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Q&A with Republic’s director of deal flow
Today we have a special guest interview with Matt Melbourne, head of Republic’s Investment Team. Matt’s team is in charge of identifying, vetting, and selecting startups.
Question: Matt, we’ve gotten great feedback about Republic’s deal flow lately through social media, and directly on deal pages on our platform. More companies, higher quality, more traction, and better co-investors. What explains this?
Matt: That’s good to hear! I think it’s a mix of factors. We’ve seen the industry mature as a whole, and our education efforts to founders, investors, and the ecosystem more broadly are paying off after 4 years of hard work. The Investment Team has also expanded and deepened the key relationships that drive this quality deal flow to the platform. Quality founders are referring their founder friends to us. Notable VCs and angels are referring their portfolio companies to us. Well-backed, fast-growing companies are finding us on their own and submitting applications to raise on the platform. The surge in quantity and quality has been dramatic, and we’re just getting started.
Question: Have startups shown more interest in fundraising on Republic recently?
Matt: Yes. More and more often, founders are coming to Republic with conviction about running a campaign instead of a timid curiosity about the space in general. Quality begets quality, and we’re seeing a groundswell of enthusiasm from founders for giving their users or customers the chance to invest.
Question: How do you think the COVID-19 crisis has affected investment platforms?
Matt: We’re a startup, so investment volume, our key metric, is always growing quarter over quarter. However, that growth curve got a lot steeper since the onset of the pandemic this past spring. We have more investors signing up and new investments made than ever. I think folks are spending more time in quarantine in front of their computer screens and engaging with the platform. There’s also a broader retreat from the public markets toward private, alternative assets that we’ve benefited from.
Question: What are you most excited about right now?
Matt: We anticipate that the SEC will soon raise the maximum amount that companies can raise on a rolling-yearly basis through platforms like Republic’s crowdfunding portal to $5 million. This is super exciting for companies that might be a little later stage raising larger rounds of capital––they could use the extra capital. It’s also exciting for investors as there will be more room for them to participate and get in on “hot” deals.
Thanks to Matt for taking the time to talk with us today. He and his team have been doing an excellent job lately, so if you haven’t checked out Republic’s live deals, take a look. We currently have 57 great deals to choose from on the platform.
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