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AcquisitionAnalysisCommentaryIPOPro1Pro2

Preparing Matterport for IPO or Acquisition4749

WGAN Forum
Founder
DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
Preparing Matterport for an IPO or Acquisition

Matterport is a typical high-grow stage SaaS emerging technology startup company: it knows its ideal customer fit, has little churn and is ready to scale. As a result, it is likely that we will see at least one more round of funding prior to to going public or be acquired.

Matterport is over-due for its 7th round of funding (and probably last) on top of the $61 million raised to date from 20 investors.

It is likely that Matterport is spending on marketing 100 percent of the Camera sales gross profit and first year hosting and processing revenue to generate market share at the expense of profit. That's what high-growth stage SaaS emerging technology startup companies do.

That said, it would be less expensive / generate more revenue to give away a portion of the Pro2 Cameras to the right Matterport Service Providers and make money - sooner - on processing, hosting, VR, Google Street View, 2D Floor Plans and a plethora of TBD derivative services. Plus, reduce or eliminate the firestorm of complaints from the existing installed base. More on this razor/razor blade discussion in a moment.

I could image that the following Milestones needed to be completed prior to securing the next round of Matterport funding:

Done

✓ Creating Matterport Spaces 3D Tours
✓ Creating Matterport VR Tours
✓ Creating 2D Schematic Floor Plans

Coming Soon

✓ Publishing to Google Street View
✓ Exporting 360º Photo Spheres
✓ Launching Pro2 Camera to new clients
✓ Implementing Trade-In Program
✓ Implementing Customer Loyalty for Pro2
✓ More International expansion
✓ Selling Point Clouds

Missing

✓ Activating Matterport Service Providers to sell Cameras (nothing announced)
✓ Activating Happy and Excited Existing Matterport Service Providers (AWOL)
✓ Retaining Early Adopters in the next 12 months (unknown)
✓ Design Studio (AWOL)
✓ APIs and SDKs (AWOL though likely to be released by 4Q17)

While the new Matterport Pro2 Camera is exciting - very exciting - for first-time Matterport clients, Matterport fell short in how to take care of:

1. the top 20 percent of Matterport Service Providers that generate 80 percent of the tours
2. Key Influencers

Even a casual reader of the We Get Around Network Forum (about the Pro2 Camera in particular) would conclude that - despite the trade-in and "loyalty" discount, there are many-many-many-many unhappy Matterport Service Providers whom are likely in both the categories of:

1. generates a huge volume of Matterport Spaces 3D Tours annually (80/20 rule)
2. key influencers of the 12,500 monthly Visitors of the We Get Around Network Forum

And, even despondent about Matterport competing with Pros (because Matterport sets the price to pay Pros).

I could imagine that Matterport executives might conclude that there are only "x" regulars that post to this Forum, so they should just ignore what they have to say. The reality is that – based on the notes I receive weekly - and the growing Visitors and Members to the We Get Around Network – there are a ton of people making – or not making – buying decisions based on what they read from Members of the We Get Around Network Forum Community.

On Day 1 back in the Summer of 2014 when I bought a Matterport Pro 3D Camera, it would have been cheaper for Matterport to give away the Camera (razor) and make money on processing and hosting (razor blades). The challenge then was which Matterport Service Providers or real estate agents would account for a ton of processing and hosting and which Matterport Service Providers and real estate agents would account for just some processing and hosting.

Today, Matterport knows a ton more about its customers. This leads to my recommendations ...

Recommendations

1. Matterport should GIVE Pro2 Cameras - free - to the 20 percent of Matterport Service Providers that account for 80 percent of processing and hosting.
2. Matterport should GIVE Pro2 Cameras - free - to the key influencers. It's not hard to figure out whom they are.
3. Matterport needs to develop an incentive program for Matterport Service Providers that sell Cameras. Imagine instead of discounting the Camera $1,000 over the last 12 months, if Matterport offered a friend-get-a-friend program: Pro gets $500, Camera buyer gets $200 and first six months free Standard Membership to help them succeed faster.
4. Offer a white label solution to Matterport Service Providers that removes all the Matterport logos

By completing the "Coming Soon" items (noted above) and address the power uses and key influencers as noted in my recommendations, Matterport would be ready for its next round of funding to scale faster.

Today, Matterport continues to have drag - significant drag - on its potential for success by not including its earliest adopters; most prolific Pros; and most vocal customers.

When Matterport launched in July 2014 - what we know today as Matterport Spaces 3D Tours – there were no competitors for the attention of the Pro Community. By the end of 2017, the number of viable competitors will affect either the valuation of a public offering or private sale of the company. While not all 63 1-click 360º cameras are competition for Matterport [PM me for the password: Free for Forum Members], this list does speak volumes for "what changed" since Matterport launched Matterport Spaces 3D Tours.

If I was a manager of a VC fund considering an investment in Matterport - I would want to better understand why Matterport's earliest adopters; most prolific clients and most vocal Pros are not happy campers and if they will switch to other cameras and platforms (churn) in the next 12 months before considering participating in the (likely) next funding round.

What do you think? How should Matterport leverage its earliest adopters; most prolific Pros; and most vocal customers?

Best,

Dan

P.S. I continue to believe this is true: Matterport to explode (in a good way)
Post 1 IP   flag post
LetMe3D private msg quote post Address this user
@ DanSmigrod, I like the way you think.

I would have been all over your deal in a heartbeat but I read everything here. So unless they gave me a camera I'll put my money on other tech coming soon.

What MP fails to understand is it is I (we) that bring their tech door to door. My phone isn't ringing off the hook with people looking for MP 3D Tours. If I dont show it to them then they won't know it exists. My VR's and the New Iris Pro 360 will be way more than eneough for most. Some people are imperessed by the stuff I show them from a one shot camera.

So my money is going elsewhere and as you know from previous posts I love the MP tech I even bought a camera, but returned it because all the negative stuff I read here.
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Marc private msg quote post Address this user
@DandSmigrod,

I'm very new to this post and a very different predicament but completely understand your point of view. There's a lot more factors that need to be taken into consideration for the growth of international acceptance and market proliferation depending on how the technology is used and perceived.

I've been running a bit of a soft survey in my market area and generally, real estate agents were never really all that impressed with MP as a tool. In fact, some of them felt is was a threat to creating relationships with buyers. One of the reasons is that in Australia, there's essentially no buyer's agents. That has a very big impact on the selling agent's perception on what they need to do to create a relationship with a potential client. In many cases, showing too much of the property reduces curiosity and people don't enquire or show up at the open house. Yep, I know that all sounds a bit crazy and I get it. I'm originally from Ontario Canada where the means by which real estate is bought and sold is far more similar to the U.S. market.

As a result, the MP system has just about failed here. There are other factors affecting this including issues with really slow internet speeds for a surprisingly large portion of the population. That makes content load times a bit of an issue too.

But to get back to the points you raised, and I think you probably picked up on this, the partnership they're moving forward with on the Google Street View front could be the real game changer if for no other reason than the association with Google's brand. They need that kind of relationship to attract that next round of investment but will also need to ensure they realise what Google has a tendency to do; buy and dump companies and ideas if they can't figure out how to make it all fit in with their bigger plans. NIK's demise is just another good example of that.

The next 3-6 months are going to be very competitive in the 360° once shot business. MP are not and will not be the only players who have the edge. They never did on image quality... but they seem to have fixed that for the most part. Now, who else is going to incorporate the rest of the whiz-bang features they've been almost the only provider of?

Watch this space!
Post 3 IP   flag post
WGAN Forum
Founder
DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
@LetMe3D
@Marc

Matterport needs to crest demand by marketing to homeowners about why they should ask their real estate agent for a free Matterport Spaces 3D Tour.

(Just like drug companies marketing to consumer...)

Dan
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Marc private msg quote post Address this user
@DanSmigrod

Agreed. We've been asking for that from Google for the Street View tours but they've never done much to date. I'm hoping that will change on their end.

But the idea of promoting it from the end user perspective is brilliant, albeit expensive. Awareness campaigns need a relatively long tail approach to have it stick, but they work.

Your example of a drug company is exemplary with respect to who has the cash to fund something like that.

The big pushback will come from firms like McGrath here in Auz who are the biggest "anti-proponents" in the real estate industry.

But.... I like your thinking.
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leonvanzweel private msg quote post Address this user
There are two types of companies. Engineering driven and Market Driven. MatterPort is engineering driven. It finds tech solutions and then markets it. It should become a market driven company. Listen to the end user: Home buyer (find out if the MP presentation package is appealing. Does the buyer experience an acceptable spatial orientation with the Dolls House & Floorplan) Listen to the Realtors and understand their needs. BUT, most of all LISTEN to the MSP's as they are the interface with the market.

I think that MP is at risk for a hiding when a company comes along that is Market driven.
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Service
Metroplex360 private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanSmigrod
1. Matterport should GIVE Pro2 Cameras - free - to the 20 percent of Matterport Service Providers that account for 80 percent of processing and hosting.
2. Matterport should GIVE Pro2 Cameras - free - to the key influencers. It's not hard to figure out whom they are.
3. Matterport needs to develop an incentive program for Matterport Service Providers that sell Cameras. Imagine instead of discounting the Camera $1,000 over the last 12 months, if Matterport offered a friend-get-a-friend program: Pro gets $500, Camera buyer gets $200 and first six months free Standard Membership to help them succeed faster.
4. Offer a white label solution to Matterport Service Providers that removes all the Matterport logos


#1) The 20 percent of MSPs that account for 80% of processing and hosting should be able to afford the upgrade. That's just giving free things to the people making the most money.

#2) If this did happen, wouldn't this make them feel awkward? Furthermore, how do you know that this won't happen? I think that suggesting this publicly turns it into an entitlement and if Matterport chooses to do this, it robs them a bit of the right assuming that this 'idea' gets traction and people band together on it.

#3) I agree.

#4) Why? I don't not-sell tours because they say Matterport on them. As Matterport have announced, they are liberating the panos next month, right? Doesn't this mean that we can use any white label solution that we want to?

--

As far as Engineering Driven vs. Market Driven --

Matterport is a tool. It can be used in different markets. If you can scan homes for Realtors and make $, awesome, great tool. If you can scan apartments, awesome, great tool. If you can go be a Google Street View VR Ready superstar, awesome, great tool.

Really folks, I just don't see how any of this is productive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc
The next 3-6 months are going to be very competitive in the 360° once shot business. MP are not and will not be the only players who have the edge. They never did on image quality... but they seem to have fixed that for the most part. Now, who else is going to incorporate the rest of the whiz-bang features they've been almost the only provider of?


What he said.
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VTLV private msg quote post Address this user
@DanSmigrod - You hit the nail on the head of where was Matterport is at and where have they come since the beginning. In there, I think the CEO is having issues moving inventory as they try to create better quality and hang onto his job with investors waiting for a return at years 3-5 on their investment. Most right offs happen in the first five years before failing or hiding growth into costs of doing business. It's obvious, that our hosting should give some hold for the company to be stable.

@leonvanzweel brings up a good point of how consumers should be the ones hearing about our product and demanding agents to provide our service while their listing agents compete with 1% listing agents who do nothing to promote seller homes for sale.



The Altman Brothers video is the best example to help selling agents win a deal. Unfortunately many agents are cheap and feel the market is hot offering an objection to buyer our service today.

We all know that open houses have a 1% chance of bringing in a home buyer for a particular property. However agents use open houses to generate buyer leads.... still. Given today's MlS systems offering IDX to competing agents and web lead services, the buyer agent has little exclusive agency to the home other than a yard sign after their 1 open house.

The whole skew on our end and hopefully Matterport is to give Seller agents leverage in how they can sell the home and move on with our 24/7 open house. Buyer lead generation is how listing agents worked last decade with open house's and being an exclusive agent with a sign for lead calls. It's more referral based these days and maybe some lead still come from lead sign calls which are a double edged swords with squatters and HOA q's from neighbors. It's our job to update the agents on evolution.

We and Matterport need to educate agents in how move the property for sale, for the best buck for their client and allow everyone to see the property in a low inventory market quickly so they can make the best moves to get multiple offers for their client. The lead generation of the past is outdated.

@Metroplex360 does a great job of showing where the bulk of progress has gone when it comes to showing agents their strength again in ways to promote a sale vs getting scatterbrained in how to spin plates for multiple assets involved for lead generation along with selling a home. Today, it starts with molding great engineering with a market driven demand to see what buyer want to see now. Otherwise they click off like they do seeing a photo slideshow labeled as "Virtual" after clicking through a photo gallery.

Yes, showings go down after seeing a Matterport tour. But the visits keep buyers on a webpage longer to help decide if the like the home or not. We eliminate lookie loo's, we eliminate neighbors, and in many cases bring down the number of appointment showings. We create hype for out of town buyers and the buyer who have seen the tour who tends to fall in love who need to Hear, See, Touch, Smell and Feel what they already previewed online with our.

I propose, we take the Matterport marketing budget to commercial real estate for lazy commercial agents in suits who wish not to share much to competitors, but have a budget to hire us to share tours of places they wish not to be toured in person at certain locations while offering new features like VR, Facebook 360's, floor plans Google and more to expand demand for hosting and our business to grow as a name brand.

This now allows us to not rely on short residential inventory and expand the brand to places like warehouses, restaurants office buildings.

Maybe then, a private equity firm would feel comfortable sustaining a constant fund of MSP's contributing to the pot yearly and offering growth into new markets as new features are introduced every quarter or so to expand the coompany.
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