Vancouver, B.C.-based startup Hiive raised $4.2 million in fresh cash for its marketplace that allows investors and employees to buy and sell shares of privately held venture-backed companies in the secondary market.
Founded in 2021, the startup aims to “unlock the full value of the private markets” for users by automating a marketplace for transacting private shares. Hiive said it provides more accurate and real-time valuations for late-stage startups based on bid, ask, or trade prices obtained directly from confirmed buyers or sellers on its platform, reflecting the methodology used in public market valuations.
The startup’s funding comes at a time when many late-stage tech companies are staying private longer amid a broader tech market slowdown, resulting in increased demand for investors and employees that want to liquidate shares.
“Many funds are active secondary buyers, and with IPO markets being choppy or companies just choosing to stay private longer, there are many more secondary sellers,” Salil Deshpande, general partner at Uncorrelated Ventures, said in a statement.
The platform lets users see how a private company’s stock fluctuates up or down, similar to a public stock.
As of last month, the company said the value of open offerings on the platform was about $1.9 billion. There are more than 570 companies with active listings, including Seattle startups Outreach, Icertis, and Convoy. Hiive has more than 12,000 users, with over 1,000 institutional members.
The startup, which reached 170 trades last month, said it has grown both its rate and volume of transaction completion around six times over the past year. It competes with other private market shares platforms like EquityZen and Birel.
Hiive makes money by charging a minimum fixed dollar amount and commission for transactions brokered on the platform.
Hiive is led by CEO Sim Desai, who previously worked as a managing director at Setter Capital, a Toronto-based investment bank. Desai is joined by co-founders Prab Rattan, Stuart Eccles, and Sarah Huggins.
Hiive said it has 45 employees, up from six in the beginning of 2022. The company is growing headcount.
The funding round was led by Uncorrelated Ventures, with participation from Splash Capital, Harmony Venture Partners, Hack VC, Agmen Capital, and Renaud Laplanche, the co-founder of Lending Club. The startup said its post-money valuation is $77 million.
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