April 21 marks the launch of Funderbeam Markets, the world’s first primary and secondary market for early-stage startup investments.
On Funderbeam Markets, investors can easily pool their money across borders to help startups raise capital. And for the first time ever, startup investors can trade their investments on an online aftermarket secured by the blockchain.
This promises on-demand liquidity in a space where investors have had to wait years for an exit. In solving this, Funderbeam seeks to help reinvigorate capital markets in the early-stage growth segment.
“The abundance of capital has radically altered the role of stock exchanges,” said Funderbeam CEO Kaidi Ruusalepp. “Rather than being places to raise capital, they’ve become exit gates for earlier investors. However, most people have very limited access to early-stage investment opportunities. Plus, mediators have made the process prohibitively expensive. We’re here to fix that and bring growth-stage opportunities to more investors and startups.”
“I want to congratulate Funderbeam on their launch,” said Tim Draper, one of the world’s most prominent venture capitalists. “I love what they’re doing. You know, the existing market is not working. The public markets just aren’t working and Funderbeam is doing something about it. And boy, is this going to be exciting! We’re going to have tradable [investments] in the private markets and I’m so proud of everyone at Funderbeam for making this thing happen. I love these Estonians. They’re crazy!”
Funderbeam also announced the first five startup syndicates created on its platform. In a nod to the company’s roots, the initial five startups were chosen from Estonia. They are Huntloc, Paytailor, Shipitwise, SportID, and Sportlyzer.
Co-founded by Kaidi Ruusalepp, Villu Arak and Urmas Peiker in 2013, Funderbeam first launched Funderbeam Data, a global data-intelligence subscription service on global startups and investors. In April 2016, the company released Funderbeam Markets, the world’s first primary and secondary market for early-stage startup investments, powered by blockchain technology. To date, Funderbeam has raised €1.75m ($2m), mainly from British and Estonian business angels, and Vienna-based 3TS Capital Partners. The company has 15 employees.