Today, Circle’s equity crowdfunding platform, SeedInvest, announced that it has received approval from FINRA to operate an Alternative Trading System (ATS) for secondary market trading of equities launched through its primary markets platform. Once launched, SeedInvest will be able to allow investors to trade their startup shares on the secondary market post initial investment. Today’s announcement marks an industry milestone as SeedInvest is the first equity crowdfunding platform in the U.S. to receive FINRA approval permitting secondary trading of securities through an ATS, in addition to capital raises in the primary markets.
Circle’s broader mission is to empower people and businesses to more easily share and create value globally. A significant part of that mission is opening up the ways that entrepreneurs and startups can raise capital directly on the internet from a broad base of both accredited and unaccredited investors. But a critical missing piece in private capital markets has been the lack of exchanges and marketplaces for secondary market trading and liquidity of private securities.
The past couple of years has witnessed an explosion in experiments in private capital formation and secondary liquidity, with blockchain-powered digital assets becoming a major new category of assets and technology systems for markets. We believe we are in the early stages of a much broader transformation of global capital markets, and that we will see mature, internet-based capital markets emerge that give companies ranging anywhere from the seed to growth stages more ways to raise capital, as well as a much broader base of investors access to invest in those companies while also having opportunities to trade those assets through regulated marketplaces.
SeedInvest’s newly approved ATS is a significant step in that direction, and we’re excited to see how this can evolve as we continue to iterate and experiment with creating a more efficient, global and democratized financial system for businesses and individuals alike.
This milestone also underscores both Circle and SeedInvest’s long-term commitment to working closely with regulators in building new products and innovating the financial system while also meeting the rigorous standards needed to protect consumers, investors and market integrity.
Jeremy & Sean
All securities-related activity is conducted by SI Securities, LLC dba SeedInvest, an affiliate of Circle Internet Financial Limited, and a registered broker-dealer, and member FINRA/SIPC, located at 116 W Houston Street, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10012. This communication is for information purposes only and should not be regarded as a recommendation of, or an offer to sell or as a solicitation of an offer to buy, any financial product. Investments are offered only via definitive transaction documents and any potential investor should read such documents carefully, including all risks, before investing. Startup investments involve a high degree of risk and those investors who cannot hold an investment for the long term (at least 5–7 years) or afford to lose their entire investment should not invest in startups. To learn more about investing in startups and its risks visit www.seedinvest.com/academy.