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The combined company will operate under the name Forge Global, with Forge Global CEO Kelly Rodriques continuing as the chief executive of the combined entity. SharesPost CEO Greg Brogger will step down from his role and join the company’s board of directors, according to a statement from the companies.
“Together, we will provide our clients with even deeper insight into private company trends, including bid, offer and pricing data,” Brogger wrote in a blog post. “Though we believe all market participants will benefit from these enhancements, we think perhaps it is the private companies that ultimately will benefit the most. Providing efficient, company-controlled liquidity to shareholders and employees ensures that they will have continued access to growth capital and to the talent they need to build world beating companies.”
SharesPost and Forge Global have facilitated more than 10,000 client transactions worth more than $6 billion in shares of more than 320 private companies, Brogger wrote. The companies give employees and investors access to private company information and liquidity.
The merger positions the new combined company as a large player to compete in the private securities market. Nasdaq Private Market, which lets private companies do tender offers and share buybacks, and shareholders to sell private company stock to institutional investors, is another prominent player in the space. Carta is planning for a private share trading platform as well, according to the Financial Times.
Forge Global agreed to $160 million in cash and stock for the deal, according to TechCrunch. Forge is backed by investors including Tim Draper and Peter Thiel, and SharesPost investors like Kinetic and LUN Partners Group, according to Crunchbase.
Illustration Credit: Li-Anne Dias