SEATTLE -- Maven (ticker symbol:MVEN) today announced that its monthly traffic is climbing at an accelerated rate – from 900,000 unique users in September to 3.6 million in October, with the trend line continuing in November.
[UPDATE: November unique users reached nearly 5 million]
In addition, third quarter expenses tracked with internal forecasts as the company transitions from the research and development phase to the operational phase. [A conference call was held discussing Q3 results - audio and transcript available here]
“For more than a year, we’ve been focused on platform development and securing our founding Mavens,” said CEO James Heckman. “September’s launch out of beta certainly was encouraging at every level, from the quality of our content partners, the instant uplift in engagement from our platform, and the significant growth – all organic traffic.”
Heckman cited four key drivers for Maven’s success:
- More than 80 signed and 30 live channel partners with more coming weekly
- Significant increase in audience engagement (71% increase, post migration)
- Launch of version 1.0 of the technology platform, featuring tightly integrated publishing, video, mobile, social, paid membership and advertising features
- Organic growth from 164,000 to 529,000 to 900,000 monthly unique visitors during the three months of Q3, which then quadrupled to 3.6 million during October, utilizing no paid traffic acquisition
“I can’t emphasize this point enough,” said Heckman. “Most ‘traffic’ press releases by Internet companies are meaningless, if not misleading, as they generally buy their traffic through referral from major social platforms. We believe a digital media company is best valued by the number of organic (unpaid) monthly unique visitors, because that metric is what drives profitable content transactions.”
“As our authentic scale continues to grow, we look forward to bringing our elite network of Mavens to the advertising community,” Heckman added. “We think the combination of high engagement, consistent professionalism and our efficient platform with be an attractive environment for quality brands and marketers.”
[UPDATE: November unique users reached nearly 5 million]
Key performance indicators for assessing Maven’s progress going forward include:
- Number of channels signed – currently 82, with goal of 1,000
- Number of channels live on Maven – currently at 30 with 40+ expected by EOY
- Average Monthly Users per live channel – currently 124,000, beating goal of 100k
- Total organic unique users (UU) – 3.6 million in October
- Total revenue (per channel and network)
- Audience engagement
Q3 2017 Strategic Initiatives
Maven, during the third quarter of 2017, focused on three key strategic initiatives: (1) developing our technology platform, (2) business development to sign new Mavens to our network and (3) launching operations with certain Mavens.
Since the company’s founding, July 2016, the primary focus of its software engineering team has been building the world-class publishing and social media technology platform. Since inception, Maven has invested over $2.6 million in the technology platform. We expect that we will continue to invest over $800,000 each quarter as we continue to deploy features and functions for all three form factors: mobile devices, tablets and desktop computers.
Q3 Financial Results
In the third quarter of 2017, the company moved the first 25 channel partners out of beta stage. In beta we had very limited monetization activities since we were testing content systems and ad serving integration; as such, we generated no material revenue in the third quarter. In October, our monthly unique users (UU) grew to 3.6 million and we expect to be above 6 million at the end of November. However, we do not expect to generate significant revenue until early 2018. We need to first aggregate the audience base of users and we believe effective monetization of that audience base will begin in early 2018.
The company incurred a net loss of $1,778,000, or $0.11 per share for the three months ending September 30, 2017. For the nine months ending September 30, 2017, we incurred a net loss of $4,371,000 or $0.33 per share. Traffic was 100% unpaid, organic traffic with zero expense for traffic acquisition costs.
As presented in the Statement of Cash Flows, for the nine months ending September 30, 2017, net cash used in operating activities was $2,655,000. Third quarter expenses tracked with internal forecast as the company transitions from the research and development phase to the operational phase. These expenditures were primarily used to build initial network of channels and for administrative functions. In addition, Maven invested $1,513,000 of cash in website development and fixed assets. During 2017, the company completed two private placements of common stock: one that closed in April raising $3.5 million in net proceeds, and one that closed in October raising $2.7 million in net proceeds, of which $1.75 million was received prior to September 30, 2017. Cash balance at the end of September was approximately $1.7 million.
Maven’s complete third quarter financial statements (Statement of Operations; Balance Sheet; Statement of Cash Flow) on Form 10-Q Quarterly Report can be foundHERE.
Maven is an expert-driven, group media network, whose innovative platform serves, by invitation only, a coalition of professional, independent channel partners. By providing broader distribution, greater community engagement and efficient advertising and membership programs, Maven enables partners to focus on the key drivers of their business: creating, informing, sharing, discovering, leading and interacting with the communities and constituencies they serve.
Based in Seattle, Maven is publicly traded under the ticker symbol MVEN. The executive team and operational board members include digital media pioneers James Heckman and Josh Jacobs, and technology innovators Bill Sornsin and Ben Joldersma. For more insight, head to themaven.net.
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