This is going to be a special edition News Roundup. There’s a lot of great things happening at KingsCrowd, and I want to make sure you know about them. 

The KingsCrowd Buzz

Talk to one of the top venture capitalists in the biz. Next week, KingsCrowd CEO and founder Chris Lustrino will be having a fireside chat with Arlan Hamilton. Hamilton is the founder and managing partner of Backstage Capital, an investment adviser that focuses on startups run by people of color, women, and LGBTQ+ individuals. Backstage Capital also recently began a crowdfunding campaign on Republic that allowed everyday investors to contribute — and it sold out at just under $5 million!

Hamilton began in the music industry, where she booked and managed tours for various bands and musicians. She also ran a very successful blog, and recently she wrote a book. So her unconventional journey into venture capital is a fascinating story — especially given how very conventional VC tends to be. If you want to hear more about how Hamilton is shaking up venture capital — and even ask her a few questions yourself — then join the fireside chat! It’s taking place on April 8 at 1pm ET / 10 am PT. And registration is free!

The KingsCrowd site is getting a makeover. This is really a two-part story, but bear with me. On April 12, the KingsCrowd site will look a little different. We’re reorganizing our content and how you find things on the site — all with the goal of making it easier for you to find and track the startup opportunities you’re most interested in. Here’s an exclusive sneak peek of one of the main changes:

If it doesn’t look like much is different there, don’t worry. This isn’t meant to be the kind of site change where it takes you a week to figure everything out. Instead, we want to make navigation more intuitive for you. So we decided to group content together into four main categories. 

  • Companies is just what it sounds like — everything from Analyst Reports and Founder Profiles to Trending Companies and Analytics. 
  • The Markets section is where our detailed and customizable charts on the crowdfunding market’s performance will live. 
  • News will lead you to our Industry News pieces — including the weekly New Deals sheet and News Roundup — and our Industry Analysis articles — including the Chart of the Week and Startup Trends.
  • Crowdopedia is going to be the new home for all our education content on startup investing as well as our webinars and podcast episodes.
  • My Portfolio has been added to the main navigation bar because we wanted to make it easier than ever for you to access and add startups to your KingsCrowd portfolio.

Again, these changes are set to happen on April 12 — which just so happens to be the same day as…

Membership plans are being updated! We’ve spent the last three years building KingsCrowd into a resource for every level of startup investor — from those just making their first investment to the startup veteran with 100 or more companies in their portfolio. And we know that not every investor needs the same set of tools. That’s why we’re updating our membership plans

On April 12, KingsCrowd will have four membership plans to pick from: Public, Starter, Pro, and Merlin. All of our existing members will be automatically upgraded to a new plan. And they’ll keep their legacy pricing! I definitely recommend checking out the announcement page for all the details on the new plans.

Merlin is moving out of beta. After more than six months of beta testing, our quantitative ratings algorithm is finally ready to become a fully paid product. Starting April 12, access to our Merlin ratings and analytics will only be available through a Merlin membership plan. However, all of our current Pro users will automatically get a three month trial upgrade to Merlin — beginning April 12 — as a thanks for being an early KingsCrowd user (sign up today if you want in on the deal). 

The Fun Stuff

Happy National Poetry Month! In case you didn’t know, April is National Poetry Month in the US. And this year is the 25th anniversary! I celebrate by reading poems from the American Academy of Poets and the Poetry Foundation and sharing ones I like best with friends. You can also sign up for Poem-a-Day — or get really brave and try doing a poetry reading for social media.