On Uber IPO: Getting a Slice of That $100-billion Pie

April 15, 2019

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Uber IPO is the talk of the town not only in Silicon Valley and on Wall Street. Bankers, venture capital firms and journalists are trying to predict how the ride-hailing giant will measure up against the already-trading Lyft. Prospective institutional and retail investors are also kicking the tires after the company released its S-1 last week.

 

With Uber seeking a $100-billion valuation, it is no wonder that so many want a piece of this pie. Founded in 2009, Uber filed for an IPO after raising $24.2 billion from 22 rounds of venture capital and private equity investors and years of rumors about the company going public. For the longest time only the elite few, like SoftBank and Sequoia, had the privilege to tap into the potential offered by a company that is about to seek one of the largest IPOs in history.

 

Numbers aside, wouldn’t it be great if you, your son who is away for college or your mother who is getting ready to retire, could call yourself an early investor into a company that holds such tremendous promise? Knowing that you could have been a person backing a company behind the first self-driving car or a flying vehicle and profiting from it could have been a story to tell your grandchildren and a possible ticket to a prosperous future.

 

But this is not how investing into startups that become the new Ubers, Lyfts or Pinterests has worked so far. Unless you can afford to write a multi-million-dollar check, cutting-edge technologies will always be outside of your reach. At least until these companies go public, which can easily take a decade. But if you want to know how to invest in startups, there are companies on the market that can help.

 

VNX Exchange was born out of the idea that startup investing should be accessible to everybody. Today venture capital funds for the most part hold the keys to investing into the most promising startups. Their partners have made it their mission to discover the next disruptive technology because it makes their firms big money and because it can make or break their reputation. They spend countless hours listening to and analyzing the best pitches of the most viable candidates and selecting a very small number of potential winners. After the bets are made the waiting begins.

 

This process does take long – often a decade or longer – which is why venture capital is not a liquid asset class. The team at VNX Exchange aims to change that by tokenizing venture capital funds’ startup portfolios, or splitting them into pieces that can be then traded on its digital asset marketplace and purchased by virtually anybody. This not only opens up investing into the world’s top startups to a broad pool or investors, it solves the problem that VCs face as they spend their funds – lack of liquidity.

 

Our platform helps unlock much needed liquidity for venture capital firms who can then use it to invest into more startups. This is a great way to promote entrepreneurship as well help VCs and potential investors, to democratize startup investing once available to the select few.

 

This is not a vision distant from reality but is something that the team behind our platform is trying to turn into reality.

 

It is up to you to decide whether you believe in the economics behind Uber and Lyft’s operational models. This week alone eight companies, including Pinterest and Zoom, are planning to go public on the U.S. stock exchanges. But before they turn into the next publicly traded Apple or Amazon, which were also once small startups, why not reserve yourself a seat at a multi-billion-dollar table?