation for funds? Same logic goes with industry exposure and the portfolio level beta for the stock holdings, for instance.
2.3 Thematic Portfolios powered by our Ranking.
For instance, future of technology as a theme with specifications of U.S only, large-cap, strong Quality and Momentum factors. Tools that help us create portfolios conveniently and discover new ideas.
2.4 Link to Insights and sell-side research
Your holdings tell us a lot about your potential interests, so we will make sure we have enough personalized readings for you from our Insights section.
We will introduce sell-side research features as well being a part of the feature for Portfolios.
For Insights, the enhancement will include:
3.1 Expansion of sources.
We currently focus on asset management firms. We will next introduce consultants, business media and industry papers, etc. We will also roll out a mini feature on charts we’d like to highlight about investing from ad-hoc sources we track.
3.2 Search, and save to read for later.
Simply put, you can now search inside Insights. Also, you can save articles you’d wish to read for later.
These include things like “Brexit” and “AI” and “ESG” for instance. An alternative reading habit to 3.1 where we group insights by publication firms.
3.4 Proprietary content.
Quite often, we’d like to write things ourselves. This is dynamically linked to our Ranking and Portfolio features.
A complete re-design
This is an enhancement on the entire user journey and experience on its own. This includes basic things like swipe, re-sizing of screens to different phone sizes, a sign-up & sign-in process, a subscription process which I will brief later. And perhaps most importantly, an in-app chat function with the team directly as a key part of customer service. Rather than making the app look like an emotionless utility, we’d like to have a little taste of our own team, brand and identify through the app as well.
A dedicated app for China
It is not difficult to translate the app to Chinese so yes we will have a dedicated app for the Chinese users with some functional specifications such as stock and fund universe. Route to market there is going to be local partnerships instead of building a new team on the ground, at least not for now. So overall it is a very scalable app which can be used immediately in all English proficient populations and specifically we will do a localisation for China.
On team hiring, we will hire one full-time developer to work with our CTO Alister. We will outsource components which we think are either one-off or commoditized and hence don’t justify hiring for full time at the moment, for example, designs for one-off and parts of the app development for commoditized services. We may look to hire a marketing/BD person later of the year but for now Yuchen and I will share whatever non-technical responsibilities there may require. Bottom line is that we are very cost-aware of our bottom line, so we budget rationally.
We will introduce a paying subscription app (a proper alpha app 2.0) once we roll out most of the above-mentioned features. We believe we can justify charging users since we will be by then covering more features than our peers who have established a solid base for charging their own users. The pricing structure will be detailed with you later towards the end of 3Q 2019. What this all means is that we aim to generate revenue before 2Q 2020.
Small part of the app will always be free for everybody. Once we get to a good scale of user base, we can look to monetize our Insights through advertising which is likely later part of 2020.
Cross-selling our features to enterprise as a software is also possible and it does not require too much technological investment. We treat it on a case by case basis, meaning it is not a business priority and we remain opportunistic towards B2B side of things.
From the raise of more than half a million pounds, it gives us longer run-way than we originally anticipated. We will accelerate the development speed which is why you are reading the above-mentioned feature updates. But we will not throw the raise into something we don’t plan to spend today, from paid advertising to a team of more than 5 people which we don’t need at the moment. Our near term priority is to roll out an app that can justify revenue generation for the medium to long term. That sets the foundation well for later institutional fundraising as well as scaling our marketing channels and customers services.
Finally, as a reminder again, please sign up to our Community Forum to stay in touch: https://community.genuineimpact.co.uk
CEO, co-founder Genuine Impact