Are they sure to burn money? How to determine whether the O2O project business model is reliable?

Lei Feng network press: The author of this article shares investment Cai Cong.

The combination of the first and the fast, and the merger with Uber, many people think this is the result of the unsustainable and helpless business model of the O2O model to subsidize malicious competition and grab traffic. When the subsidy ends, the capital exits, and then welcomes the return of business and return to common sense. Why the more money you burn, the more you need to finance, and the more financing the valuation is, the more unsustainable the story is? How to determine whether the specific O2O business model is reliable? Does the O2O project have entrepreneurial and investment value?

During the period of O2O frenzied subsidy, the resident is really happy.

2015 may be the happiest year for me as a small citizen. Various O2O products emerge in an endless stream. There are internet giants and many startups. I admit that I am also a "minor citizen", but I can also call it a smart and rational consumer.

During the period of O2O crazy money subsidy, I will download an app to get a free lunch reward, eat it and then unload it; every time I pay at a convenience store, I will ask the cashier, which has paid : WeChat, Alipay or QQ Wallet.

Of course, I don't know how many times I used the price of a bus to ride a drip, Uber luxury car. Nails, housekeeping, maintenance ... I not only enjoy this "time bonus", but also tell my relatives and friends to enjoy together.

This is really good. You don't have to go to the storefront yourself, but also come to the door and the service can be even cheaper! There are only two possibilities: either the original traditional model is "profiteering" and there is enough room for profit to provide additional services; or the original traditional model is normal profit, which is reversed to the service provider.

The market economy tells us that as long as the industry is fully competitive, the profit rate will tend to be reasonable, and it is difficult to have huge profits. Therefore, it must be done in the past.

"Pigs don't grow wool is basic knowledge, but unfortunately forget it.

This is really a magical era of mobile Internet dividends, with Chinese characteristics. I understand it as a "population" bonus that can only happen in the largest population.

What is even more amazing is that these entrepreneurs seem to have been brainwashed. They always think that "wool must be on the pigs". It does not seem that this logic does not possess "internet thinking, Internet genes."

Even more amazing is that there are still a lot of VCs to buy. The O2O startup company took giants and VC money to subsidize consumers, brush sales, and then took these rapidly-growing businesses to find capital, tell story financing, and continue to burn money.

What's even more amazing is that the more money you burn, the more you need to raise money, and the higher the valuation of financing. Do not know when to start, VCs valuation is such a logic: the next round is always more than doubled from the previous round. I will take a break. If it is so simple, why would these accountants come from us?

Today, with the O2O project dying one after the other, both the entrepreneur and the VC realized that they neglected the biological knowledge that "the pig does not grow wool." Everyone who thinks independently will not ignore this common sense, but when a group of people flock to it, this common sense is ignored.

Two basic questions to determine whether the O2O business model is reliable

During the period of O2O crazy money-burning, we received countless O2O project business plans. Most are financed with very confident business growth data and user growth data. However, the vast majority are pseudo-demands and will never be profitable.

For the investment area of ​​interest, I will ask two basic questions:

1. Can you calculate the sustainable profitable price level?

2. At this price level, is the demand situation tested?

The vast majority of entrepreneurs are the logic: now do users first, provide point subsidy, do user volume, cultivate user habits and then raise prices.

I once received a business plan for airport parking O2O. They have carried out business at several airports and the data has been growing very well. It seems that the demand is very strong and the business is developing well, but this is using the data from the previous round of VC investment to make substantial subsidies. In this case, how can I judge the value of my investment?

The first lesson in economics is the "price-demand" curve.

The price and demand are inversely proportional to the low price. Of course, the demand is strong. From point B at point A, P1 drops to P2, and of course Q increases. Does Q represent real demand? Can you explain that the business model is feasible? This false prosperity easily masks the real needs. Q is actually a "pseudo demand." As a basis for investment, it is very dangerous.

For this type of O2O companies, I have asked them to do an MVP (Minimize Feasible Product) to test the demand at a profitable price if a point/store has a significant marginal contribution (ie, revenue minus the variable cost of a single field) In order to prove its business model is profitable.

Only in the case of proven profitability, it is meaningful to invest money in the promotion and expansion of the previous period to solve the growth problem. However, few teams can accept my request. In the period of O2O madness, other VCs were quick to pay the bills, and there was still time for me to polish.

With such a simple economic principle, we have seen the pseudo-demand of most O2O projects and avoided a lot of investment losses. At the initial stage of business promotion, there is nothing wrong with low-cost concessions. This is called marketing promotion. However, it depends on the concessions to maintain the business volume. It is surely money-burning and does not conform to the essence of business. I am afraid that many O2Os do not have plans to go ashore and they cannot go to shore. When the tide quits, it's easy to see who is swimming naked.

Looking at O2O Projects in 5 Aspects

Does O2O project have entrepreneurial and investment value? I think we can think from the following aspects:

1. Analyze the cost structure and marginal contribution rate of each bill, the higher the marginal contribution rate, the better

Marginal Contribution Rate = (Revenue - Variable Cost) / Revenue

For example, using a drip vehicle, in the absence of a subsidy, the income of a drip is a single “deducted” income, and the variable cost can be considered as a tax. This marginal contribution rate is high. In China, the income from each single bill is income, and the variable cost includes the gasoline fee for each service, the wear of the car, and the salary of the driver. Maybe the marginal contribution of each single state is high, but the marginal contribution rate is not high.

The low marginal contribution rate will increase the company's operating risk, because companies need to spend a lot of management costs to manage these "variable costs." And these costs are slightly increased: for example, the price of gasoline has risen, and the driver has asked for processing funds. The marginal contribution can easily be eroded. The higher the marginal cost rate, the smaller the profitability risk and the better.

2. The marginal cost decreases significantly with the growth of business volume (that is, the scale effect is significant).

Take Dripping as an example. After the user's customary cultivation and promotion of the brand, Didi's current daily operating cost is the construction and maintenance of the system. This type of cost has a significant scale effect, because 100 million users and 200 million users, the number of users doubled, but the cost of system construction and maintenance is likely to increase by only 20%, so the marginal cost with the business volume is getting lower and lower. As long as there is this obvious trend, it is easy to handle. Scale is the problem that capital is best at solving.

3. The basic advantages of the mobile Internet can be clearly displayed: the efficiency of information connection is greatly improved

I once participated in a roadshow event, in which there is a project to do O2O suit customization. I asked the team: “After analyzing the traditional suit customization, what pain points can be solved with mobile Internet?”

The most basic advantage of mobile internet is to connect the supply and demand sides more efficiently. Compared with the traditional way: yellow pages, paper media, the PC Internet era has greatly improved the docking efficiency between supply and demand, and the mobile Internet has further improved this efficiency and enriched the application scenario because of the more mobile attributes and functions. Cases like custom suits are not popularized in the traditional mode. The reason for not being popular is probably not that the information is not connected smoothly, and it doesn't help to graft onto O2O's wings.

When we look at the car-by-car model and there is no mobile internet, there is a huge demand. The blue card drivers are secretive business operations, and it is difficult to connect with passengers' information. The connection has to be negotiated, the efficiency is extremely low, and the information is not transparent. This is not exactly what the mobile Internet can solve? Only this kind of business, it is possible to fly with the wings of O2O.

The mobile internet is not only met by improving the docking efficiency, allowing the demand for stocks to be met more quickly, but also able to revitalize idle production capacity and create incremental demand. Carpooling and traveling are good examples. These production capacities are idle and wasteful in the absence of O2O.

If you live, the price is not a problem at all. Even cheaper prices can create value. For car owners who provide services, even a 50% off taxi price feels worthwhile because they are idle.

4, can play the advanced advantages of big data: let good services sell good prices, earn excess profits

Let's look at another simple economic theory. The “equilibrium price” curve (see the chart below) means that the more (less) the demand (D curve) is, the higher the price is when the supply (S curve) is constant. (low).

Then take the car about the car as a case, the traditional taxi, the price is across the board, can not adjust.

During the sparse hours and areas, there are certainly some drivers who would rather earn less to attract more guests and do not want empty cars to run. In times of heavy traffic and difficult taxis, the drivers are reluctant to sell, because the price is constant, they choose long-distance guests.

O2O can take advantage of mobile Internet big data intelligence analysis to maximize profit. Revenue = price quantity. In the event of oversupply, it is possible to reduce the price to gain quantity; when the demand exceeds supply, raise the price. Dynamic adjustment of prices to maximize revenue.

On rainy days and at the end of the show, I’m in short supply. Do I still subsidize you? Silly? Not only do I not subsidize you, I also earn more from you. This is the essence of business. Compared to the traditional model, this is the high-end advantage of O2O.

5, less to "wool in the pig" story

Tencent's success story of "wool on pigs" is rare, and it is a tragedy that many entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs are typical!

I would like to ask: What are some areas of Internet entrepreneurship that can be compared with "social networking and communication?" to achieve a huge base of $600 million in monthly living (perhaps there is a chance for mobile payments), even if the proportion of "pigs" Less is also a considerable amount.

Another question is: In addition to pornography and gambling on the Internet, what areas of the Internet have game industry such as large R (large payment users) and small R (small payment users), and the realization of such direct and violent? It is difficult to find a field that can make money with this logic.

Especially the O2O project's business is often in the subdivision field. With this logic, it is strange to die. Users to install your APP order is to wash the car, but have to wash the car does not make money, to rely on selling auto supplies to make money, want to be too simple, must let the user violate his original intention is not it? If you have high conversion rate products, you're going to make money, and you have to rely on products with low conversion rates to make money. Do you have to sacrifice your resources and pursue high difficulty levels? I think that O2O entrepreneurship must be able to make money in the main business, and it is a direct and violent way to make big money. By the way, I discover those "pigs."

In the past two years, O2O entrepreneurship and investment are crazy and blind, and many of them are "pseudo-demands." I also believe that O2O will continue to infiltrate and reconstruct traditional fields, and that “net about cars” is a good model, and other areas are waiting for us to continue to explore.

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