- Securitize just raised $48 million from Morgan Stanley, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, and others.
- The blockchain-based fintech allows private companies to raise from individual retail investors.
- The Miami, FL-based startup provided Insider the pitch deck it used to raise its Series B round.
Investors are flocking to the private markets in droves to buy stakes in startups, real-estate, cryptocurrencies, and other alternative assets. As companies stay private for longer, they want to share in the wealth creation that occurs before these companies’ public debuts.
Securitize, founded in 2017 by tech industry veterans Carlos Domingo and Jamie Finn, is bringing blockchain technology to the private markets to make investing simpler. The company raised $48 million in Series B funding on June 21 from investors including Morgan Stanley and Blockchain Capital.
Securitize helps companies crowdfund capital from individual and institutional investors by issuing their shares in the form of blockchain tokens that allow for more efficient settlement, record-keeping, and compliance processes. Morgan Stanley’s Tactical Value Fund, which invests in private companies, made its first blockchain technology investment when it co-led the Series B, Securitize CEO Carlos Domingo told Insider.
Japanese bank Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank also invested in the round. The Miami-based startup has been operating in Japan, its second-largest market after the US, since 2019, said Domingo, who lived in Japan for 10 years.
Securitize, which is a licensed broker-dealer, is using the funds to hire marketing, product, and engineering professionals, Domingo said. The company has doubled its headcount in the last six months in anticipation of its fundraise, hiring over 25 new employees in 2021, and is still seeking to fill nearly 20 roles by the end of the year.
It employs professionals across the globe, including in the US, Japan, Spain, Argentina, and Israel.
Domingo said his background as a founder and
involved in venture capital inspired him to build Securitize. He said the company was conceived to address two major trends in the market.
“One is that [investors] have lost the opportunity to make money in public markets, because the wealth is created in private markets,” he said. “Second, if you’ve already invested in private capital markets, you have a long, long period until you actually get some
The SEC has issued mixed guidance on how digital asset exchanges should operate but a 2020 rule making it easier for startups to conduct security token offerings has given Securitize a path forward.
“Last year was kind of a big breakthrough. We got some regulatory clarity. It’s not 100% and it’s not perfect, but at least it’s there and I think it is going to allow us to take this to a different level,” Domingo said.
Issuers on Securitize can raise capital in two ways. The more popular option, Domingo said, is through Regulation A+, which allows private companies to raise up to $75 million from any individual investors. Others opt to raise money through Regulation D, which limits companies to raising only from accredited investors, or high-earning investment savvy individuals that meet a set of requirements that allow them to participate in private markets.
“There’s going to be a point in time when there’s a convergence between the people like us, that are building the future digital platforms for private capital markets, and the traditional platforms, and that’s the moment our exchange will explode,” Domingo said.
Here’s the pitch deck that Securitize used to raise its Series B round of funding. The firm redacted financials and other details before providing the deck to Business Insider.
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