NEW YORK, April 26, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Leading equity crowdfunding platform SeedInvest announced today that it received FINRA approval to operate an ATS (Alternative Trading System) to facilitate secondary trading of startup investments. Through its ATS, SeedInvest will be able to allow investors to trade their startup shares on the secondary market post initial investment once it officially opens up its platform for trading. Today's announcement marks an industry milestone as SeedInvest is the first equity crowdfunding platform in the U.S. to receive FINRA approval permitting secondary trading of securities through an ATS, in addition to capital raises in the primary markets.
"Liquidity remains a key missing piece towards democratizing the private capital markets," said Ryan Feit, Co-Founder of SeedInvest. "Creating a truly vibrant secondary market for private company shares has the potential to make startup investing a significantly more attractive asset class."
Earlier this year, global crypto finance company Circle acquired SeedInvest with a shared vision of creating a more open, global, connected, and inclusive financial system. Through the passage of the JOBS Act, platforms such as SeedInvest have been able to leverage the Internet to provide a more efficient and open process for startup fundraising and investing. But historically, startup investors have often had to accept a 5+ year hold period. Today's announcement marks a meaningful step towards disrupting the private capital markets and realizing Circle's longer-term vision.
"We're focused on empowering individuals and business to create and share value in ways that are more open, inclusive, efficient and global," said Jeremy Allaire, Circle Co-Founder and CEO. "ATS approval for SeedInvest sets us on a path to develop secondary trading marketplaces and to facilitate liquidity for private securities, which together hold the promise of significantly democratizing private capital markets."
SeedInvest is a leading equity crowdfunding platform that provides individual investors with access to vetted startup investment opportunities. SeedInvest was instrumental in the passage of the 2012 JOBS Act, which changed 80-year-old U.S. securities laws to make it possible for entrepreneurs to raise capital over the Internet. SeedInvest has funded over 150 startups and boasts a rapidly growing network of over 250,000 investors. SeedInvest has had over 40,000 startups apply to raise capital since inception and has accepted less than 1% of those companies to feature on the platform. The company was recently featured on the 2018 Inc. 500 List as the 4th fastest-growing financial services company in America.
In March, 2019 Circle Internet Financial Ltd. acquired SeedInvest in order to help advance their efforts to innovate the financial system. Circle is a global crypto finance company built on blockchain, powered by crypto assets, and dedicated to helping people and institutions create and share value globally. Circle's suite of products enable customers to send and receive money around the world easily, as well as invest in and trade crypto assets. Circle is backed by $250 million from Goldman Sachs, Baidu, IDG, Breyer Capital, General Catalyst, and other leading global investors.
All securities-related activity is conducted by SI Securities, LLC dba SeedInvest, an affiliate of Circle Internet Financial Limited, and a registered broker-dealer, and member FINRA/SIPC, located at 116 W Houston Street, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10012. This communication is for information purposes only and should not be regarded as a recommendation of, or an offer to sell or as a solicitation of an offer to buy, any financial product. Investments are offered only via definitive transaction documents and any potential investor should read such documents carefully, including all risks, before investing. Startup investments involve a high degree of risk and those investors who cannot hold an investment for the long term (at least 5-7 years) or afford to lose their entire investment should not invest in startups. To learn more about investing in startups and its risks visit www.seedinvest.com/academy.