QuirkChat

QuirkChat

Early Stage

How Geeks Make Friends - social video, livestream and channel chat for geeks!

How Geeks Make Friends - social video, livestream and channel chat for geeks!

Overview

Raised to Date: Raised: $83,712

Total Commitments ($USD)

Platform

Wefunder

Start Date

10/11/2020

Close Date

04/01/2021

Min. Goal
$50,000
Max. Goal
$250,000
Min. Investment

$100

Security Type

SAFE

Series

Seed

SEC Filing Type

RegCF    Open SEC Filing

Valuation Cap

$4,500,000

Discount

20%

Rolling Commitments ($USD)

Status
Funded
Reporting Date

04/29/2021

Days Remaining
Funded
% of Min. Goal
Funded
% of Max. Goal
Funded
Likelihood of Max
Funded
Avg. Daily Raise

$487

# of Investors

225

Momentum
Funded
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Year Founded

2018

Industry

Media, Entertainment & Publishing

Tech Sector

MediaTech

Distribution Model

B2C

Margin

High

Capital Intensity

Low

Location

Concord, North Carolina

Business Type

High Growth

QuirkChat, with a valuation cap of $4.5 million, is raising funds on Wefunder. It is a niche online community of geeks and hobbyists who create and join social videos and networking platforms. QuirkChat has three features: Quips, Podchats, and Squads. Bee Law founded QuirkChat in 2018 and has raised over $300,000 since the founding. The proceeds of the current crowdfunding round, with a minimum raise of $50,000 and a maximum raise of $250,000, will be used for user acquisition, marketing, expanding the development and operations team, content creation, and building partnerships. QuirkChat has more than 25,000 active users in the US, Canada, and Europe. The company has partnerships with HBO and Warner Bros and has generated over $200,000 in revenue since the app’s launch.

Summary Profit and Loss Statement

Most Recent Year Prior Year

Revenue

$118,250

$36,384

COGS

$2,006

$4,131

Tax

$698

$668

 

 

Net Income

$-21,416

$-64

Summary Balance Sheet

Most Recent Year Prior Year

Cash

$31,034

$-13,796

Accounts Receivable

$13,900

$13,900

Total Assets

$47,554

$2,724

Short-Term Debt

$18,293

$2,939

Long-Term Debt

$0

$0

Total Liabilities

$18,293

$2,939

Financials as of: 10/11/2020
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Synopsis

It is widely known that Facebook is slowly losing users to competitive social networks. While many prophecies about Facebook’s decline are overdramatized, it is true that Facebook lost 15 million users between 2017 and 2019 — most of those GenZers and millennials. Facebook’s engagement issues have been furthered by the company’s perceived anti-progressive policies. An advertising boycott by several large corporations caused a significant drop in Facebook’s market share earlier this year.   

At the same time as Facebook is struggling to regain its reputation, another form of social network is garnering buzz. Niche social networks — sometimes called vertical social networks — are targeted communities for people with a specific shared interest. Niche social networks are more private, significantly more focused on content of interest, and represent a significant opportunity for advertisers. 

QuirkChat is a mobile app connecting geeks, hobbyists, gamers, and cosplayers — helping those audiences find a tight-knit community centered on anime, comics, and other niche interests. While QuirkChat was founded in line with the standard principles of niche social networks (more targeted content, closer connections, etc.), the app was also founded to provide a safer and more positive space for geeks to interact. These spaces are known for particularly toxic social behavior. For instance, a recent study from the Anti-Defamation League found that 65% of online gamers have experienced “severe harassment” while playing online. 

QuirkChat originally prioritized events and networking spaces such as comic cons and virtual anime discussions. COVID-19 forced the company to pivot, and QuirkChat’s revamped app is now focused on tech-forward connection opportunities for users. Geeks can record “quips” (15-second videos offering a take on a relevant subject), join “podchats” (group livestreams to chat with new and existing friends), and interact with “squads” (groups of users interested in particular subjects or following particular creators). 

QuirkChat also allows geek creators to monetize their content and communities via tipping (sending “snacks”), similar to creator reward functionality on Discord and Twitch. These microtransactions are the backbone of QuirkChat’s business model, at least until event ticket sales begin again post-COVID. 

QuirkChat has raised several hundred thousand dollars from Snapchat, SoGal Ventures, and Wefunder XX Fund. The company’s current WeFunder raise has been rated a Neutral Deal by the KingsCrowd investment team.

Next Section: Price

Price

QuirkChat is raising a SAFE at a $4.5 million valuation cap (with a conversion discount and lower valuation available for early bird investors). This price is competitive among similar early-stage companies, particularly given QuirkChat’s previous investment from leading firms and funds like Snapchat and SoGal Ventures. Therefore, QuirkChat’s price rating is its highest.

Next Section: Market

Market

There are few professional estimates of how many anime fans and gamers exist in the world. QuirkChat counts 76 million people in the US and 2 billion people worldwide as members of the anime and gaming community —  but it does not cite a source for those statistics. 

This Statista article reports that 33% of the Japanese are fans of anime. Japan’s population is roughly 127 million, so that’s roughly 42 million Japanese anime fans. Assuming that the proportion of anime fans in Japan is the highest among countries worldwide, the U.S.’s proportion of anime fans is probably closer to 15%, or roughly 35 million (bringing us to 77 million anime fans between the U.S. and Japan). 

That number doesn’t seem to track to 2 billion anime fans worldwide, though it only counts anime fans. Adding in the gaming community would include about 70 million “heavy gamers” in the U.S. alone. In sum, it’s difficult to precisely benchmark the size of the anime and gaming market. The total amount of eligible geeks in the world is likely under a billion, with numbers likley closer to 150 million in the U.S. Combined with the fact that QuirkChat only monetizes off of a small percentage of this potential user population willing to tip creators, QuirkChat’s potential market is very small. Hence, the company’s market rating is its lowest.

Next Section: Team

Team

QuirkChat was founded by Bee Law, formerly a cytogenetic scientist who started QuirkChat because she felt unconnected from a community of geeks and gamers. Law holds a bachelor of science from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. 

The QuirkChat team also includes Lauren Grant, Chief Content Officer. Grant has over five years of experience as a video content creator and producer. She holds a bachelor of science degree in Mass Communications from Virginia Commonwealth University. The remainder of the QuirkChat team is comprised of a Tech Advisor, Head of UX, and Executive Editor. 

While the QuirkChat team is clearly passionate about the fandom community and well-suited to curate content and connections targeted at that group, the team lacks formal business or entrepreneurship experience. Therefore, QuirkChat’s team rating is moderately low.

Next Section: Differentiators

Differentiators

QuirkChat is highly differentiated from traditional social networking platforms in that it serves a niche audience of geeks, gamers, and general fandom enthusiasts. This differentiator is its key selling point: geeks should download QuirkChat so they can meet other members just like them, a promise that can’t be upheld by the likes of Facebook and Twitter. 

However, there are social networking platforms that are a bit more specific to the fandom and gamer groups than Facebook and Twitter. Reddit has attracted groups of niche hobbyists, including anime fans, for years. Twitch and Discord are hubs for gamers and have gained mass-market appeal through celebrity appearances (like AOC’s recent stream to connect with young voters). QuickChat is apparently focused on curating a more inclusive and healthy community than those that exist on larger platforms, but the company offers few concrete details about why these procedures are different than that of Discord or Twitch. 

Overall, QuirkChat is both highly differentiated and hardly differentiated. While geeks and gamers may feel alone on mass-market social networking platforms, it’s not too difficult for them to find community on Reddit or Twitch. Therefore, QuirkChat’s differentiation rating is middle-of-the-road.

Next Section: Performance

Performance

In 2019, QuirkChat generated $118,250 in revenue with a net loss of just $21,416. The company reports having generated over $200,000 in lifetime revenue. While QuirkChat alludes to the fact that revenue projections for 2020 were slashed due to the negative impact of COVID on the events industry, it does not offer an indication of current 2020 forecasts. 

For a niche social networking platform with limited market size, $200,000 in revenue and 25,000 monthly active users are solid figures. Therefore, QuirkChat’s performance rating is moderate.

Next Section: Other

Bearish Outlook

QuirkChat appears to be a company that is still finding its post-pandemic footing. Geeks and geek creators alike seem to have been benefiting from the QuirkChat platform before COVID hit — largely via events and meetups. Now, the app has pivoted significantly to focus more on tech features that allow users to connect and share content virtually. It is too early to tell whether these features will be a success. 

While QuirkChat has undoubtedly developed a passionate community, the biggest question is whether the company can adequately monetize under this revised business model. Monetization via micro-transactions (creator tipping) is somewhat unproven among similar companies. Twitch allows users to tip content creators (streamers), but advertisements are likely a much larger portion of its revenue. Leveraging a relatively small user base to generate revenue via tiny transactions may not fund long-term growth for QuirkChat, and therefore may not guarantee returns for investors. 

Next Section: Bullish Outlook

Bullish Outlook

QuirkChat has cultivated a community of over 25,000 monthly average users and was able to pivot quickly to introduce tech-forward features to this community after COVID hit. This current capital raise is largely devoted to user acquisition and marketing, so the QuirkChat community could grow quickly in coming months and years. A refined microtransaction strategy plus the re-introduction of event ticket revenue (and perhaps advertising revenue) could allow QuirkChat to monetize these new users. 

In the long term, QuirkChat could succeed by expanding into international markets that are even more enthusiastic about anime and video games, including Japan. This may be the strategy that allows QuirkChat to expand its market beyond the niche of U.S. geeks and become a global fandom brand. 

Next Section: Executive Summary

Executive Summary

QuirkChat is a community for geeks, gamers, and every fandom enthusiast in between. Through events (currently virtual, eventually in-person) and tech features designed to allow geeks to connect with old and new friends, QuirkChat is aiming to create an inclusive and positive space to explore hobbies and interests. 

QuirkChat’s focus on anime fans, hardcore gamers, and comic con attendees makes the app quite niche. This small market combined with a fledgling monetization strategy are not strong signals of future growth. On the other hand, QuirkChat’s performance to date has been solid, and investors can back the company at a reasonable price. Therefore, QuirkChat has been rated a Neutral Deal.

For questions regarding the KingsCrowd staff pick or ratings for this company, please reach out to support@kingscrowd.com

Analysis written by Katy Dolan.

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QuirkChat on Wefunder
Platform: Wefunder
Security Type: SAFE
Valuation: $4,500,000

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