In this issue, we will be taking a closer look at Republic.
In this edition of the Protocol Newsletter, we spoke with Kendrick Nguyen the CEO and co-founder of Republic about why he's accepted digital securities as a funding tool and the advantage of digitizing transfer agent services.
1. Who is Republic and what do you do?
Republic is a next-generation digital investment platform and investment bank.
Republic was seeded by AngelList in 2016 to launch a crowd-invest platform connecting promising startups to retail investors across all income brackets, enabling them to share in the potential upside of venture investments. The platform hosts a highly curated, diverse set of equity- and crypto-focused offerings with minimum investment amounts as little as $10.
2. What is Republic known for? And what makes you different from other crowdfunding platforms?
Republic was the first to: launch credit card processing, facilitate compliance public token sale for non-accredited US investors, receive an investment from AngelList, Binance Labs, and East Chain Co, and the first to compliantly airdrop to US retail investors. Additionally, we’ve created the crowd SAFE which is now widely adopted by the industry. Republic has also secured FINRA approval for its portal application in less than 30-days and we’re in regular dialogues with the SEC and congressional staff to champion for policy changes and industry issues.
3. What makes Republic different from other crowdfunding platforms?
Please see the answer to #2, where it showcases how we have pioneered many advancements in the crowdfunding industry. We have an extremely robust team not only on the Reg CF operations side, but also in legal, blockchain, and traditional accredited fundraising (all teams are in house!).
4. How does crowdfunding fit into the startup ecosystem and why would a company choose this route over a VC or other options?
Doing a Reg CF campaign on Republic is not just a way for a company to raise capital. It is a growth hack. Allowing anyone to invest will engage the company’s user base and boost key growth metrics. A company should not have to choose a Reg CF campaign on Republic over a VC round or other options, but rather, it should be thought of as complementary to other fundraising rounds. Our startups have used a campaign to triple their user bases, sell millions worth of product, gain press coverage, and connect with follow-on VC investors.
5. What is the rationale behind Republic's acceptance of digital securities as a funding tool?
The same rationale behind businesses that started adopting e-mail in the early 90s while still using snail mail. It’s just the way of the future.
6. The SEC recently proposed major changes to Reg CF, what are they and what is your take on them?
It’s an extensive menu of improvements, but I’m most excited about the increase in the maximum amount a company can raise under Reg CF in one year - from $1M to $5M. There are other administrative and legal changes that will make the entire process simpler, easier, and more desirable for projects at various stages.
7. Why does a startup need a Transfer Agent and what is the advantage of digitizing TA services?
Companies need to know who owns a piece of their company, and make sure that all shares are accounted for. Digitizing this process is much more efficient and will pave the way for much more dynamic private capital markets.
8. Where are we in the process of digital securities replacing traditional ones, and how do you see the future of adoption playing out?
We believe all securities will eventually become digital securities. As with the first waves of crypto, we believe some of the earliest adopters of digital securities will be retail investors, with institutions following soon thereafter.
About Republic and Kenrick Nguyen
Republic has deployed over $130 million to date into 200+ companies across its public and private investment platforms, with a combined community of over 600,000 active and aspiring investors. A leading brand in crowd investing, blockchain advisory, and private investing, Republic is backed by both strategic capital partners and traditional venture capital firms including Binance, the Algorand Foundation and Passport Capital. Founded in 2016, Republic is based in New York City and has 50 employees.
Kendrick Nguyen is the CEO and co-founder of Republic, an investment platform that provides accredited and non-accredited investors with curated startup investment opportunities. An affiliate of AngelList and CoinList, Republic also facilitates compliant investing in blockchain-enabled projects under the brand Republic Crypto.
Prior to Republic, Kendrick served as General Counsel and Venture Hacker at AngelList, as well as a Fellow of Stanford Law School and the Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University.
Formerly a securities attorney, Kendrick worked on several initiatives aimed at defining a compliant but pragmatic protocol for conducting compliant coin offerings, briefing the SEC, Congress, and foreign regulators on this issue. He frequently lectures on the topics at the intersection of law and entrepreneurship, and his views have been cited in a number of court decisions and publications. An immigrant from Vietnam, Kendrick has a strong interest in improving access to capital for underserved entrepreneurs in the U.S. and beyond.
Securitize delivers trusted global solutions for creating compliant digital securities. The Securitize compliance platform and protocol provide a proven, full-stack solution for issuing and managing digital securities (security tokens). Securitize’s innovative DS Protocol has the highest adoption rate in the industry and enables seamless, fully compliant trading across multiple markets simultaneously. Multiple Securitize powered digital securities are already trading globally on public marketplaces with many more in the pipeline.
To learn more, about Securitize or our Cloud-Based Cap Table Management Services click here.
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