Every week I breakdown startup pitches with the added hook that you can invest whether you’re accredited or not (if you don't know what that means, click here).
I base my review on a 3-minute founder pitch and some light diligence.
My a scoring system is not a validation of idea, or grading for likelihood of success. It just means, all things being equal at launch — this startup has these boxes checked.
What I look for:
Founder — ability to lead, sell into and influence a given market
Idea — is it inevitable or solving a BIG problem in a scaleable way
TAM — how big is the total addressable market
Traction — do they have meaningful early traction
Unfair Advantage — do they have a competitive edge
Key People: Trung Pham (Founder/CEO), Manu Menon (former Citigroup IB), Marc Bishara (Designed a bluetooth wearable device called, Glance)
Traction: For starters, RYSE has $4.5M in sales since launch, having sold over 35,000 units. Which, when you consider they’ve got distribution with more than 700 dealers and resellers (including Home Depot), should come as no surprise. The market itself is a major money maker at est. $150B, growing 55% annually. And, the problem RYSE is attacking has enough interest from both private and public sectors that they were recently awarded with a $4M CDN cleantech grant.
Terms & Takeaway
Invest in RYSE here 👉 Term Sheet
Security Type: Revenue Share Loan
Minimum Investment: $250.00
Here's what I like: Can you think of a more better solution for blinds??? This is basically the smart home equivalent to lights. Its founder Trung is an experienced entrepreneur and the team now holds 4 patents that have held up in Amazon Court (yeah, thats a real thing!). TBH there’s nothing I don’t like about the product or team given the ingenuity, potential market size (considering both residential and commercial application) and the investment flexility (see below).
Here's what I don't love: If I had to gripe about something, it would be my concern that future commercial blinds will come stock with smart controls. I know, smart lights have stood the test of time, but window coverings are unique. The residential market IMO is still a commercial problem, the vast majority of home owners will probably not view the convenience factor here the same as lighting. So, it’s basically condos, apartment buildings and offices that RYSE will go after and if there’s a solution that hits the market within the next 12-18 months, that market turns into existing units, which is still sizable, but it does significantly alter trajectory. Which I guess further proves why the ability to invest in the company vs the product is cool.
Who should invest and why: RYSE has two separate offerings, a rev share deal offered via WeFunder, and a direct pre-IPO stock offering, which I think is awesome. Because not all investors are built equal… Some are shopping for good returns, others outsized. If you believe RYSE is a 10x opportunity (they’ve already increased seed investor share value by 7x), then invest directly here.
However, if you like the lower risk opportunity — the WeFunder offering pays a 2x return on invested capital in the form of a rev share loan… which, as I said, I really like. Whether you’re reading this from home or the office, I’m sure you’ve looked at those window shades and asked, “why don’t they open and close themselves”. RYSE offers a great solution for lazy people and energy conservationists alike.
As always, startup investing is super high risk, anything can happen.
Invest in RYSE here 👉 Term Sheet
Questions, DM me 🤳 @kitun.