From imagination to reality
I started out on this journey from a completely different perspective. My cofounders and I wanted to create a game to teach teenagers how to trade stocks, so they could learn before entering the real world of stock trading.
We decided to make the game about investing and trading startups, as the value of a young company can be easier for young people to understand. While building this game, we realised our imagination had created a world much better than the real one. Could we take concepts from a game and apply them to the real world of investing?
With the launch of Funderbeam Markets, we are officially bringing those ideas to fruition.
Why we need to rethink early stage capital markets
In today’s primary market, IPOs are aimed at exiting private investments, not at investing in growth. The Private Equity and VC industry is more powerful than ever — they can spend billions on funding growth companies. The problem is, micro investors don’t have access to those nicely growing private deals.
Besides this, angels are getting more and more influential, as they are becoming stronger both in numbers, experience and individual capital. This means that the professional angels have a bigger and bigger say, but their money is stuck for years waiting for the company to be sold or go public.
Finally, there’s a macro-tendency towards crowd-investing. The amount of investing made by the crowd and through syndication is doubling every year, and may surpass VC already this year. This is HUGE, but so far, the technology is still catering to the primary market, as the initial investment in startups.
As businesses become more international, so do investors and investments. It means, investing cross-border has to be easy and without unnecessary hassles. No printing or signing and scanning paper documents. Doing so, will mitigate against long weeks before signatures are collected and finally funds transferred.
In conclusion, these are the challenges we face:
– Micro investors lack access to great startups
– Professional investors lack the ability to easily sell their investments
– The market is not regional anymore, it’s global
The road ahead
We are giving everyone access to invest in great startups, whether you are a professional investor or looking to make your first investment ever.
At the same time, we are making it possible to invest with growth in mind, instead of only focusing on getting your portfolio companies to IPO. There’s simply too much focus on the IPO and inflated valuations, and not enough focus on making companies that are growing and becoming steadily more valuable. If you can sell your part of a company based on performance, you have the incentive to find companies aimed at sustainable growth, and maybe get early access to the next generation of high growth startups.
We are introducing all this on Funderbeam Markets, and that is why we simply call it… Startup investing. Fixed.
Founder and CEO of Funderbeam