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Republic investing review: Fee-free investing in startups, crypto, and real estate

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Republic investing logo on Personal Finance pattern background

Republic offers private investment deals and more. See how to get started. Republic; Alyssa Powell/Insider

Personal Finance Insider writes about products, strategies, and tips to help you make smart decisions with your money. We may receive a small commission from our partners, like American Express, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.

  • Republic is a crowdfunding app offering private investment deals in startups, real estate, and more.
  • The company charges no fees to investors, but investment minimums can vary for different deals.
  • Republic also offers an Autopilot investing account for passive investors.
  • Click here to set up an account with Republic.

Is Republic right for you?

Republic is a private investing platform that connects investors to fundraising opportunities and investments in startups, video games, real estate, and crypto projects.

In addition to catering to non-accredited and accredited investors, Republic serves entrepreneurs, venture capital firms, family offices, and other high-net-worth clients. 

More than 200 companies have raised money through Republic's platform, and the company also partners with other businesses like AngelList, Binance, Product Hunt, Algorand, and Sony Pictures Networks.

Keep reading to learn more about how much Republic costs and what it offers.

Not sure if Republic is right for you? Keep reading to see how it stacks up against other online investment brokers.

How does Republic compare?

Republic, SeedInvest, and Yieldstreet all have unique investment offerings. While Republic and SeedInvest are better for capital-seeking founders or startup-minded investors, Yieldstreet is a better option for alternative investments like multi-asset class funds and debt securities.

But Republic and SeedInvest diverge when it comes to costs and investment choices. Overall, Republic has lower fees and a wider range of investment options than SeedInvest.

Keep reading to see if Republic is right for you.

Ways to invest with Republic

Self-directed investing

Republic offers the following investment options:

  • Startups: You can invest in startups across a wide range of industries. Though Republic has a company-wide $10 minimum, most startups also have their own minimum requirements. Minimums can be as low as $100 or as high as $10,000. If you prefer mobile access, you can also invest in one tap with the Republic iOS mobile app.
  • Real estate: Republic has a large collection of real estate opportunities for investors, and it also offers fundraising options for real estate owners, developers, and fund managers. When it comes to investors, it says timelines for most of its real estate listings can be as short as one year or as long as 10 years. Learn more here.
  • Video games: Republic has also partnered with Fig, a video game investment platform, to make video game investing more accessible. You can invest by contributing to a video game company that is raising funds and receive exclusive rewards in return. The other option, as Republic describes, is to "invest in the successes" of a video game and earn regular dividends as the video game's sales rise. You can find more information here.
  • Crypto: The investment platform also lets you invest in popular crypto fundraising projects in the US and abroad. See more here.

Autopilot investing

If you don't want to actively allocate money into different startups on your own, Republic's Autopilot passive investing account could be right for you. Just like with Republic's self-directed offerings, there's no costs with Autopilot.

Besides waiving fees, Republic lists the follow features for its automated investing account:

  • Hands free: Republic lets you set a monthly limit of how much you'd like to invest in startups. Once you turn Autopilot on, the investment app allocates your money across opportunities that align with your desired investment size and monthly limit.
  • Premium startups: Republic says it thoroughly reviews each startup it lists on its platform. With Autopilot, Republic only invests your money into companies that have raised at least $150,000, have more than 100 investors, and have accomplished at least twice their minimum fundraising goal.
  • Customizable: You can adjust your contributions at any time and opt out of companies you're no longer interested in. Keep in mind, though, that you'll only have a maximum of 48 hours to cancel a deal you've invested in before the close of each campaign.
  • Lower minimums: The platform also says Autopilot members get exclusive access to account minimums as low as $20. You'll get an email each time the company finds a deal that meets your preferences and Autopilot's requirements.

As for portfolio diversification, the Autopilot account allocates your money across a vast range of industries and sectors. These might include finance, health, leisure, productivity, legal, security, transportation and housing, food, and more.

Accredited Deal Room

Republic's Accredited Deal Room is only available to accredited investors (individuals with a net worth of at least $1 million, annual salary of $200,000, or joint salary of $300,000). This offering lets you co-invest in private investment deals containing startups and real estate projects.

You can co-invest with venture capital firms, family offices, and ultra high-net-worth individuals, but you'll have to log in or request access to view deals. Learn more here.

Featured investors community investing

Republic's Featured investors tool could be a great fit for those looking to attach themselves to experts, friends, or notable figures who regularly invest in startups. You can follow your favorite users, and you'll get a notification each time they make a public investment.

Republic Featured Investors graphic with Kevin Harrington and Tim Draper.

You can follow friends, experts, or public figures with Republic's Featured investors tool. Republic

Raise capital

This option is strictly for startups and founders aiming to raise funds and grow their companies. Republic lets you raise up to $5 million from more than 1 million people. If you successfully reach your funding goal, you'll have to pay two fees: 6% of the total amount raised in cash and 2% as a Crowd SAFE.

The startup process mainly consists of four steps:

  • Application: After you apply, Republic's due diligence and selection process will take about a week.
  • Campaign agreement signing: If you're approved, you'll need to sign a campaign agreement and go through onboarding. Republic says the onboarding process usually takes three to six weeks.
  • Form C filing and campaign launch: Form C is an essential document that gives companies legal permission to raise funds online through crowdfunding. The Form C process and campaign launch lasts two and a half to three and a half months, according to Republic.
  • Campaign close: After the campaign closes, Republic says startups become a part of the alumni community.

Republic also offers another option for up-and-coming companies: its Partner Network. This option lets founders partner with Republic to raise money. 

Other fundraising options for startups

  • Republic Advisory Services: If you're part of a company in the blockchain or digital asset space, Republic offers consulting and fundraising services for things like token sales, exchange relationships, and token distribution.
  • Sharedrops™ : This option basically lets you give out free equity and stock options to users and customers who've backed your company over the long haul.
  • Partner network: With this option, you can partner with Republic to raise capital for your business. 
  • Pitch on TV: You can also apply to pitch your startup on TV to Tim Draper on a show called Meet the Drapers. The show is a result of a partnership between the Draper family, Sony Pictures Networks, and Republic.
  • Sheworx: This platform aims to bridge the gender funding gap by bringing women entrepreneurs and investors together through collaborative programs and fundraising opportunities.

Is Republic trustworthy?

The Better Business Bureau has given Republic a D- rating. Since BBB ratings range from A+ to F, Republic has landed on the lower end of the bureau's customer interaction ratings.

The BBB says it gave Republic a D- because of its failure to respond to one complaint filed against the business. The rating also stems from the length of time Republic has been operating and three complaints filed against it.

However, the bureau also says its ratings don't absolutely ensure a company will be reliable or perform well. This is why it's important to do your own research in addition to its findings.

Rickie Houston is a wealth-building reporter at Personal Finance Insider who covers investing, cryptocurrency exchanges, brokerage, and wealth-building products.

Rickie Houston, CEPF

Wealth-Building Reporter

Rickie Houston is a wealth-building reporter for Business Insider, tasked with covering brokerage products, investment apps, online advisor services, cryptocurrency exchanges, and other wealth-building financial products. He is also a Certified Educator in Personal...

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