Even though the corona pandemic represents an opportunity for TERP, we have faced some short-term challenges. We canceled all international travels on March 4th and stopped traveling domestically one week later. At the same time, we closed our offices and started working from home.
As we are a distributed organization, the shift to working from home was smooth. However, not being able to visit customers became a challenge both in terms of sales sales and implementation.
After the lockdown, the implementation of Abooks with new customers was even more challenging as the schools had no prior setup to efficiently communicate with students remotely. The lockdown also
had economic consequences as our customers had no personnel available to process our invoices. However, we have compensated
for the delayed payments by reducing costs and renegotiating the terms for our loans. Now schools and universities are re-opening.
The lockdown in March effectively stopped all maritime education
in the Philippines as they had no contingency plan. According to the signals we have received, it looks like the next semester will start in August, two months later than planned. We expect that the delay forms a
new standard where the semesters that used to begin in June and November move to August and January. If so, we will only have revenue from one semester in 2020 as we will deliver our products and services for the second semester at the beginning of 2021. On the other side, the delay will enable us to prepare more content and develop more features supporting distance learning, contributing to higher revenue next semester. Besides this, the corona situation provides us with a surge of new customers. It is too early to conclude if these factors will compensate for the “lost” semester in 2020, but the issue is technical. The overall picture is that the company will be in a much better position despite that the revenue in 2020 might not be as high as previously estimated.
An immense challenge we are facing is the software development capacity. To satisfy the early majority long-term, we have to develop additional features to build a whole product. We have to at least triple the development capacity to deliver according to our tech roadmap. The first step was to acquire the training app company InfoGym. We have integrated their tech team into ours, and we have a setup that allows us to build a larger and more cost-efficient development team. We make ourselves independent of consultants and expect to double the number of development hours we get out of each US dollar invested.
The acquisition of InfoGym brought us much closer to having
what the organization needs, but we might have to strengthen our organization even more. The market is moving very fast due to the current situation, and certainly much quicker than we anticipated when we completed the last funding round. It may be in both the company's and shareholders' interest to acquire additional funding to take full advantage of this unique window of opportunity.