Funderbeam, the funding and trading platform for private companies founded by Kaidi Ruusalepp, who was previously CEO of the Nasdaq Tallinn stock exchange, has raised $4.5 million in Series A funding.
The round is led by U.K.-based Accelerated Digital Ventures (ADV), and includes new investors such as GK-Plug and Play Indonesia, and Pandan Ventures. Existing investors Draper Associates, Draper Venture Partners, IQ Capital, and Mistletoe also followed on.
Aiming to “fill in the gap” in venture and SME capital markets, Funderbeam provides access and liquidity to growth-stage investments via its information and trading platform. To date, Funderbeam has had 37 high-growth portfolio companies listed on its marketplace, and says it has on-boarded more than 10,000 verified investors across 119 countries. This has seen $2.2 million worth of shares exchange hands on the Funderbeam secondary marketplace.
Funderbeam, which employs blockchain technology to power its ledger, says it recently launched in Scandinavia and the U.K. with the aim of helping founders to raise private funding from a global network of investors.
It should be noted that the platform isn’t a free-for-all and is not entirely open. Founders are able to choose who can invest and therefore retain control of the cap table. For investors, Funderbeam says it provides access to a community of “curated, ambitious growth companies” and the option to trade investments at any time. “A robust due diligence process and lead investor acting as an ambassador for every round ensures the high quality of companies on the platform,” says the company.
Meanwhile, Funderbeam’s Series A funding will be used to develop a stronger secondary market offering as well as for further expansion into key markets such as Asia, starting from Singapore where it has an office, and then to continental Europe.
“Liquidity is fundamental to venture capital,” said Lee Strafford, CEO of ADV, in a statement. “Without a viable liquid market early stage investment is constrained and company growth is negatively impacted. Funderbeam is building a platform which enables liquidity, maintaining the momentum of companies and allowing investors to go again. We share the vision of the Funderbeam team and are excited to partner with them on a journey which could change venture forever”.
We are also told that Funderbeam co-founder Urmas Peiker will leave the company to “focus on his mission to change the capital markets in developing markets”. “Urmas has been contributing a lot to Funderbeam’s business model and success. We thank him and wish all the best in his new journey,” says Kaidi.