Amazon reported better than expected performance in its Q4’18 earnings results this week. The e-commerce giant posted $72.4 billion in revenue for the holiday season, slightly beating analyst estimates and 19.8% above Q4’17 net sales. While the company did not report the exact number of net Prime signups, the holiday season saw “tens of millions of customers” across the globe start Prime free trials or activate paid memberships. Amazon also reported that more than 50% of the products sold on the platform came from SMBs (whose sales are reportedly growing faster than Amazon’s own platform sales) with over 200,000 stores surpassing $100,000 in sales on their Amazon store in 2018.
The world of data legislation this week saw Google receive a fine for $57 million from the National Data Protection Commission. This is the first fine administered to a US tech giant under the new European data privacy regulation that went into effect in 2018. A “lack of transparency, inadequate information and lack of valid consent” with respect to ad personalization was cited as the cause for the fine.
In SaaS App news, Google’s Cloud Firestore NoSQL database has been released for general availability. The document database was created to offer new features to developers building apps, helping them reliably store data in the cloud. Unlike the beta, this release grants developers the ability to run databases in multi-region instances. In both cases, Google guarantees 99.999% availability for both multi-region instances and regional instances.
New in SaaS business listings this week we have a $1.15M B2B email marketing and automation business, with steady MRR growth with MRR reaching a CAGR of c.181% for 2014 to 2018, leading email marketing software provider with a mature product aimed at a growing target market, effective product with low MRR churn of c.2% and high LTV of c.$12,000 in the LTM, lean and scalable cost structure allowing for strong net margins and simple operations with the developer staying on post-sale. Also new in SaaS businesses this week we have a $195K B2B customer support software business, market-leading brand with outstanding five-star reviews across multiple review sites, rapid MRR growth with the business reaching a c.60% CAGR for the period 2016 to 2018, lucrative SaaS metrics with low MRR churn of c.1.9% and high LTV of c.$3,600 in the LTM, seamless integrations with numerous popular third-party software providers and innovative and proprietary algorithm significantly reducing support requirements. AWS itself earned $7.43 billion in sales, up 45% from the previous year.
New in e-commerce business listings this week we have a $397K baby products and essentials business, with consistent revenue growth, with revenues growing c.420% for the period 2017-2018, widely-trusted brand earning BBB accreditation and glowing reviews on third-party review sites, large social following of thousands of users spread across multiple social platforms, notable online presence with c.600,000 web-sessions in the LTM and simple operations with growing ARPO allowing for strong margins. Featured in e-commerce business listings this week we have a $500K hunting and outdoors business, with rapid revenue growth with revenues reaching a c.46% CAGR for the period 2016 to (e)2019, authoritative website with hundreds of pages of content helping drive steady organic search traffic, proven market fit with hundreds of five-star product reviews on Amazon, popular brand with tens of thousands of social media followers and diversified revenue streams with plenty of opportunities for growth.
New in display advertising business listings this week we have a $409K farming, poultry care and supplies business, with keyword rankings for c.92,000 keywords enabling the site to grow organically with over c.3.8 million sessions in the past year, diversified revenue channels with an impressive revenue CMGR of c.16% over the LTM, strong social presence with thousands of followers on Facebook and c.15,000 highly motivated double opt-in emails, lean and scalable cost structure driving high net margins and steady cash flows and low owner involvement creating plenty of time to invest in growth. If you are interested in any of the above businesses, please follow the links to request a prospectus.
In events news this week, super early bird pricing for LTV Conf ends TODAY at 11:59pm EST! Tickets are currently 75% off full price and are the lowest they will ever be until prices go up tomorrow, so don’t wait! Discounts are offered to bigger groups, so make sure to bring your team, and use code FEINTERNATIONAL10 at checkout for an extra 10% off. Up to 400 invited SaaS Founders, Executives and Investors from private and public companies will be in attendance making this the perfect place to learn and network.
Some of the confirmed speakers include:
• Nathan Barry, Founder and CEO of ConvertKit
• Dan Martell, Angel Investor and Chief Instigator at SaaS Academy
• David Hauser, Founder of Grasshopper and Chargify
• April Dunford, Executive Consultant for Market Strategy and Product Positioning
• Claire Suellentrop, Co-Founder of Forget the Funnel and customer feedback expert
• Lauren Foundos, Founder and CEO of FORTË
Founder Thomas Smale had a great time meeting up with clients and SEO experts at Traffic Think Tank in Philly last week. Next week, Thomas is off to San Jose to attend SaaStr Annual from February 5-7 where FE International is hosting a food and drinks networking event for clients and SaaStr attendees. Make sure to RSVP here if you will be in the area!
Continue reading below for more on Amazon’s Q4’18 earnings, Google’s fine and the release of Firestore NoSQL.
- Steady MRR growth with MRR reaching a CAGR of c.181% for 2014 to 2018
• Leading email marketing software provider with a mature product aimed at a growing target market
• Effective product with low MRR churn of c.2% and high LTV of c.$12,000 in the LTM
• Lean and scalable cost structure allowing for strong net margins
• Simple operations with the developer staying on post-sale
Yearly net profit: $256,000
Asking price: $1,152,000
- Market-leading brand with outstanding five-star reviews across multiple review sites
• Rapid MRR growth with the business reaching a c.60% CAGR for the period 2016 to 2018
• Lucrative SaaS metrics with low MRR churn of c.1.9% and high LTV of c.$3,600 in the LTM
• Seamless integrations with numerous popular third-party software providers
• Innovative and proprietary algorithm significantly reducing support requirements
Yearly net profit: $50,000
Asking price: $195,000
• Consistent revenue growth, with revenues growing c.420% for the period 2017-2018
• Widely-trusted brand earning BBB accreditation and glowing reviews on third-party review sites
• Large social following of thousands of users spread across multiple social platforms
• Notable online presence with c.600,000 web-sessions in the LTM
• Simple operations with growing ARPO allowing for strong margins
Yearly net profit: $164,000
Asking price: $397,000
• Keyword rankings for c.92,000 keywords enabling the site to grow organically with over c.3.8 million sessions in the past year
• Diversified revenue channels with an impressive revenue CMGR of c.16% over the LTM
• Strong social presence with thousands of followers on Facebook and c.15,000 highly motivated double opt-in emails
• Lean and scalable cost structure driving high net margins and steady cash flows
• Low owner involvement creating plenty of time to invest in growth
Yearly net profit: $141,000
Asking price: $409,000
• Rapid revenue growth with revenues reaching a c.46% CAGR for the period 2016 to (e)2019
• Authoritative website with hundreds of pages of content helping drive steady organic search traffic
• Proven market fit with hundreds of five-star product reviews on Amazon
• Popular brand with tens of thousands of social media followers
• Diversified revenue streams with plenty of opportunities for growth
Yearly net profit: $171,000
Asking price: $500,000
In The News…
Amazon Reports Q4’18 Earnings
Amazon posted their Q4’18 earnings this week, reporting stronger performance than anticipated.
This was the company’s busiest holiday season yet, with record holiday sales driven by Amazon devices and third-party sellers. Small-to-medium sized businesses selling on the platform had the most lucrative holiday shopping season across the board, as a majority of items sold during the season came from third-party stores. Amazon has also announced a continued focus on Seller Central, having introduced two new shipping rates for sellers which are intended to reduce costs. Sales from Seller Central are also growing more quickly than first party sales as 200,000 SMB’s made over $100K in sales in 2018. Other highlights include Amazon Fashion launching in the UK and Japan, which grants Prime members the option to choose clothing, shoes and accessories they want to try on, and send back whatever they don’t wish to keep.
Operating cash flow for the company as a whole grew 67% to $30.7 billion for the year.
NDPC Issues Google $57 million fine
Google has been fined 50 million euros by French National Data Protection Commission this week.
Pursuant to the European data privacy rules which were put into effect last year, the NDPC has fined Google on the basis of “lack of transparency, inadequate information and lack of valid consent,” stating users were “not sufficiently informed” enough about the ad personalization they were agreeing to. The fine represents the largest regulatory enforcement of data privacy since the GDPR was passed in May 2018, and is also the first penalty for a US tech giant under these new European data privacy regulations.
Of the fine, Google has stated it is “deeply committed” to being transparent with user data and control, as well as following GDPR consent requirements. They have not yet acted in response to the fine.
Google’s Cloud Firestore NoSQL Database Available to General Users
Google this week announced the release of Cloud Firestore from beta to general users.
Firestore is a serverless NoSQL document database that allows developers to store data for mobile, web and IoT apps. With the release, Google has included new features and the functionality for the service to operate in 10 new regions, as well as granting developers the option to run the database in one region only, a feature which was not available in the beta version. This offers developers a cheaper option, as many do not need their apps to be available in multiple regions, as Google Prodcut Manager Dan McGrath stated: “Some people don’t need the added reliability and durability of a multi-region application. So for them, having a more cost-effective regional instance is very attractive, as well as data locality and being able to place a Cloud Firestore database as close as possible to their user base.” The release also brings with it a deeper integration with Stackdriver.
Firestore is available in a total of 13 locations and Google is currently planning the next set of locations.