Party Round wants you to know that the party isn’t over yet. In fact, it just rebranded, put the music a little lower and finally released some appetizers. After a point, don’t we all get peckish?
Party Round today announced that it has rebranded Capital to emphasize its product expansion. Now, startups aren’t just making it easier for other startups to raise their own party rounds. Capital wants to build a technology stack for modern founders to handle their finances, a crowded space, but always in need of more disruption.
Until now, the startup has focused on automating seed deals for the likes of Diagram, Popshop, JuneShine and Yuga Labs. Additionally, as CEO and co-founder Jordi Hayes will admit, lots and lots of marketing.
“Party Round is an amazing, living, breathing meme that thrives and aims to entertain the community,” Hays, who built the company with Sarah Chase, said. “But the thing is, despite our ambitions as a company, and what we want to do in terms of products, is [different]. Fundraising and investing gets a lot of attention in the startup media, but it’s probably like 1-5% of what it actually takes to build a company.”
“We’re very comfortable saying that in the first 18 months of building this company, we’re going to ignore every channel possible except for tech Twitter, and that’s like the best strategy we can do,” the founder said. “There are 100,000 founders and early stage investors signed up for our email list.”
Capital wants to take that trust and express interest and give the same founders a place to collect, hold and spend that capital. It’s a coming of age for the company, which raised $7 million last month from Alexis Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six fund, a16z’s Anish Acharya, Shrug Capital, Packy McCormick, Nik Sharma and Austin Rief.
Here’s the simplest way to explain what Capital does today: Founders can turn to the platform to create and set conditions for SAFE notes, and then invite potential investors to contribute through the platform. Investors, meanwhile, can choose to link their banking accounts to invest in companies either through USD or crypto with specific provisions; while Capital handles the back-end documents. There are NFTs to verify investments if investors are interested in NFTs that verify investments.
Once the money is connected, founders can use Capital to create a business checking account, get a debit card and make payments. Hays explains how founders who use Ramp for credit cards can then connect their Ramp accounts to Capital; the same applies if one uses Rippling for payroll. Capital’s utility is that it gives all those fintech gadgets a home to live in, or, some would say, a living room to party in.
Hays isn’t too intimidated by unicorns in the space, noting that many (like Brex and Ramp) start with expense tracking and are very enterprise-focused, while Capital seeks to partner with smaller startups at their first fundraising point.
“Before you need a bank account, you need money to put into that bank account. And unless you’re bootstrapping, or generating revenue, really early and self-funding, usually those funds come from your investors,” Hays said. “We’re exclusively focused on companies at the inflection point and figuring out how we can be the first place they collect, hold and spend their money.”
The challenge for Capital is if it can prove that its users, an as yet undisclosed number, are sticky enough to stick around. Until now, the company’s fundraising tool was free with a few simple steps: create a round, configure SAFE conditions and invite investors. Hays says they will monetize new products over time, but ease of use will remain a focus for the business.
“I think being funny and entertaining is great, but in the long run, we think that’s the most important thing [thing] is building the best products and software for the founding period. And to do that, we needed a brand that would resonate more broadly and outside of our bubble,” said the founder.