UPDATE: THE HUSTLE'S ROUND HAS BEEN FUNDED, AND THE COMPANY IS NO LONGER ACCEPTING NEW INVESTMENTS.
CNBC, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal...these are all well-known brands, but how many young people do you know who love them?
We believe the millennial generation is overwhelmed with information on a daily basis. Our social feeds have become cluttered with questionable content and, because most digital media sites chase pageviews to pay the bills, it's difficult to know which news to trust as writers are incentivized to shock versus inform.
This, from what we've noticed, creates a horrible cycle: writers have to churn out dozens of articles a day to meet their pageview quota and readers are fed content that is more like a commodity than a legitimate news source.
Our first product, the daily email, uses our bold and irreverent voice to cut through the noise and tells our community the news they need to start their day and how it impacts them. Think The Wall Street Journal meets The Daily Show. Or Walter Cronkite mixed with John Oliver. That's our goal.
And because we’re email first and driven by subscribers, not page views, we’ve been able to thrive with a small team of writers. This allows us to put most of our resources into growth via tech and marketing, and not clickbait-like content designed only to capture attention without delivering substance.
If you have questions, join Sam Parr, Co-Founder and CEO of The Hustle, for an investor webinar on Friday, January 20th, 2017 at 3 PM EST.
RSVP now: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8525837842187983107
As mentioned above, our first product is The Hustle Daily, a daily email geared towards young professionals that informs our readers about what’s going on in the world of business, tech, and culture, why they should care, and what it means for them.
We also host conferences throughout the year to strengthen our community, acquire new readers, and meet potential partners. These events include Hustle Con, a 1,500-person event for our entrepreneurial users, Con Con, a 400-person event for content creators, and a monthly lecture series in San Francisco.
As we grow our readership we will release more digital products and features to help our community make better decisions throughout their day.
Sam Parr, CEO & Co-Founder
I'm still amazed at how big our little project has grown...
In 2014, after my co-founder (John Havel) and I sold our last startup, I began looking for the next “big idea.”
But, like most people who go out searching for such a strange thing, I couldn’t find it.
So, until I found the big idea, I hosted a live event. I had 12 entrepreneurs come and speak about how they built their businesses and called it Hustle Con. At least this way I could be around lots of different ideas and perhaps stumble across what I was looking for.
And so with only 7 weeks until the event, I launched HustleCon.com and quickly found speakers, a venue, and a couple sponsors. To get the word out, I created funny and informative content and sent it out via email to some friends. Word spread fast, and we got ~350 attendees.
Surprised at how popular the event was, I took some time to reflect. Maybe this has some legs, I thought.
About 6 months after Hustle Con, I convinced John, my old co-founder, to host another Hustle Con with me. Like the first event, we found speakers, a venue, and sponsors. And most importantly, we created content to get the word out. Tons of content. This time though, we had 500+ attendees. But more importantly, we now had thousands of people subscribe to our email as word about our content spread.
After the event, we asked ourselves why so many people came. Was it that unique of a concept? Maybe. But after talking to our customers we realized that the biggest reason why people attended was because they had seen and loved all the content that we created. Unlike other content producers out there, we had a voice. Based on our research, our users loved that we were conversational, irreverent, funny, and intelligent. They liked that we wrote as if it were two friends talking with one another.
And so a month after Hustle Con 2, we decided to launch The Hustle. The idea was simple. Just like the way Vice built a massive brand using political content often ignored by the CNNs and Fox News of the world, we wanted to do the same with business news. Prior to launch, we raised $320,000 mostly from past Hustle Con speakers, all of whom knew us and had seen the community we built.
When we launched, we did what every other media site does -- we wrote dozens of articles a day. We wrote about productivity hacks, interesting ways to make a living, and even some strange things like working on LSD or living off Soylent. However, through this process, we learned two things: (1) The business model of churning out dozens of articles a day was on its way to the grave because the advertising model simply wasn't sustainable, nor did it lead to a great user experience. And (2) what our users loved most was our take on business news. So, on April 19th, 2016, we pivoted away from articles and went all-in on email, changing it from a couple emails a week to daily.
Switching from the blog to the email was an inflection point for our business. Both the business numbers and user sentiment exploded. Why? A few reasons.
Unlike most digital media brands, the majority of our content can only be found in our daily email. This means a user must sign up to receive a (free) subscription. This gives us more freedom to write what we want and not play by Facebook’s rules since we can easily reach our audience every single day by clicking the “send” button. And because email is intimate and engaging, we’re able to charge more for advertising as email rates are generally 10x higher than banner ads. However, the biggest advantage we’ve found to email is the community we’ve been able to build around it. Email, unlike most blogs, allows us to have conversations with our readers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Title III of the JOBS Act outlines Reg CF, a type of offering allowing private companies to raise up to $1 million from all Americans. Prior capital raising options, limited private companies to raising money only from accredited investors, historically the wealthiest ~2% of Americans. Like a Kickstarter campaign, Reg CF allows companies to raise funds online from their early adopters and the crowd. However, instead of providing investors a reward such as a t-shirt or a card, investors receive shares, typically equity, in the startups they back. To learn more about Reg CF and other offering types check out our blog and academy.
The Form C is a document the company must file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) which includes basic information about the company and its offering and is a condition to making a Reg CF offering available to investors. It is important to note that the SEC does not review the Form C, and therefore is not recommending and/or approving any of the securities being offered.
Before making any investment decision, it is highly recommended that prospective investors review the Form C filed with the SEC (a copy of which may be found below) before making any investment decision.
When you complete your investment on SeedInvest, your money will be transferred to an escrow account where an independent escrow agent will watch over your investment until it is accepted by The Hustle. Once The Hustle accepts your investment, and certain regulatory procedures are completed, your money will be transferred from the escrow account to The Hustle in exchange for your shares. At that point, you will be a proud owner in The Hustle.
Preferred equity is usually issued to outside investors and carries rights and conditions that are different from that of common stock. For example, preferred equity may include rights that prevent or minimize the effects of dilution or grants special privileges in situations when the company is sold.
A convertible note is a unique form of debt that converts into equity, usually in conjunction with a future financing round. The investor effectively loans money to a startup with the expectation that they will receive equity in the company in the future at a discounted price per share when the company raises its next round of financing.
To learn more about startup investment types check out “How to Choose a Startup Investment” in our academy.
An investor is limited in the amount that he or she may invest in a Reg CF offering during any 12-month period:
- If either the annual income or the net worth of the investor is less than $100,000, the investor is limited to the greater of $2,000 or 5% of the lesser of his or her annual income or net worth.
- If the annual income and net worth of the investor are both greater than $100,000, the investor is limited to 10% of the lesser of his or her annual income or net worth, to a maximum of $100,000.
Separately, The Hustle has set a minimum investment amount of US $0.
To make an investment, you will need the following information readily available:
- Personal information such as your current address and phone number
- Employment and employer information
- Net worth and income information
- Social Security Number or government-issued identification
- ABA bank routing number and checking account number (typically found on a personal check or bank statement)
For offerings made under Regulation CF, you may cancel your investment at any time up to 48 hours before a closing occurs or an earlier date set by the company. You will be sent a reminder notification approximately five days before the closing or set date giving you an opportunity to cancel your investment if you had not already done so. Once a closing occurs, and if you have not canceled your investment, you will receive an email notifying you that your shares have been issued. If you have already funded your investment, your funds will be promptly refunded to you upon cancellation. To cancel your investment, you may go to your portfolio page.
You are a partial owner of the company, you do own shares after all! But more importantly, companies which have raised money via Regulation CF must file information with the SEC and post it on their websites on an annual basis. Receiving regular company updates is important to keep shareholders educated and informed about the progress of the company and their investment. This annual report includes information similar to a company’s initial Reg CF filing and key information that a company will want to share with its investors to foster a dynamic and healthy relationship.
In certain circumstances a company may terminate its ongoing reporting requirement if:
- The company becomes a fully-reporting registrant with the SEC
- The company has filed at least one annual report, but has no more than 300 shareholders of record
- The company has filed at least three annual reports, and has no more than $10 million in assets
- The company or another party purchases or repurchases all the securities sold in reliance on Section 4(a)(6)
- The company ceases to do business
However, regardless of whether a company has terminated its ongoing reporting requirement per SEC rules, SeedInvest works with all companies on its platform to ensure that investors are provided quarterly updates. These quarterly reports will include information such as: (i) quarterly net sales, (ii) quarterly change in cash and cash on hand, (iii) material updates on the business, (iv) fundraising updates (any plans for next round, current round status, etc.), and (v) any notable press and news.
You can return to SeedInvest at any time to view your portfolio of investments and obtain a summary statement. In addition to monthly account statements, you may also receive periodic updates from the company about their business.
Securities purchased through a Reg CF offering are not freely transferable for one year after the date of purchase, except in the case where they are transferred:
- To the company who sold the securities
- To an accredited investor
- As part of an offering registered with the SEC (think IPO)
- To a member of the family of the purchaser or the equivalent, to a trust controlled by the purchaser, to a trust created for the benefit of a member of the family of the purchaser, or in connection with the death or divorce of the purchaser
Regardless, after the one year holding period has expired, you should not plan on being able to readily transfer and/or sell your security. Currently there is no market or liquidity for these shares and the company does not have any plans to list these shares on an exchange or other secondary market. At some point the company may choose to do so, but until then you should plan to hold your investment for a significant period of time before a “liquidation event” occurs. A “liquidation event” is when the company either lists their shares on an exchange, is acquired, or goes bankrupt.