How One Company Used Cohort-Based Funding for 4x Revenue
Having a well-crafted funding strategy — one that relies on more than just seed and Series funding rounds — is essential to leapfrogging the competition. When well-planned, it’ll give you the financial flexibility to keep your business nimble and responsive to the marketplace.
Prisma Labs was one such company that took advantage of this potential. Founded back in 2016, their photo editing app Prisma was an immediate success, tapping into the aesthetically obsessed generation of Instagram and Facebook users. The company turned its seed funding into a go-to app on every millennial’s smartphone. Soon after, they realized their subscription revenue (a Premium offering of $7.99/month) allowed them to be even more creative with their cash flow for short-term and long-term business planning.
During the next few years, Prisma Labs explored more immediate and flexible forms of capital infusion that more closely aligned with their subscription model. This curiosity led them to cohort-based funding, which they used to launch their second app — the selfie-perfection service Lensa — and more importantly, quadruple revenue.
Commitment to the mission
At the heart of Prisma Labs’ success is a clearly defined mission and a set of products that speak to that philosophy. Their AI-powered, easy-to-use design interface makes even the newest user feel like a professional photo editor within a few taps. Couple that with a diverse and deep well of content customizability, and the company was set up perfectly to connect and have staying power with its audience.
A coherent corporate mission is important to funding because it helps businesses plan their financial futures. At the same time, it makes the value of the product or service easier to communicate to potential and active users. Investors take notice of these essential qualities in a company’s culture and the founders’ leadership principles. They want to work with brands that have proven financial success and a loyal customer base that indicate growth potential and high funding ROI.
Speed to opportunity
Prisma Labs took a different funding approach by emphasizing a sense of urgency. After early success with their Prisma app, they had established a subscription-based service that provided constant revenue streams to keep them afloat. But in order to accelerate that revenue and drive retention, they needed to continually generate value for users while seizing any growth opportunities they could find.
With the significant lead times of equity investors — including due diligence and rounds of analysis — Prisma Labs found the traditional funding cycles incompatible with their speed of business. As co-founder and CEO Andrey Usoltsev put it, “Our business is very dynamic and it is important for us to have access to just the right amount of capital on short notice, so we can jump on opportunities to deploy it efficiently.”
Prisma Labs needed a funding solution that could be just as dynamic as their company’s operating model in order to spark the kinds of growth needed to dominate their competitive photo and video app space.
Finding the right funding partner
In the interest of a diverse capital stack and exploring every financial opportunity, Prisma Labs started with more direct funding models like banking credit lines and venture debt solutions. While they provided some baseline assistance to maintain cash flow and boost working capital, these funding avenues were not flexible or experienced enough with fast-growing companies. Their deal solution needed to help their brand adapt to market conditions and lean into UA growth opportunities on the fly.
Prisma Labs required a complementary funding source that matched their steadfast ambition. So, they turned to Braavo in order to capitalize on an innovative funding product called Cohort-Based Funding.
Leveraging a subscription model
Through Braavo’s unique cohort-based funding structure, Prisma Labs tapped into a resource that was tailormade for their subscription model and allowed them to leverage their successful subscription-based KPIs.
The non-dilutive approach of CBF delivers fast capital infusions based on subscriber counts, renewals, and most importantly retention rates — factors that Prisma Labs had put their focus on. These metrics were their north stars, which led them to drive user lifetime value through consistent content delivery and an always improving product experience. Through CBF, Prisma acquired the immediate funds they needed to complete and launch their second product, Lensa, a feat that would prove pivotal in quadrupling revenue in a matter of months.
Funding subscription app growth
Following Lensa’s launch and with a more flexible line of funding at their disposal, Prisma Labs went from power player to dominant force. Their diversified capital stack — nondilutive CBF in conjunction with existing equity funding — gave them the financial freedom to reinvest subscription earnings however and whenever they needed. This independence was reflected in the company’s restored readiness to explore new growth and user acquisition opportunities without sacrificing long-term investments in their team, retention, and new product development.
The benefits of this adaptable, thoughtful funding strategy were enormous. Prisma Labs saw 4x revenue growth and 3x user growth in two years, employing millions in non-dilutive capital for their diverse growth initiatives.
Through Braavo CBF, the brand tapped into a rapid source of capital built specifically toward their business model in the mobile app space. Or, as CEO Andrey Usoltsev puts it, “Braavo has allowed us to take advantage of additional growth opportunities and not sit around waiting to invest in them while the next equity round is being raised.”
Braavo is designed to give mobile app companies of all sizes and business models the opportunity to tap into fast capital leveraged directly against their successful KPIs. Take a look at how CBF can ramp up your own revenue growth with immediate results.