Cardstalk
Regulation Crowdfunding

Raising up to $1,070,000


Investment type: SAFE

Min Investment: $100 


Valuation Cap: $5M for first $500k / $10M up to max raise


Discount: 20%



Coming Soon!
Start date: November 10, 2021
End date: September 1, 2022

As we approach our 6-month mark from our first kiosk launch, Cardstalk is so thankful to the artists, retailers, and local community members who are working with us to bring artist-designed cards into the hands of gift-givers in Asheville, and beyond. With the launch of our latest features for “cards by mail” (January 2022) and “pick-up in store” (March 2022), we’ve been excited to build on top of that kiosk success, and now we’re excited to have identified a new opportunity that lets us bring our cards to more locations, all while reducing our cost to expand. Unfortunately, we’ve received word from a supplier affected by ongoing international events that a key component of our kiosk will be delayed until Winter 2022. In the interim, we are pursuing this new opportunity for a direct path to revenue, and plan to use it as a chance to flesh out features which can be integrated into the kiosk at a later date.


We are still collecting indications of interest for our planned capital raise through Regulation Crowdfunding. Please reference important guidance regarding Rule 206 under the Disclosures section below.

Why fund our local story
  • Cardstalk’s “Redbox for Greeting Cards” reclaims retail floorspace from traditional aisles
  • Battle-tested technology engineered by ex-Amazon founders. Since launch (November 2021) the MVP kiosk has seen 99% uptime
  • Every purchase compensates local and indie artists and opens doors to brick-and-mortar
  • Eliminates surplus card waste with 60-second prints on 100% PCW Recycled Materials, no single-use plastics
  • Help seed our growth from our first kiosk in Earth Fare across Asheville and the southeast 
Overview

What Cardsalk is all about

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Bringing card buyers and artists together


Our mission is to provide personal, high-quality, sustainable greeting cards. Unlike traditional card brands, we are already doing this both with online sales and our self-service “Redbox for Greeting Cards” kiosk.


Game Changer: Cardstalk “Redbox for Greeting Cards” Kiosk




First launched in November 2021, our kiosk has already proved itself in the field. Over the MVP deployment period (Nov 2021-Mar 2022), Cardstalk has printed dozens of great quality cards, keeping up even during the busy Winter holidays and Valentine's season. Customer feedback has been positive, with especially positive remarks about our card quality and the fun selection of designs by local artists.


By bringing our innovative card printing system into brick-and-mortar, we not only make card shopping better - but open up new opportunities for independent artists to promote their work in their own communities. The kiosk allows us to do all of that, while providing best-in-class card products that compete with Hallmark and American Greetings.


Cards for real people, supporting real indie artists


Thoughtful gift-givers have a knack for finding cards that are as unique as the person they are giving it to. But what’s unique about big-brand cards that are designed by committee, bulk-printed by the thousands, and then bulk-shipped in single-use plastics? At Cardstalk we keep it direct. Independent and local artists design each card, gift-givers choose the design and customize it, and Cardstalk prints it on-demand - either in 60 seconds at our “Redbox for Greeting Cards” kiosk, or at Cardstalk HQ for delivery by mail.




Our system enables designers to bring their work to customers in brick-in-mortar quickly, giving them end-to-end support for:


1.  Card Publishing: Independent artists upload their designs on https://cardstalk.ink, and Cardstalk approves them for sale on our card marketplace.


2.  Order Fulfillment: Card shoppers can browse cards online, or at the kiosk. When shopping at the kiosk, shoppers can pay on-the-spot, and have their card printed in 60 seconds.


3.  Payments: Artists are paid a portion of revenue for each card sold, at least $1 per card. Unlike other print-on-demand services, artists typically receive payment within 3 days and there is no minimum payout.


Cardstalk vs Traditional card aisles 

It’s not just customers and artists who love Cardstalk, innovative retailers are some of our vocal champions. That’s because we let them do something that the big card companies can’t: reclaim valuable floorspace without sacrificing their ability to provide great cards for customers.


Floorspace, Floorspace, Floorspace!


Next time you’re out shopping at a retailer with a card aisle, try to count the linear feet devoted to greeting cards. Many stores have an entire aisle devoted, and very few have less than 16”. Some brands, like Hallmark, even force retailers to devote a minimum of linear feet: Such as 24” for Pharmacies (Source: 2018 Independent Pharmacy Cooperative) and 286” for Hallmark Crown Stores (Source: 2011, Hallmark). 



With Cardstalk, a retailer can sell as many cards as they please - all with less than 4 feet of linear floorspace required. Reclaiming that floorspace gives retailers the flexibility to stay competitive in tight markets, and control their own floorspace and how to use it.


Select and Customize Anywhere, Pickup at Store


One of our most frequent comments from customers is that they love the idea of browsing cards without being chained to a card aisle to do it! Our online card marketplace lets customers choose the card they want before driving to the store, and upcoming customization features will allow them to personalize any card as well.


Bringing Local Art to Retailers 


Demand for products from local artisans is strong, and Cardstalk gives retailers an effortless way to tap into the enthusiasm and loyalty of shoppers who want to support makers in their local communities. While the Cardstalk marketplace is open to anyone in the US, our kiosks prominently feature designs by artists who are located in communities nearest the kiosk.



We interviewed shoppers who purchased from the kiosk, and the most common response to the question “Why did you use the kiosk?” included positivity towards the Local art and Local artist messaging. It’s not just us either! In 2020, Etsy added a feature to their site to tell shoppers when an artist was local, and in their 10-K filing they revealed that this messaging increased conversion rates and reduced carbon footprint!

Cardstalk vs Traditional card aisles 

While picking up in store is still the most common way to buy a card, online services like Etsy have started opening doors for artists to reach broader audiences through online sales. Cardstalk understands that many customers enjoy the convenience of online ordering, so we opened up our card marketplace and card browsing experience to the entire country, with our order online feature. Compared to Etsy, customers love that all of our cards are the same top-quality 100% recycled cards from the kiosk, and artists are relieved that we handle the printing and shipping for them.



What our Artists are saying

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Our Journey to Traction

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Greeting Card Market & Opportunity

Greeting Cards have been in steady demand in the US for decades, and at over $7 billion in annual sales in the US, demand remains strong even in the internet age. Statistics from the Greeting Card Association show that demand is not dying off, and that millennials and high-income households are actually among the most likely to buy and give cards.




While shoppers want cards, many are unhappy with the selection and quality of cards made available to them. Nearly every card-buyer we interviewed had stories about traveling to multiple stores to find the right card, or being disappointed when online card orders arrived days, or even weeks late. For this reason, we believe our kiosk model is the key differentiator that will let us tap into this market and drive sales.


Business Model

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How do we make money?


“Printing Cards is Like Printing Money”

- Peggy Parolin, former Director of Licensed Creative Content Development, Hallmark


Product Pricing

Based on user feedback around card quality and uniqueness of designs, Cardstalk has settled on a price of $7 per card (tax inclusive). This is competitive with Hallmark’s pricing for full-sized (5”x7”) loose cards in the aisle, and less than many premium card brands  (LovePop, ~$13).


Artist Costs

The primary costs of cards are actually not in the materials, but in paying out retailers and artists.


While Cardstalk is in the MVP period (while we have fewer than 5 kiosks deployed), we have temporarily increased the artist payout to $3, as part of an agreement with our artist partners to entice them to onboard and promote our product early. Once we have a greater number of kiosks deployed, artists have expressed willingness to reduce the payout to a standard $1 per card, as total sales volume should increase and improve their overall payout amount.




Pricing for Custom Cards

Our feature roadmap includes functionality to allow users to upload their own photos or digital art for the purpose of personal card printing. The current plan is to keep pricing the same ($7) for this feature. As artist payouts will not be required for these sales, average per-card profit will increase when this feature is implemented. Total per-card profit increased will depend on how frequently customers choose customized card images over artist images.


Retailer Payouts

Our current agreement with Earth Fare is to payout $1.50 per card sold. As we negotiate deals to deploy Cardstalk kiosks into other retail partners, we may test variations on the retailer compensation portion to ensure we are competitive to current income retailers receive from card aisles(as calculated on a per-linear foot basis). One model we are open to piloting is to pay retailers a flat amount per-month to rent the floorspace, and reducing or eliminating the per-card retailer pay-out.


Total Costs

Materials for Cardstalk kiosks, as presently designed, cost ~$5500 each, which can possibly be reduced to $5000 when components are purchased bulk. Our cards are currently listed for $7.00, where $1.50 goes to the retailer and artists receive a base payout of $1.00. During the introductory launch period, while we only have one kiosk, the artist base payout has been temporarily increased to $3.00, to incentivize Artist onboarding. This temporary cost increase will be maintained until we scale out to more print kiosks, as projected in phase 1 (see “Growth Plans” below),. Once we’ve reached that point, we plan to let Artists customize the pricing of their cards in order to make their desired profit, with Cardstalk taking a percentage of that (amount TDB).


Target Per-Kiosk Return on Investment (ROI)


After taxes and fees, we expect a total profit of ~$3.00 per card. If cards sell at the estimated 10 cards per-day average, we expect a single kiosk to achieve an ROI in less than 9 months. This ROI calculation includes per-kiosk operating expenses, technician salaries and other projected maintenance costs. Expected lifespan for a kiosk is 5 years, based on warranty and support available for the core printing technology.


Additional Revenue Stream Opportunities


Once Cardstalk kiosks are deployed into brick-and-mortar, we are planning to investigate other revenue streams that do not require additional hardware to implement. This includes investigating the practicality around printing additional content within the cards (ie, printing gift cards inside, selling NFTs with the cards), but our main focus is on potential services based on card search and sales data.


Growth Plan

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We have a two-pronged plan for growth, and will allocate resources to each prong according to demand we see.


1. Keep improving kiosk unit economics until Cardstalk can consistently outperform card aisles in high-foot-traffic locations (Grocery Stores). Once unit economics are consistently strong, the kiosks simply need a dense deployment network to ensure profit at high scale. To improve unit economics, we will:

   a. Drive up overall volume of card sales by: improving card selection, adding card customization features to drive demand, improving kiosk usability and messaging for new users, marketing targeted to repeat users, marketing leveraging local artists social media, marketing leveraging partner retailer resources

   b. Improve per-card profit for retailers - experiment with different price points and determine the amount that pays retailers enough to justify replacing card aisle.


2. Online Orders Shipped by mail

   a. Direct-to-consumer Sales (started in Feb 2022): Market our cards directly to buyers who would otherwise be using sites like etsy, but who like our card selection, card quality, and consistent ordering and shipping experience. Experiment with online marketing to drive sales from channels like Facebook and Instagram.

   b. Drop-shipping on behalf of artists. Rather than direct sales, let artists use channels they already promote (such as Etsy) to receive sales, and then charge the artists a fee to ship the cards directly to customers on their behalf. Once artists are on-boarded for dropshipping, the digital resources they provide for that will be available internally, and onboarding their work for kiosk sales and direct-to-consumer sales will be seamless.


In all cases above, we expect that our forthcoming Card Customization Feature will be an additional popular option for customers - whether in-store, or online. From a technical standpoint, we expect that the requirements around drop-shipping image uploads and custom image uploads will be extremely similar, meaning we’ll be able to re-use code to deliver features faster.

Investment Summary

Anticipated Terms

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Plans are to offer SAFE notes for investors 


► Valuation cap : $5M (up to first 500k raise), $10M (up to max raise)

► Max raise: $1.07M

► Discount: 20%


Some definitions:


SAFE 

A SAFE stands for Simple Agreement for Future Equity. It allows investors to invest in early-stage companies and receive stock down the road when certain events happen such as a series A round, an acquisition, or an IPO.


Valuation Cap

The maximum valuation at which your investment will convert. This means you'll receive shares at this price, regardless of how high the company is valued in the future. ie: higher valuations mean more shares for the same amount of money.


Discount

This is the discount on the share price that SAFE investors receive upon conversion.


For example: With a 20% discount, if the share price in a trigger event is $1.00, SAFE investors would receive shares at $.80 each.


Notes

1. The SAFE converts by either the Valuation Cap or the Discount depending on which one yields the best return for the investors.


2. An easy way to think about a SAFE investment is that you're buying $X worth of future stock.


3. At a trigger/conversion event, the issuer may continue the terms of the SAFE, issue "shadow shares" of preferred stock or allow you to cash out at the applicable conversion stock price.


4. Once the offering is live, it is important to refer to the subscription agreement and SAFE shares agreement to understand the conversion and termination terms, as well as potential rights of the securities into which the SAFE may convert.


Use of Funds

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Planned Runway of 12 months



 


Funding Milestones


$300K = 10 kiosks with 12 months of runway (20% discount, 5 million cap)

        ► $55,000 - 10x kiosks for Earth Fare & future partner deployment

        ► $175,000 - Developers salaries (us!)

        ► $70,000 - Business expenses including servers, legal, design, and marketing


$387.5K = The above + Q1 2022 Equipment Manager hire 

Establish a Regional Manager for the first 10 kiosks to begin building service model


$462.5K = The above + Q1 2022 Artist Community Manager hire

Artist management for onboarding and coordinating artists as we expand in the region


$825K = The above + Prepared Q2-Q3 2022 expansion across NC, SC, Atlanta or other regions depending on interested retailers

        ► $222,500 - x40 more kiosks

        ► $75,000 dedicated to Service Technician under Regional Equipment Manager to service new region

        ► $40,000 dedicated to kiosk transportation and storage costs

        ► $25,000 dedicated to co-working/office space


$950K = The above + Q2-Q3 2022 Data Scientist hire 

Begin focusing on aggregating and developing SaaS services to partners and inform our expansion plans


$1M = The above + Kiosk R&D and maturation for next regional expansion

With 50 kiosks deployed, we want to take lessons learned from our Mark 1 kiosk and prepare a final production model that reduces our involvement with future kiosk assembly


Our People
About Company:

Cardstalk is founded by a pair of married founders - Brandon Prime and Steph Prime. They are both alums of NC State Computer Science B.S., who worked in the industry in Seattle as Engineers at Amazon. Brandon was a Software Engineer on the Amazon Go project to create a “just walk out” grocery store concept, while Steph worked on DevOps and Deployment   for Amazon Web Services. When they decided they wanted to build a startup, they returned home to North Carolina, in hopes that the company built here will strengthen the local economy and improve opportunities in our local communities.



Common Questions

How many cards can be printed before the kiosk needs refilling of any supplies? Paper, ink etc.

Depends mostly on kiosk configuration, but a kiosk can support 100-400 prints between services. Toner/Fuser and such are in the thousands of prints.

How many cards can be printed at one time?

Right now it takes less than 30 seconds for the kiosk to process and print an order, but the printer can take up to another 30 seconds to warm up (still optimizing on this!). If you order multiple cards, same image or different, they are an additional 2-3 seconds each.

What is the kiosk footprint?

At the moment the kiosk measures roughly 2.5ft deep and 3.5ft wide. A lot of the top surface is dedicated to writable space and the kiosk tablet, and we expect future iterations to reduce the foot print a bit as well.

How tall is the kiosk pictured and what height is the workspace?

With our prototype at the moment, the top surface is a bit over 40 inches tall, however this is the maximum height needed for the maximum paper capacity. We expect it will be shrunken at least a few inches in future iterations.

Where are you expecting to take market share away from?

Big Box/Supermarket or small Mom & Pop stores.

Ultimately our aim is at big/medium box stores as they provide us with an expansion path that allows our kiosk servicing and B2B sales strategy to scale. Although we have seen small stores such as Moonlight Makers showing interest in kiosks with a marketplace tailored specifically to their card selection.

Why Now?

On the customer side, millennials have shown a strong affinity to card buying and gifting, however traditional card sale channels are not connecting to millennial shoppers who are seeking a more authentic card giving experience. On the technology side, simply put the printing technology has not been scalable nor as profitable in the past. With the new generation of lower-cost edge to edge, duplex printers we are confident we can match the card quality of the big competitors without sacrificing convenience. 

Why Grocers?

Our research indicates that grocers are currently one of the most frequented card-buying locations, however due to floorspace constraints they cannot compete on selection with specialty stores. Additionally grocers are more concentrated among metropolitan areas, with longer open hours, meaning we have a clear path to expansion and availability with future partners.

Why Kiosks?

Our main focus right now is to intercept customer shopping habits because online card buying leaves out a large portion of card buyers. Almost half of people buy the day of or the day before their card occasion, meaning they can't afford to wait days for their cards to be mailed. As brand awareness of our kiosk expands, we hope that buy online and pick-up in store will become a stronger channel of continue sales.

How much has COVID impacted the physical greeting card market?

From our research, less than 13% of current card buyers are "less likely" to purchase cards from a card aisle. Although we can't predict the course of the pandemic, we ultimately suspect that the long-term impact of covid on physical shopping preference for cards will be minimal.

Docs
Risks

Investing carries general risks, such as losing all the money you invest. Some key risks will be listed below. Additional general and project-specific risks may be detailed here if the Regulation Crowdfunding securities offering goes live.


You can learn more about the risks of investing through Vicinity here

Disclosures

This is not currently a live securities offering.

        • No money or other consideration is being solicited, and if sent in response, will not be accepted.
        • No offer to buy the securities can be accepted and no part of the purchase price can be received until the offering statement is filed and only through an intermediary's platform.
        • A person's indication of interest involves no obligation or commitment of any kind.

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