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When it comes to finding startups to invest in, Republic is one of the top online equity crowdfunding platforms. Since 2016, the company has facilitated more than $150 million in fundings. There are also more than 800,000 investors on the platform.
The CEO and co-founder of Republic is Kendrick Nguyen, who immigrated from Vietnam to become a successful securities attorney in the U.S. But through this experience, he saw the challenges entrepreneurs had in getting financial backing. He thought an online platform would help to level the playing field.
The equity crowdfunding deals on Republic are structured as SAFE (Simple Agreement for Future Equity) instruments. This means that the allocation of equity is based on a trigger event, such as an acquisition, IPO (initial public offering) or subsequent funding. A typical deal has a minimum investment of $100.
So then, what are some of the interesting startups to invest in on Republic? Let’s take a look at seven:
- Plant an App
Startups to Invest In: Trusst
About one in five Americans live with some type of mental illness. But unfortunately, many do not receive help from qualified professionals. Some of the reasons include the costs and the access to convenient locations.
But for Trusst, this startup is leveraging technologies to solve the problem with a specialized messaging app. It is based on the feedback of experts in psychology. The app is also built with HIPAA privacy and confidentially systems.
The service has two tiers. First, a user can get access to a bot that is based on interactive scripts. Next, there is a system to get matched to licensed health professionals.
Launched in 2019, Trusst is now available in 35 states and is generating more than $125,000 in ARR (Annual Recurring Revenues). The more than 100 therapists on the platform have exchanged over 13,000 messages with patients.
Trusst has raised over $1 million from angels and VCs. As for the equity crowdfunding round, the company has raised over $6,000 from 27 investors and the valuation is $6 million.
Lead generation is always difficult. True, one of the problems is that people do not want to get pitched to. But there is something else: It can be difficult for salespeople to identify people who may need a new product or service.
Yet Techtracker believes it has an answer to this. And yes, it involves using AI. For example, Techtracker allows you to see what types of technologies a site is using, which can identify opportunities; monitor for technology updates; and get notifications when there are new installs. From all this, the software will produce a lead generation report, which is based on more than 200 million domain names and more than 8,500 unique keywords.
Since the launch five months ago, the company has signed up over 350 customers. The company has also forged partnerships with companies like Saleshub and ExactVistor.
The market opportunity is certainly large. Note that sales intelligence software is expected to reach more than $24 billion this year.
As for the crowdfunding campaign, Techtracker has raised over $5,700 from 30 investors and the valuation is $7.5 million.
Shopping for intimate items can be quite difficult. It can take several trips to find the right products. There is also the importance of privacy.
So why not have an online marketplace to make things easier? Well, this is the focus for Bloomi. The products on the platform — which include more than 25 brands — are selected by qualified sexologists, who make sure the items are toxic-free and the content is appropriate.
Bloomi’s mission is to “empower women to be the CEO of their body.” In fact, the company is creating its own line of products, such as the Bloomi Arousal Oil.
All in all, the business has gotten lots of traction. Keep in mind that Bloomi is now break-even and the expectation is that revenues will hit $4.3 million in 2021 and $10 million the following year.
The market opportunity is definitely large. The femtech category is expected to hit $50 billion by 2025.
Regarding the equity crowdfunding campaign, the company has raised over $89,000 from 292 investors and the valuation is at $6 million.
Plant an App
One of the hottest categories in tech is low-code. This involves using drag-and-drop and other interactive features to develop sophisticated applications.
The focus for low-code is generally for enterprise environments. The technology is often a good balance between off-the-shelf software and development. For the most part, a company will not only create applications faster, but at lower costs.
As should be no surprise, there are many players in the low-code market. But as for Plant an App, the company thinks it has a differentiation. The company’s platform is geared for developers, not business people. This is important since developers want to spend much of their efforts on more difficult parts of IT.
Plant an App has a variety of helpful features, such as to model data, build workflows, develop APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) and create forms. There is also integrations with GitHub, which allows for versioning of the application.
Launched about a year ago, the platform has seen lots of adoption. There are 36 customers, such as Vail Health EVBH and University of Idaho, and the year-to-date growth is 350%. The ARR (Annual Recurring Revenue) is $270,000, with $130,000 in services.
As for the crowdfunding campaign, the company has raised over $147,000 from 366 investors and the valuation is $9 million.
When it comes to finding a quality nail salon, things can get dicey. The quality of service often varies and there are also the issues of cleanliness.
But for Snailz, this startup wants to make things much better. The company has developed a mobile app that allows for browsing salons, booking appointments and making payments. There is also valuable data sent to the salon, which should help improve the service.
Of course, customers can rate the service and provide reviews. There is even a rewards system. That is, customers earn Snailz points for bookings and they can be redeemed for discounts on future appointments.
So far, the company has coverage in over 350 salons in New York and New Jersey. A new partnership with Universal Process, which has thousands of nail saloon accounts, will help to go nationwide.
Snailz generated $1.3 million bookings last year, coming from the company’s 13.5% commission on the gross transactions. Snailz forecasts that, by 2024, it will have more than 8,000 salons in its networks creating over $70 million in revenues.
For the crowdfunding campaign, the company has raised over $169,000 from 286 investors and the valuation is $10 million.
Upskilling and reskilling are major challenges for employers. This is especially the case for common office technologies like Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Office, Salesforce’s (NYSE:CRM) customer relationship management platform and so on.
To solve this problem? Procertas believes that the best approach is to leverage e-learning. To this end, the company has created the Legal Technology Assessment (LTA). It evaluates and identifies the skill gaps for legal associates and law students.
But this is just the start. Procertas will soon launch its Basic Office Technology Assessment (BOTA), which has a broader appeal.
Since 2017, the company has onboarded more than 80 schools — such as Yale Law School and Northwestern University — and 40 companies like Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) and NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP). More than 18,000 people have used the system and total sales have exceeded $650,000. These impressive numbers make it an easy choice for my list of startups to invest in.
The company has raised over $39,000 from almost 111 investors, and the valuation is $10 million.
For commercial properties, it can be a big hassle to manage and monitor the energy, safety and communications systems. After all, there are usually a mix of different solutions. But the inefficiencies can definitely add up. Yet tenants also expect next-generation approaches.
The focus of Tapa is to develop a centralized management platform. It’s all part of the trend of the Building-Internet-of-Things (BIoT). With this, it is much easier to adjust temperatures, lighting, air quality, security and emergency response. Think of it like Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Alexa or Alphabet’s (NASDAQ:GOOGL, NASDAQ:GOOG) Google Home.
In terms of traction, Tapa has been able to close four agreements during the past five months with top building-automation providers, such as SmartBT, BrainBox AI, Alps Controls and Lynxspring. The company generates revenues through a subscription model.
The market opportunity is also quite large. Tapa estimates that it will reach $60 billion by 2025, and the compound annual growth rate will be nearly 32%.
The company has raised over $72,000 from 148 investors, and the valuation is at $8 million.
On the date of publication, Tom Taulli did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in any of the securities mentioned in this article.
Tom Taulli (@ttaulli) is the author of various books on investing and technology, including Artificial Intelligence Basics, High-Profit IPO Strategies and All About Short Selling. He is also the author of courses on topics like the Python language and COBOL.