Nasdaq announced the launch of its new marketplace for private companies to raise capital and facilitate trading in a secondary market.
The new venue, Nasdaq Private Market, was launched today. It aims to provide qualifying private companies with the ability to efficiently raise capital, control secondary transactions, and manage their equity-related functions.
To qualify, companies must meet at least one of several criteria, including: annual net income of $750,000 (all figures US dollars); total assets and annual revenue of $50 million; funding received and enterprise value of at least $30 million, shareholders’ equity of $5 million and a two-year operating history; or, backing by recognized investors with a track record of successful venture investments. Investors must be accredited investors, and the market will also impose minimum disclosure requirements on issuers.
The new company was formed in March 2013 as a joint venture between the Nasdaq OMX Group, Inc. and SharesPost, Inc. Securities-related services will be offered through NPM Securities, LLC, a registered broker-dealer and alternative trading system, which is a member FINRA/SIPC and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nasdaq Private Market, LLC.
“Nasdaq Private Market will bring liquidity, efficiency and control to private companies. Member broker-dealers and their investor clients will benefit from greater access to financial information, transaction flow and liquidity,” said Greg Brogger, president of Nasdaq Private Market.
Along with the basic functions of raising capital and facilitating trading, Nasdaq notes that companies can also use the new platform to manage liquidity programs for employees and other shareholders “by enabling companies to identify a pool of potential buyers and set parameters on the percentage of holdings that shareholders can sell. Participating shareholders gain liquidity, and the company is able to facilitate the transition of ownership into the hands of long-term institutional holders.”
Additionally, it says that the new markets will help private companies improve their transition to the public markets “by facilitating engagement with long-term institutional investors well in advance of a public offering.”
“Nasdaq Private Market gives entrepreneurs more flexibility in deciding if and when to go public,” said Bruce Aust, executive vice president at Nasdaq OMX and chairman of the Nasdaq Private Market board. “By obtaining interim liquidity relief, companies can choose to enter the public markets based on the needs of their business and with the proper corporate solutions and institutional investor relationships in place for a seamless transition.”