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On December 14, 2015, Eric commented on : providing authentic advice to Arab women :

Thank you!! Very interesting questions:
1) Yes, Loolia worries about censorship, yet tries to tackle all the topics in a “subtle” manner. For example, “healthy couple relationships” would replace “sexology”, etc. Also, the network is exclusively composed of “women” influencers, so it is a women-to-women platform. On another note, even if access to the website is blocked, the content is also disseminated on facebook, youtube, snapchat which is very hard to censor.
2) For now, revenues are generated from content marketing deals. Later on, paid video appointments or commercializing influencer branded products could lead to more monetization opportunities. As for the revenue share, Loolia is keen on being very fair with the vloggers as a key aspect of the operating model is establishing a personal relationship with them based on trust and mutual benefit.

On December 14, 2015, Eric commented on : providing authentic advice to Arab women :

Thanks TOM :p
1- There are definitely synergies between influencers. Since the content is focused on lifestyle women content – influencers benefit from each other exposure, and in turn grow their own fan base. In some cases, content is created with two influencers together: for example, for a perfect wedding look, one expert would talk about fashion and another one would teach makeup, and they would debate it together.
2- Loolia has a tiered-model for the influencers whereas Star vloggers act as mentors for new vloggers. One key aspect of the mentorship is giving advise on how to be authentic.
Hope it answers your questions.

On December 14, 2015, Eric commented on : providing authentic advice to Arab women :

Thanks Kat! Actually, low customer acquisition cost is one of the benefits of the operating model. First, the influencers drive their users to the platform, so one way of growing the base is by growing the number of influencers. Second, the content is created in a way to boost sharability and engagement, which in turn helps in organically driving viewers. Third, content and the website are designed to optimize SEO.
In addition, traditional customer acquisition techniques (SEM, facebook ads, PR, etc.) are also used.

On December 14, 2015, Eric commented on : providing authentic advice to Arab women :

Totally agree Yasmin! We are already leveraging “live” streaming services mainly on YouTube and Snapchat. It definitely fits in the authenticity bit of the content. On the cost front, it actually raises the costs as we need more human capital and more equipment to “live” stream an event (for YouTube live streaming specifically). However, one way to decrease costs is by re-purposing the “live” content into several short videos (bloopers, top 5 moments of the event, etc.).

Great post Rene! Very interesting business model. It would be very interesting to see the impact of such a model on the private banking system in Chile. I would imagine that one benefit of a strong public owned bank is to put pressure on the private banks to differentiate through superior customer experience and innovative product offering. Not sure how successful the private banks have been, and if on the contrary they are not able to compete.

On December 14, 2015, Eric commented on VisionSpring: Providing eyeglasses to millions :

Thanks for sharing Andrea – very inspiring company! It is really interesting to see how the operating models have been evolving in order to support scalability, and more importantly to ensure financial sustainability of their business model.

Clearly, most socially geared companies (NGOs to social enterprises) face similar challenges, and I strongly believe in the value of partnerships and collaboration used in the second operating model. In many cases, sharing resources (financial, people, distribution capabilities, etc.) seem as an obvious way to optimize the efficiency of the social entrepreneurship ecosystem and serve the greater purpose of each of these companies. It is very intriguing for me to understand the reasons why these collaborations are not as efficient as they could be.
In the specific Lebanese context, I always thought that establishing an entity that would streamline operations of the different NGOs/social enterprises would add tremendous value. One of the main challenges I can see is that these companies kind of “compete” against each other, and seek to gain the most public recognition for their work. Not sure if this a challenge that VisionSpring faced in their second operating model.

On December 14, 2015, Eric commented on Rocket Internet – Sprawling digital business empire :

Thanks Kat, very well articulated article! You have explained very clearly the strengths of the Rocket internet model, and how they built very strong capabilities to serve their business model, specifically on scalability and capital efficiency.

I have heard and read many views about their “aggressive” people culture, leading to low employment turnover cycles (this might also be the result of employing entrepreneurial persons who ultimately leave to launch their own startups); so I was wondering about the sustainability of their ventures, specially post IPO or sale if they are not able to lock-in key employees.