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Task blog

Written by Steve Walker
on April 27, 2021

In this article I'll cover:

As we enter the final stage of the Stellar Seed Fund, it’s time to dig further into Task - an overview of where the business is at right now, where it’s heading, and how the funding from Stellar will help us on that journey.

I wanted to provide this overview in conjunction with a Reddit “Ask me anything” discussion. This seed fund is incredibly important to the team at Task - yes, the cash injection helps us scale the business, but it is also amplified by the support we have from inside the Stellar community.

Let’s examine how Task aligns to Stellars mission, our position in the market, and what you can expect from us in the months and years to come 🚀.

“If we don't change direction soon, we'll end up where we're going."

Irwin Corey

How Stellar and Task missions fit together

If Steller's mission is to make money more fluid, markets more open and empower people, then our mission at Task is to ensure the right people become empowered.

We make it easy to track what’s happening in remote locations, to get finances through to those endpoints, and to create economic communities where transparency ensures that funds arrive into the right hands.

So as we build out the Task platform, it is this mission that drives us. How can we use Stellar’s technology to reinvent financial distribution systems that are inefficient, lack trust or just plain don't work?

If Stellar created a ship to sail money around the world, we aim to be the rudder that helps direct that reinvigorated financial flow!

What the Task business looks like today

Our product is fully built and - as of writing - we have 14 paying customers, with new ones coming onboard in the next few weeks. We’re really starting to find our mojo with the value proposition and customer fit, a lot of it being driven by our partnership with Blackbaud and Support the Goals.

Our sales pipeline is improving on a weekly basis - and we’re proud to have achieved this on the back of modest seed funding to date. Thinking lean keeps you fit, and our route to market is being driven by partnerships, lets dig into a couple.

Blackbaud

Blackbaud-logo-CDNWe’ve made a lot of noise about this, but with good cause. Blackbaud is the global leader in the non-profit software space. They have around 42,000 customers, 30,000 of which are nonprofit.

We’re a part of their marketplace as a Premier Partner - currently helping to solve problems predominantly around donor visibility, tracking remote team activity (such as volunteers), and providing a (blockchain) paper trail back to donors exactly how their money is being spent.

This financial transparency seems to be at the heart of some of the biggest issues nonprofits face - if you could be 100% sure how your financial support was going to be used, would you become a more generous donor?

Support the Goals

ElZ74t4X0AAlD0w-768x768We’ve always had a keen interest in the UN Sustainable Development Goals - but partnering with Support the Goals means we leverage their understanding of HOW to report on organisational impact against the SDG targets.

Support the Goals have just become a reseller of Task, and we have first customers from that relationship to announce soon.

… and some extra sizzle

Not partnerships so much as the work we are doing with huge scale opportunities. We have a number of paid pilot projects centred around smart agriculture, and improving the livelihoods of farming communities in emerging economies.

Increasing financial rewards to these farmers is tied to environmental improvements, working in areas such as:

In all these areas - from Blackbaud's sprawling client base to a lone farmer in Cambodia, we’re using Stellar’s technology to provide proof of impact combined with innovative financial services.

Where Task is headed

Two words: More customers 🤓.

As we hit 15 customers, the question is how fast can we get to 30. Then 100. Then 1000.

This is important because it builds on proven commercial success to date. The faster we get into 1000 customers, the quicker we’ll see Stellar wallets in the pockets of every employee, volunteer and potentially the customers of these organisations.

The B2B SaaS sales model provides us with revenue that means we’re here for the long term, not dependent on investment. And while we build this client base, we’ll be experimenting with B2C scale opportunities (such as the farming community projects above) that we know exist for Tasks’ technology platform.

The immediate Task roadmap

Right now we see three important areas around product development in the coming 6 months.

1. Stay customer driven

Fast, reactive development against defined problems gathered from the Blackbaud client base will drive a lot of our decisions in the coming quarters.

We already know from conversations with Blackbaud that we can fix a lot of problems their customers are voicing (For example, they have asked if we could improve our integration so that some of their large customers could provide donors with a blockchain finance audit trail back into the Blackbaud accounting services).

We have a number of webinars with Blackbaud customers in the next few weeks, valuable opportunities to grow on what we’ve learnt so far.

2. Improve the user journey

Our current mobile app can be improved - mainly around easy on and off ramping for non-technical users.

We are implementing Sponsored Reserves for new accounts in the next 2-3 weeks as we aim to make our wallet a seamless experience for people like my Mum - that means she finds buying currencies, exchanging assets via the DEX, sending it to friends and family utterly seamless and is wow’d by speed and low fees (but doesn't need to know about Lumens).

3. Provide more financial services

As we develop the wallet further, we’ll be adding Stellar partners like Anclap for on/off ramping, and COINQVEST to allow crypto donor payments via our website.

We’ll release some NFT basic functionality so that users in our ecosystem can earn certifications they can use outside of Task - and potentially integrate Litemint to provide tradable collectables for users.

The really BIG financial services opportunity however is with Stellar Turrets as we are working on transparency and understanding between donors/investors and recipients (often nonprofits).

We already have a smart contract pilot study defined that will protect donors but also allow the recipient to know that, on the basis they honour the terms of the smart contract, the donors money keeps being fed to them.

Smart contracts and automated “tranching” of funding will be huge.

How we’ll be using Stellar’s funding

Our primary objective is to expand the existing customer base through careful allocation of resources to support growth through partners and direct sales. We won’t be spending cash willy nilly (we use Hubspot to track all digital ROI for example), but gently increasing budget to activities that are producing sales results.

This increases our top line, gets us into profit, means we’re a real business 🚀!

We’ll also be growing the financial toolset for our users - integrating with Stellar partners, getting the on/off ramping working perfectly, and making it childs play to send money to anyone on the planet with a phone.

The vision to scale

I might be a little old school in my thinking, but building a solid business takes time and trying to take shortcuts is the road to ruin. That’s why we have a very clear vision of allowing Task to establish further in the B2B SaaS space.

At the same time, we’ll be launching pilot studies in B2C environments that experiment with larger user groups which provide invaluable learning as well as free marketing around Task brand awareness and capabilities.

So what next?

Well, first I hope this breakdown of where we’re at has been useful. It’s very important to emphasise that we see our road to success being built on a collective win by Stellar in the real world.

If you see a partnership opportunity with Task, we’d love to talk 👍. Even if there is no direct partnership opportunity, let’s see what we can do to be supporting each other.

I have linked this blog to the Reddit “Ask me anything” discussion - please do send me your questions - not just to scrutinise what we are doing, but to give us ideas on how we can improve as we move forward.

With warm regards, Steve 😀.

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