FUNDERBEAM, a global funding and trading platform for private companies, has raised US$4.5 million in a Series A round, led by UK-based Accelerated Digital Ventures.
New investors in the round include GK-Plug and Play Indonesia, and Pandan Ventures. Existing investors taking part include Draper Associates, Draper Venture Partners, IQ Capital and Mistletoe.
Funds raised will aid the company in developing a strong secondary market offering and furthering its expansion into Asia - starting from Singapore. The firm aims to bridge the Europe and Asia markets by raising valuable networks between companies and founders across both continents.
Funderbeam's platform enables founders to search for investments and for investors to find projects to value-add. The firm aims to alleviate the gap in venture and SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) capital markets by providing access and liquidity to growth investments.
Funderbeam charges only commission fees to companies for funds trading, although new revenue streams are on its agenda.
Founder and CEO of Funderbeam, Kaidi Ruusalepp, said that the firm’s focus is to build user base and improve the volume of the platform, before introducing new revenue streams.
In addition, she told The Business Times that "given Asia’s chance to skip one generation of technology and move to the next stage, this is one area that (Funderbeam) is aiming to tackle with companies that are dealing with very interesting business models". She added that Funderbeam foresees these startups attracting European investments.
Funderbeam has 37 portfolio companies on its platform, and has roped in more than 10,000 verified investors across 119 countries. Its portfolio companies include a European startup that is building a smart-city bench fuelled by solar panels, where the solar energy will be channelled to light up street lamps, while charging one’s mobile phone.
On its secondary platform where investments are sold, US$2.2 million worth of investment shares have exchanged hands, it said in a press statement.
Originating from Estonia, Funderbeam is headquartered in the UK and has set up base in Singapore. It has five offices globally, and is looking to increase its staff strength.
Lee Strafford, CEO of Accelerated Digital Ventures, said: "Without a viable liquid market, early-stage investment is constrained and company growth is negatively impacted. Funderbeam is building a platform which enables liquidity, maintaining the momentum of companies and allowing investors to go again. We share the vision of the Funderbeam team and are excited to partner with them on a journey which could change venture forever.”