Editor’s Note: This article is regularly updated to bring you relevant, up-to-date information.
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 funding. 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 these seven:
- Choose Health
- OTIS Dental
- Moku Foods
Startups to Invest In: Choose Health
The self-serve approach to healthcare has seen significant growth over the years. Part of this is due to the expense and complexities of the traditional healthcare system. But another driver is the major innovations in the tech world, like mobile, cloud computing and AI. And finally, the Covid-19 pandemic has been another big factor.
This is all good news for Choose Health, which is focused on the home testing market. The platform allows for personalization and sophisticated tracking of markers like “Total Cholesterol, LDL, HDL, Triglycerides, hbA1c, GGT, hs-CRP, Ferritin, Testosterone and Vitamin D.” Each kit comes with test supplies, a tape measure for visceral fat, and a prepaid-shipping package.
The pricing on the kits is quite affordable, with a subscription of $68 per month. The company primarily sells direct to consumers and through B2B channels. There are currently over 350 subscribers (the company was launched in October 2019) and the MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue) is on track for $50,000.
For the equity crowdfunding round, the company has raised over $197,000 from 672 investors and the valuation is $5 million.
The countertop industry is massive, estimated at $30 billion. But there are inefficiencies. For example, countertop fabricators often have to purchase oversized slabs. And yes, in the end, this means that the costs are passed on to consumers.
But for CountertopSmart, this startup is focused on streamlining the industry. It has built an app that allows a person to make a purchase for a partial slab from local fabricators. There is also a wide selection of offerings.
The CountertopSmart marketplace has thousands of fabricators. The system also makes it easy to search by dimension, color, species and so on. Then there is an instant quote and the ability to set an appointment for an installer. As a result, the savings can by anywhere from 60% to 80% versus the traditional approach. But fabricators are also able to realize improvements in their bottom lines (the sale of slabs is not core to their business).
The company has seen momentum, with the run rate at $720,000 (on an annual basis). The company takes a 50% cut of the sales.
As for the equity crowdfunding round, the company has raised over $25,000 from 24 investors and the valuation is at $8.5 million.
Bruxism is a stress condition when people clench and grind their teeth, usually during sleep. This can ultimately lead to damage to a person’s teeth and jaw. Consider that an estimated 30 million to 40 million people just in the U.S. suffer from Bruxism.
One approach to deal with this is to have a night guard created. But such a device can be expensive and will wear out done over time.
So, what else can be done? OTIS Dental has an alternative. This startup has created a custom night guard that is affordable but still has the quality of one developed by a dentist.
Here’s how it works: OTIS will send a kit to a customer, who will then make an impression of his or her mouth. He or she will then send it back to the company in a prepaid envelope. A few days later, a night guard will come in the mail.
The company has various subscription plans, which provide replacements for every four, six or twelve months. As for the revenues, they increased 20X in one year (but there was no number provided). There is also retail distribution with Target (NYSE:TGT) and Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA).
The founder has personally invested over $150,000 of his own money in OTIS Dental. As for the equity crowdfunding round, he has raised over $73,000 from 215 investors and the valuation is $8 million.
The past decade has seen a revolution in plant-based foods that taste and look like meats. While a big reason for this has been the interest in better health, there has also been a focus on the environment and the humane treatment of animals.
So yes, for one of the startups to invest in on Republic, there is an offering for this category: Moku Foods. The company is the developer of jerky, which is made from mushrooms. This is the result of a partnership with a top plant-based chef.
The Moku Foods jerky has three flavors, which include Hawaiian Teriyaki, Original, and Sweet & Spicy. There are only 170 calories per bag and there are no GMOs or gluten.
Moreover, the plan is to launch early this year. The go-to-market strategy involves selling the jerky on Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Thrive Market and mokufoods.com. The company estimates that sales will hit $1.3 million in the first year and reach $25 million by year four.
As for the equity crowdfunding campaign, the company has raised over $378,000 from 649 investors and the valuation is $8 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 that is based on more than 200 million domain names and over 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 $16,000 from 74 investors and the valuation is $7.5 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 $171,000 from 305 investors and the valuation is $10 million.
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 $44,000 from 129 investors and the valuation is $6 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.