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

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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?

28 comments
bbrian017
bbrian017

Hey this looks like a really awesome idea. If you already have a huge following a few good articles and you could earn fairly well. I'm going to sign up perhaps and see if it's something I can do successfully. Thanks for the heads up on this, it's so new I haven't heard anything about it except from you so far. nice work on providing quality content!

sallykwitt
sallykwitt

Thanks for the info.  I haven't had a minute to look at his even though I signed up.

wonderoftech
wonderoftech

Excellent explanation, Steve. I have to think the FTC is going to be concerned about this and if there isn't any regulation against this there will be soon. I have to agree with Jure that if disclosure is required, it will be difficult to squeeze it into 140 characters.

Shelley Pringle
Shelley Pringle

Hi Steve, this concept is really interesting. I just did some quick math. Assuming the start-up you invest in sells for $50 million, Wahooly owns 5% and all its shares are divided equally by 5,000 people, each person would make $500. If the start up sells for $1 billion, each Wahooly member makes $10,000. If you pick it right, spend the time to provide feedback etc. and wait it out, that's not bad. I think the bigger attraction of Wahooly is to be part of something as it gets off the ground, rather than the opportunity to make a lot of money. As you say, don't buy that home in Aruba just yet.

jessica ann
jessica ann

Excellent overview, Steve. Wahooly seems like it could be paving the way for the future of marketing and social media. I can definitely see the concern with users getting restless when an event doesn't occur right away. But that's one minor inconvenience to a pretty intriguing concept. Looking forward to seeing how it all pans out.

etelligence
etelligence

I think KLout score of more than 50 gets you into the beta,

jureklepic
jureklepic

Well i notice that Wahooly forgot to tell the users that they will need to made full discloser of being compensate for advertising... Wondering how this will all fit in 140 characters :)

It's interesting concept but from what i saw and read has some legal issue and as well parts of the site will not be always free as is stated in their TOS...

They also forgot to mention that minimum Klout score of 50 is required in order to be part of the program.

mgilstrap19
mgilstrap19

I received my notice yesterday, then another one that it crashed due to the popularity of the launch, but it was back up.

ThinkNewMedia
ThinkNewMedia

Taps into to streams of popular interest, social and start-ups. Seems like a great way to learn more about start-up culture and marketing. It also sounds like it has a competitive theme to it which can also spread the word quickly.

BillyAkerman
BillyAkerman

Nice concept. I wonder how much of it is going to be for advertising for the company just so we might get "paid".

CharlieRein
CharlieRein

I would be interested as I like Startups

maximtitov
maximtitov

Received invite to beta yesterday, but apparently they've been down for a while... Swamped?

s_barale
s_barale

It's a concept that's definitely worth exploring!

osakasaul
osakasaul

Glad you're in. I am hitting it hard too ;-)