"Boring" Investments Deliver Big Gains

By Wayne Mulligan, on Thursday, October 9, 2014

We often write about exciting technologies...

About companies that can change the world:

Robotic exoskeletons, 4D Printing, drones – ideas that get the heart pumping.

But the fact is, you don’t need to invest in “cutting edge” technologies to earn big returns in the private stock market.

Sometimes, “boring” companies can be extremely profitable investments.

Today I’ll tell you the story of a dull business that ended up generating huge returns for its early investors...

And I’ll show you a promising “snoozer” you can invest in right now.

From Yawn to IPO

First let me tell you about a company that, to most folks, looked downright dull.

It was trying to sell coupons online.

Coupons? Yawn.

But it became the fastest growing start-up in American history. Literally.

It went from essentially zero revenue in its first year of business, to $713 million in Year Two. And one year later, it went public.

The name of the company?


Basically, Groupon took an old, boring business – selling discounted goods and services – and applied some technology to it.

When the company went public, early investors made a killing.

They earned an estimated 70 times their money. That’s a 7,000% gain.

Boring Logic

Why do boring companies become such profitable early-stage investments?

I talked to my friend Rikki about this phenomenon the other day.

Rikki’s a long-time entrepreneur and early-stage investor.

He’s founded and invested in a number of businesses – some of which have been acquired by the likes of Merrill Lynch, Thomson Reuters and Amazon.com.

Rikki believes that great businesses might initially appear boring because they’re going after existing markets. Rather than trying something revolutionary, they might focus, for example, on modernizing a well-established industry.

However, by taking the more conservative path, it’s easier for these companies to grow. They already know the profile of their customer, and they know exactly where to find them.

Rikki’s also found that, when a business seems “boring,” there’s less competition from other investors. Less competition means these deals are less expensive to invest in – and thus, returns for early investors can be higher.

Bottom line?

When a start-up targets a big, existing market, and figures out how to modernize it, good things can happen.

In fact, we recently came across a start-up that fits this profile exactly.

And since it’s raising a round of funding, you could potentially get in on the deal.

Another “Snoozer”

Just for one second, close your eyes and imagine the most boring gift you’ve ever received.

For me?

Gift cards.

Well, they might be boring, but as it turns out, gift cards are a big business:

In the U.S. alone, more than $140 billion gets spent on them every year.

So I was excited to discover a start-up going after this big, boring market – and trying to modernize it.

Enter Wonder

The start-up is called Wonder, and here’s how it works...

Normally, when people receive a gift card, they stash it somewhere – a drawer, an envelope, inside a stack of other gift cards with a rubber band around them.

Months or years later, they try to dig it up. Or just as often, they forget about it entirely.

Enter Wonder, with a solution...

Wonder “links” your gift card with your credit card – so you always have it on you.

For example, if you linked a Starbucks gift card purchased through Wonder to your credit card, the next time you use your credit card to buy a Starbucks pumpkin spiced latte, your gift card automatically gets charged.

I Wonder How Wonder Is Doing?

Wonder’s made quite a bit of progress in a short amount of time:

  • They’ve recruited a solid team of executives, advisors, and investors
  • They’ve filed several patents on their e-Gifting technology
  • They’ve integrated with 2 million merchants
  • And based on strong customer reviews on the Apple app store, customers seem to like it.

The company is now raising $500,000 on Crowdfunder.com, one of the high-quality platforms we feature on Crowdability.

The funding round is just about full, but Crowdfunder is still accepting reservations.

If you’re interested in learning more about this “boring” start-up, visit its crowdfunding page at Crowdfunder »

Remember, Crowdability has no financial relationship with Wonder or Crowdfunder.

Happy Investing.

Best Regards,
Wayne Mulligan
Wayne Mulligan


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Tags: Early-stage Groupon

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