Sunday, 20 June 2021

Forge closes over $150 million in funding, adds new investors

Forge Global, a global private securities marketplace, announced that it has received FINRA approval to operate as a single broker dealer with SharesPost, which Forge merged with in 2020, and that it closed an oversubscribed round of more than $150 million in new funding. Total funding raised to date exceeds $250 million with the latest round including existing investor Deutsche Börse and Forge’s new investors Temasek, Wells Fargo Strategic Capital, LUN Partners Group, True Global Ventures and others. The continued interest from global strategic and financial investors validates Forge’s leadership position as it continues to develop new, innovative products and services to meet the needs of the private market.

“We’re excited to have these incredible companies partner with Forge as we continue to build the operating system for the private market,” said Forge CEO Kelly Rodriques. “With the momentum from the SharesPost acquisition and the support and backing of strategic investors including private market investing pioneer True Global Ventures, which first invested in SharesPost in 2010, we are in an excellent position to continue to build world-class solutions that bring data, technology and liquidity at scale to the private markets.”

Since inception, Forge has completed more than $9 billion in transactions in nearly 400 private companies. In the months since its acquisition of SharesPost, the company tallied three consecutive record-breaking quarters including in Q1 2021 when Forge completed 1400 transactions totaling more than $730 million of volume.

Forge intends to use the increased funding to continue to expand service offerings in the US and beyond. Jane Atherton, Managing Director, Investment at Temasek International and Paul Hilgers, Managing Director of Deutsche Börse's cash market business, will join Forge’s board.

“The importance of private markets is growing – for companies and investors alike,“ explains Christoph Hansmeyer, head of group strategy & M&A at Deutsche Börse. “Investing in Forge pays testament to our commitment to help companies access liquidity both publicly and privately, and allows global investors to participate in the wealth created in both the public and private markets.”
With more than 642 private unicorn companies globally totaling $2 trillion in collective valuation and with many of those staying private for 10 years or more, unicorn companies are increasingly turning to the private market for liquidity solutions that Forge provides. Global institutions, through their investments in Forge, are signaling increased interest in innovative new products and services that build on the core secondary trading capabilities that the Forge platform delivers.

"The private securities market plays an increasingly important role in today’s financial landscape, and Wells Fargo recognizes the significance of a digital platform like Forge in the ongoing evolution of this marketplace,” said Tom Richardson, head of principal technology investments at Wells Fargo Strategic Capital. “Forge's liquidity solutions simplify the complexities of private market transactions and introduces further transparency into the price discovery process. We’re excited about the opportunities this brings to our customers and look forward to seeing Forge’s continued growth.”

In February 2021, Forge launched Forge Company Solutions, a comprehensive liquidity solution suite for private, high-growth companies to facilitate custom liquidity programs including executive liquidity, company-sponsored employee liquidity, tender offers and direct listings.

 

Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker