This past week has been unlike any other I have experienced in my 14 years at IZEA. For our shareholders and those interested in building a company together, our future has never looked brighter.
This week, in the middle of a global crisis:
- We signed a new Fortune 500 Customer.
- We saw the return of two other Fortune 500 customers who had previously paused new commitments due to COVID-19.
- We shared that we expect managed services bookings to be up year over year, despite the hit we took due to the pandemic.
- We saw our stock hit a 52 week high.
- We added $13.1 million to our balance sheet from sales of our common stock in our at-the-market equity offering program (“ATM”).
- We successfully launched Shake, a new self-service software product that will help us grow our customer base and further diversify our revenue streams.
Speaking of the Shake product launch, the stats for our marketing campaign were nothing short of remarkable.
During the launch period (June 7-June 12):
- IZEA.com Users : Up 97.6% vs. prior week
- IZEA.com Sessions : Up 107.7% vs. prior week
- Marketing Emails Captured : Up 194% vs. prior week
- Platform Signups : Up 289% vs. last Friday
- Paid Media Dollars Spent on Launch : $0.00
The amount of traffic and awareness generated for Shake with zero dollars spent on media is something to be commended. The product even received coverage in the Wall Street Journal, one of the most coveted placements for a company of any size.
We did it all ourselves through social media. No PR Firm, no IR Firm, and no Ad Agency. It reminds me of the original launch of PayPerPost, our very first platform back in 2006. That product launch went viral through a similar grassroots marketing effort that snowballed over many months. That is how modern influencer marketing was born. In many ways 2020 is a rebirth for IZEA. First BrandGraph. Now Shake… and this is just the beginning of our technology rollout this year.
We started building the Shake platform way before the pandemic, but with so many people out of work I believe this product is even more relevant now than it was prior to COVID-19. In the coming months things will begin to really get interesting. We have an enormous network of influencers in IZEAx and possess the technology to scale an awareness campaign across the major social media platforms simultaneously. We have yet to tap any of our influencer network to get the word out about Shake. The real marketing push will happen once we open Shake up to buyers of creative services.
All of the above was accomplished by a team working 100% remotely from home and currently taking a 20% salary reduction. My fellow IZEAns are simply amazing human beings and I am honored to lead them. Our company is not just ‘surviving’ through this pandemic, we are thriving due to the hard work and dedication of our team members. I am damn proud of them and very excited for the future ahead.
I hope you are too.
For the avoidance of doubt and in the spirit of transparency:
- IZEA did not sell any shares from our ATM at all from 2:30pm ET through the end of day on Friday. This timeframe was set well in advance of the day. We did not want to be in the market immediately before or after any announcement. We were also only ~1.6% of the total volume for the day and even less of a % of the volume for the week.
- Neither executive officers nor the board of directors sold any shares last week. In fact, I am not aware of any of us ever selling a share of IZEA. Most of us have now been holding for 5+ years. I am IZEA’s original investor and I have been holding for 14 years.
- On Friday morning we announced that we sold $10 million of common stock at an average of $2.246 a share. We also increased our ATM from $10 to $40 million at that time. In addition, we sold $3.4 million in gross proceeds on Friday at an average of $2.862 a share. We paid a 2% commission. The company will likely continue to slowly and responsibly raise capital through our previously announced ATM.
We are in this together and I am building for the long haul. Thank you all for your words of support and encouragement. If you want to help Shake grow we welcome your shares on social media. You can have a positive impact on our success.
Onward and Upward,
Founder, Chairman & CEO
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