Ken Nguyen of Republic: Building the Investment Platform of Tomorrow (Outliers with Daniel Scrivner Ep. #31)

Ken Nguyen is Co-Founder and CEO of Republic, an investing platform that makes it easy for anyone to invest as little as $100 into private companies, real estate, and other asset classes like crypto. In this episode, we decode how Republic has helped 1M+ people invest over $350M through their platform to date.
Last updated
July 14, 2021
6
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Ken started his career as a securities attorney before becoming an entrepreneur and investor.
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“I think in tech, and in Silicon Valley in particular, people overvalue ingenuity, brilliance and innovation, and undervalue timing, luck and resilience.” – Ken Nguyen

In this episode of Outliers, I’m talking with Ken Nguyen (@KendrickEsq) about how his company, Republic, has helped 1M+ people invest over $350M into venture capital-backed companies, real estate, and other asset classes like crypto, all in just the last five years.

Ken Nguyen is Co-Founder and CEO of Republic, a new crowdfunding platform that makes it possible for anyone to invest as little as $100 into private investment opportunities. Republic makes use of Reg C.F., which was passed under the Obama administration, and opened up access to private investments for non-accredited investors for the first time in 2016. Ken is incredibly passionate about democratizing access to these opportunities to help drive financial equality for all. On the Republic platform, entrepreneurs who previously couldn’t raise or find capital will have access to it for the first time.

Ken studied at Berkeley, BU, and Oxford before starting his career in securities litigation with Goodwin Procter. He served as a Fellow at Stanford and as General Counsel at AngelList before founding Republic.

Chapters in this interview:

  • 00:00:06 – Ken’s background and experiences that led to the founding of Republic
  • 00:02:42 – The exponential growth of Republic and its investments
  • 00:06:34 – Ken’s experience in securities litigation and his work at AngelList
  • 00:11:25 – Regulation Crowdfunding, and how it affected Republic
  • 00:21:12 – How investing and ownership has changed in recent years
  • 00:27:44 – New investment opportunities through Republic and beyond
  • 00:29:42 – Gumroad and Backstage Capital as Republic success stories
  • 00:33:26 – Social validation as a benefit of investing
  • 00:35:04 – The history of crowdfunding
  • 00:39:06 – How technology blurs the geographical boundaries of investing
  • 00:46:16 – The importance of timing, luck and resilience in entrepreneurship
  • 00:52:45 – Resources Ken recommends for those getting started in investing
  • 00:54:28 – Daily habits to keep focused
  • 01:00:20 – Ken’s final words of advice for entrepreneurs and investors

For more, explore the transcript of this episode.

Links from the Episode

Investment Terms

Key Takeaway

Ken has opposing advice for founders and investors. 

“For investors, learn by getting started, starting small, starting with an amount you are ready to lose. Don't read books about how to invest; just make some investments and learn from it.”
“For founders, it's the reverse. Before you go out there to fundraise, read a lot and get all the information you can before embarking on that pursuit, because it will be time-consuming regardless. If you walk just slightly off route, it’s going to be so wasteful, with wasted opportunities.”
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