Being an entrepreneur is full of unforeseen challenges, especially for small companies and freelancers. On top of product and business challenges entrepreneurs have to deal with financial bureaucracy such as billing and payments. The São Paulo-based 'neo bank' Cora provides zero bureaucracy billing and payment solutions. Their mission is to improve the lives of professionals with a free digital checking account and credit card coupled with other financial services that save valuable time for entrepreneurs and small businesses (see original Google for Startups article for more).
The business challenge
With the growth of its customer base, Cora took the next step and assembled a growth team. But working on product growth strategy was a rather new topic for the startup: “We knew how traditional digital marketing worked but did not really know how to apply growth strategy approaches. Attending Growth Academy was instrumental in understanding the best practices for sustainable and continuous growth ”, says Daniel Fonseca, Cora's co-founder and CMO. With the lessons learned throughout the program, Cora was able to run rigorous experiments focused on customer acquisition and retention and is already working on new growth-focused features.
“We were good at traditional digital marketing but did not really know how to apply structured growth strategy. Attending Growth Academy was instrumental in understanding the frameworks and best practices for sustainable and continuous growth.”
—Daniel Fonseca, co-founder & CMO, Cora
When joining the program, the first challenge was to convert leads more effectively: “Prospects who visited our website did not complete registration, despite having provided the contact details”, explains Marcella Roquetto, Growth Product Manager at Cora. “At the time, only 20% of visitors actually converted. With the support of Growth Academy, we implemented a QR Code and an additional email flow that improved signups by 60%”.
After learning about behavioral economics insights at Growth Academy Cora began to study the habits of their customers more closely: "This brought clarity about the improvements that should be made to our product as well as how and when to talk to our customers", commented Marcella. Based on this insight they successfully started to experiment with referral loops: “We did a first experiment asking our users if they would recommend Cora to other people. We had a low clickthrough rate around 15%”, describes the product manager. “It seemed that the timing was wrong and we analyzed the decision process of our customers further. We saw that the moment after generating your first payment slip would be the ideal moment to initiate our referral loop”. The referral rate increased significantly, and Cora now has twice as many active customers coming via referral.
“Attending Growth Academy helped Cora to double active referrals and improve qualified signups by 40%.”
—Marcella Roquetto, Growth Product Manager, Cora
Attending Growth Academy yielded very enriching exchanges for Cora with the other participating startups. “We exchanged best practices around team structure with other companies in our Growth Academy cohort. Based on these discussions we decided to restructure our teams cross-functionally around focus areas like growth and performance which improved alignment significantly”, comments the CMO Daniel Fonseca. Another unexpected outcome was the establishment of a partnership with the e-commerce platform Olist who was also part of our Growth Academy cohort.
In order to pass on the knowledge acquired at Growth Academy Cora implemented weekly best practice sessions with more than 35 participants sharing their insights and discussing ways to implement the strategies learned during the program.
Cora's plans for the future involve further improvements of its retention and acquisition strategy to solidify their position as the leading digital bank for small businesses.
You might wonder how you can use such growth strategies for your own business. If you want to learn more sign up for Growth Academy. We teach the frameworks of growth leaders at Google, Amazon, TikTok, Spotify, Skyscanner, and more, and provide step-by-step guidance on how to amplify the growth of your product and business model.