When Jeremy’s pitch to The Boardroom angels came and went…
I never would have imagined it being the next private deal for our members.
You see, he had so much going for him.
A first of its kind, fully automated marketing platform…
It saw 400% revenue growth from Q1 to Q2 of this year alone…
With big-name clients like Nikola Motors, CitizenNet, Noovie, and Ranker (to name a few).
But just because you like a business and believe in its future…
…doesn’t mean the numbers will line up and make sense.
Especially now…during the economic shake-up we’re living in.
And that’s ultimately what it came down to –– VALUE.
Jeremy is the poster boy for a driven founder.
He wouldn’t take no for an answer and ultimately came back to Jeff Bishop for advice on what he could do to gain his investment and The Boardroom’s endorsement.
Members of The Boardroom have the chance to invest alongside us and the insane deal terms we negotiated…
And we created a special way for YOU to be part-owner in Rad Intelligence through this Boardroom Spotlight.
But there’s more to this story.
A while back, the founders of The Boardroom and I spoke with Jeremy Barnett, founder of the innovative digital marketing company Rad Intelligence.
The guys sat down live to hear the pitch deck, grill the founder, and ultimately decide if the deal was right for them or not.
As you know, The Boardroom offers exclusive angel investing opportunities to members. We only pass along deals that we have already vetted, interviewed, and invested in ourselves.
This is the write-up of the entire pitch deck and assessment.
To see more information on Rad’s unique, influencer-based marketing solutions, and get a chance to co-invest with The Boardroom founders, check out this one-time-only deal.
Jeremy Barnett, the founder of Rad Intelligence, sat down with us to pitch this deal.
Here is the summary — the opportunity, numbers, valuation, and how Rad is different than other influencer marketing platforms.
Rad Intelligence is solving the problem of wasted money in digital marketing campaigns. Each year, across social media and influencer marketing, companies waste over $75 billion.
Rad is made for small- to medium-sized businesses. This is an automated marketing solution for businesses that can’t afford a PR agency, a marketing partner, and certainly can’t afford to waste a bunch of money on ineffective marketing.
With Rad, results come first. The main goal here is to show the effectiveness of influencer marketing through direct, actionable analytics.
Now, companies don’t need to hope their campaign is working, they will know if it’s working or not.
According to Jeremy, Rad’s perfect client is someone on Shopify or WordPress that has a couple hundred thousand dollars in revenue each year.
These types of businesses have never had the big bucks required to make influencer marketing work, but now, with Rad Intelligence’s advanced analytics, they can.
The way this works is very similar to Google Adwords. Jeremy says Rad is like “Adwords for content distribution.”
Clients provide content in the form of articles, videos, and blogs. Then, they set a budget for that content and decide on the cost per click (CPC). Once this is done, the content is ready to be shared by influencers.
Once the client’s content is ready, influencers can share it based on the type of content and the CPC. Influencers have a feed of content to choose from. They share the content on their social media. Influencers get paid and clients’ content is shared and tracked.
Rad is growing rapidly and carving out space for this new service. In terms of growth and traction, Rad has:
Jason owns a Shopify business. He wants to run a successful digital marketing campaign for his business but can’t afford to pay a traditional agency that charges $25,000 upfront.
Agencies also don’t want Jason’s kind of business — they just won’t make much money off of him.
Instead, Jason can work with Rad and pay $500 a month for a marketing campaign. Rad can guarantee the number of clicks Jason will get based on his own budget and CPC.
Jason controls the pacing. Jason doesn’t need to do much, he just sits back and lets Rad do its thing — fully automated.
Rad can work with any content from a brand that has a digital presence. If it’s on the internet, Rad can help.
Videos, articles, blogs, and product pages can all gain traffic through Rad’s influencers.
Rad works with publishers, content-rich brands, and small and medium-sized businesses.
In particular, Rad wants to dominate the underserved small and medium-sized business market.
There is currently a white space in the market for practical, trackable Adtech tools to improve digital marketing for businesses of this size.
Rad has democratized the way people earn money on social media. This has knocked down barriers and allowed nearly anyone to make a living for their self through digital content.
To take this a step further, Rad has created a charity that helps vulnerable teenagers learn how to make money online as influencers.
By partnering with the Orphaned Starfish Foundation, Rad has been able to impact the lives of thousands of orphaned children. This program educates teens and gives them a path towards financial stability that would be otherwise impossible.
This program spans 29 countries and 68 computer centers, serving 15,000 children.
After delivering the pitch, Jeff Bishop, Chris Graebe, and Jason Bond went head-to-head with Jeremy to address the issues they saw.
Jeff Bishop pressed on Rad’s influencer community — the size, functionality, and practicality of it.
Rad has just over 4,000 influencers. While other influencer networks claim to have millions of influencers, Rad keeps it simple and honest. Turns out, SMBs don’t need many, they just need a tight-knit network that prioritizes results.
Unlike other networks, all of Rad’s influencers are Facebook API approved. As soon as an influencer joins, Rad gets all of the paid permissions.
This means Rad has all of the targeting capabilities of Facebook ads but through the persona of the influencers.
Jeremy says that it’s really all about the balance between users (influencers) and advertisers.
Normally, marketing through influencers is time-consuming and untrackable.
The advertiser or influencer network needs to contact an influencer, negotiate with them or their manager, set up terms, and send the product or information before the influencer finally does their thing.
Once they have made the post, article, or video, there is no way to see how well the marketing campaign actually was. There are vanity metrics like shares, likes, and comments, but no performance metrics.
With Rad, influencers are already partnered with and ready to go. Anything they do on Facebook is tracked through Facebook’s analytics.
This is real, trackable, actionable data — all automated, in the background.
No one else is doing this.
Some issues came up around the startup’s valuation. Jeremy valued the company a bit higher than we thought it should have been. Rad’s WeFunder page uses this number to sell shares.
The angels called this into question. Because, well, we want to negotiate the best possible deals for our members investing alongside us.
Jeremy said that it was a fair valuation citing comparable companies on the market, the Rad team, intellectual property, the product, and more.
Jeff asked about the funding of the company.
When the pitch took place, Rad had already raised $1.1 million.
This came from a lead investor who invested around $750,000, a seed investor who is also Rad’s CFO invested $272,000, and a VC who invested $100,000.
Jeremy said the company actually isn’t cash-poor, having $300,000 on-hand from the funding and revenue stream.
At the end of the pitch, Jeff, Chris, and Jason discussed if they wanted to invest or not.
While they found the business interesting, they thought that it had taken a bit too long for things to pick up the pace.
With the low monthly revenue and burn rate, they explained that Rad still has a long way to go to have serious return potential.
Because seed money has dried up over the past few months, the angels decided that they have a lot of negotiating power to get favorable terms with Rad or with another similar company. Because of this, they decided that the original valuation was a bit too high for them.
They decided not to invest in the current valuation. It was more of a “maybe”.
So, Jeff had the radical idea of first testing the platform with his own company, RagingBull.
To see if the product was worth it, he would become a client of Rad and see what kind of results Rad’s marketing campaigns could yield.
After the pitch, Jeff Bishop ran the advertising test with Rad. He spent real money to have RagingBull services advertised by Rad’s influencers.
The results were great. After seeing what the company could do, and convincing the founder, Jeremy, to reassess the valuation, The Boardroom decided to strike a deal and invest.
Their exclusive investing information is only available to Boardroom members, but you can become part-owner with one-deal access through this Boardroom Spotlight.
This just goes to show the level of discipline and tenacity it takes for entrepreneurs to secure a deal and for angel investors to find one.
The Boardroom was ruthless in the pitch, but Jeremey didn’t back down.
In the end, both parties came to an amazing agreement that put Rad on track for rapid growth and success.
There’s a NEW American economy unfolding right before our eyes.
I have, what I believe, is the perfect strategy to harness the opportunity and rake in some bigtime ROI (more on that in a few).
You see, over the next 10 years…
Half of the companies making up the S&P 500 will be replaced.
They’re getting dethroned by nimble, rapidly growing, and hyper-relevant startups.
It’s been happening…
There’s been a steady decline in S&P 500 company tenure since 1960.
This shift (or New American Economy as I call it) is being driven by massive changes (catalysts) in the world around us…
And by betting on early-stage startups (read: Angel Investing) tackling the problems with innovation and solutions…
You can set yourself up for massive returns if one of these companies is later acquired or IPOs.
I explain exactly what I’m seeing that’s changing the world of Angel Investing…
And share how you can capitalize on this very opportunity alongside my investing partners and me in this limited-time New American Economy presentation.
I’ve also packed the entire strategy I share in the presentation into a condensed and highly consumable Angel Investing Brief…
I’ve been hosting training webinars for Angel Investors of all experience levels, on the New American Economy, and the opportunities I’m seeing open.
In this webinar, I discussed the role of angel investing in your portfolio, the massive upcoming changes to the economy, and how you get profit off of the startups that will shape it.
To see when the next session starts and reserve your spot…click here.
You already know how angel investments give the highest returns of any investment type, the truth is, it’s just another investing strategy.
Angel investments belong on your portfolio along with other low-risk, low-reward investments.
Let’s see some of the different strategies and how much they return.
|Savings Account||Blue Chips||Real Estate||Stocks||Angel Investing|
Each of these strategies has pros and cons. The trick is to have a balance of investments that create a balanced portfolio.
But, there is one huge reason to have angel investing — AKA investing in early-stage companies — on your radar today.
With all that has been happening in the world, the biggest investment potential is in the startups that are setting up to take over the New American Economy.
(This is the abbreviated version…watch my upcoming presentation to hear me fully unpack the new economy.)
Recessions are a difficult reality of our economy. I wish there could be smooth sailing year after year, but we inevitably go through boom and bust.
Right now, we are amid a global pandemic. The economy will be in a recession because of this — there’s no hiding from it.
But here’s the good news.
After the storm settles and things swing back into action, the boom will come and we will witness the rise of many incredible innovations and businesses.
The United States has already been through 47 recessions. And following each of them, a period of exceptional growth.
Airbnb, Uber, Pinterest, Instagram, Groupon, Whatsapp, Venmo, and dozens more massively successful startups exploded right after the 2007-2008 Great Recession.
2009 to 2019 has been an incredible run that brought unprecedented changes to our global economy. In this period we saw the rise of smartphones, social media, the sharing economy, artificial intelligence, and more.
The question is — following the COVID-19 Global Pandemic, what innovations and businesses will be created?
War, new legislation, and social change always catalyze the economy. To understand the effect that COVID-19 will have on our economic future, let’s look at the past.
Post-WWII, the U.S. government passed the G.I. bill.
This essentially created the “white collar” workforce. During this period we saw innovations like the microwave and television become essential parts of American life.
This is when the personal computing revolution began.
In 1984, there was about an 8% adoption of the personal computer in American homes. By 1997, there was a 36% adoption rate. This is when Microsoft saw success and we experienced the world wide web for the first time in the form of Web 1.0.
By 2001, 50% of households across the country had a personal computer.
After the Great Recession, we saw the creation and dominance of the “App Economy”.
This was a massive land-grab. The demand for apps, smartphones, and social media was born out of nothing and became the new gold rush.
Incredible amounts of wealth were created by entrepreneurs and investors who seized this opportunity.
While much of what will happen in the next economic upswing is impossible to predict, there are some technologies that you can be sure will be massive.
For example, 5G will bring full connectivity to the entire planet.
Automation will speed up nearly every aspect of our economy while lowering costs. Jobs are being lost and created at an unprecedented rate.
Machine learning is only getting better, it isn’t going away. The future economy will run on hyper-fast analyses and decisions made by artificial intelligence.
Beyond purely economic changes, we will see massive social changes. Whatever was happening pre-COVID-19 has been accelerated, and entirely unpredicted changes come with it.
The shift to remote work is huge. Employees that left the office to work at home temporarily are now being asked to work from home long-term. Zoom and other video conferencing, scheduling, and management apps are taking over the new workforce.
This has created the Freelance and Gig Economy that isn’t going away anytime soon.
Businesses are realizing that they can save money by outsourcing freelancers or just keeping their “in-house” workers at home.
Much of the workforce prefers this — a win-win for everyone.
Finally, the pandemic has put the final nail in the coffin in the legacy retail vs. eCommerce fight.
There is no going back from what has happened. While this is scary to some, it is an exciting opportunity for angel investors.
The new economy isn’t coming — it’s here.
According to the Huron Consulting Group, about half of all S&P 500 companies will be replaced over the next ten years.
Who is going to replace them?
They will be replaced by new companies that crush it in the gig economy, in eCommerce, in artificial intelligence, and in innovations, we have yet to see.
Following the Great Recession, angels and venture capitalists were sniffing out the best opportunities in the app and sharing economy.
My partners and I are doing the same today. We have already found and invested in startups that we believe will see massive growth moving into the new economy.
One example of this is Rentberry. This is an all-in-one rental app for renters and landlords disrupting the legacy rental industry.
Instead of checking Craigslist, Zillow, and a dozen other platforms, you can complete a rental process from start to finish with Rentberry.
Rental availability, rules, and prices are readily available and transparent on the app. No more unwanted phone conversations and walkthroughs.
You can see the price, how many people are interested, what the current bid for the rental is, and more.
Going further, you can pay rent, request maintenance, communicate with owners or renters, all through one platform.
When you move to a new apartment or home, your profile moves with you. No matter where you are in the world your ratings and history can help you to quickly and easily find a new rental.
This is like Airbnb for long-term stays.
Rentberry has over 6 million properties listed, over 900,000 users, and 213% year-over-year growth.
Here’s the brilliant part — during the downturn and recovery, ownership becomes less practical. People will be renting. When they do, they will be able to do the whole thing, start to finish, from the comfort of their homes.
Albi is an AI virtual assistant that sits in on your Zoom, Google Hangouts, or Microsoft Teams meeting and “takes notes”.
During the meeting, Albi is writing a transcript, taking down action items and emailing them to team members, providing tips on how to improve productivity, and more.
With Albi, you don’t need to take notes — no one does. You can just be present at the meeting.
Many Fortune 500 companies are already beta-testing this product. Because it integrates with virtually all conferencing software, it is incredibly flexible and cost-effective.
Needless to say, in the remote working gig economy, this type of meeting management tool has insane potential.
Less than a decade ago, early-stage companies had a tough time getting funding as only an elite few were permitted by law to invest in them. Back then, seed investing was a game for the ultra-rich and well-connected.
It used to be, if you wanted to invest in startups, you needed to be an accredited investor. This meant, having an annual income of more than $200,000, or $300,000 for joint income. Or, it meant having a net worth of over $1 million.
But, this all changed with the JOBS Act.
With this new legislation, regular Americans now have the opportunity to make angel investments.
This is where The Boardroom comes in…
Some of you may know Jeff Bishop and Jason Bond. These guys are titans. They are crushing it in the financial education space with RagingBull.
But, did you know that they are both incredibly successful angel investors?
This is why I partnered with them to create The Boardroom.
We are all about education, and our goal is to make angel investing available to everyone. We find and curate great companies and bring them to our members.
The kinds of companies we offer our members are ones we have already invested in ourselves.
We aren’t looking for 1,000x returns — if we get one, that’s great — we are looking for solid, consistent 10x to 20x returns.
If you join The Boardroom you can see our analysis.
Check out the companies we invested in, how much we invested, info on the company, and more. Everything is available to you, full transparency.
This allows you to do your own due diligence and decide if the deal is right for you. If you like a deal, you can co-invest with us and start making angel investing returns.
You can even be a part of meetings with founders, ask them questions, and advise them.
Membership in The Boardroom includes:
Now that you’ve seen what we’re up to in our Angel Investing community and the power of the new economy of startups, I hope you’ll join us!
It’s by pure happenstance that Adriaan and Ret even met…
Let alone grew a wildly successful direct-to-consumer product company together.
The year was 2012––
Adriaan was on a 2-year traveling hiatus.
BroBible, his men’s lifestyle media company, had just been acquired and he was taking time to plot his next move.
Ret was running a successful furniture company in Saudi Arabia… and was the largest supplier of military tents in the middle east.
Despite remarkable financial success, a sense of dissatisfaction and disconnect existed for him.
He and his wife packed up and moved to Boulder, Colorado.
Now… Adriaan and Ret are about to cross paths for the first time… and what transpires after is the making of an epic startup story you won’t want to miss…
Each week on the StartupCamp Podcast we bring you incredible stories of founders and angel investors. The goal is to give you insider tips and tricks on how to build your business or become a successful angel investor.
I spoke to Adriaan Zimmerman and Ret Taylor, founders of the direct-to-consumer natural remedies company, Ned.
We discussed how their unique journeys led them to found a natural remedies company.
Both of them experienced major success, followed by massive burnout that forced them to rethink their ideas on success and happiness.
Ultimately, they discovered that the best way to help themselves was to make a company devoted to helping others.
In this podcast write-up, we go over the founders’ ups and downs, how they founded Ned, and their secrets to success.
Adriaan’s entrepreneurial prowess was forged in New York City. There he founded a popular Men’s Lifestyle media company called BroBible.
He grew BroBible to 15 million readers a month before it was acquired in 2012.
This success helped Adriaan to check off all of the boxes he had made for himself — money, reputation, status.
After his successful exit, the money was flowing in and Adriaan was living the life he thought he wanted. However, despite the bachelor pad, weekend getaways, and hockey tickets, Adriaan felt a deep dissatisfaction and loneliness. The things he thought would make him happy just weren’t fulfilling him.
After suppressing these feelings for a time, he found himself at a breaking point. During a presentation in front of his 75 employees, Adriaan had a serious panic attack. His hands were shaking and he was unable to speak.
It was as if that thing he had been suppressing was finally too much to hold back. The next day he had broken out in shingles and was just falling apart.
He knew he had two paths ahead of him. He could go see a shrink, take some Xanax, and keep going — or he could take a step back and finally unpack what had been building up for years.
Sometimes we measure success by the size of our bank accounts.
That day Adriaan had a panic attack, he had plenty of money. He was thriving financially but still missing something deeper. It all came down to the identity he had created for himself, one based around financial gain above all else.
Adriaan took a step back and went traveling to find his answers.
What was supposed to be a two-month break turned into a 2-year sojourn.
Living out of a backpack, he wrote, learned to chop wood and gut fish, and invested in areas of his life he had long neglected.
Two major findings came out of this period — Adriaan’s deep connection to nature, and his understanding of the value of simplicity.
Ret was raised in a hard-working Irish family. They kept their noses to the grindstone and rarely talked about their feelings. Ret got really good at living this way.
After years of hard work, he took his business to Saudi Arabia, a long-time dream of his.
His successful furniture company led into several other successful ventures and before he knew it he was the largest supplier of military tents in the middle east and was working with the royal family.
However, despite the fabulous financial success, a sense of dissatisfaction and disconnect was brewing.
Ret’s wife would wake him up at least once a month because he was laughing in his sleep.
Then, after being away from his wife and daughter for two years, he would wake up crying in the middle of the night. When this happened to him for the third time in a month he knew something was seriously wrong. He says this was his “Xanax moment”.
Just like Adriaan, Ret needed to reassess his life and find simplicity.
Four months later Ret and his family had moved to Boulder, Colorado. He says this was the best thing he had ever done.
Living in the mountains, connecting with nature, and bringing things back to basics was just what he needed.
He then took things a step further and went out on a personal experiment.
Ret spent seven weeks living in nature. He lived out of the back of his truck, hopping on his workstation to work from mountain tops and river beds. After this, he was “firing on so many cylinders” and was finally living his best life.
This is when he realized his purpose — to help people reconnect with nature to improve their lives, just as he had done.
This was the spark that led to the founding of Ned.
Adriaan had been writing about his experiences while on his break. He spoke honestly about burn-out, panic attacks, and newfound connection to nature.
One person who seemed to connect to these writings more than others was his future business partner, Ret.
Having both gone through similar experiences, they instantly connected.
Adriaan started stopping by in Boulder, Colorado to meet with Ret, where they would chat, go on hikes, and eventually craft a business idea.
When Adriaan finally finished his travels he decided to move to Colorado. It was like the stars had finally aligned.
Ret was first and foremost interested in starting a product line. He wanted to make natural products that help people feel better and live better.
When Ret’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer the doctors suggested chemotherapy. Instead, she opted to fight cancer through nutrition.
Ret took it upon himself to learn everything he could about health and nutrition to take care of his mother.
One thing that kept coming up in his research was CBD.
He purchased some CBD products for his mother but found no connection to any of the brands on the market at that time.
These brands didn’t illustrate who they were, why they were making this product, how it helped people, or where the hemp was grown. They were missing a huge opportunity to connect with their customers.
Ret set out to build a brand that could answer these questions.
Ret hit the open roads to research hemp farms and talk to growers.
What he found was a culture focused on quantity over quality, which he knew wouldn’t work for his brand.
Eventually, he met a different kind of farmer. This farmer was focused on the quality of the product and the health of the consumer above all else.
After striking a deal, his new business partner turned him onto the best extraction facility in Colorado. The pieces were all coming together.
Adriaan and Ret focus on their CBD line first.
As they were going the direct-to-consumer route, building a brand identity and connecting to customers was the first goal.
Customers responded to the health-first, natural, and transparent culture they had created.
After locking down their place in the CBD market, the natural conclusion was to create new lines of natural remedy products.
Today, the company runs its “Nedquarters” out of Boulder, Colorado, complete with a laboratory, warehouse, and team of local growers. They have shipped tens of thousands of orders to customers around the world.
Throughout their journey, recurring nuggets of wisdom kept popping up and guiding them. These are the key takeaways that they say created their success with Ned.
Failure can be one of your greatest teachers.
Ned and Adriaan say that failure was the foundation for their business. Having the real-world experience to know what not to do is one of the biggest factors in maintaining success in a startup.
Each founder discovered what they were missing in life by getting knocked down, sniffing out the problem, and getting back up again to solve it.
Before over-complicating Ned, the founders decided to first entrench themselves in the CBD market.
From the beginning, they saw the possibilities in a diverse product line but decided to take things one step at a time.
Their famous CBD products created the backbone that Ned needed to build a direct-to-consumer customer base and grow long term.
While building up the brand they held on to one philosophy…
That is, focusing only on what’s working.
Rather than throwing resources and brain-power towards fixing what isn’t working, they decided to ride the currents of the market and discover what works by investing in only winning products and ideas.
The duo knew that they needed to surround themselves with amazing people.
Rather than taking on everything on their own, they hired and partnered with great minds.
From the farmers to marketers and health-experts, the all-star team is the reason for Ned’s success.
The first thing they discussed was why they were starting the business. They nailed down exactly what they wanted to put into the market and why.
By starting with a vision and philosophy at the core of their business, the founders of Ned were able to keep their decision-making simple.
Adriaan and Ret knew that if their only goal is to connect to people and improve their health, then their only option is to make simple, honest, natural products.
We go over these essential things that mark a startup for success in our free ebook, Startup Investor’s Playbook.