Rewind flips the script on investors

Rewind ended up with a sky-high valuation.

The Future. Rewind, an AI startup that sells itself as a user’s “perfect memory,” just tried a novel approach to Series A fundraising. After publicly inviting investors to make offers, Rewind fetched a $350 million valuation – and potentially changed the future of startup investing for good.

Impress me
Rewind took negotiation off the table, giving investors an offer they couldn’t refuse.

  • CEO Dan Siroker shared a public link to an internet form where investors could enter the highest amount of money they’d pay to invest in Rewind, with acceptable guesses ranging from $200 million to $1 billion.
  • This pitch got 1.7 million views on Twitter, leading to over 1,000 preliminary offers and 170 committed offers.
  • While Rewind ended up with a sky-high valuation, the one they chose was just a fraction of the highest valuations, with 22 investors making offers that valued Rewind at over $1 billion.

Power to the people who aren’t VCs
Rewind could make these demands partly because AI startups are all the rage right now. Regardless, they’ve set an example for other promising companies to follow and wrest bargaining power away from the VC firms who’ve historically held it. Maybe it’s time investors took the back seat.