In this article we will cover an important topic of one-off business model that we have and will discuss the questions about its sustainability and the future product directions. While this is true that for most of the people such model seems unsustainable, there are good examples of businesses that incorporate it and still are successful. It has to be noted though that such model is normally combined with the other revenue streams to ensure the balance and the sustainability.
The good example here is Sketch (www.sketch.com). The company offers a $100-product to individual designers with lifetime license. Overall, the company managed to sell 1 Million licenses over the course of the years as recently announced (https://www.sketch.com/blog/2019/03/13/sketch-raises-20m-in-series-a-funding-from-benchmark/). While that’s true that they combine the one-off model with subscriptions that come from the other segment, this is nothing uncommon in a software. Dropbox is also freemium, however makes $1.2+ Billions in revenue on a small percent of the customers.
Since we offer data, and data is often known to be licensed, and the licenses can be one-off or recurrent, we have chosen a one-off model for biotech SMEs. While that’s true that people may wonder in sustainability since someone has to maintain the data and the software, biotech SMEs is not a single customer segment we are focusing on. The A-LabInsider was founded with the mission to make the life of anyone who is interested in labs easier. While some may claim these are the same links as one can find in Google, this product unfortunately can’t be made from Google, and people know it and that’s the reason they look for a solution. Since to discover such data is indeed difficult, not mentioning the algorithmical search of literature that we provide.
How do we stick to our mission to support SMEs?
We are aware that small biotech companies do not pay or do not like to pay recurrent subscriptions for the reasons of budget and low value of information they provide for them. While for big companies those products represent handy solutions, smaller companies always suffer, in addition to lack of marketing budget to compete with big companies, while their products are often more innovative as in bigger companies. This creates a discrepancy in capabilities and the product access. We are on a mission to change this, empowering every company on its way to the end user. Since those products were often created on the public money of the EU or other funding agencies, those products should come into the hands of end users, so the value exchange can happen. Otherwise, people are stuck, both on lab side with current state as usual, and on company side – finding it problematic to find the end customer. We act as a gateway between these two sides, bringing them together and removing the barriers. This is regarding our mission at A-LabInsider and the reason behind a one-off model, and its sustainability.
Is your one-off business model forever and how do you mitigate it?
Now to the other side of the balance and how we mitigate the risks. First of all, peeling off the layer, the current product to the SMEs is not the last one we are going to propose. Secondly, SMEs are not the only segment we will focus on. And thirdly, biotechnology is not the only industry we will focus on. Going from a high level, our strength is data processing and monitoring. That being said, it can be applied to other industries as well to do market research on scale. While we will leave for now the future directions, we gave you a small glimpse into how the future will look like. Our heart indeed stands for SMEs and for the technologies that are being developed by them. For this reason, we want to make the academic market accessible and let the companies compete on products and not on marketing. While the latter is also important, our software application allows creating equal opportunities for each company.
How do we know that the data will be updated if it is a one-off?
Coming to the next point, while we are often being asked whether the data will be updated if it is one-off, one has to understand that the data whether for big or small companies, in its core (labs) remain same. We can of course provide additional functions to different segments, however in its essence it doesn’t matter whether one company is using it or one thousand companies, the labs and the websites have to be same updated. This statement we hope eliminates all the questions regarding the sustainability in one-off model. Furthermore, whether it is a subscription or a one-off or any other hybrid model, the data have to be same updated regardless of the model.
How many labs do you include into the price?
Regarding pricing per lab or whether it is included in one flat fee all labs that we may ever add, our statement is that we look on it by regions. We started with Europe and offer the labs in Europe in one software application. We understand that number of labs varies and as we may add some institutes in this same region, the number of new labs will not increase or affect the already paid price, since we offer regions for business development. There are also good reasons why we did Europe. First, because we are located here in Berlin, Germany. Second, is because companies and academic labs prefer doing business with locals rather than oversees. And though in Europe there are many countries and languages, it is quite homogeneous in terms of how people do business with each other. While Middle East, China, other Asian countries would have own specifics that have to be uncovered with the help of those local people first, in addition to language difficulties in reading the original texts.