So, this is unusual…
A new startup, Jet.com, is promising to give you free stock options just for becoming an early email subscriber.
But here’s where it gets really unusual: we have no idea what Jet will do.
The site doesn’t launch until early 2015, and for now the company is just promising to revolutionize the way we shop online and promising to sell severely discounted goods. Perhaps they’re seeking to become an alternative to Amazon?
And they’re serious about it. The company was founded by Marc Lore, who famously sold his last company, Quidsi (Diapers.com, Soap.com, etc.) to Amazon for more than $500 million. And Jet has already raised more than $80 million in Series A funding (investments from hedge funds, etc.). And they’re in the process of raising another $550 million. So this is a really company; we just have no idea what they will do.
So, you want some free stock? Here’s how it works…
1. First, go to this signup page. You just need to give them an email address. Pretty easy.
2. Start referring your friends & family member. The top 10 referrers will be receive 10,000 stock options and the top referrer will receive 100,000 stock options. You have until Feb 6, 2015 to refer as many people as you can. Again, you just need people to give their email address to become a Jet insider. You don’t have to buy anything.
So far, the company has 25,169 signups (based on my ranking today), which is actually a pretty small number for such a hyped startup. I doubt it’d be that hard to get in the top 10, but I’m sure the competition will get harder once we get closer to the end.
3. If you don’t end up in the top 10, you won’t receive any stock options. However, the top 100,000 will receive early access to the site, the top 10,000 get a free 1-year membership, the top 1000 will get a free 5-year membership, and the top 100 will receive a lifetime membership for free.
What can you do with your stock options?
Jet is not a publicly held company, so there’s no guarantee that the stock options will ever be worth anything. Also, stock options are a little different then receiving shares in a company. An option is a benefit that you can exercise later to buy stock in the company at a discounted or at a stated fixed price.
You’re under no obligation to ever exercise the option. In fact, it’s usually best to wait for the share price to increase substantially and then exercise your options. For example, if Jet gives you the option to buy 100,000 shares at $10, you might want to wait until the shares go up to $30 or more and then you can pocket the difference (your profit would be $200,000 under this scenario).
We don’t exactly know what the option price will be, but the number of options they’re giving away is substantial. They’ve publicly said it’s in par with a 4-year equity compensation packages received by some of their earliest and top-level employees.
Your turn: What do you think about Jet’s marketing promotion? Are you interested in winning their stock options?