- Pitch Reviews
- Founder Control in Startups: A Deep Dive into Early-Stage Ownership
Founder Control in Startups: A Deep Dive into Early-Stage Ownership
Explore the significance of founder stakes in early-stage startups and their impact on business growth in this week's deep dive.
CHART OF THE WEEK 📈
Assessing the stake held by a founder in a company, whether in terms of ownership percentage or voting power, is a critical factor in gauging the founder's commitment to a venture. This week, we get into the breakdown of founder control across early-stage equity raises, categorizing control into the following buckets: 0-24%, 25-49%, 50-74%, and 75%+. For companies with multiple founders, the percentage is cumulative. Here are some of the key findings:
A substantial 60% of founders in early-stage companies maintain control of 75% or more of the company. This is consistent with the early stage, where many companies haven't secured external funding or appointed higher-ups, resulting in founders naturally holding the majority stake.
A mere nine raises featured founders with less than a 25% stake in the venture. This low stake may raise concerns among investors, signaling a potential lack of commitment from the founder.
Among companies with more than 75% founder control, 54 were fully under the founder's control, meaning sole ownership or 100% voting power. While common in the early stages, it's important for founders to relinquish some control to attract talent, secure investments, and scale the business.
82% of founders in early-stage companies exert control over 50% or more of the company.
Stay tuned in a few weeks, when we will look at the same metrics for growth-stage companies and identify any patterns.
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PITCH REVIEW 💸
Brief: Elevate Money is reshaping real estate investment by offering fractional shares of managed real estate portfolios, making it accessible to a wider audience. Focusing on income-producing properties, their platform has achieved a 6.5% annualized yield since its first public fund in 2022. It’s raising $1.2M with a valuation cap of $14M and a minimum investment of $100.
Key People: Elevate Money is led by CEO Harold Hofer, who brings a wealth of experience with 18 years in the real estate industry. Hofer's background includes a successful exit, which speaks to his entrepreneurial acumen and understanding of the real estate market. Supporting Hofer is co-founder and CMO Sachin Jhangiani, who has four years of relevant industry experience. Jhangiani's role is crucial in driving the marketing strategy for Elevate Money.
Interested in Elevate Money? Access the deal report HERE 🔓📈
Here's what we like: Elevate Money is positioned to disrupt the real estate investing industry through its innovative platform and unique partnership with Boxabl. The company empowers investors to build a balanced portfolio and achieve long-term wealth accumulation by offering fractionalized shares of managed real estate portfolios.
The company has experienced impressive growth, with a 300% average account size growth and 200% year-over-year user growth. These metrics demonstrate the increasing demand for Elevate Money's platform and the effectiveness of its value proposition.
With a valuation of $20 million, Elevate Money has attracted investment from notable venture capital firm Sway Ventures. This validation from experienced investors further supports the company's growth potential and market viability.
Here's what we don't: Despite Elevate Money's innovative approach to democratizing real estate investing, there are several concerns that warrant a bearish outlook. A revenue multiple of 162.35 for a company at the pre-profit stage seems excessive, particularly when the annual revenue currently stands at a modest $123,191. This valuation suggests that the market has priced in very high expectations for future growth, which may be challenging to meet.
The real estate crowdfunding investment industry is extremely competitive, with high barriers to entry due to regulatory requirements, the need for significant capital to secure real estate assets, and the trust required to attract and retain investors. Elevate Money's reliance on a unique partnership with Boxabl, while potentially advantageous, also introduces risk. The company's growth trajectory and value proposition could be significantly impacted if this partnership falters.
Moreover, the company's current financial health raises concerns. Elevate Money has a monthly burn rate of $133,709.42, higher than its total annual revenue. Coupled with a net income loss of $1,604,513.00 in the most recent fiscal year-end, these figures suggest Elevate Money is consuming cash at a rate that may not be sustainable in the long run without further capital infusions.
Would you invest in Elevate Money?
ON THE POD 🎙️
In this episode of Inside Startup Investing, we dive deep into the world of skiing innovation with the co-founders of Peak Ski Company, currently raising on Republic. Chris hosts Bode Miller, a legend in the skiing world with a storied Olympic medal-winning career, and Andy Wirth, a distinguished figure in the ski industry renowned for his significant contributions, including helping create the popular Ikon Pass. Together, they discuss their new venture, Peak Ski, where they're challenging traditional ski manufacturing norms and introducing cutting-edge technology and design to revolutionize the skiing experience.
Listen to the full episode here
STAFF PICKS 🌶️
Hanahana offers skincare products, including body butter and lip balm, made from plant-derived ingredients sourced from Ghana. Prioritizing skin health and community well-being, Hanahana has evolved from a direct-to-consumer brand to retail, now available in over 500 Ulta Beauty stores nationwide.
Valuation Cap: $7.5 million
Minimum Investment: $150
Municipal Winemakers (Debt)
Municipal Winemakers focuses on high-quality, sustainable wine and community engagement. With tasting rooms that double as community hubs for wine education and connection, they're redefining the traditional winery experience.
Interest Rate: 11%
Minimum Investment: $10
Humanity provides a health navigation app designed to extend healthy living. Utilizing AI, the app tracks aging signs and advises on slowing the process. With a 15% median increase in user movement post-signup and a tenfold higher premium subscription conversion than industry norms, Humanity demonstrates effective behavior change.
Valuation Cap: $30 million
Minimum Investment: $100