Some of the links on this site are affiliate links.
Republic is the most well-known startup crowdfunding platform. The platform offers a variety of different investments including startups across all sectors, crypto projects, and real estate investments.
Through the platform, investors of all experience levels and interests will likely find something that appeals to them.
Additionally, a low minimum investment of $10 – $250 makes Republic extremely accessible to investors.
- Attracts high quality companies
- No fees for investors
- Low minimum investment
- Number of startups could be intimidating
Up until about a decade ago, investing in startups was once an option only for the ultra-wealthy. Unless you had Silicon Valley connections and hundreds of thousands of dollars to invest, you were essentially out of luck.
However, over the last 10 years, a number of different factors have led startups to become an asset class available to the masses. The two most significant of these factors are Regulation Crowdfunding and the rise of startup investing platforms.
Regulation CF went into effect in 2016 and allowed early-stage companies to raise money from all Americans. Prior to this legislation, you had to be an accredited investor to invest in the majority of private companies.
At the same time, startup investing platforms were starting to catch their stride as they could now open their doors to a wider audience of investors.
One of the crowdfunding platforms that has grown substantially over this time period is Republic. In this Republic Review, we’ll provide an in-depth look at how the platform works and whether it’s a good place to start investing in startups.
Republic.co Review: Platform Highlights
- Republic is one of the largest startup investing platforms and arguably has the best brand reputation
- Through the platform investors can buy shares in up-and-coming companies for as little as $50
- Non-accredited investors can access most deals on the platform, however some deals are reserved for accredited investors
- There are a number of automated ways to invest on the platform including Republic Autopilot and Republic Note
- Republic has a strong track record and has raised money for companies like Robinhood and SpaceX in the past
What is Republic.co?
Founded in 2016, Republic has grown quickly to become one of the most well-know startup investing platforms. In addition to startup investing, the platform also offers a number of different asset classes like real estate, crypto projects, and video games.
The wide variety of investment opportunities is largely due to Republic’s history of acquiring other companies. In 2020, Republic bought out both Fig, the world’s leading video game publisher, and NextSeed, a platform for investing in local businesses.
Now these companies, as well as a few others, are rolled under the Republic umbrella and a part of their ecosystem.
To date, there are over 1 million investors on Republic and the platform has facilitated $500+ million in successful deals.
How Does Republic.co Work?
Investors can create a free account on Republic and begin browsing deals immediately. Each company listed on the platform is required to provide substantial financial information to potential investors.
These metrics will depend on the particular company but typically include revenue growth, profitability, and prior fundraising activity.
With this information, investors can make data-driven decisions and compare companies head-to-head. When they find a company that catches their attention, Republic has created a simple process for investing.
Companies are able to set their own investment minimum, but typically this starts off anywhere from $50 – $250.
Additionally, each company will have a specified funding goal as well as investor perks.
The funding goal specifies the target amount that the company wishes to raise. If this amount is not met before the campaign deadline, the funding does not go through and investors receive their full investment back.
Investor perks are gifts and other benefits that the company offers their investors depending on their investment amount. For example, Terraformation investors that invest over $50 receive a limited edition t shirt from the company.
After an investment is successfully completed, investors receive partial ownership in the startup and receive periodic updates from the founders.
As one of the most popular and best-capitalized startup investing platforms, Republic offers a wide variety of features. While many other platforms stick to the basics, Republic is constantly pioneering new ideas and functionality.
Many investors have the desire to invest in startups but do not have the desire to constantly research different companies.
Investing in startups can be an attractive idea when looking at returns from early investors in companies like Robinhood or Uber. However, the amount of time required to find and research these companies is prohibitive for many.
On Republic alone, there are currently over 300 startups actively raising money. If you spent just an hour researching each one, it would take you nearly 2 weeks just to get through all of them if you were at it 24/7.
This is where Republic Autopilot comes in. If you choose to use it, this free service will automatically invest in promising startups on your behalf.
You are able to specify how much you wish to invest in total and how much you are willing to allocate to a particular company. Then when startups meet their criteria, Republic allocates a portion of your investment to them.
If there are any startups they choose that you don’t like, you’re free to remove them from your portfolio before the investment is finalized.
Another way investors can benefit from startup returns without researching individual companies is through Republic Note.
Republic Note is a profit-sharing cryptocurrency developed by Republic that takes a unique approach. When certain Republic startups experience liquidity events, a portion of the proceeds are allocated to the Republic Note (R/Note) pool.
Every time the R/Note pool reaches $2 million, Republic distributes the funds to the token holders on a pro-rata basis.
There is a limit of 800,000 R/Note tokens that will ever exist. As a result, the tokens may also increase in value if Republic continues to succeed.
With any investment, it’s important to understand how you will generate returns. In the case of startup investing, investors almost exclusively receive returns as the result of liquidity events.
When investing in a private company, you are typically not able to readily sell your shares. As a result, these investments are illiquid.
When certain events happen, it becomes possible to sell your shares and thus the investment becomes liquid.
The two most common liquidity events are an acquisition or an IPO.
An acquisition occurs when a larger company buys majority ownership in the startup. Typically at this point, investors have the opportunity to sell their shares to the acquiring company or potentially convert their shares into shares of the acquirer.
An IPO or initial public offering describes the process of a private company listing on a public stock exchange. In this case, investors are able to trade their shares on the public markets and sell them to other investors.
Republic investors will hope to invest in companies that become successful and go on to experience liquidity events. However, the odds of a liquidity event for any particular company is quite low.
The failure rate for startups is 90%. As a result, most of the companies you invest in through Republic will fail and your investment will be worth $0.
That being said, investing in one hugely successful company can more than make up for many failures. For example, Robinhood was once available for investment on Republic.
Early investors that allocated $5,000 to Robinhood would now have an investment worth roughly $1.5 million. With only a few success stories like that, investors can generate some substantial returns.
Similar to StartEngine, Republic does not charge investors any fees. Instead, all fees fall on the startups raising money on the platform.
The fees that startups pay depends on the funding vehicle they use. In general, Crowd SAFEs are the most common choice for companies.
For a Crowd SAFE, there is both a platform fee and an equity fee. Both of these fees are only paid after a successful fundraise.
Republic charges a 6% platform fee to startups who use the platform. This is applied to the total funding amount of the campaign.
For instance, if a company raises $250,000 on the platform, they will pay a $15,000 platform fee.
Additionally, startups on Republic pay a 2% equity fee. Using the same $250,000 example, this company would also pay $5,000 in equity to Republic.
To learn more about the fees for other types of fundraising, read our full article on Republic Fees.
- Best reputation for startup crowdfunding platforms
- Investors pay no fees to use the platform
- Variety of asset classes available on the platform
- Simple interface makes it easy for beginners to start angel investing
- Variety of startups could be intimidating for newer investors
Republic.co Review: Final Thoughts
As far as startup crowdfunding platforms go, Republic is certainly one of the best options. With an accessible user-friendly interface it’s no surprise that many investors get their first taste of angel investing here.
With no fees for investors, a thorough vetting process, and a wide variety of asset classes, most investors will find plenty of interesting opportunities on the platform.
Additionally, the ability to profit from the success of startups without spending hours researching individual companies makes Republic an appealing choice for many. Republic Autopilot and Republic Note are two very unique services that investors on the platform can take advantage of.
The only real drawback for Republic is that the abundance of startups on the platform can be intimidating for some. When compared with a platform like SeedInvest that only offers 8-10 startups at any given time, 300+ can certainly seem like a lot of options.
However, by filtering down to solely the sectors that interest you, it’s likely that you’ll be able to find an abundance of exciting deals on the platform.