More 2020 predictions…
The Christmas giveaway was a sign of things to come. To keep VC investors happy, Curve needs to hit growth milestones and currently it’s behind, as evidenced by the we’ll pay you to use our product “campaign”. If affiliates or partnerships don’t deliver soon and the “viral” Send feature doesn’t actually go viral*, it’ll be all about spending on d2c acquisition (hopefully uncle mastercard will donate again as d2c is £££).
- fwiw, Send is obviously a nice idea seems to be unreliable enough to keep it from going viral just yet - unexpected charges, incompatible cards, inexplicable errors, etc. There’s MVP and there’s DOA, and this is currently somewhere in between.
Speaking of milestones, get ready for the two comma club PR campaign. There obviously aren’t anywhere even close to a million active (ie. spending) users - more like 150k, based on media reports and counting infrequent spenders. But facts don’t matter - attention, intrigue and FOMO matter, particularly when you’re trying to persuade investors that you’re the next unicorn.
Complaints and scrutiny
Move fast and break things is harder when you’re dealing with people’s money. ICO, FCA, PSR…they exist for good reasons and as complaints rise in volume (which they will as the user base grows and the product tries to do more), the level of scrutiny may force change in the business. See what happened to Revolut…
Every year has begun with many “coming soon” promises, and with the money and headcount now in the business, Curve is desperate to accelerate. There are probably two years of runway left, depending on how revenue performs. It’s not make or break time, but it will be this time next year if one or more of the new features doesn’t genuinely knock the lights out. That probably means rushed design & development and all the user problems that follow (see: current wait times for customer support enquiries).
Users should remember that this is a startup, not a mature business - everything you’re using is an experiment and often it will fail.
Overall, barring a regulatory intervention Curve will still be going at the end of 2020…the question is whether it will have grown enough to make it an acquisition target or able to accelerate the next fundraise.