How to Invest in Curastory: A Video Platform for Student Athletes

A recent change in rules could lead to a big business

Curastory is a digital marketplace for video content creators for distribution and monetization. The initial focus is on NCAA student athletes. And interestingly enough, anyone can invest in Curastory as well.

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The company is currently raising money through a crowdfunding campaign on WeFunder.

In May 2019, Tiffany Kelly founded Curastory. The main reason was that – while she was a sports analytics associate at ESPN – she saw the power of student athletes’ social media influence.

But there was also an important catalyst: The NCAA announced that it would allow athletes to monetize their name, image and likeness starting in 2021.

Note that Kelly has a background in AI and machine learning. While at Nova Southeastern University, she wrote her thesis on “The ‘Triangle’ formula: A role and play option analysis of the triple-post offense.” And when she was at ESPN, she built the College Football Fan Happiness Index, which quantifies the intangible characteristic of football programming.

How Curastory Works

Curastory is fairly straightforward. It is based on a mobile app, in which the athlete can easily upload compelling video content. Then a brand marketing executive can use the app to browse through the tagged listings and find those that are the best for a campaign. They can bid on this for a sponsorship.

Once the executive signs a creator, the video can be distributed through the social channels like Alphabet’s (NASDAQ:GOOGL, NASDAQ:GOOG) YouTube, Instagram TV and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) Watch. Of course, the platform will provide extensive tracking of the attribution for the campaign.

Now when it comes to investing in Curastory, it is important to note that the company is still in the nascent stages, as there are no revenues. Yet there have been more than 100 sign-ups from users from the NBA and NFL.  And yes, the market opportunity is enormous. According to Curastory, the market is estimated at more than $1.1 billion.

In terms of the business model, Curastory plans to take about 18% of the gross proceeds of the sponsorships. This is expected to come to $405 per deal. In fact, based on this, Curastory believes that it will hit $39 million in revenues by 2023.

Keep in mind that the focus on the NCAA market will only be the start. Over the coming years, the company plans to provide services for educational creators, actors, screenwriters and actors. In other words, this could significantly increase the addressable market for Curastory.

Should You Invest in Curastory?

The company wants to raise $300,000 on a $6 million valuation (the minimum is only $100). So far through WeFunder, Curastory has gotten commitments for more than $104,000 from in excess of 260 investors.

The company is offering a SAFE (Simple Agreement for Future Equity) instrument, which means that you will not receive equity until there is a trigger event. This could be something like an acquisition or an initial public offering.

And yes, the investment round comes with a variety of perks, which are based on the amount invested. For example, if you invest more than $1,000, you get a phone card, Curastory hat and popsocket, as well as a 20% discount on a successful content listing on the site (if applicable).

However, as is the case with any early-stage investment, there are high risks. While Curastory has the advantage of being early with college athletes, there will likely be competition that comes into the market. There are already indirect competitors in the video influencer market, such as Greenfly, Opendorse, and INFLCR.

What’s more, it is tough to get a sense if the business model will be viable and there is no MVP (minimum viable product) yet. The money for the capital raise will essentially be used to see if there is a market-product fit.  Thus, before making an investment, it’s important to do your own research and analysis.

Tom Taulli (@ttaulli) is an advisor and author of various books and online courses about technology, including Artificial Intelligence Basics, The Robotic Process Automation Handbook and Learn Python Super Fast. He is also the founder of WebIPO, which was one of the first platforms for public offerings during the 1990s. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

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