Hello investors! So grateful to all of you for supporting MoneyVoice!
You may not know this, but the SEC has a strict time limit that limits how long this crowd investment campaign can last. We are not going to reach our wildly ambitious minimum threshold of $1M before the SEC deadline, so I'm cancelling this campaign. Without the full amount of capital we will need, I can't deliver the promised results, so we'll be refunding all of your investments in the coming days.
It's a shame that this campaign won't succeed, but next I'm going to pursue other approaches to financing the company, including one strategy we haven't tried yet. If we succeed at closing a larger anchor investor then we may reopen a new campaign on Wefunder with a lower minimum threshold, so that you can invest. I know you may be disappointed not to own a piece of MoneyVoice, but in the event that we do another campaign in the future I'll make sure that everyone who participated in this round has priority to be included in the future round.
Feel free to reach out with any questions (email@example.com), follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@moneyvoice), and hopefully we'll have another investment opportunity in the future. I've written more below if you'd like details on why this campaign didn't succeed.
Brent Schulkin, Founder & CEO
We started pretty strong and got a lot of people excited, and the first week or so saw a good influx of investors. But the numbers indicated that we needed to modify our approach, and as a result I greatly reduced public promotion of the campaign and spent more time privately reaching out to wealthy investors. This shift was based on a few things we learned along the way.
First, while we weren't relying on this, I was hoping that our story and the content on our page might spread on its own a bit more than it has. The content is good, and seems to strongly resonate with people who take the time to look at it, but (as with most long-form content) it's difficult to get people to pay attention to anything in the first place. We don't have any budget or other people to help get attention, it has just been up to me and you. I pushed this in lots of ways, but there are only so many hours in the day, and the masses did not sufficiently take it upon themselves to spread the word.
Second, when we did succeed at getting a lot of attention for the campaign, that attention did not sufficiently convert into actual investments. For example, I wrote a Twitter thread which got some good attention. 47k people saw the first tweet. 4,600 people made it to the 16th tweet which linked to our campaign, but only 22 people clicked the link, and we only got a few hundred dollars of investment. It's pretty easy for us to tell a story that resonates, but if the attention doesn't translate into investment, this is an unworkable strategy for raising $1M in 30 days. I feel we could have easily continued that effort, and doubled or tripled the amount we raised, but there would have been little advantage to doing so.
The next strategy was to go back to angel investors who had previously expressed interest in MoneyVoice, but stopped short of investing. I don't know whether any other company has ever set a $1M minimum threshold for a Wefunder campaign (most of them seem to be around $50k... a level at which our campaign would have easily succeeded), so there was no way to know how such a campaign would unfold. I had a hypothesis, which was that having a $1M minimum threshold would reduce the psychological desire people have to see "momentum" before investing. After all, as you are experiencing today, there is no risk of being the last investor in, because your investment is only accepted if $1M+ is raised. People are guaranteed that if the investment round doesn't get lots of momentum/traction, they will get their money back. However when I presented this to angels in my network I found that this rational argument apparently didn't make much difference. People still have the same fears/insecurities and want to follow others. Most of the people I reached out to still didn't jump in. Perhaps the issue may be less about wanting us to have enough money to execute, and more about wanting a well-known large investor leading the round, who they know has done diligence.
With that in mind, I also spent some time reaching out to larger investors who could potentially anchor a financing round. I'll be continuing these conversations in the coming months. And I have some new ideas around this which I won't spell out here.
Anyway, it is astonishing to me that so many people failed to understand what all of you brilliant people could clearly see: This is an amazingly good investment opportunity. However, this is how entrepreneurship works: Develop a hypothesis, test that hypothesis, often resulting in a soul-crushing failure, learn from it, re-confirm whether you still have full confidence that you can succeed (which I do, obviously), evolve the plan and move forward. So that's what I'm going to do. Thank you again for your support for this very important work. Walking this path I hear the word "no" a lot. But as each one of you said "yes," you lifted my spirits, and brought us one step closer to the eventual success which I hope we will someday be able to enjoy together.
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