Ben Pleat, Founder-CEO of Cobu
Company website: https://www.livecobu.com/ (Links to an external site.)
Cobu is a Boston-based startup founded in 2016 that acts as a virtual community platform for large multi-home apartment buildings. In brief, Cobu helps neighbors in apartment communities connect and helps building owners retain residents. Cobu is currently available in 33,000 apartment homes in the United States and its user base has been growing steadily since its founding. Renters who live in these complexes and who are on the Cobu platform are high income (100k-300k), typically live in urban areas, and are prone to feeling a sense of isolation even outside of the Covid-19 era since many of them have relocated from their hometowns and/or do not live with family members.
Looking to the future, founder-CEO Ben Pleat is evaluating whether their historic revenue strategy continues to make sense as Cobu enters its next phase of growth. Although Cobu has seen steady growth in number of platform users, the company’s overall profits have not kept pace. Currently, Cobu’s revenue strategy is to charge apartment complex owners 4k per apartment complex, regardless of the number of users, which has been an effective selling point in getting new complex owners on board. However, Cobu has not yet monetized the user side of the platform, for example by offering coupons or group discounts to local vendors such as dog walkers or drycleaners and Pleat wonders if this is a missed opportunity.
For the final live case, answer the following: Should Cobu: (a) continue with the current revenue strategy of charging 4k per apartment complex (b) shift focus to monetize platform users or (c) do something else (feel free to be creative!).
Pick only one option between a,b,c and advocate for it. Think about the potential pros/cons of each option. Please use outside research and course readings in advocating for your recommendation! I’d encourage you to think about anticipated trends in apartment living during and post-Covid in crafting your responses.
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