What if there was a platform that aggregated all the crowdfunding deals that are available to you and that you can filter out the noise and find the deals that matter the most to you. Meet Chris Lustrino, Founder and CEO of KingsCrowd, equity crowdfunding's #1 independent rating service.
Thomas Young: Today, I'm excited to have Chris Lustrino here on the podcast with us. Chris is the founder and CEO of Kingscrowd, and Kingscrowd is the first independent rating and analytics platform for the online private markets. What they do is they aggregate and they vet thousands of pre-seed to pre-IPO investment opportunities, and they are not investors through their platform, but the aggregate from 50+ online private marketplaces, things like Seed Invest Republic, Angel List, Share Post, platforms like that. They work on behalf of both individuals and institutions to provide actionable investment insights.
I'm really lucky and excited to have Chris on today because Kingscrowd is one of Rocket Dollar's oldest partners. They write a monthly equity crowdfunding report, where our customers can go in and look through their data to see something that they might be interested in, and they can use their Rocket Dollars to make investments on whatever platform that particular investment happens to be on. Thanks for being here today, Chris.
Chris Lustrino: Yeah, it's my pleasure. No, I'm excited to be chatting with you guys as well. Think the world of Rocket Dollar and appreciate what you guys are doing to make this ecosystem of investing in alternatives much more efficient, so definitely should be an interesting conversation.
Thomas Young: Absolutely. I haven't been as fortunate to talk to you as much as other people on our team, so this is as much of a, you and I get to know each other, as it is talking about Rocket Dollar and Kingscrowd, and that we're each working on, so this is double exciting.
Thomas Young: Chris, let's go to the very beginning. How did you get started in the equity crowdfunding industry, and where did that passion, where was that passion ignited?
Chris Lustrino: Yeah, absolutely, so essentially what happened was, after college, I graduated in 2014 from Boston College, and went into management consulting. I went in with this notion, as I'm sure many naive college grads do, that I was going to change the world and work on the hardest problems for the biggest companies, and ended up spending the vast majority of my time doing private equity due diligence work. As we have talked about on here, private equity is any company that's not listed on Dow Jones or NASDAQ, that is being transacted. These big groups with a ton of money will go and buy those companies, and then sell them a few years down the road, hopefully for a profit. We were conducting the due diligence on those companies before they were transacted.
What I saw during that time was just a bunch of inefficiencies around transparency of data and access to that deal flow. Essentially, what I mean by that is from a transparency perspective, we were looking at these deals and we were struggling, even when we were working directly with the companies to get information on their financials and its competitor's financial, and what the markets look like. It's hard because all of these deals have been done offline forever, right? Because they're done offline, a lot of data disclosures are never made, and so when it comes to making efficient decisions, it's almost impossible to do so.
It was pretty interesting to see some deals that got done that just seemed like we probably could have made a better decision if we had access to better information. I didn't love that about the private equity markets.
The other thing that I kept grappling with was that sometimes I would see these amazing deals come across my desk. I was the one running all the diligence on the company, and then I couldn't invest in it because I wasn't (quote/unquote) "accredited investor", which essentially means somewhere around a millionaire or making in the top five percent of all people in the U.S. That, to me, just seemed like a market that needed to be improved.
That's when I started to look into, "Hey, is there some other solution out there? Why can't I invest in the private markets?" That's when I learned that there had been regulations that were supposed to protect the individual by not letting them invest in private deals, but in fact that it cut off access to most of the deal flow in the U.S. Then, I learned that they were trying to fix that through the Jobs Act, and that's when I got excited and started a Fintech blog. It ended up running for about two and a half years, where I got to know every major player from the republics and the net capitals and the seed investment world. Covered all of their stories, and then that blog was acquired in, I guess late 2018 or mid-2018 by John Fanning, who is the founding chairman and CEO of Napster. He essentially said, "Hey, I'm looking at this same ecosystem as you. Would you want to build a company?" He and I kind of, he was our first investor and advisor, when we began Kingscrowd as it is today.
Thomas Young: That's cool, and what you mentioned about regulation around accreditation being to protect the investor. It also, before 2012, when the Jobs Act was passed, the whole problem of the rich getting richer, right, we hear about all the time. It's because of what you and I ... I, for example, I'm not an accredited investor.
Chris Lustrino: Sure.
Thomas Young: I hope to be, certainly, but I'm not at the moment. There are things that I see at Rocket Dollar that I'm going, "Man, that's amazing. I'd love to be able to participate." I can't do the minimum check of $25,000.00, or 50, or whatever it is, but it's an exciting opportunity and I should be allowed to participate.
Chris Lustrino: Well that's exactly it. To that point, this isn't just about accredited and non-accredited investors. It's also just about, again, the efficiency of building good investment portfolios. Anyone who knows the startup world recognizes that the level of failure is incredibly high within startups because it's a really risky asset class. With that notion, you should be thinking about, "Oh, I need to make 20, 30 investments to truly have a diversified portfolio."
Thomas Young: Right.
Chris Lustrino: Guess what? Even for many accredited investors, $25 and $50,000.00 checks are a bit high. To make 20 to 30 of those every year is nearly impossible for almost anyone.
Thomas Young: Right.
In this market, we're seeing minimums from the $100.00 low, to around $1,000.00, and that's probably the median is around $1,000.00, but $1,000.00 is a lot more workable, so you could put it into 20 deals and you've now spent $20,000.00 instead of $20,000.00 times 20, which is what, $400,000.00, or whatever that is.
Thomas Young: Right.
Chris Lustrino: It just creates a lot more ability for many, many, many more people to not only partake but to partake at a level that enables them to have diversification.
Thomas Young: Absolutely. Going back to Kingscrowd, when you guys started Kingscrowd, why did you decide to go after the information gap versus building a platform where people could make investments that you could have vetted yourself, based on your background? Why information specifically?
Chris Lustrino: Sure.
Thomas Young: That's the problem you guys are solving is the information gap, right?
Chris Lustrino: I think there are two components to why we decided to go this route. The first route is, I'd for you to think about Dow Jones and NASDAQ being created many, many years ago, and just that existing. Imagine a world where you didn't have a brokerage account, where you didn't have a Bloomberg Terminal, or there was no Morning Star, where you didn't have a Wall Street Journal to go and read. All of these resources that enable people to invest efficiently into the public markets currently don't exist for this space.
We're at the dawn of this new marketplace. We've built the marketplace. There are 50 of them. There's an overwhelming number of marketplaces that in many ways you could say, what uniquely differentiates each one from each other, outside of the stage, there's not a whole lot that differentiates them. At the end of the day, what's going to end up happening is you're going to have this consolidation of marketplaces, and the winners are going to win out one of these really big marketplaces from pre-seed to pre-IPO, which is fantastic, but the only way you get that engine turning efficiently is if you build all of the same resources that people are used to in the public markets, for this same space. That's part one. It's like, "Okay, we have to build the next part of the ecosystem.
The second thing to that is, you said fixing the data gap, well that's the beauty of this space, is that the data gap is being filled. Under Regulation Crowd Funding and Regulation A+, which are the key regulations that enable non-accredited, everyday investors partake in these deals, requires actually a bunch of financial disclosures, so past years financials, the terms of the deal are out there, how much money is being raised, all of that information is now accessible, which in the traditional private markets is not.
What's exciting is, we can gather all of that data and start to track it, and on top of that structure ratings, so that we have a comprehensive, standardized database of information on thousands and thousands of startups and private companies, which if you think about them, once you start watching it longitudinally, becomes this really powerful tool for building predictive analytics in the startup universe, which has never been possible because all of the data has been disaggregated offline. We want to bring all of that together and utilize what's out there and create something even more leveraged, or whatever you want to say. The opportunity has presented itself to become this data-driven marketplace.
Thomas Young: That's cool because, and you alluded to this, there's a lot of people connecting the investor and the startup, right, so that's been done a lot of times. There are Angel Lists, we mentioned, you said 50+. You guys go over and aggregate data from all of these sources, and present it to the institutional investor, or the individual, and when they click through to the platform and make an investment, correct?
Chris Lustrino: That's right.
Thomas Young: Instead of starting at Republic, I go to Kingscrowd to find a deal, and then you guys have independently evaluated the deal?
Chris Lustrino: That's exactly right, so the way to think about is that we have a couple of grades of product. The first grade of the product that we launch is really to service the individual investor. We call it the hobbyist investor. You're doing it on the weekends. You're interested in investing in 10, 15 deals every year. Maybe you're looking to invest 5 to $10,000.00 yearly, whatever it may be.
Chris Lustrino: For you, what essentially we're doing is we're looking at the entire universe, and we're going, "Okay, here are all the deals that are available to you, but if you want to cut out the noise," because there is a lot of noise out there. Any DC deal funnel, there is a lot of stuff that you don't want to waste any time with, and you probably need to spend your time with about 5 to 10% of the entire deal flow.
We'll get you to a place where we say, "Hey, we've spent the time. Our diligence team has gone through all of these deals, we've looked at it in a standardized way. We've talked to the founders. We've gone in on the market and the terms," yadda, yadda, yadda, and "Here are the deals that, are interesting." Every week, we're putting those out. We're putting out the reports. You go there and be like, "Okay, for this week there might have been 50 deals that became live for investment, but here's the five that I should be spending my time with, and now I can decide whether or not I want to invest."
Now I might not agree always with their deal ratings. I might want to add in more information, go do more research, but now I know where I want to focus my attention.
Thomas Young: Right.
Chris Lustrino: That's a hobbyist product. Now for the more institutional-grade product, where a family office, or an RIA, or a wealth advisor would want to utilize our tools, is "Hey, we want to provide a unique, differentiated equity solution to our customers." For them, they're saying, "Show me the entire universe. I want to see everything in the pre-seed world. I want to see in the pre-IPO world. I want to see late state secondaries." We give them a whole bunch more deal flow, and they could go in and look at every available deal in the entire universe of investment, see every company rated across the same dimensions, with all the financials and all the analytics. It's kind of a comprehensive, Morning Star, Bloomberg tool, where it's a terminal of the entire universe of private market investments.
Thomas Young: Wow, and that's cool that you guys are tackling the individual, but also the institutional. One of the things that I'm thinking of is, how does your team have time to evaluate all of these deals? Tell me a little bit about the methodology. We don't have to go super deep, but tell me a little bit about what you guys are looking for in ... Let's talk about a seed-stage investment, just to clarify where we're looking.
Chris Lustrino: Sure.
Thomas Young: What is your team looking at? I'm sure you guys have a formula or a framework that you use, right? Otherwise, you wouldn't have time.
Chris Lustrino: Absolutely, yeah.
Thomas Young: What are some of the things that you guys look for?
Chris Lustrino: There are a couple of things too, that I remembered. It was funny when I was at my first job and we're doing these private equity diligence gigs, we would spend two, four, six weeks doing diligence on a company, but it was always pretty surprising ...
Thomas Young: On one.
Chris Lustrino: On one company, right.
Thomas Young: Right.
Chris Lustrino: You're like, "Wow."
Thomas Young: Right.
Chris Lustrino: Typically, what ended up happening was within 24 to 48 hours of starting that project, we had the answer. We were like, "Oh, that's the answer," and then it was weeks of boiling out every little detail and making the presentation look pretty.
Thomas Young: Right.
Chris Lustrino: The reality was the answer boiled to the top very, very quickly. "Okay, this is something they should be thinking about investing in. That looks good. This is something they should be staying way away from."
I was like, "You know, there's a lot of inefficient time spent going into more detail, more detail," where the gains of information that you're getting from that time spent are incredibly minimal. I recognized that there probably is a way to do this much more efficiently.
When we think about how do you look at these deals, there are a few components. One is to standardize the rating system that you utilize. Automate a lot of the processes around it, and then outsource some of the components as well.
There's four of us full-time, internally working on the diligence. Then we have five part-time staff as well. What we've done is we've created an automated tool that pulls in every one of these deals and all of their key data points, all of the financials, how much money is being raised, all of the terms, who the founders are, all of the key components are pulled in automatically. We're not going and scraping and trying to find 1,000 deals. They're coming into use every week.
We then sit down and we have our standardized process. For instance, we have three key rating buckets. We have an early stage, mid-stage, late stage. For an early stage, that's your pre-seed to Series A company. What we'll look at is things like market size, founder experience, terms of the deal, business model, and product and service differentiators. These are the same buckets that every VC utilized to look at an early stage investment.
When we look at each company, we're looking at it with that lens. If we can go look at a company and we go, "Okay, market size, major red flag, they're a regional company. Founder experience, they've never done this before and they have no industry experience." It's like, "Okay, red flags, push them to the bottom. We don't need to spend a whole lot of time digging into those." We know they're a poor investment.
Then it's that bucket of like, "Well this is pretty interesting." That's where we then send it out to each one of our investment analysts, both in-house and outsourced, and then go through the process of looking at those deals. Again, across the same dimensions for each one. We ask a set of standardized questions for each one of those components.
For instance, for founder experience, we don't say, "Oh, did you like the founder, and they reminded you of someone you met?" It's, "Oh, how many years industry experience do they have, relevant industry experience do they have? How many years of founding experience do they have, and do they have any exits?" The real key, quantitative data that you could think about them saying.
If I were to look at a huge group of startups, what is it that leads to some startups winning over others? Well oh, it's actual founding experience and industry experience, and being in the market, right?
Those are the types of things that we look at, and by creating that standardized process, by automating the way that we pull it in, by outsourcing some of that due diligence work, we could be relatively efficient in getting a lot of deals done quickly.
Thomas Young: Interesting. Do you guys have different weights for something, for example, if you have an inexperienced founder with a huge market, like are these weighted differently? Is it pretty standard, or how do you ... For example, I'm in Capital Factory right now, in Austin, where there's a ton of first-time founders, there's a ton that has a lot of resources. For example, if you have a first-time founder that's in a startup hotbed, that has a lot of experience, would that weigh differently versus a very experienced founder going after a very niche market, for example? How are these things weighted?
Chris Lustrino: Yeah, so one of the things that we want to do is we ... I think what every VC and private market investor to date has done is, we all come up with our way of thinking about it. No one knows the answer, and on an individual basis you might be right that "Oh, that experienced founder in that niche thing is going to win out over the inexperienced in that big thing."
By always changing the variable of what matters most, what we end up with is a lot of noise, and no one has any idea, and no one has figured it out. Our whole approach in this is standardized. Everyone is going to be looked at the same. Now you might be incredibly knocked on founder experience because you have no experience and you have no industry experience, and you have no exits, so you've got just a terrible score on the founder, but you have a huge market. You have really attractive terms of the deal for your evaluation, and so as an investor, you could go in and say, "Okay, this company got a 3 1/2 out of 5 kings. Well, why did they get that? Okay, I understand. Yeah, their founder is incredibly inexperienced."
As an investor, you know what? "For me, it's really about a big market. That's the only thing that matters. I just want to go after big market companies." Great, now you at least know that, rather than making assumptions, but for us, we can look at all these companies and say, "Look, we looked at everything in a standardized way. We weighted everything the same way," so then when we start to build those predictive tools in 18 to 24 months, we have something to go off of.
We weren't creating these weightings that throw off all the measures, and don't matter. We could say, "Okay AI, what matters? What matters here?" They might turn out. Big market, the experienced founder is the only thing that matters, and you could have wacky terms, and it still doesn't matter if you're experienced and you have a big market, because you're going to be successful. I just don't think anyone knows that clearly enough, and so that's what we're trying to define.
Thomas Young: Right, and I guess one of the interesting things that you guys must see a lot is some pretty interesting red flags, right?
Chris Lustrino: Yep.
Thomas Young: What are some of the craziest red flags that have popped up for you guys, where you guys are just scratching your head, going, "What in the world are these guys thinking?"
Chris Lustrino: End of the day, a lot of times it is all about how you structure the deal. If you are a small business, there are actually great opportunities in this market to raise money on basically a revenue share basis. For anyone who's out there, that's another thing we like to call out really clearly. If you are investing in a revenue share deal, that is very different from investing in an equity deal.
In an equity deal, you're essentially an equity holder of that company. It goes up in value, you get to experience that up in valuation, but in a revenue share deal, it's essentially do they make the money back, and can pay you back, just like a traditional loan?
Very, very different asset. Sometimes it's not clearly called out enough, but for a small business, revenue share is basically the only thing that matters, because we all know that if you put into a small business at a million dollar valuation, where is the exit coming from and how long is that going to take? It's probably always going to be around a million dollar business. You have one donut stand, and you're going to continue to have one donut stand, so you should probably not give equity out.
If it's a revenue share deal, and you're saying, "Hey, we're going to pay 1 1/2 times back," that's great. We've seen a couple of companies, and there was one company that I just couldn't believe, that was basically running a small candle shop in a regional area. They had one store. They had no plans to expand to more stores, and they were selling at a 5 or 10 million dollar valuation.
Thomas Young: Oh my God.
Chris Lustrino: It was just, I want to say somewhere in the 50, $100,000.00 type of revenue, yearly basis revenue for several years. It's like, that's a hard pill to swallow. There's nothing going there. You hate to see it, and really it's just about an ill structure of the deal, because if there was revenue share, we probably would have said, "Okay, that's fine. We're not going to pay attention to it, but it's not the worst."
Thomas Young: No.
Chris Lustrino: When you're saying, "Oh, it's a five million dollar valuation on equity," for a small candle shop in Texas, you start to worry a lot.
Thomas Young: Absolutely. Yeah, and I think that especially for first time investors, or younger people that are just getting started, you might get really excited about a product, or you might get really excited about a business, but when it comes down to it, it's a terrible deal, because though it may be a cool product, though it may be a cool lifestyle business, the return is just not there.
Chris Lustrino: Right. One of the things that I actually like to call out is everyone was worried about the non-accredited investor getting a bad deal, right? "Oh, if they're giving it away, non-equity to non-accredited investors, must mean they can't source capital from elsewhere," and that's proven very much not to the the case. I almost find it ironic that we've built a lot of these, what they call late stage, secondary platforms. What that essentially is, is you're an employee at WeWork, and you have equity, and you want to seel it before it IPOs.
A late stage, secondary is anyone who's trying to sell their shares before it IPOs, and so they're trying to find an investor to buy up that share.
There's a lot of these platforms now that only still service accredited investors, that will provide you access to the WeWorks of the world, to the Ubers of the world, etc. That's only accredited investors. Well, if anyone is getting a bad deal, it's a lot of these people who have invested in some of these late stage secondaries, at these whopping valuations that have gone half or more, when they've actually went public. Obviously, we know what's going on with WeWork, but it's just an example of, just because it's sexy and it's exciting, and there's this big brand around it, everyone is pumping money into it, does not necessarily mean that's a good place to be investing at.
Thomas Young: Right, business fundamentals are still business fundamentals, and just because you can sell a valuation doesn't mean you deserve that valuation or that you're ever going to meet it. At the end of the day, you're just, you're basically locking your investors in for a very long time.
Chris Lustrino: The market will eventually correct that ill situation, and then you're going to be sitting on this asset that's almost worthless.
Thomas Young: Right, right. That's funny that you mention it, because ahead of the so-called WeWork IPO, I have a few friends that work at WeWorks around town in Austin. They exercised options, thinking about the coming IPO, and now, I mean obviously, it's not going to happen for a really long time, and not at the valuation that they were issued options at.
Chris Lustrino: Right.
Thomas Young: I think by the time WeWork got to Austin, it was already passed the valuation that they've been given now. Even the first Austin employee is not going to make any money, and probably lost money if they exercised. It's sad to see, and the first thing you should do whenever you're looking at a deal is look at those terms and then evaluate the business. It might be a non-starter.
Chris Lustrino: Yep. We find that the average valuation under Regulation Crowd Funding, where again, everything is really pre-seed to Series A, I believe is around 7 million dollars. When you start seeing them in the 15, 20, 30 million, you're going, "Okay, they must be doing something really special," or they're just way out of line and they're thinking about where their company is today.
Thomas Young: Right. Founder egos can be huge, right? Otherwise, they wouldn't be doing this a lot of times. A lot of them are natural salesmen, and so they can get these valuations that make no sense, right?
Chris Lustrino: Yep.
Thomas Young: It's really valuation is what you can sell in the Series A or seed round stage, so you have to be really careful with it, because just because the founder's a good salesperson doesn't mean he's necessarily a good business person, right?
Chris Lustrino: Yeah.
Thomas Young: Or has a business that can attain it.
Chris Lustrino: Absolutely.
Thomas Young: Moving forward a little bit, what are you guys working on at Kingscrowd right now that is exciting for you, and what does the next year or so look like for you guys? What is really exciting for you right now?
Chris Lustrino: Yeah, so when we started this business off, we started with what I mentioned earlier as the hobbyist product, really servicing the individual with, "Hey, here's the best deals. Here's the worst deals. Here's where yo should be focusing your time. Here's some founder profiles. Here's some education," really kind of that resource hub for knowing where to invest your dollars and how to do it in this market, which is awesome.
What we found was all of this inbound interest coming from RIAs and wealth advisors, and family offices, all of these institutions essentially saying to us, "Hey, we want to invest in the private market." Just to be clear, in the public markets today, of all investible assets in the United States, about 4% of them live in the public markets, so 96% of assets, and again, this includes homes. This includes a lot of things, right?
Just to give you a sense, 96% of assets are private, so there's a whole lot more opportunity to be pursued in the private markets than the public markets today. Essentially everyone's buying into the same ETFs, the same mutual funds, etc. Everyone is trying to find a way to provide a differentiated investment solution to their clients.
We've had 750 million, billion and a half, two billion dollar family offices literally write into us on our Kingscrowd email or to our little chat bot and say, "How do we start investing this asset class for our clients?" We recognized, "Oh my gosh, there's a real opportunity here."
Then we had some Fortune 100 financial institutions in the U.S. calling us up, literally cold, and saying, "Look, we might want to provide this as an end solution to our hundreds of thousands or millions of clients," which is really, really exciting.
What we're doing now over the next 15 to 18 months is essentially raise the capital necessary to build a product to service that client base. Again, as I talked about, it really comes down to building a Bloomberg Terminal that provides everything, end to end, from pre-seed to pre-IPO, access to every deal available across every one of these platforms, direct access deal flow with all of the analytics available on everyone of those companies, with standardized ratings on everyone of those companies.
On the back end, be collecting the hundreds of thousands and millions of data points on all of these companies, and watching them longitudinally. In 18 months, what we'd love to have is integrations with, maybe one or two Fortune 100 financial organizations. We'd love to be live with tens or hundreds of family offices and RAs, and wealth advisors, and really become one of the market makers, by engaging all of these massive institutions, which are going to be the way that we actually grow this market efficiently.
Actually investing into all of these deals. That's what we're working on, is building that terminal to support the institutional client, and that is 100% our focus is getting to that place over the next 15 to 18 months.
Thomas Young: That's fantastic, and it's filling a gap. I mean some of the things we've talked about, me personally, I'm very interested. For example, I did a couple revenue sharing notes that I loved. They were fantastic, small restaurants that I always went to, just around town, and so that was fantastic. There's some really exciting opportunities that I just don't have time to look through, on Republic, on Angel Lists, on Seed Invest. There's a lot out there. There's so much out there, and having it in one place, and having the confidence that someone else, that has more experience than you has looked at it, and has signed off on it. Even if the hit rate goes up, what's the saying, one or two out of ten will make your portfolio?
Chris Lustrino: Sure.
Thomas Young: Man, if you guys can increase that by one more, the outcomes are huge, and will have a big impact, not only for institutional investors, but also for individuals, and everything in between.
Chris Lustrino: Well if you think about it too, in 15, 18 months, if we start to have a bit of predictive capabilities, and also just understand the universe in a really clear, concise way, what you can start to build as well is index funds and EPFs essentially for this market, right?
Thomas Young: Right.
Create efficiencies, where okay you don't have time to go look at 1,000 deals on a yearly basis? Yeah, I get it. Well we just had this ETF, what do you care about? Do you care about social impact? Do you care about female founders? Do you just care about, I want to out pace the market? Are you okay with higher risk, but higher reward? All of those things, you could start to build funds around, and create efficiencies in this private market landscape.
You guys are Rocket Dollar, one of the other things that don't exist in this market today, and I call it out all the time, we are not a brokerage account. Again, we are trying to be that Bloomberg Terminal to the entire private market universe, but having 50+ accounts is also really inefficient and sill, especially when it comes to tax season.
Believe me, I have the most disastrous time doing my taxes because I have little investments in a hundred different places.
Having a place where you can manage all of that, in one account like Rocket Dollar, is the other efficiency that needs to be created. If you could efficiently go find the information, find the investments you want to make, make them through your Rocket Dollar account, and have them posted in one place, well suddenly that market is resembling exactly that of the public space.
Thomas Young: Right, and I'll take it even one step further, is that in a Rocket Dollar account, you don't have to do taxes on it.
Chris Lustrino: You're right.
Thomas Young: You don't have to do it until later.
Chris Lustrino: Is there anything better than that? Yeah, that's amazing. Yep.
Thomas Young: Like I said earlier, if you guys have an impact on returns, and when you combine it with the tax [inaudible 00:29:03] and reverse IRA account, which everybody that's listening to this podcast is already familiar with what we do, I mean you create something really special, where not only are you not paying gains on returns that could be astronomical, right?
Chris Lustrino: Yeah.
Thomas Young: They could be good to ... Everywhere in between, but the tax treatment on private investments, a lot of time, is so bad that combining these different things, what you guys are working on, what we're working on, and what some of these platforms are working on, you've now created an efficient market. I think it's the future. I'm fully convinced.
Chris Lustrino: I'm with you, and I always say this, which is metric, capital, private equity has disrupted every industry in the United States. The only one that has yet to be disrupted is their own business. I can't imagine a world wherein 10 and 15 years that they're continuing to do all of their work offline. It seems almost like pre-historic. What does that mean? That can't exist, right? I don't think that VC and P shops go away at all. I think they become the ETF fund managers of the new pseudo-public, private market.
Thomas Young: Right, right. I was reading an article yesterday about private equity buy ... There was a huge thing with, I think it was Taylor Swift, with some PE group bought the rights to her ... They bought the label.
Chris Lustrino: Yeah.
Thomas Young: You're just reading this, and then you think ... They're doing this with public pension money, but then ... It's like this huge, totally inefficient, closed system that is making ... It's got to change, right? It's not efficient. Often it's not fair because it's not helping regular Americans. It's just serving a very small percentage of people, in a very inefficient way, and they're reaping the rewards.
What you guys are doing is fantastic because it's democratizing it a little bit, and a lot of these other platforms are doing it as well, but the information there is a special angle.
Chris, I don't want to keep you too long. If somebody wants to get ahold of you, get ahold of your team, how do we go about that? How do we get in touch with you guys and start learning about what you guys are doing, and get on your platform?
Chris Lustrino: Yeah, so people can feel free, they can check us out at Kingscrowd.com. They could also email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am always happy to chat with potential investors and investors who are already in this market. We tell them about how we can help, and then with our, basically top deal publication that we put out, giving a few of our favorite picks every month, to the Rocket Dollar community, you could also check us out there, and then come join our community if you like what you see.
Thomas Young: Fantastic. Chris, thanks so much for being here today. I enjoyed our chat, and I hope everybody listening did as well.
Chris Lustrino: Yeah, this has been a lot of fun. Thank you very much as well, and happy investing.