Case Study - Excurro

Client Situation.

Excurro was a communications start-up with unique business approach in the growing wireless hub market. The company felt that it had a distinct strategy for both equipment deployment and customer service but had had trouble getting traction in the market and support from investors. Lighthouse was introduced to them as a resource to help them break through the barriers they had been encountering.

Challenges.

  1. Though the company had many talented individuals with related telecommunications experience, as a company and team, Excurro was brand new. The company did not yet have customers, was working with limited capital, and had limited products to offer.

  2. Excurro was attempting to address an existing and crowded market with what they believed to be a new concept. This meant that others were already in the market, with some customer base, and with capital whether their business strategy was inferior or not in Excurro's view.

  3. Excurro had been bootstrapping the company with capital from its executives and a few individual investors but was quickly approaching a point at which the owners would either have to attract significant outside capital or add more of their own capital.

  4. Though experienced in telecommunications, the company was relatively new to the sector of telecommunications they were pursuing, had limited in-house technical expertise or intellectual property, and as a management team of a start-up was largely inexperienced.

Lighthouse Role.

  1. Conducted exploratory discussions. Like it does with all its clients, Lighthouse began its interactions with Excurro through a series of discussions and meetings to better understand the company's status, goals, resources, and challenges before formally contracting with the client.

  2. Conducted market Interviews. Because Lighthouse and the company faced limits in the depth of their knowledge about the particular market that the company was pursuing, Lighthouse conducted a series of informal interviews within the industry and within Lighthouse's network to better understand what the company was up against and how investors were likely to perceive the company as it sought funds. These steps were done pro bono by Lighthouse in an effort to better assess the situation and estimate the value Lighthouse could bring to Excurro.

  3. Made early recommendation. Lighthouse evaluated the data it collected and concluded that the company should consider abandoning its efforts to pursue its intended line of business. This was based on a number of factors including a crowded, well-financed marketplace, a lack of competitive distinction for Excurro particularly in the area of unique technology, the lack of direct experience of the management team, and the reality of the need for management to fund itself for an extended period of time before it could even hope to attract capital.

Successes.

Following Lighthouse's assessment and based on a number of additional factors, Excurro chose not to pursue their business further. Excurro's CFO communicated that the information provided by Lighthouse confirmed existing concerns and added key insights that would have taken the company significant time and expensive to conclude without Lighthouse. He also acknowledged that up to the point of meeting Lighthouse the advice they had received had been circumspect, irrelevant, and sometimes misleading. In many ways, no one had wanted to dig deep enough or be frank with the company.

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