Estonian startup Funderbeam launched on Thursday the world’s first primary and secondary market for early-stage startup investments, promising to bring liquidity to a market where investors have had to wait years for an exit.
On Funderbeam Markets investors can pool their money across borders to raise capital for startups. And for the first time ever, startup investors can trade their investments on an online aftermarket secured by the blockchain technology.
One of the most prominent venture capitalist globally, Tim Draper, shared his excitement about Funderbeam in a greetings video showed at the launch event in Tallinn.
“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!” Draper said.
For startups the marketplace provides a new way to raise capital globally and solves also the challenge of having to deal with many small investors in early days of building the company, something typical for equity crowdfunding companies.
The first five startups to raise capital on Funderbeam are Huntloc, Paytailor, Shipitwise, SportID, and Sportlyzer. The first to launch, logistics platform Shipitwise is seeking 250,000 euros seed round to build booking.com-like service for shipping goods.
Funderbeam, which is co-founded by Kaidi Ruusalepp, Villu Arak and Urmas Peiker in 2013, has so far run a global data-intelligence subscription service on startups and investors, while building the new marketplace. “For the marketplace you need data to have informed investors,” said Ruusalepp.
To date, the company has raised $2 million, mainly from British and Estonian business angels, and Vienna-based 3TS Capital Partners.