When I became an entrepreneur, I was told by some friends that the odds of my startup turning 3 were practically non existent. I’m not sure if that statistic is really true but it stayed with me as some kind of magic number – a bit like turning 18 was fascinating to me as a teenager, imagining I would suddenly become a grown-up overnight. Somehow we beat the odds back then with Musiwave (my former startup) and today I’m excited to announce we’re doing it again with the Scoop.it team and community: it’s now been officially 3 years since we launched Scoop.it!
Back when we started, we chose a different strategy than many Saas services for professionals which tended to offer only a paid-for product. Whether they were marketing, CRM or content tools, most of them were typically at best free to try but didn’t offer a product you could use for free for as long as you wanted while still getting a lot of value. But we felt different. By definition, content curation is about enhancing communication and we felt we would fully deliver on the promise only by offering a free version any professional could use. By making it free, we wanted not only to encourage adoption but to involve our growing community of users in our distribution as they would naturally promote Scoop.it to their audience by simply using it while developing their visibility and deriving value. Our strategy was thus distribution first, monetization second.
Last year as we turned 2, we announced some big milestones in terms of usage and visibility and 6 months later, we passed the 1 million user mark. So while success is never a given and we continue to focus on growth, we felt the first part of our plan was on track and we’ve added another objective to Scoop.it: becoming a sustainable business.
We were very fortunate to have Andrew join us with a ton of experience on monetization back then. With his help, we started to grow the business team and work on growing our paying customer base and revenue. We listened hard and learned a lot about the features and benefits which we needed to add or improve and we kept improving our premium features. For example, we made our premium versions much simpler to use for SMBs with small marketing teams and limited technical resources by introducing templates, embeds, a 1-click way to integrate with WordPress or drag-and-drop lead generation features. We also worked with large enterprises as their need to share knowledge in a better way becomes critical and demands a collective improvement in their content curation skills: we developed collaborative content curation to make it easy for marketers to tap into internal expertise to fuel their content marketing efforts and we also created a version dedicated to sharing knowledge privately within the enterprise.
So today, as we turn 3 (and we seem to beat the odds again!), I’m happy to share that we’ve been exceeding all of our expectations for that first year of monetization. We’ve not only grown revenue at an average ~40% per quarter over the past 12 months but we’ve also passed 3,000 business, non-profit and enterprise clients including prominent companies such as Microsoft, Renault-Nissan, Orange, Generali, l’Occitane or Reed Midem, rapidly growing startups such as Docker, OpenGarden-FireChat, SigFox, LeWeb or Ring Central, educational institutions such as the University of San Francisco or NYU Stern as well as non-profits such Ashoka, Flu Near You or the City of Edinburgh. Beyond the numbers, seeing thousands of SMBs be successful at growing their visibility and brand awareness, showing thought leadership or generating leads has been overwhelming for us. On behalf of the entire team, I want to thank all of our customers for your trust. We also know this trust comes from expected return on investment and I want to stress out that measuring it and improving Scoop.it to achieve it is a constant goal for us as we’ve shared in our recent white paper on the ROI of content curation.
In addition, I would also like to thank all of you using Scoop.it free version: you’re now 1,500,000 professionals and growing fast! (it took us only 30 months to grow to 1,000,000 and only 6 months to add the next 500,000 Scoopiteers). Seeing so many of you use Scoop.it is simply amazing but we also feel grateful because many of the above customers came as a result of your recommendations or simply discovered Scoop.it through the awesome content you curated. Constantly improving your content curation experience so that you reach your goals remains our #1 motivation.
Thank you all for helping us turn Scoop.it into a long-lasting sustainable company.