Back in November 2017, we invested in the seed round of Rally Road. I wrote about it here and how it fit into our thesis.
The company has grown quickly and today they announced their series A led by Upfront and good friend Greg Bettinelli.
Rally Rd.’s co-founders Chris Bruno and Rob Petrozzo told TechCrunch the crypto boom and bust really put digital asset investing in the mainstream, helping to bolster business that would have seemed pretty odd just a few years ago.
The pair plan to use the investment to open what they call a “live investing ecosystem,” a vehicle showroom where users can go to participate in initial car offerings in-person. The first will be in New York’s SoHo neighborhood, with other locations to follow in Los Angeles, South Florida and possibly Texas, where they have a strong user base.
“We want to create that Apple Store atmosphere where anyone can come in and learn about equity investing on the spot,” said Petrozzo, Rally Rd.’s chief product officer.
Through a subsidiary company, Rally Rd. purchases collector vehicles and holds the cars’ titles. The startup then hosts SEC-registered offerings, essentially an IPO for a car, where investors can buy one or more of 2,000 equity shares. The vehicles are registered for sale through a registered broker-dealer available in 32 states; the company is still working on obtaining licenses for the remaining 18 states.
Just like the regular stock market, after the initial offering, Rally Rd. holds regular trading windows for each vehicle where users can buy or sell their shares in an app-based secondary marketplace.
“They’ve literally recreated the NASDAQ or NYSE experience for these assets on the Rally Rd. platform,” Upfront partner Greg Bettinelli, who has joined Rally Rd.’s board of directors, told TechCrunch.
I am really excited about the showroom and the way the founders think about marketing and branding. Also to come:
In early 2019, Rally Rd. expects to announce expansions into other verticals, including art and sports memorabilia. At some point, they plan to make the app available around the globe, beginning with Australia, Europe and Canada.
Try the app! (RallyRd in the app store).
Also published on Medium.