Startups: Secondaries

Startups: Secondaries

Adapting to new market realities

The current market is marked by heightened interest rates. This environment has led startup investors and limited partners to seek liquidity from their assets, driven by the uncertainty and the need for capital to seize new opportunities.

The rise of global venture secondaries

Industry Ventures reports that global venture secondaries volume is estimated to hit an impressive $138 billion by 2024. Europe, however, lags in embracing these transactions, hindered by restrictive share transfer laws and first refusal rights clauses. This challenge is compounded by the information asymmetry among angel investors, making fair value assessment of non-public companies difficult. This lack of transparency, legal complexities, and lengthy processes are significant hurdles, especially in regions like the Baltics and Nordics, where the average investment cycle of 10 years is nearing its end.

Angel investors' perspective

Many angel investors view exiting a company as a complex, opaque process. At, we're seeing an increasing number of offers to join companies through secondary markets. Our community is actively engaging in these opportunities, and we're enhancing our customer relationship management to facilitate private equity secondary transactions.

Opportune times for angels

For angel investors with capital, the current climate presents prime investment opportunities, especially in Scandinavia. Market conditions in specific niches allow for entry at discounts of 60-80% compared to previous rounds, with the backing of previous investors adding market confidence.

Investment strategies

Investors currently have two primary options: investing in emerging startups at the pre-seed stage with low valuations or buying shares in active companies at significant discounts. is leveraging these market conditions to offer our members stocks from the secondaries market at high discounts, given the prevalence of direct company secondaries in Europe. These involve common stock with limited rights, thus traded at a discount due to the increased liquidation risk.

Structuring secondary transactions

Structuring deals in secondary markets can mitigate issues like information asymmetry and varying economic outlooks. A variety of creative structuring options exist, from outright purchases to share-based loans, helping bridge the gap between sellers and buyers.

A guide to secondary transactions