Republic is an investment crowdfunding using Reg CF to offer investments in startups to anyone, in some cases for as little as $10. Most offerings match with a clear affinity audience (eg veterans, parents, pet owners).
- Low-minimum investments
- Mission-oriented investor groups
- Excellent investor education content
- Detailed and digestible investor presentation
- Exceptional design and user experience
- Relatively low number of active investments
- High risk, low liquidity
- Short track record (founded 2016)
- Company Description: Invest as little as $10 in the private companies shaping our future. Pick the companies you believe in and support their mission.
- Website: https://republic.co
- Alexa Rank: 156,367 (updated weekly)
- Founded: 2016
- Republic on Twitter (@joinrepublic)
- Republic on Crunchbase
- Republic funding portal filings via FINRA
Republic is the one of the newest investment crowdfunding sites, launched not quite 12 months ago, in July 2016. But the founders include alums from both Uber and AngelList, bringing strong startup credibility and experience to the table. Republic is distinguishing themselves among Title III funding portals with a standout social user interface, including neat features like investment groups, as well as ultra-low minimums (as low as $10 for some investments), which is quite low even among crowdfunding portals.
Types of investments Republic offers
Investments on Republic are for early-stage (also known as "seed-stage") investments in startups. In some cases, companies offer additional perks based on higher investment levels (eg product samples, meetings with executives)
What do you get when investing with Republic?
All investments on Republic use a variation of what's known as a Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE), which has a bit in common with a convertible note, but is not actually a debt instrument. Republic has a standout investor eduction section, which includes a super-handy calculator for previewing the outcome of various exit scenarios for a SAFE investment.
Republic fee structure
Republic charges offering companies a 5% commission on the total amount raised, and also retains 2% of the securities themselves. So in the case of the maximum $1M annual raise under Reg CF, Republic collects $50,000 in commission, and receives SAFEs with a nominal value of $20,000.
Potential returns and cashflow
Investments on Republic are high-risk angel investments in startups. There are no interest or dividend payments from a SAFE, and except under very limited circumstances, the investment must be held for at least 12 months, with minimal expectation of any market for the SAFE after that period. Most startup investments lose some or all of their value.
Breadth of offerings on Republic
Republic usually has 2-3 active investments available at a time. They don't describe much in terms of the specifics of their curation philosophy, besides emphasizing a "holistic" approach to evaluating companies that apply to raise funds. That said, most companies raising on Republic seem to fit logically with a clear affinity group (eg veterans, pet owners, parents, entrepreneurs). Most offerings have minimums of $100 or less.
Regulatory framework and due diligence expectations
Republic is an SEC registered Title III Funding Portal, which means they are subject to a range of rules and obligations around investor education and due diligence. All companies offering investments on Republic will have been through background checks of key officers and owners, and there are clear links provided to the relevant SEC filings made by the offering company. Prospective investors also have access to online forums to talk with other investors, and an online channel for asking questions of the company raising funds (and viewing answers of prior questions from others).