Founded in 2015 at Imperial College London, Clouder is a pioneer vaping marketplace. We are a marketplace in the same sense that Amazon is a marketplace, we empower 3rd party sellers to sell vape products on Clouder directly to consumers. Vape sellers can sign up to our B2B order management platform and start selling in less than 24hrs without having their own website.
Clouder has three growing streams of business:
1) Standard delivery marketplace available UK wide (delivery facilitated by sellers).
2) 1-hour delivery available in London’s zones 1, 2 and 3 (delivery facilitated by 3x B2B courier networks in partnership with Clouder).
3) Same day delivery in Milton Keynes (delivery facilitated by sellers).
Airbnb, the world's largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate. Clouder aims to become the world's largest vape store while owning no products.
Our vision is for Clouder to become the world's largest online vape e-commerce destination serving the booming c.£12bn p.a. market (2017 estimates). We are already able to offer a large selection of items at some of the most competitive prices to UK consumers, by aggregating dozens of sellers representing hundreds of products under one platform.
“We aim to have the widest UK catalogue of vape products in one place by the end of ‘17. Within the next 12 months, we aim to become among the 5 most visited vape websites in UK. Within 3 years we aim to become the most visited vape website EU wide, and within 5 years we aim to become the most visited vape website in the world, facilitating more deliveries then any vape company globally.”
- Tomas Zalatoris (CEO).
We intend to achieve this by first growing our brand and user base domestically in 17/18, whilst also scaling into Germany, France and other major EU countries. We will then look to execute on other major markets such as US, Malaysia, India and others.
Substantial accomplishments to date
Over £200,000 has been raised from angel investors to develop and launch the world's first vaping marketplace. We are backed by the vape industry itself with a large proportion of the funds raised to date coming from UK vape industry leaders.
Clouder has been in alpha testing for a few months and only recently launched the full Clouder beta during the London Vape Show, hosted by VapeFindr in August ‘17. The beta version was first unveiled in May ‘17 at the annual Imperial College London Festival, where we exhibited at the Innovation Zone amongst selected few startups.
Clouder Beta features:
1) Pioneer vaping marketplace, serving the entire UK market.
2) 1-hour vape delivery in London zones 1, 2, & 3 (aiming to launch in Manchester this quarter).
3) Same day vape delivery in Milton Keynes. We are looking to expand this throughout the UK.
Clouder's current partner network spans across multiple cities and includes 20+ cream of the crop vape stores, manufacturers and distributors. To name a few: Vapourcore, Le-Vap, Vapourlites, Mirage, Noble Vaping, Vape Angels, Vapebuzz.
Stats as of 05/10/2017:
1) 104,000+ page views to date.
2) 20,000+ visitor sessions to date.
3) 13,000+ UK vaper email list.
4) 12,500+ unique visitors.
5) 6,000+ social media followers.
6) 1,365+ registered users.
7) 590+ products on the platform.
8) 425+ orders delivered to UK customers.
9) £21.5+ average basket size per order.
10) Average time on Clouder: 4 minutes 13 seconds.
Note: a large proportion of the above were acquired in August/September ‘17 alone, on the back of the full Clouder beta launch.
Clouder owns a UK trademark CLOUDER in tobacco product category.
“Clouder's business model is unique in the global vape market. Our platform is an ecosystem which adds value to both B2C buyers and B2B sellers by providing an unrivalled PAAS solution to conduct flawless and secure trading.”
- Jonas Simanavicius (CTO)
As we grow UK & worldwide, the platform should allow us to earn revenue in several different ways.
Current revenue streams:
1) 10% commission from each order on Clouder (1-hour, same day, marketplace).
2) 1-hour delivery also attracts £2.99 delivery fee from the venue and £2.99-£5.99 delivery fee from the customer.
Planned new revenue streams:
1) Deals section (this should attract 20% commission). Deals section will allow sellers to sell out excess stock/inventory.
2) Subscriptions (this should attract 15% commission). This will allow sellers to offer recurring monthly subscriptions.
3) Clouder Pro (this should attract a monthly fee). Pro will allow sellers to use advanced sales and marketing tools to increase product visibility and sales.
Use of proceeds
We intend to spend the funds raised as follows:
1) 70% - Marketing budget to scale our platform UK-wide: user acquisition, content creation, field marketing, B2B partnerships, SEO, trade shows (Vaper Expo, Vape Jam, etc).
2) 20% - Technology development and infrastructure. Adding deals section, subscriptions, product and seller reviews, more products categories, brands and sellers.
3) 10% - EU expansion. Establish partnerships and launch Clouder marketplace in Germany and France.
Vaping is among the fastest growing markets of this decade, currently worth an estimated £12bn p.a. globally. The UK vape market is currently worth an estimated £1.5bn p.a., with 2.9mln vapers in the UK alone.
Clouder currently services the UK market, and is looking to open itself up to Germany and France in the next 6-12 months. Being a software company, we believe we are able to scale into a new country with relatively low overheads, as we require no factories, warehouses or stock. However, prior to that we want to make sure that we cement our position in the UK market.
Our demographics vary based on the service type:
1) For marketplace, most users are from across the UK.
2) For 1-hour delivery, most users are London based office workers (lawyers, fund managers, bankers, marketing professionals, etc.)
3) Same day delivery is currently only available in Milton Keynes, so all users are MK based. We aim to expand this to other cities in the coming quarter.
Characteristics of target market
“By 2021 the worldwide vape market is estimated to reach £25bn p.a., up from £12bn p.a. in ‘17. As consumers recognise the health and cost benefits of vaping, more and more smokers are switching to vaping, further eating into the sales of one of the world's largest £600bn p.a. tobacco market.”
- Sebastian Mineev (CAO)
We have observed that there is a recurring pattern in this industry, most of ex-smokers start their vape journey at a local vape shop - they want to learn how it works, what to buy, etc. However, 6 months in, they know exactly what they want and many of them turn online to find a wider selection at better prices.
That is where we come in, we allow vape shops and sellers to regain those customers online. Obviously, there will always be retail sales, but we expect more and more vapers to switch to vape delivery in the next 12-18 months.
Clouder has a comprehensive marketing strategy, which allowed for rapid growth to 13,000+ UK vaper emails, 6,000+ social media followers and 1,365+ registered users.
Clouder employs various marketing channels:
1) Trade shows (Vaper Expo, Vape Jam, London Vape Show, etc.) allowing us to market our platform and attract new B2B and B2C users.
2) B2B partnerships. We form partnerships with various vape companies, such as VapeFindr, Vapourcore, Vape Angels, etc. in pursuit of cross promotion and brand awareness.
3) Field marketing involving teams of marketing professionals in London and Milton Keynes (street flyering, canvassing, offline presence etc.).
4) SEO. We constantly improve our SEO ranking for select keywords. We already rank on the 1st page of Google for various keywords including 'Vape Delivery' and 'Eliquid delivery'.
5) Word of mouth. This is a growing trend for us; we see more and more referrals every month.
6) Social media promo. Instagram, Facebook, etc.
Our software solution being an open marketplace considers every B2B vape establishment as a potential client. Therefore, even though a B2B online or physical retailer is an alternative to Clouder, we believe they could also be our valued ally and sell on our platform, opening themselves up to a new revenue stream.
To our knowledge, since founding in ‘15 we are the first established vape marketplace in the world. There have been a few attempts at building a vape marketplace:
However, we believe they are behind Clouder in terms of scale & complexity. Moreover, we prefer to approach this market as a growing pie, stretching rapidly every day, making room for more buyers and sellers.