Party Round wants you to know that the party isn’t over. In fact, he just rebranded, turned the music down a bit, and finally brought out some appetizers. After a certain point, aren’t we all bitter?
Party Round announced today that it has rebranded to Capital to highlight its product expansion. Now, the startup won’t just make it easier for other startups to create their own party. Capital wants to build a technology stack for the modern founder to handle their finances, a crowded space but always in need of more disruption.
Until this point, the startup focused on automating seed sales for companies like Diagram, Popshop, JuneShine and Yuga Labs. Additionally, as CEO and co-founder Jordy Hayes I’ll admit, lots and lots of marketing.
“Party Round was this amazing, living meme that was evolving and meant to entertain the community,” Hays, who co-founded the company with Sarah Chase, he said. “But the point is that even our ambition as a company, and what we want to do on the product side, is [different]. Fundraising and investing get so much attention in the startup media, but it’s maybe 1-5% of what it really takes to build a company.”
“We were very comfortable saying that in the first 18 months of building this company, we’re going to ignore every channel possible except for tech Twitter, and that was like the best possible strategy we could do,” the founder said. “There are 100,000 founders and early stage investors signed up to our email list.”
Capital wants to take that trust and interest that has been shown and give the same founders a place to collect, hold and spend that profit. It’s a maturation for the company, which raised $7 million 7 months ago from Alexis Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six fund, Anish Acharya of a16z, Shrug Capital, Packy McCormick, Nik Sharma and Austin Rief.
Here’s the simplest way to describe what Capital does today: Founders can turn to the platform to create and set terms for SAFE notes, and then invite potential investors to contribute through the platform. Investors, meanwhile, can choose to link their bank account to invest in the company either through USD or crypto with a specific allocation. All this while Capital handles back-end documents. There is an NFT to verify investment if investors are interested in NFTs that verify investment.
Once the funds are complete, founders can use Capital to set up a business checking account, get a debit card, and make payments. Hays explained how a founder who uses Ramp for credit cards can then link their Ramp account to Capital. the same goes for if someone was using Rippling for payroll. Capital’s utility is that it gives all these fintech tools a home to live in or, some would say, a lounge to party in.
Hays isn’t too daunted by the unicorns in the space, noting that many (like Brex and Ramp) started with expense tracking and are heavily focused on the enterprise, while Capital seeks to partner with smaller startups at the point of first aggregation money.
“Before you need a bank account, you need money to put into that bank account. And unless you’re bootstrapping or monetizing, really, really early and self-funding, usually those funds come from your investors,” Hays said. “We’re focused exclusively on companies at the tipping point and figuring out how we can be the first place they raise, hold and spend their money.”
The challenge for Capital is whether it can prove that its users, an undisclosed number, are hooked enough to stick around. Until now, the company’s fundraising tool has been free with a few simple steps: create a round, set the SAFE terms and invite investors. Hays says it will generate revenue from new products over time, but ease of use will remain at the heart of the business.
“I think being funny and entertaining is great, but in the long run, we think it’s the most important [thing] builds the best products and software for the founders period. And to do that we need a brand that resonates more broadly and outside our bubble,” said the founder.