Your $250 Ticket to Luxury Did $700,000 in 2015

Carlo Cisco

In Episode #292, Nathan interviews Carlo Cisco, the founder and CEO of Select, a private membership community that offers discount deals with thousands of premier brands. Carlo was an early builder of Groupon. He’s also a canny investor who made $75k in stocks by investing during college. Listen in to hear Nathan and Carlo break down the numbers behind Select, discuss Groupon’s meteoric growth, and explain Select’s unbelievable CAC:LTV ratio.


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Famous 5

  • Favorite Book? –The Intelligent Investor
  • What CEO do you follow? —Mark Zuckerberg
  • What is your favorite online tool? — Intercom
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? —To get ready for some crazy stuff

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:30 – Nathan’s introduction
  • 01:43 – Welcoming Carlo to the show
  • 02:00 – Carlo started an events planning business while he was in college
  • 02:20 – Actively invested in tech companies while he was in college
  • 03:16 – Carlo put about $9k into stocks and turned it into $85k
  • 04:11 – Joined Groupon and helped build their operation in Japan
  • 05:30 – Groupon hasn’t helped businesses enough…most businesses aren’t getting repeat customers from Groupon or LivingSocial deals
  • 07:35 – Started Select in 2013
  • 08:00 – The goal was to work with premier brands in an ongoing, sustainable way
  • 08:50 – Select generates revenue through a $250 annual membership fee
  • 09:55 – Currently have around 9000 members
  • 10:20 – Annual revenue is $725k – average revenues are down because of a discount deal that generated members early on
  • 11:20 – Currently at over $1 million run rate
  • 11:45 – Annual retention rate is around 75% – which is unusually high for the sector
  • 12:20 – Have raised just under $800k in funding
  • 13:00 – Had equity funding from an accelerator programme – “The network is incredible”
  • 14:00 – Currently happy to break even on customer acquisition
  • 14:40 – Current lifetime value is around $900 per customer
  • 15:22 – Currently have a CAC:LTV ratio of 1:7
  • 15:40 – Ideal customer: High-income professionals, 25-45 years of age
  • 17:02 – Connect with Carlo on Twitter and Linkedin
  • 18:30 – Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. Accelerators have value beyond just funding – their networks and support can seriously pay off
  2. Invest wisely and early
  3. If you want excitement: prepare for it. Life can be crazy if you’re only ready.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Freshbooks– The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
  • Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.