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Business Ideas #98: AI Agents for X, Fractional Executives...

Plus Turning $100k into $200m/year Selling Soda

Welcome to Half Baked, the newsletter serving up killer business ideas as frequently as Boeing has PR disasters.

Here’s what we’ve got for you today:

  1. Business Idea💡: Brining AI agents to an old-school platform

  2. Drunk Business Idea 🍻: Copying the best traders on earth to make bank

  3. Just The Tip 📈: The rise of the fractional executive

  4. The Moneyshot 🤑: Turning $100k into $200m/year Selling Soda

Psst…if you want to read any previous editions of Half Baked you can on our website.

Let’s get into it.

BUSINESS IDEA | STARTUP

AI Agents for SMS Marketing 🖥️

Agent 99…dollars per month

Available Domain: textagents.ai

💡 TLDR: A technology platform which allows marketers to embed AI agents in their SMS marketing channels

1. Problem/Opportunity

The Problem/Opportunity: In a previous edition of Half Baked we covered how SMS marketing is exploding in popularity right now. Why? Mainly because SMS has a staggering 98% open rate. That's 3.7x more than the 26.8% open rate for email and 12.5x more than the 7.8% open rate for push notifications.

But SMS marketing today is still pretty primitive in how it’s done. Most campaigns are simple, dripfed campaigns which customers can’t interact with. But we can use AI agents to solve this.

Market Size: Ad spending in the SMS Advertising market worldwide is forecasted to reach $800m in 2024

2. Solution 

The Idea: A technology platform which allows marketers to embed AI agents in their SMS marketing channels

How it Works:

  • Businesses sign up for the platform and link up their various accounts to the platform

  • They can then embed dynamic AI agents into their texting campaigns

  • These agents can respond to customers, follow-up with them and answer any questions they may have, qualifying leads in a much better way

Go-to-market: Start by working with businesses in industries with the highest use of SMS marketing, like real estate, insurance, home services

Business Model: Monthly subscription fee

Startup Costs: You’ll need some technical chops to get this off the ground, so find yourself a strong technical cofounder to keep costs down

3. How You’ll Get Rich 💰

Exit Strategy: This business is a natural complement to a SMS marketing platform, like Hustle, who would acquire this business

Exit Multiple: SaaS multiples are hovering around 5x - 9x revenue right now

DRUNK BUSINESS IDEA

Copytrader for Politicians

You may think that Warren Buffett, Bill Ackman or Carl Icahn are the best investors in the world. But you’d be wrong.

The best investors in the world all happen to be members of Congress (no idea why, must just be a coincidence).

So why not join our platform to copy their trades? Make the same investments greats like Pelosi are making and watch your portfolio’s value soar.

JUST THE TIP

Trend 📈: The Rise of Fractional CFOs

Fractional executives are all the rage right now. This involved hiring senior-level executives on a part-time or project-based basis, such as fractional CFOs, CMOs or CTOs.

Business Ideas

  • Executives as a Service: a subscription-based platform where businesses can access fractional executives across various domains on a flexible, as-needed basis.

  • Community for Fractional Executives: Create a network or community for fractional executives to share best practices, resources, and support each other in their roles.

  • Fractional Executive Review Platform: a platform where businesses review fractional executives they have previously worked with

THE MONEYSHOT

Turning $100k into +$200m/year Selling Soda

It’s 2013 and Ben Goodwin and David Lester have just met in a coffee shop in Palo Alto.

Why? To discuss a potential partnership in Ben’s probiotic soda company – Obi.

Ben convinces David to quit his corporate job at Diageo and move from São Paulo to San Francisco to work on the business full time.

Cut to 3 years later and Obi…is nowhere. The brand seems limited success and the pair decide to sell the brand and start over.

They go back to the drawing board and switch their focus from probiotics to prebiotics.

2 years later Ben finishes the formula for their new drink.

And that drink was Olipop.

The pair pooled $100,000 they received from selling Obi to get Olipop’s first cans on shelves.

In its first year of business, Olipop made $852,000 in gross revenue, selling to 40 grocery stores in Northern California.

With national retailers like Target knocking on their doors the pair went out and raised a seed funding round in 2019 to expand the brand.

Since then, Olipop has grown into a nationwide brand and a favorite among Gen Z and millennial consumers. Customers gravitate to the brand’s eye-catching packaging and nostalgia-inducing flavors.

It’s also no coincidence that Olipop’s rise coincided with the public’s growing interest in gut health. In late 2022, when #guttok surpassed 700 million views on TikTok, Google searches for Olipop spiked. Within the first six months of 2023, the business hit $100 million in gross revenue.

Today Olipop does $20m revenue per month and the brand is showing no signs of slowing down. All because this dynamic duo refused to give up, believed in their vision and made it happen.

Kudos to them!

HALF BAKED PICK

Newsletter Pick: Lykeion

Lykeion is a team of ex-investment research analysts, portfolio managers, and strategists, creating original research and commentary around global markets and geopolitics.

Through their newsletter and podcast you can get smarter on the key investment themes shaping the world.

And if you check them out, tell them Half Baked sent you.

X MARKS THE SPOT

#HalfBakedBizIdea

Jason Hitchcock coming in with a super interesting idea.

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