|Weekly News Roundup|
|1. Meta is reportedly considering an ad-free subscription service for both Instagram and Facebook – New York Times|
According to the New York Times, Meta is considering paid, ad-free subscriptions in Europe and possibly more widely in order to quell concerns over data privacy, something EU regulators take very seriously.
“Meta would also continue to offer free versions of Facebook and Instagram with ads in the European Union, the people said. It is unclear how much the paid versions of the apps would cost or when the company might roll them out.”
2. The grocery store challenger turned SaaS company has gone bankrupt – Breakit
With fresh capital and a new direction, Storekey announced in July to cease operating stores and wholeheartedly focus on selling their SaaS solution to corporate customers.
Now the company has filed for bankruptcy instead.
“The company behind the unmanned Lifvs stores, under the company name Storekey, is going bankrupt. This is evident from documents in the Stockholm District Court that Breakit has seen.”
3. Stockholm-based D2C heat pump subscription startup Aira acquires UK company – Press Release
Swedish clean energy-tech company, Aira, has acquired All Seasons Energy, a UK-based home renewable energy specialist The deal is intended to help drive Aira’s ambition to become the UK’s leading clean energy-tech business by the end of 2024.
“With Aira’s all-inclusive monthly payment plan which removes upfront costs, the partnership increases accessibility and affordability of intelligent heat pumps, helping customers reduce their carbon emissions by 75%.”
4. Swedish accounting app scraps free tier – contrary to promises - Breakit
First, the free version of the accounting service Bokio was reduced. Now, it's being completely scrapped – contrary to earlier marketing promises. At the same time as free users are directed to alternative paid options, the price for the cheapest premium service is also raised by 50 percent.
"We have just launched a full-scale bank within the system, included in the price. With our highest pricing plan, customers also receive cashback on financial services, which means that many of our customers actually get paid by us every month for using Bokio."
5. Butternut Box wolfs down $354M for subscription canine cuisine – Techcrunch
Butternut Box, a U.K.-based startup that prepares and ships healthy food and supplements for dogs, is raising £280 million ($354 million) in a round of funding. Founded in 2016, Butternut Box serves a handful of European markets with myriad culinary products, with the promise of “human-quality” ingredients tested and tasted by real people.
“So far, Butternut Box has served the U.K., Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, and Belgium, but with another £280 million in its coffers, the company says that it’s now looking to expand further into Europe.”
Weekly Analysis Roundup
1. Report: Top-tier SaaS startups reach $1M ARR within 9 months – Chartmogul
The first edition of the ChartMogul SaaS Growth Report notes that the top 10 % of SaaS startups on average reach $1M ARR within 9 months. The median startup takes approximately 2 years and 9 months. On average, SaaS startups reach $10M ARR in slightly over 5 years.
“The majority of SaaS startups grow from $1M to $10M ARR by growing their subscriber base. Only a small subset (<5%) of startups grow predominantly by increasing their ARPA.”
2. Spotify’s $1 billion podcast bet turns into a serial drama – Wall Street Journal
Spotify spent more than $1 billion to build a podcasting empire. It struck splashy deals with Kim Kardashian, the Obamas and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and paid $286 million for a pair of podcast studios, and spent $250,000 and more an episode on exclusive shows to lure new listeners. But the bet hasn’t paid off, writes Wall Street Journal.
“The pool of podcast listeners is growing, but the flood of shows on various streaming platforms makes it tough to break new hits. Facing competition across genres and formats, Spotify found that exclusive podcasts generally don’t draw subscribers away from its rivals.”
3. Peacock’s trick to keep subscribers coming back? Emails—billions of them – Marketing Brew
At NBCUniversal-owned streamer Peacock, users across its free and paid tiers are each sent between three and five emails per week depending on how active they are on the service. As of June, Peacock had 24 million paying subscribers, translating to several billion emails sent every year.
“[...] every single premium subscription streamer saw churn rates in June 2023 increase compared to the year prior—with the exception of Peacock, which saw churn rates decline 2%, according to data from Antenna.”