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Exclusive: Seedrs partners with equity management platform Capdesk as secondary market hits £1m

The partnership will allow private companies to tap into a wealth of equity they didn’t previously have access to.

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Jeff Kelisky/Seedrs

London-based crowdfunding platform Seedrs has partnered Capdesk, which helps unlisted companies with equity, to expand the pair’s secondary markets.

From today, businesses on Capdesk can directly list their shares on Seedrs’ secondary market allowing early investors and employees - via company equity schemes - the option to cash out of their shares ahead of exits or stock market listings.

Jeff Kelisky, CEO of Seedrs, told AltFi that the collaboration came from “growing demand for secondary trades and growing demand from investors and companies that were using the platforms.”

The Seedrs platform remains one of the only private equity secondary markets in the UK and in May 2020 it surpassed £1m in shares traded in a month for the first time.

Kelisky told AltFi: “We are building a platform to bring together the liquidity of public markets and the accessibility of e-commerce into one place for private company investing.”

“Investors can take more calculated risks with their investments in an asset class which already has known risks to it,” he added.

Christian Gabriel, co-founder and CEO of Capdesk, says in recent decades there has been a decrease in the number of IPOs and employee share plans and venture funding has increased.

“With Capdesk technology and Seedrs network we are creating the first private secondary market for shareholders and employees in Europe. This is going to be huge,” he said.

Kelisky also told AltFi that after a “meaningful dip in activity” in mid-March “while everybody was figuring out what to do with their companies working from home, there was about a two-week period where activity was slightly depressed, but then at the tail end of March it began to pick up again.”

Following the slight dip, Seedrs is back on the right track and in May 2020 it saw its secondary market top share sales of £1m across over 1,800 trades, largely helped by sales of shares in Revolut.

Back in February 2020, Seedrs changed the way its users invest by lifting the share lot size constraint from £1,000 up to £25,000 and automatically relisted unsold shares.

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, seven executives at Seedrs, including Kelisky, took a 25 per cent pay cut, although the platform has now returned to normal.

The Seedrs secondary market has now accommodated over £5.2m in share trades in more than 400 companies.

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