Wahooly – How you can own a piece of a Start-Up

Wahooly went live last night. Wahooly allows users to become small owners in web-based technologies that will hopefully catch on and be successful. They are tabbed to have over 200 start-ups participate over the course of 2012. They’ve amassed over 28K users thus far, and the community seems quite active, but let’s keep in mind they’ve been live for about 30 hours. Wahooly is the brainchild of Dana Severson and based out of Minnesota.

How do I participate in Wahooly?

If you pre-registered you should have received an e-mail yesterday to log-in through a link. As with most launches it is a bit buggy, so prepare your patience. You can go to the Wahooly and register if you didn’t pre-register. It appears to be open enrollment. After logging in you’ll see a Dashboard page. Initially this does not show you much, but once you join a start-up the info will reside on this page. You can then go and join the start-ups of your liking. There are currently three available to join in addition to Wahooly. The three are: Cull TV, Tweet TV, and Valu Valu.

So how does Wahooly work?

You become an owner of the start-ups you join. Wahooly has worked out a deal with each company and owns 4-6%. There is a cap of 5000 users per each start-up. Those 5000 users make up the 4-6%, but each user would not be paid equally. There is point system involved that determines your stake. You earn points through activity which includes feedback, engagement in start-up services, and sharing influence. Once a member has become part of a start-up they are tracked on three variables: value of feedback, level of activity, and result of influence.

How are members compensated?

Members will be paid in cash based on the success of startup at the time an “event” occurs.

Users are paid when one of the following “events” takes place:
1) Start-Up is sold (Change in control of 51% +)
2) Start-Up goes Public
3) Start-Up purchases back their shares

Listen, failure rates of startups are very high. While you’re not investing money, you’re investing your time. You must maintain a level of activity to maintain your position. Don’t start house shopping in Aruba just quite yet. This is an unique opportunity to be a part of a start-up in what I would say is a Marketing role. If you’re a start-up you give a small percentage of your company to have up to 5000 people share ideas and market your service. In theory, there should be more promotion and brand awareness created from the user base than what would otherwise be generated by the start-up. One of main concerns would be users getting restless as an “event” may take years to develop, if it occurs at all. There are no guarantees.

So what do you think of the concept? Is this a platform that you’re interested in joining?