By Tracey Cheek
"Would you like to lean into the 21st century?"
That's how Alex Lebow, the co-founder of Say, makes his pitch to companies ahead of their earnings calls. Lebow and his startup help companies and their shareholders connect in true 21st century fashion ー through the internet. On Say's website, investors can submit and vote on questions à la Reddit's AMA function.
"These are actual owners of the company, they're not people on Twitter just yelling, not just aggrieved people in the world," Lebow told Cheddar. "The shareholders vote on the questions. No matter how much stock you own, if there's a good idea good question, you can do that. and other shareholders can vote on it. The best questions will rise to the top."
The startup, which was founded in 2017, made its debut on Tesla's ($TSLA) earnings call. More than $60 million of Tesla's stock was represented across 300 submitted questions; five of those questions were answered by the Tesla CEO Elon Musk himself.
The platform verifies that users are shareholders by connecting to their brokerage accounts. Lebow said the platform is looking to build a direct communication framework for companies and their owners.
"It's an important part of the disclosure regime," Lebow said. "We just think there's an additional constituency that should be taking part. Retail owners, regular shareowners, investors who have a different perspective, and why shouldn't that perspective be a part of that conversation, as well?"
As for the future, the technology company has larger ambitions to improve transparency in the corporate world.
"We're creating a forum for companies and their shareholders to interact with each other, it could happen all year long, it could happen around whatever issue or any circumstance that companies and shareholders would be useful to interact with each other," explained Lebow.
For full interview click here.