seedchange Aims to Make Early-Stage Companies an Asset Class Founding team from BlackRock, Wall Street and Silicon Valley
SAN FRANCISCO, June 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- seedchange today announced the launch of an innovative investing platform. The platform gives investors – for the first time – efficient, transparent access to early-stage companies vetted by a registered broker-dealer and presented the way investors are accustomed to evaluating opportunities.
"We're doing for early-stage investing what exchange-traded funds (ETFs) did for other asset classes: making diversification accessible, cheap and transparent," noted co-founder Kevin Smith. "We see early-stage tech companies as a new asset class that has an appropriate place in the portfolios of experienced investors."
"Over the last 15 years investors have diversified their portfolios into foreign securities, commodities, emerging markets, even alternatives," he continued. "Early-stage companies are the last closed asset class left."
Historically, few investors outside a select group in the tech hubs of Silicon Valley, Boston and New York have had access to high quality early-stage deals. "Even if you find a company worth considering, the analysis, investing and advising process takes an enormous amount of time to do right," said Nate Phillips, co-founder and COO. "We do the hard work for investors. We vet companies, we spend months analyzing all aspects of the business and we work closely as advisers to every company we list."
seedchange employs an in-house team of venture analysts and lawyers to work with every startup that goes through the company's rigorous analysis process. "We've been called 'the world's first investment bank for startups'," Smith said. "That's a good summary of how we approach the market."
seedchange co-founder Smith previously developed and launched iShares ETFs in Mexico, Australia, Brazil, Chile and Colombia. After leaving BlackRock, Phillips and Smith spent months researching the early-stage investment market and analyzing the way early-stage investors make investment decisions. Then they developed an online investing platform to make direct investing in private companies as easy and efficient as trading stocks online. They also registered as a broker-dealer and added people from Wall Street and Silicon Valley investment, venture capital and legal firms.
"We've standardized and automated aspects of early-stage investing that have never been simple or standardized," Phillips noted, "but we still roll up our sleeves and do an extraordinary amount of work one-on-one with each startup team. And we stand behind the analysis we provide."
seedchange is a global platform connecting Wall Street and Silicon Valley and bringing a new asset category to the portfolios of smart investors all over the world. seedchange combines rigorous company analysis with an innovative investment platform to transform the way investors access, analyze and invest in early-stage companies. seedchange has offices in San Francisco and New York. www.seedchange.com
Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer