Republic's Series B: $150 Million Cash Infusion
On October 19th, 2021, Republic announced a $150 million Series B funding round led by Valor Equity Partners. The cash infusion from the raise is massive and a strong signal of Valor's view of Republic's business model. Valor's portfolio of companies is impressive, including early investments in SpaceX, Tesla, Anduril, and more.
Republic's blog post about the Series B fundraising highlights its three business units: crypto, private capital, and retail crowd-funding. We see these business units snowballing over the next decade. If Republic launches a secondary market for private securities, as we believe it will, its growth will accelerate. Private investors rarely gain liquidity before an initial public offering (IPO). If Republic offers this service, then it will gain a competitive advantage in the private marketplace. Republic hosted over 500 deals in the last five years. Early investors who took a high risk in young companies might want to exit and sell to more risk-averse investors looking for mature offerings. The opportunity for Republic is significant.
After the Series B raise, Republic did not announce its new valuation. Suppose Valor Equity Partners and others purchased 15% of the company for $150 million. In that case, Republic would be valued at $1 billion and be a tech unicorn. Despite the unknown valuation, it is safe to say that Republic will fund critical growth with the new capital.
nēdl: Creator Platform
nēdl is a live call-in radio and podcasting platform for creators that enables creator interaction with fans and real-time, AI-powered conversation transcripts. Creators monetize their content through the app with tips, ticketed live events, and fan comments. Comments are monetized by allowing listeners to highlight their words, such as during a Q&A session for a fee. No app is required for listeners who can receive a link via text message to listen live through a browser on their phone.
We like nēdl for several reasons.
1. It provides more functionality than Clubhouse. Clubhouse does not allow conversations to be saved, searched, or monetized through ticketed events. nēdl does.
2. nēdl is part of Google's Voice AI Accelerator and received non-dilutive funding from Google as part of their Black Founders Fund. According to Google's Voice AI Accelerator website, this means that nēdl received technical project support, customer acquisition strategy mentorship, and product design assistance.
3. The founder, Ayinde Alakoye, built an app that provided the foundation for the iHeartRadio mobile app.
In conjunction with their Series C funding, Andreessen Horowitz valued Clubhouse at $4 billion. Google does not own Clubhouse. We see a future where nēdl gains product-market fit in the creator economy, and Google acquires it to add to their software stack. nēdl would fit nicely in Google's creator toolbox and is native to Android. It could allow creators to live stream call-in shows on Youtube with searchable transcripts in real-time.
The company is valued at $22.5 million, and the SAFE agreement includes a lock-up period clause. It does not state the maximum lock-up period allowed. Instead, the duration of the lock-up period will be decided by the company if it IPOs. This agreement is typical of the industry and not unexpected.
nēdl Form C --
nēdl is selling shares at $1. It seeks to sell a minimum of 25,000 shares and a maximum of 535,000 shares. The company lists its main competitors as Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces, Facebook, and Spotify.
The Form C lists the founder as having ~53% ownership in the company and Sweet Capital Fund as owning 24% of the company. The remainder of the company ownership is by smaller parties, including a $25k SAFE at a $5 million valuation from a previous funding round.
nēdl is pre-revenue and just launching its product. The company is unproven, and investing is a considerable risk. Do your own diligence before making any investments.
The creator economy is booming, including long-form content through podcasts. The winner in the space will be the platform that achieves the best product-market fit by catering to creators flexibly and transparently. We believe that nēdl could accomplish this because it is small, creatively uses AI, and is led by an entrepreneur with a previous successful exit.
If you are bullish on this thesis, you can invest in nēdl here.
If you are bearish, you can save your hard-earned money for something else.
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I am not a financial advisor. This article is for educational purposes only. You should do your own independent research before making any investment decisions.