If you’ve been listening to the StartUp podcast, you know we are nearing the end of our seed round of fundraising to get Gimlet Media, our podcast network, off the ground. This is the money we’re using to build our studio, buy equipment, pay our hosts and producers, and launch new shows.
Ultimately, the success of this company will depend on our relationship with listeners. Since we launched StartUp, your response has been extraordinary. (Even the ads are a hit.) And it has been thrilling to have you be so intimately involved in the forming of the company.
That’s why we’re inviting you to join us. Right now, we have over $1 million banked, from a great group of investors, including Lowercase Capital, Betaworks, and a number of angel investors like Marco Arment and Andrew Mason, who you’ve heard on StartUp. But it’s always been our dream to give our listeners a chance to be part of the company. So now we’re reserving the last $200,000 of the round for our listeners — we want you to invest alongside that group.
Think of this like Kickstarter, except that instead of getting a t-shirt you’ll get shares in Gimlet Media Inc. You will be an owner of the company. The price tag is also higher- the minimum investment is $1,000.
So why invest? Maybe because you believe, as we do, that we’re entering a second golden age of audio. Or you see opportunity in the great shift of listening from AM/FM broadcast to on-demand digital audio. Or you just love great podcasts. Those are some of the reasons we’re creating this business. If you share in our vision, we want you to share in our business.
Two things make this investment possible.
- First, the JOBS act, legislation that makes it possible for companies like ours to solicit investment from the public, without going through expensive and time-consuming red tape.
- Second, our partnership with Alphaworks, an investment platform that enables companies to raise capital from their most dedicated users. Alphaworks will facilitate the logistics and handle the legal and regulatory details of the investment.
However, there’s a catch: all the investors must be accredited in the U.S.
This means that in order to participate you have to make at least $200,000 dollars per year ($300,000 for couples), or you need more than $1 Million in assets, not including your house. We didn’t make these rules, but we have to follow them.
Let us acknowledge something. For those of you who want to invest but don’t meet these requirements, this sucks. We understand, because neither of us is an accredited investor. If we hadn’t founded this company we couldn’t invest either. The requirements are disappointing to us, but our hands are tied.
Here’s what we are sure of: the entire focus of our company will be about figuring out creative ways of involving listeners in what we’re doing. Fundraising is only the first step. We have ideas for how our listeners are going to be a part of the company, but we know that our listeners will guide us, too. We plan to experiment in the years ahead with all kinds of creative ways to participate. But at this point in the story, we’re raising capital to get this enterprise launched. And we’re excited for our listeners to close out this round, and finish up this part of the journey with us.
If you’re interested in investing and you want to learn more, visit Alphaworks. There, you will find the terms of the investment, and instructions on how to proceed. The investment window there will open at Noon EST today (Monday, November 10).
Update: We have been bowled over by listener interest! The Gimlet Media offering is now fully subscribed. We are no longer accepting new reservations. For updates on Gimlet, sign up here.
Alex Blumberg & Matt Lieber, Gimlet Media cofounders