There are more private technology companies today than ever before – and they are staying private longer. The aggregate value of U.S. “unicorns” is now $715b, up from $53b in 2010, and the number of publicly listed companies is down 50% today from the late 1990s.
Private companies have been forging new ways to access liquidity for their shareholders and employees. In 2019, more private companies considered a direct listing on credible public exchanges (NYSE, Nasdaq) than a traditional IPO. A direct listing allows for a company (Spotify + Slack) to sell secondary shares and achieve price discovery while avoiding the exorbitant banking fees.
The race to build a credible private exchange is heating up with no clear winner(s) yet, as incumbents and new emerging exchanges vie for relevance. Nasdaq strategically entered the market years ago, acquiring Barry Silbert’s original business SecondMarket, which claimed over 50% of all secondaries from venture-backed companies in 2019.
This week, Carta, which provides software for startups to manage their capitalization tables, announced their intentions to launch CartaX after four years of product development. Forge and SharesPost announced a merger, and together facilitated more than $6b in secondary shares of more than 320 private companies. Last year, the SEC approved the “Long-Term Stock Exchange” or the LTSE backed by a handful of venture capital firms.
With these private exchanges racing to come online and capture more than their fair share of the transaction volume, how will private companies react to their shareholders selling stakes and probably having to provide some level of performance data to support the price?
Artivest acquired by iCapital Network - We are very pleased to share that portfolio company Artivest is being acquired by iCapital Network. Together, iCapital and Artivest will service more than $55b in client assets across 650 funds, and 115,000 accounts. Read more
Anyfin raises $30m Series B to let consumers refinance their existing loans - Huge congrats to portfolio company Anyfin on their $30m Series-B round from growth investor, EQT Ventures, to fuel their mission to bring fair banking to all Europeans. Read more
Colombian payment infrastructure fintech Minka raises $3m - Portfolio company Minka is bringing real-time payment infrastructure to Latin America using distributed ledger technology. We’ve been continually impressed by Dom’s ideal mix of technical prowess and commercial savviness, maintaining a push-the-boundaries, hacker culture within Minka despite serving some very large and important global banking partners. Read more
Antler & FTC co-host discussion on COVID impact in emerging markets - As global investors, we will be sharing views on the main effects of the pandemic for entrepreneurs across EM regions. Join us on May 27, 2020 at 8AM EST/8PM SGT. Read more
Redefining the internet in service to the public - Eva Arevuo from portfolio company Underline stresses the need to prioritize critical public needs while we design new solutions for access to information. Read more
ANNA - London based mobile-first banking and tax accounting software for SMEs raised $21m from ABHH Group. Read more
Clyde - New York based warranties-as-a-service platform raised $14m in Series A financing led by Spark Capital. Read more
FalconX - San Francisco based crypto trading service raised $17m in funding from investors including Avon Ventures, Coinbase Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Flybridge, Accel, Fenbushi, and Accomplice. Read more
Homeward - Austin, Texas homebuying lender raised $20m in equity funding led by Adams Street Partners. Read more
Modulr - London based payments-as-a-service API platform raised £18.9m in growth funding led by Highland Europe. Read more
Lolli - New York based bitcoin rewards startup raised $3m in a Seed extension round led by Founders Fund. Read more
Primer - London based enterprise payments platform raised £3.8m in Seed funding led by Balderton Capital. Read more
Validus - Singapore based SME lending platform raised $20m in a Series B extension round co-led by Vertex Growth fund and Kuok Group’s Orion Fund. Read more
Vise - New York based wealth management platform for financial advisors raised $14.5m in Series A funding led by Sequoia. Read more
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