Uplifting humanity with the world's best coaches and content
Uplifting people requires great teaching, training and coaching as well as access to valuable and important content. Our platforms connect people to content and coaches that can help them reach their full potential.
Founded and led by CEO Paul Allen, previously founder of Ancestry.com, MyFamily.com, FamilyLink and Infobases
Nearly $1M in sales in 2019, up 240% YoY from 2018.
Your investment will connect people with coaches, trainers and consultants during this challenging time.
Sandler launched major mobile+voice product on Soar in March. Any enterprise can build similar products tailored to their specific needs.
Provisional Patent filed on January 6th, 2020 titled "Precision Recall in Voice Computing."
Major brands are partnering with Soar to launch a subscription audio service that can disrupt the $10B satellite radio industry.
Billions of people on billions of devices can access content via Soar; compare this to Sirius XM which has 117 million installed receivers.
People have invested over $2.8M to date. Join them and together we'll uplift humanity.
Why investors us
$3,743,777 since our founding
"I believe in human potential. I believe that the more we understand ourselves, the more we can articulate our key strengths and abilities, the better we will do in our careers and in life more generally. This is what Soar is all about."
Investor, Writer, Consultant. Co-Founder of Women Moving Millions. Former Partner, Goldman Sachs.
Former Microsoft Sr. Program Manager. Pioneered the use of streaming digital media in corporate training and event content capture. Experienced Program and Product Manager, Learning and Development Consultant, Gallup Certified Strengths Coach.
Join the movement. Share the love and tell everyone you care for they are unique and have valuable talents to share with the world. We are working to add more of your inspirational stories and the tools we all need to reach our fullest potential.
The cool roots run deep with Paul Allen.After earning a bachelor's in Russian from BYU in 1990, he spent over two decades as a founder and entrepreneur, shaping and shifting our valley to be the business mecca it has become.Infobases, Ancestry, 10x Marketing, Provo Labs, FamilyLink.
The first platform to use AI to unleash human potential.
The Soar platform will deliver curated content, coaching and community to people all over the world to uplift and upskill humanity, one person at a time.
By attracting quality content from the world's leading associations, companies, publishers, libraries, archives, and by enabling user generated content from individuals, families, teams and enterprises, we will personalize audio content and learning like never before.
Our patent pending technology will enable humans worldwide to access (eventually) trillions or quadrillions of important pieces of content, starting with audio, to empower them to learn and do their job better, and to be better and do better in every area of life.
Soar's content, coaches and community will be aimed at helping every person Soar.
This isn't our first rodeo. CEO Paul Allen created Ancestry.com.
Ancestry.com is the largest for-profit genealogy company in the world, which sold for $1.6B in 2012. Paul founded both Ancestry.com (NASDAQ: ACOM) and FamilyLink (acquired by MyHeritage in 2011).
Ancestry.com first 4 years of revenue.
Soar has 2,000+ coaches and 85 evangelists across 40 states and 30 countries. Our coaches have helped 1.2M+ people to date.
What does your company do?
We have built two platforms: a coaching platform that helps thousands of coaches do video coaching remotely, and an audio platform that lets people access, play and share any content stored in the cloud with a 1 or 2 word Catch Phrase (patent pending). As this grows, trillions of audio clips and other files can be instantly retrieved with a short and simple voice command. You have to see this to understand how magical it is. Both platforms are SaaS subscription products.
Where will your company be in 5 years?
In five years we hope to have more than 100 million users, $100 million in revenue, and to be owned by everyday people - not professional investors - with a "massively distributed" ownership structure. We want to be a role model for technology companies who care about human happiness and well-being. We will engage ethicists to help us ensure that our technology and user experience is good for people -- and not part of the ad-based attention economy which currently addicts billions of people.
Why did you choose this idea?
Uplifting people requires great teaching, training and coaching as well as access to valuable and important content. Our platforms connect people to content and coaches that can help them reach their full potential.
How will you use this $1M?
Raising $1M will help us support coaches during the global coronavirus lock down. Coaches, consultants and trainers can use the Soar coaching platform free until July 15th. They can get a free zoom account, integrated calendar and billing and a simple contact management system.
Several coaching organizations will be letting thousands of coaches know about this 90-day offer. We hope to be able to support many coaches during this chaotic time. We are gearing up for a possible 10x-100x increase in site usage.
Raising $1M will also allow us to launch our subscription audio service this summer with major brand partners.
We think our Soar audio service can disrupt satellite radio & podcasting. Our personalization and viral features are unique. They will allow us to quickly reach millions of customers around the globe.
How does Soar make money?
Currently, Soar makes money through enterprise partnerships and coach subscriptions.
In mid 2020 we will also generate revenue from individual and team subscriptions to Soar audio subscription service.
How will you acquire new users?
Our Soar team members have nearly 100,000 LinkedIn connections and we have major influence on that platform.
We have relationships with dozens of the world's most important training and coaching organizations.
In addition, we are building viral loops into our primary products, which will allow us to grow quickly from user to user.
How big is the market?
The total market we have access to is $192B -- global learning.
What do you understand about your business that others don't get?
Most successful people have read books, or heard talks, or learned important lessons that have changed their lives.
Our technology platform will allow us to collect those "meaningful moments" from millions of people, and to use machine learning to create the world's biggest library of useful and meaningful content.
The Ancestry World Tree which Paul Allen initiated in the late 90s became the most popular database on the site--because it was crowdsourced by millions of genealogists.
Soar will do the same for meaningful, life-changing content--content that can change lives and help people succeed.
Soar will be able to use AI to create a personalized recommendation engine to help each person find the best coaches and transformational content that will help them succeed.
Ancestry connected you to your past. Soar will connect you to the best possible future by helping you unlock your talents with great content and coaching.
What has been your biggest obstacle so far? How did you overcome it?
We chose not to raise traditional venture capital since that means we might lose control of our company vision and mission to professional investors, a board of directors, and to executives they might hire.
It has been challenging to build the company by asking hundreds of people for small checks, instead of a billion dollar fund or two for a multi-million dollar check.
But this is also the biggest reason why we are hopeful that Soar can ultimately fulfill its mission.
We can attract thousands of smaller investors and protect them from the terms that big investors usually require later on--Preferred Shares, redemption rights, governance control, ratchets, and other rights that give them a bigger portion than their dollar investment deserves.
Our goal is to protect early investors from bad terms, and retain the power to achieve our mission.
Where does the name Soar come from?
Don Clifton’s book "Soar with your Strengths", is the inspiration for the Strengths movement and is one of the most important books on personal development ever written.
Soar.com has financial statements ending December 31 2018.
Our cash in hand is $69,000, as of December 2019. Over the three months prior, revenues averaged $27,000/month, cost of goods sold has averaged $30,000/month, and operational expenses have averaged $180,000/month.
At a Glance
to December 31
Short Term Debt
Raised in 2018
Cash on Hand
As of 12/20/19
We are a technology company with a mission to help humans maximize their life experience and reach their full potential. In the past 18 months we have built two platforms: one for AI-assisted human coaching, and one for AI-assisted voice learning and reinforcement.
Our coaching platform helps individuals and teams identify their natural talents and find ways to use them at work and in life. People thrive when they get to do what they do best everyday. We have started forming partnerships with world class companies such as Gallup and Sandler Training to provide tools and resources to our customers. Our partner pipeline is extraordinary. As we aggregate content, we will use AI to connect our customers to the resources most likely to help them thrive in all areas of life.
Our voice platform may become a defining application in the voice computing era. Voice computing is the next trillion dollar tech frontier. Our voice computing applications help people learn and grow and thrive -- without the negative side-effects of screen computing and social media addictions. Using AI, we will match Soar members to the personalized resources that will most help them to grow and achieve success.
Our Sales currently comes from a) tools and training for coaches b) our proprietary voice-first LMS platform and c) end user payments for coaching, training and tools.
Tools and training for coaches - 19%
Proprietary voice-first LMS platform - 60%
End user payments for coaching, training and tools - 21%
DESCRIBE THESE FEATURES IN DETAIL, ESP HOW THEY GENERATE REVENUE
Tools and Training for Coaches. Life coaches, executive coaches, career coaches, health coaches etc., are trained to be great coaches but are often lack resources and support to succeed in running their own coaching business. SOAR helps coaches succeed in business. We do this through a three-tier subscription service: the first two tiers focus on business operations and the third adds marketing/customer acquisition. The first level is limited and free. The second level is a paid subscription that provides a full suite of business tools and support including scheduling, online video integration, billing, customer relationship management tools and more. This level is currently $39.95/month. The premier level costs $129.95 per month and includes business operations tools and adds marketing support. Coaches at this level are eligible for our coach matching service: individuals and organizations that SOAR drives to the platform are matched to the right coach. Coaches at this level also receive one-on-one mentorship with some of the most successful coaches in the industry. With more than 2000 coaches already using SOAR’s current free or paid service and tens of thousands of coaches connected to SOAR through social media, we are confident we can secure thousands of subscribers by the end of 2020. Through partnerships with major coaching organizations that number could expand exponentially.
Proprietary voice-first LMS Platform. Soar’s voice-first LMS Platform, Soar UPLIFT, is the world’s first AI-enabled platform for audible learning. Soar’s Freemium model allows individuals to get started at no cost, easily uploading and retrieving important personal audio content via voice-computing platforms such as Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant and Samsung Bixby. Soar UPLIFT will be monetized across all audiences. Premium content from our content partners can be purchased on a subscription basis starting at $9.99 per month. Team or Group leaders can share and manage content across their team, and push bulletins and announcements to the team with an upgraded subscription starting at $14.99 per month. Enterprises will be able to publish private proprietary content for their employees or customers using an admin portal, and integrate audio learning and enablement with core IT systems such as traditional LMS, CRM, Calendars, and so on. Enterprises will also be able to create and manage learning pathways for new hire onboarding, leadership development, safety and other critical learning areas. Enterprise subscription pricing begins with a $50-250K implementation fee, followed by a monthly subscription rate of $5 per month per employee. Custom integrations and premium content are additional options for enterprise. Content Publishers pay a fee (usually between $25-100K) for Soar to help “voicify” their content, and then share revenue from subscribers within the application. Soar UPLIFT includes a mobile companion app that helps users set preferences, organize content and share audio files through social media to attract new users.
End user payments for coaching, training and tools. In 2019 the self-improvement market was estimated at $12.2B in the U.S. alone. Per Marketdata, “Americans will spend significant amounts of money for self-improvement products and services if they believe there is a good chance of pay-off at the end.” That is SOAR’s focus. In addition to coaching, which we know pays off, we are developing DIY tools for consumers from personal assessments to activities that help them define their goals to tools that help them execute their personal journey (often including coaching). This opens a myriad of consumer revenue streams for SOAR. Many of these tools will be free with the opportunity to upgrade into those which are paid. As we attract consumers to coaching we will retain a commission from the coach. How do we attract the end user? We are developing viral loop campaigns that create exponential top-of-funnel engagement. Sharing important life stories is a crucial part of this process and creates amazing virality. And as we bring people into the SOAR platform we are working with people experienced in human transformation and self-help digital products to develop exercises and activities that lead to positive individual outcomes. It’s like a GPS for life.
In 2018 most of our revenue came from selling online and in-person training to coaches and Soar evangelists. As a two-sided marketplace, it’s been a top priority of Soar to launch a viral website for individuals who desire self improvement and need coaching. This will be launching in January 2020. Our goal for 2020 is to add revenue from consumers while growing our revenue from coaches. Our voice platform became extremely important to us in the second half of 2019. Billions of devices have voice computing capabilities. At CES in 2020 Google announced Google Assistant is used by 500 million people monthly. Alexa has shipped hundreds of millions of smart speakers and Alexa-enabled devices. Since we have now shipped a major voice-first sales training product with Sandler Training, we can begin to monetize our platform by selling it to other large organizations with workers who can benefit from training and reinforcement. Our pipeline of potential customers for our Voice First LMS is extraordinary.
We originally founded our business in late 2017 to promote StrengthsFinder and strengths-based coaching. As we have grown and evolved since that time, we had the following key milestones in the development of our business:
Formalized global partnership with Gallup to sell and administer their popular StrengthsFinder 2.0 assessment (available in 28 languages) - March 2018
Bought Soar.com domain - May 2018
Launched Soar website for coaches - July 2018
2100 professional business and life coaches on all 6 continents have joined Soar
Soar coaches and evangelists have held scores of events in different cities
Doro Bush Koch and Tricia O’Reilly became formal advisors to Soar in the health & wellness coaching industry -- May 2019
Sandler, the world’s leading sales training company, hired Soar to build a voice assistant for sales training and reinforcement - June 2019
Brad Pace, who built the world’s first online family tree software and was recently CTO of TravelPass ($400M per year in revenue), joined Soar as CXO (Chief Experience Officer) - August 2019
Mark Tucker, our senior voice platform architect, was ranked as the #11 voice pioneer by an industry publication - May 2019
Q3 was a record sales quarter -- $320,000
Nate McConkie, first senior marketing hire at Qualtrics (acquired by SAP for $8.2 billion in 2018) joined as CMO - October 2019
Paul Allen was featured on main stage at Learning 2019 in front of 1500 CLOs and Learning executives, interviewed about the future intersection of voice computing & learning - October 2019
Paul Allen was invited to Prague as a guest of the International Coaching Federation for the ICF Global 2019 conference, a bi-annual event - Oct 2019
Judy Diaz, formerly CMO at Politico and SVP Strategy/COO at AARP Life Reimagined joined Soar as Sr. VP of Strategy and Partnerships - November 2019
Launched MySandler Alexa skill - November 2019 - 3,800 successful queries in first month of use
Acquired mobile technology from Computer Science professor enabling our first iPhone and Android applications for Learning & Development - Fall 2019
Peter Haws joins Soar as VP Inside Sales - December 2019
As an early-stage company, we have experienced losses thus far in our operating history:
Our total booked sales grew from $274,000 in 2018 to $917,000 in 2019, an increase of 235%
Revenue was $108,000 in 2018 vs. $488,000 in 2019
Our net loss was $2.3 million during the year ended December 31, 2019, an increase of $0.8 million from $1.5 million during the prior year.
Expectations for the near future:
We expect (but cannot guarantee) that our business to grow rapidly in 2020. We are launching four new products in Q1 2020 which will constitute the majority of our revenue in 2020.
A) Coaching platform enhancements. As mentioned above, we are introducing three new levels of service that offer the help coaches need to succeed in business. We are in discussions with a number of potential coach partners who underscore that need, including the International Coach Federation (with 34,000 coach members) and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (with more than 150,000 health and wellness coach graduates). By meeting this need, and with thousands of coaches already connected to SOAR, we feel confident we can secure thousands of paid subscribers by the end of the year on a recurring revenue basis.
B) Soar.com consumer experience. As mentioned above, in 2020 in addition to connecting consumers to the coaches on our platform, we will also be launching consumer products. We engineer our consumer experiences to be viral. Soar features a life mapping exercise and personal development suggestions that, among other things, recommends establishing a “Board of Directors” – that is, reaching out to key people in your life who already support your life journey. (They, in turn, are encouraged to start their own SOAR journey.) As consumers engage further in SOAR we provide deeper and deeper exercises and self-discovery. Some will be free as part of the consumer SOAR membership and some will be paid add-ons, such as the popular StrengthsFinder 2.0 assessment. In many cases, the consumer experience will lead to a coach or group coaching sessions. To that end, we are developing a coach recommendation engine to ensure the right coach is matched to the right person.
C) Soar UPLIFT voice library. To expand the consumer product beyond the digital platform, take advantage of the growing popularity of voice technology, and truly achieve our goal to uplift humanity, we are introducing the SOAR UPLIFT voice library. This freemium subscription which will soon be available to more than 5 billion people through their phones or computers, allows each individual to access, store and retrieve the content that most inspires them and most positively affected their lives. Importantly, this content can be accessed and retrieved by others (to anyone or by invitation) so we can build the most positive, enriching, inspiring library in the world.
D) Voice-first LMS with Mobile Companion app. Our Sandler partnership led to the release of an extremely valuable sales training and reinforcement product in November 2019 for the world’s largest sales training company. Other large organizations (enterprise clients, publishers, associations) are now in active discussions with us to build similar products for their employees or customers.
Sandler has thousands of hours of training materials, courses, books, articles, and podcasts, which have all been included in the MySandler voice product. A companion mobile application which allows people to search and browse through all the content, and to learn the voice commands needed to retrieve the best content “hands free” - such as during their commute or the drive-time between sales calls. The combination is a game changer for personal learning and development.
In partnership with Sandler’s global business development team (more than 20 top sales professionals) Soar will be jointly selling learning, training and reinforcement solutions to Sandler’s biggest customers - and to a pipeline of potential customers - worldwide.
We believe that we have significant potential for growth. We are positioned to catch the voice computing wave which is reaching billions of people and is dramatically growing in usage. We think we can help make popular human talent and psychology assessments go viral, and reach hundreds of millions of people. Soar is designed to attract people of all kinds, in all walks of life, anyone who wants to work and learn and grow and improve. No matter how they first encounter us (through a viral voice application, or an assessment, or because of a coach), our mission is to serve each person with our tools and resources -- to help them fulfill their individual life mission, or calling, or purpose -- to help them become the best human being they can become.
Many business models from tech and social media companies that have trillion dollar potential require them to capture attention from people and to point them to things that drive revenue. Advertising business models such as Facebook are all about capturing our attention--and our data--which usually distracts us from things that matter most. Human well-being suffers as a result of these massively successful companies. Tristan Harris, formerly of Google, talks about Human Downgrading that is happening at scale. Mark Benioff, CEO of SalesForce says “Facebook is the new cigarettes” because it is addictive and so damaging to so many.
Soar’s very business model -- the very mission of our organization -- our why -- is to help each person on earth fill the measure of their creation, do what they were designed to do best, and to become the best version of themselves. We won’t use metrics like “time spent on site” or “ad impressions shown” or “number of paid clicks” to determine our success. Our success only comes from positive life outcomes reported by Soar members.
We are not a charity. We are a business. We have aspirations to reach unicorn status, or decacorn status, and to influence the lives of billions of people. But we won’t compromise our values for money, or maximize our profits at the expense of our family -- the human family.
We are breaking new ground with our company values and with our business model, and we might be vulnerable to business models that cater to the worst human impulses, that use neuroscience and psychology and design to addict customers, to get them hooked on products, and to therefore capture so much of their time, attention and money, that they don’t have bandwidth to devote to a positive personal development platform like Soar. Because we are fighting an uphill battle to help humanity and because there are so many unknowns, it may be years before Investors see a return on their investment, if they do at all.
The following trends or uncertainties could affect our financial condition, including the liquidity, cash flow and capital resources described below:
Many tech companies with billion or even trillion dollar market caps are aiming to provide voice and learning and AI solutions to billions of individuals. They are much better funded than we are.
Other new coaching and voice platforms that have raised more capital (BetterUp, $140M, Tact.AI, $56M, AudioBurst, $24.4M) - there is no guarantee that our approach -- finding key partners with content and distribution -- will allow us to compete effectively against these better funded companies
Limited funding has prevented us from making $2-2.5 million purchase of StrengthsFinder codes from Gallup - we have not yet started selling StrengthsFinder or other assessments on Soar yet
Selling Class A common shares to all investors greatly limits interest in Soar from venture capital firms and other traditional funding sources who want governance & control and preferred shares that advantage them over common investors. Soar has no plans to raise capital outside of selling common shares. This means all shareholders benefit from alignment of interests, but it does make raising capital far more challenging.
Alexa and Google Voice might make so much functionality and content free of charge that consumers may not be willing to pay for our Soar subscriptions
Consumer distrust for voice platforms - some potential customers have told us they won’t use Alexa in their homes. People are frightened of privacy violations, both actual and perceived.
We are a subscription model, not an advertising model. Ad models can do much harm to human well-being. It is against our charter to sell ads, interrupt people, buy their attention and distract them from their goals and values. This may limit our commercial success.
Spotify, Netflix, Disney+, Hulu and many gaming subscriptions are primarily for entertainment; productivity apps and professional development apps sold on a subscription basis may not succeed at the same scale.
Liquidity. Our cash and cash equivalents on December 31, 2019 were held for working capital purposes.
We expect that the proceeds of this offering will improve our liquidity and provide capital to launch our 4 new products and formalize several game-changing partnerships with major players in coaching, training, learning, and human development.
We do not know how much additional investment will be required for us to become cash-flow positive. Because of our new products, our patent pending technology (patent owned by the Company), our strong partner and customer pipeline, and our excellent management team, we think we can either get cash flow positive after our Regulation Crowdfunding offering or we will be in a strong position to raise additional funds from current or potential investors. Startups have many dials and levers. We can greatly reduce expenses if necessary, including payroll. We can also find marketing channels that help us generate profits, and we can increase spending on those channels in order to improve our cash flow.
We have a concurrent Fundable campaign. We believe $1.3M is the minimum for our Plan, however, the timing of certain hiring and development costs can be delayed based on the amount of the funds raised. We believe the effect on our sales traction would be short term only. We may finance the assessment codes with a loan from an investor, secured by the codes, due to the upfront cash outlay. Specific funding of the assessment codes would enable the WeFunder money to cover our operating burn longer, bringing us to a higher valuation creation before our next raise.
Our current burn rate is about $200k per month, and we have $0 cash in hand. We have four product launches occuring in early 2020 and we expect (although cannot guarantee) significant inflows of cash from product sales.
In addition, we have investors willing to fund (outside of WeFunder) and/or loan us money if needed.
Cash used in operating activities. Net cash used in operating activities consisted of net income adjusted for certain non-cash items including stock-based compensation as well as the effect of changes in working capital.
Net cash used in operating activities was $1.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2019, which was driven primarily by our Operating Expenses including our investment in product development, support for our coaches and recruiting of our management team. This was partially offset by the increase in deferred revenue from subscriptions, advance payment of training and advance payment of royalties.Net cash used in operating activities was $1.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2018, Operating Expenses driving our Net Loss, partially offset by a positive change in Working Capital. Our Net Loss in 2019 was $0.5M higher than our first full year of operations in 2018 primarily in Operating Expenses $0.7M and interest expense on short term loans $0.1 million, partially offset by higher gross margin on higher revenue. Our Working Capital at the end of 2019 was $0.4M worse than the comparable period in 2018 due to an increase in Deferred Revenue as a result of increased sales that can not be recognized as revenue in the period collected.
Capital Resources. We have financed our operations through private sales of common equity, issuances of convertible debt and other debt securities, internally generated cash flow from sales, and short-term notes payable.
SAFE. Our initial $550,000 in investment capital came via a SAFE note (Simple Agreement For Future Equity). This was led by Graham Weston, former Chairman of Rackspace, along with Clint Carlos and Tammy Fairbanks, who both invested $100,000 in the SAFE. The SAFE will convert to regular Class A common equity (which all investors have purchased so far) soon.
Private sales of common equity. From June 2018 to December 2019 we sold Class A common shares at $0.50 per share. We raised a total of $2.0 million in 26 separate transactions. We completed these transactions as needed, in preparation for a larger funding round (“Series A”) at a much higher valuation. With this “as-needed” approach to startup financing, we’ve never had more than $500,000 in our bank account at one time.
Short-term loan. We have a loan facility with Fora Financial for a principal amount of $145,000 and interest amount of $53,650. The repayment schedule consists of 204 daily payments of $969, starting in December 2019, and followed by a final payment of $968 to complete a total repayment amount of $198,650. As of December 31, 2019, the remaining balance was $132,000. During January 2020 we entered a short-term loan agreement with Sandler Training for $166,666, due in March 2020. During January 2020 we also obtained a short term loan for $50,000 from a potential investor.
Credit-card transactions. In the middle of 2018 we started selling annual subscriptions to professional coaches who wanted to join the Soar community and receive the benefits from being featured on the Soar coaching platform. Most of these transactions ranged from $1,000 to $2,500. We have also sold about 60 13-week coaching bootcamp programs for up to $4000 per attendees. These two levels of coaching packages have been retired and will be replaced by the 3 new tiers of coaching packages available in January 2020. We now have a full curriculum for coaching bootcamps and are considering offering future bootcamps directly to coaches or through our coach training partners--who have 10-75x more coaches in their database than we do.
Customer invoices. Sandler Training paid us $83,333 per month for 6 months so we could develop the MySandler voice + mobile sales training system for them.
Founder and executive loans. Founders and executives at Soar have sometimes foregone salary. Our CEO made less than $60,000 in salary in 2019. Most or all of the software subscriptions and tools Soar uses to build its products and business are currently paid for through owner and executive credit cards, with careful tracking to provide for future reimbursement. Some short term cash loans have been made by Soar executives so we could make payroll or make vendor payments. The team is fully committed to doing whatever it takes to launch a successful Human Potential Platform and have a positive impact on the world. Everyone would like to grow out of this “financing-by-executive-sacrifice” model of startup funding to a model where many stakeholders help us with funding so we can turn the corner to reach profitability and hypergrowth.
The company has taken and intends to continue to take short term loans to fund operations until it is sufficiently capitalized.
Historical Results of Operations. Our total sales increased $0.6 million and total revenue increased by $0.4 million, or 352%, from the prior year to $0.9 million and $0.5 million respectively in the year ended December 31, 2019 and 2018. This increase was primarily driven by an increase in subscriptions and coach services.
Our overall direct costs of revenue increased by $0.3 million, from the prior year on increased revenue, driving our gross margin up 14 points to 77%. This was largely driven by increased subscription revenue leveraging existing infrastructure..
We expect (although cannot guarantee) our revenue to grow quickly because of four new product launches. In early 2020 we will provide technology to help individual customers for the first time. In early 2020 our revenue from coaches will grow as we launch our integrated calendaring, video, billing and CRM features for coaches for the first time. We expect our Voice & Mobile LMS revenue to skyrocket as we have a number of six figure deals in our pipeline, and as we begin to sell solutions in partnership with Sandler Training’s global account team. Finally, the launch of Soar UPLIFT, a powerful patent-pending audio library for individuals (patent owned by the Company), has the potential to be a defining audio application in the next decade. Viral hits are hard to predict, and even harder to build. But the Soar team has been involved in multiple launches of consumer products that have reached ten million to more than a hundred million users. The Soar team is focusing on engineering viral loops for both of our consumer products, and we have high confidence that through rapid testing of designs and features that our new products can go viral in 2020.
According to the International Coaching Federation there are 53,000 professional career coaches in the world and many more if specialties such as life coaching and health and wellness coaching are included.
Soar’s coach revenue will come from coach subscriptions as well as, eventually, fees from coaching sessions on our platform and Soar facilitated B2B engagements. Initially our main focus is on subscriptions. There are three levels of subscriptions launching in early 2020: a free level, a $39.95 per month tier, and a $129.95 per month tier.
Our initial marketing will focus on the 2000 coaches already using a free service on our platform as well as more than 10,000 coaches we are directly connected to via LinkedIn. We are also talking to major coaching organizations and training companies. Several of our prospective partners have databases of more than 20,000 coaches they have trained or certified. By offering our free Soar subscription to all their members, and getting even a modest conversion rate to the two subscription tiers will result in hundreds of thousands of dollars of monthly revenue.
Marketdata estimates that the self-improvement market was worth $12.22B in 2019 in the US alone. The market for coaching was over $1B. Soar’s main consumer revenue streams will be a percent of the coaching session revenue from matches and transactions on our platform in addition to self-awareness and self-improvement tools, courses and exercises such as assessments. Tens of millions of people annually take assessments such as MBTI, DiSC, StrengthsFinder 2.0, VIA Character Strengths, 5 Love Languages, and many others. If Soar customers have already taken these assessments, they can upload their results to Soar to help them with their Life Map and their Flight Plan. This in turn will enable our AI tools to recommend content, courses, coaches, tools, resources and experiences to help them individually to thrive in life.
We are already an authorized reseller of StrengthsFinder 2.0 from Gallup (now called CliftonStrengths) and may soon also be a reseller for other positive psychological assessments that help people increase self-awareness, team awareness, engagement, productivity, and well-being. As our new viral marketing loops start bringing us thousands (and then millions) of new customers monthly, we will sell them access to these popular assessments which will generate a significant amount of new revenue for Soar, and for our assessment partners.
Voice & Mobile LMS revenue
Since launching the MySandler product, hundreds of corporate executives have heard about it, seen demos of it, or seen videos of how it works. We will start doing weekly webinars to introduce others to the power of a voice+mobile LMS. Our pipeline of interested corporate and enterprise customers is growing every day. There are a number of training organizations and associations with more than 100,000 members who are scheduling time with us for demos, prototypes, and potential pilot programs.
Learning is a $366B worldwide market. We have a chance to create a defining application for employee learning & development, personal and professional development, and to go to market quickly through respected organizations that have massive numbers of members or employees.
Soar UPLIFT subscriptions
Billions of humans access information via computers, smartphones and other electronic devices. Trillions of hours a year are spent looking at screens. It’s almost become a joke that people go to dinner with other people but sit on their phones all night not even interacting with each other. Neil Postman wrote an amazing book in the 1980s called Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Television. He worried about human downgrading 30 years ago--before the internet, before smartphones, before social media and the always-on culture we live in today.
Soar hopes to help humanity transition to a much more natural and positive way for humans to get value and benefit from ingenious computing devices and all the collective knowledge and wisdom of humanity that is stored in the cloud, and in our own minds.
As Facebook asked "What's on your mind, Paul?" and Twitter asked "What's happening?", Soar will ask our customers at scale, “what was a turning point in your life? What author, or teacher, or leader or manager changed your life, and helped you become the person you are today? What content have you encountered in your life--what idea, what concept--that totally hit you, and transformed the way you think and work and live?” Every person we ask this question to can recall special moments in their life -- ah-ha moments where the lightbulb turned on -- and they’ve never been the same again.
Then we ask, when is the last time you experienced this transformational content, and who have you shared it with lately. Amazingly, many of our interviewees haven’t experienced the content since the first time they heard it. And sadly, some of them have NEVER shared it with people they care about, lead or manage--or even with their own family.
Soar UPLIFT hopes to become the “Dropbox for the voice computing era” so that all of us can upload and then instantly retrieve all the most important content we’ve ever experienced or enjoyed, on nearly any device in the world, with a couple of simple spoken keywords. Without looking at a screen, billions of people could be able to listen to Malala talk about education for all, or Dr. Martin Luther King share his dream, his vision, for a better world, a more inclusive world. Soon, all the best keynote speeches and classroom lectures, where truly meaningful content is shared, will be sliced and diced into meaningful bits and made accessible for personal and professional development. Soon, billions of people could record family stories and memories, assign them to namespace in the Soar UPLIFT library, and for the rest of their lives will be able to say “GET followed by 1 or 2 keywords, and listen to that beautiful short clip about how their father met and fell in love with their mother. And then with another command, SHARE it with the people they love. Billions of such inspiring, foundational, and meaningful bits of human content -- that without Soar UPLIFT would be stored somewhere in an attic, or in someone’s memory, and would die with them -- along with the potential to touch and inspire future generations - could soon be a simple voice command away from recall to anyone who needs a dose of inspiration or access to the world’s best learning content.
The wisdom of the world needs to be curated, sorted, sifted, and prioritized. AI needs to serve us, each of us individually, based on our strengths, our interests, our roles and our goals and dreams, and needs to recommend to each of us the building blocks and stepping stones we need -- the very things that have previously inspired others before us to work harder and smarter, to dream bigger, and to be better. If billions of people on this planet can consume information daily that is inspirational and foundational--that is designed to further their own personal mission and calling in life, the world can be transformed one person at a time, the “better angels of our nature” can be awakened and come alive, and all of Humanity can be Uplifted.
A note from Wefunder. Unlike companies on the NASDAQ, early-stage startups have little operating history. Financial analysis is not as useful when there is limited data. It's more important to predict the size of the future market. If the founder achieves their vision, will enough customers pay the company enough money?
It's also common for fast-growing startups to lose money even faster: they are investing in future growth. In these cases, it's often better to check if the Cost of User Acquisition (CAC) is lower than the Lifetime Value (LTV) of that customer. If one spends $1000 today to make $10,000 over the next five years, that may be a smart bet. Amazon is a famous example of re-investing potential profits to maximize growth over 20 years.
Almost half of Soar’s revenue comes from building on the Alexa platform. If Amazon makes it easier for any company to publish their own content on Alexa, it may affect Soar’s potential revenue.
Soar will have to expend additional development dollars to make its voice technology accessible on platforms built by Google, Apple, Microsoft and Samsung--or on the web, where Soar will not be dependent on existing voice platforms.
Soar is having partnership conversations with CEOs of many major companies in the coaching, training, and learning industries--but these conversations may not result in the strategic partnerships or revenue Soar needs to become profitable.
The Gallup partnership will requires millions of dollars in capital in order for Soar to advertise & market the StrengthsFinder product in 28 languages. Soar doesn’t yet have sufficient capital to fully take advantage of this partnership.
Other venture-backed companies in similar markets as Soar have raised far more capital, making it difficult to compete for talent or customers in some cases. BetterUp has raised $145 million; Tact.ai has raised $56 million, and AudioBurst has raised $24.4 million - with additional larger funding rounds probably coming for each company.
Soar only sells common stock, which precludes many VC funds and other investors from investing in Soar. While this ensures that Soar’s founder will be able to run the company his way, it does complicate the fundraising process to some degree.
Soar currently doesn’t have a permanent HQ office--the company has been mostly remote since its founding in late 2017. The company plans to open an office in 2020, but still support remote workers, but there are significant challenges in starting a company as a remote company.
Our company’s health insurance plan is atypical, and may make it hard to attract and retain key employees unless we find and switch to a more normal policy (which will be more expensive.)
Our company doesn't currently offer a 401k or other benefits yet that some employees consider important which hinders us in our recruiting efforts.
Early Soar customers (mostly coaches who were desperate for clients) have expected too much from the Platform, partly based on Soar sales’ teams enthusiasm for what was coming. Soar has fully refunded money from 34 customers in the last 6 months and is at risk of potentially needing to refund money for several more.
Soar needs to sell technology tools that can be used by coaches, and make it clear that coaches are responsible for their own success as independent business owners. If Soar isn’t able to help coaches take responsibility for their own success, then Soar risks unhappy customers in the future as well.
Our future success depends on the efforts of a small management team. The loss of services of the members of the management team may have an adverse effect on the company. There can be no assurance that we will be successful in attracting and retaining other personnel we require to successfully grow our business.
The Board of Directors
Certified Strengths Coach @ self-employed
D Brent Israelsen
Executive Chairman @ Thunder Biotech, Inc
Paul B Allen
CEO @ Strengths, Inc.
Paul B. Allen
10,000,000 Class A & Class B shares
Past Equity Fundraises
Sandler Systems Inc
Bigham Family Alaska LLC
Related Party Transactions
Outstanding principal plus interest
$105,000 as of 03/2020
5.0 per annum
Current with payments
Outstanding principal plus interest
$0 as of 12/2019
20.0 per annum
Current with payments
Company uses Paul's personal credit card to pay for ongoing marketing, R&D and G&A expenses such a ad word spend, travel, and necessary business subscriptions needed for day to day business operations
Outstanding principal plus interest
$33,750 as of 03/2020
35.0 per annum
Current with payments
Advisory Board Member
No prepayment penalty or discount.
Personally guaranteed by founder/CEO
On 2/10/20 Lender signed a Subscription Agreement to invest $33,750 into the Company upon receipt of repayment.
On 2/7/20 Lender became an Advisory Board Member and received unrestricted stock in the amount of 25,000 shares.02/
Sandler Systems Inc
Outstanding principal plus interest
$169,132 as of 03/2020
15.0 per annum
Current with payments
Holds agreement with Strengths, Inc.
Separately Sandler has entered into an agreement for a custom product from our Voice Division.
Wefunder supports three different federal laws that allow startups to raise money legally. To comply with the law, Wefunder Advisors LLC and Wefunder Portal LLC (both owned by Wefunder Inc) also list startups depending on the regulation used.
Legal May 16th 2016
Wefunder Portal LLC
for 315 startups
Wefunder Advisors LLC
for 105 startups
for 3 startups
Curious how well the companies have done? Or how many raised follow-on financing?
Some fine print: 1) These numbers include startups currently live on Wefunder if they pass their minimum target. 2) Some startups use two different laws at the same time (i.e., Regulation D and Regulation Crowdfunding).
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