A financial technology startup with ambitions to “redesign the venture capital secondary market” has raised funds to do so.
Vancouver-born Hiive has declared its aim to “preserve as many of the established best practices of brokers in the global pre-IPO secondary market, while eliminating the opacity and uncertainties traditionally associated with private market trading.”
And now the company has secured more than $4 million toward this aim at a valuation of nearly $80 million, according to an official statement.
Investors in the round included Uncorrelated Ventures, Splash Capital, Harmony Partners, Hack VC, Agmen Capital, and wealth fintech entrepreneur Renaud Laplanche.
Founded in 2021 and launched in 2022, Hiive operates an online marketplace for private company stocks—essentially, a meeting place for buyers and sellers of shares in privately held companies.
Initially only available in the US, the platform has now launched north of the border in its home country.
Accredited investors and funds can thus place an order to buy or sell shares directly from other parties without needing a live broker because Hiive automates and centralizes the processes usually carried out in traditional secondary markets.
The platform allows Canadian venture capitalists, investment funds, family offices, and ultra-high-net-worth individuals to better access pre-IPO markets.
“There are many players hawking private market data—but the quality is usually low,” says Sim Desai, chief executive of Hiive.
The CEO believes this is because the data is based on surveys of brokers and investors—some with no intention to buy—”rather than on bona fide customer orders or transactions.”
“By contrast,” offers Desai, “if you see a price on Hiive, you know that it comes from a real bid, ask, or trade placed directly by a confirmed buyer or seller on the platform.”
Over the past year, the company’s marketplace has grown its both its rate and volume of transaction completion “around six times,” according to Desai.
Hiive’s headcount has also grown markedly during this time, rising from six people in January of 2022 to a workforce of 45 today.
And the firm remains actively recruiting, Desai adds, with about 10 open roles currently.
A FINRA member, Hiive is regulated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The fintech was founded by Desai alongside Prab Rattan (chief of revenue), Stuart Eccles (chief of product and tech), and Sarah Huggins (chief of operations).