Pivoting a venture idea: A case study

In this case study, learn how Stryber's unique venture building framework was used to validate and pivot Mandai Wildlife Group's initial business model, resulting in the development of a broader, online marketplace in the wildlife segment.
July 5, 2023
2 minutes
Martin Solka
Venture Architect
Sebastian Bartl
Venture Architect

Being one of the leading zoos in the world, Mandai has partnered with Stryber to explore new business model opportunities.

The Stryber team evaluated the initial ideas that were already drafted by Mandai Wildlife Group and performed an initial sparring and status quo assessment. To complete the efforts and validate the topic, Stryber’s unique venture building framework was applied to validate the desirability, viability, feasibility and strategic importance of the corresponding business opportunity.

In a first topic validation sprint, which aimed to gain a deep understanding of customers’ needs and pain points, Stryber’s HypoLog was used to define key questions and tests to gain meaningful insights and to get a sense of trends across multiple geographies. Secondly, as part of the prototyping and testing sprint, a high-fidelity clickable prototype was developed to test the user experience and key features with real users to observe how they used the product.

Selected Stryber methods & tools

Selected Stryber methods & tools

Another objective was to provide training and capability building for Mandai Wildlife Group. As part of this process, the Stryber team also held training sessions to help the team strengthen their capabilities, including storytelling, UI/UX design and gamification techniques.

“Stryber helped us structure our approach and move this project forward with lightning speed.” - Mandai team member

All relevant aspects of the initial business model were evaluated in the topic validation phase, following Stryber’s data- and hypothesis-driven approach. One proprietary tool that was lauded as highly useful was the HypoLog, which prioritizes and organizes the riskiest assumptions of the business model.  Highlights of the methods used to gain confidence on assumptions include a large market study with >1k participants and a multitude of problem interviews.

The uncovered market insights showed a lack of customer desirability for an important aspect of the initial model and the projected market size turned out to be too small to be attractive.

On the flip-side, the research surfaced surprisingly clear and consistent customer pain points as well as unmet needs with the existing players in the targeted space.

This insight was informed by user research and highlighted an opportunity area, which gave the team confidence to move forward. As a result, the team decided to pivot towards creating a broader, general online marketplace within the wildlife segment, with features aimed at addressing these pain points.

After conducting additional in-depth customer interviews and financial calculations to evaluate this pivoted business model, the project team concluded that the change in approach is indeed an attractive opportunity, under certain conditions. After establishing this solid basis, the concept was ready to be taken to the next level of validation in the prototyping phase.

The Mandai & Stryber teams assessing the design and UX of the prototype

The project team condensed the most innovative customer value propositions from the analysis in an iterative manner. They then developed a "smoke test" mock-up landing page offering, along with respective social media ads.

Out of different value propositions tested, a community-based approach was the clear winner. Additionally, the smoke test provided initial insights into customer behaviour that can later be used to develop acquisition channel strategies.

Based on initial customer feedback, a clickable prototype was developed to demonstrate user flows and communicate the value proposition. The prototype received positive feedback in its first usability tests.

To reach the concept validation stage, the Stryber team complemented the work with a financial business model, an investment case, and a pitch deck.

“Thanks to the support of DesignSingapore Council, we were able to develop a solution with a compelling UI/UX and customer value proposition.” - Mandai team member

Reach out to Stryber to learn more about corporate venture building

The Stryber team visiting the Singapore zoo
Martin Solka
Venture Architect
Sebastian Bartl
Venture Architect
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