Liquidnet Inc., a so-called dark-pool operator that specializes in keeping big investors’ stock-market bets out of the public eye, plans to launch a platform that will enable trading in privately held companies like technology firms Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc.
We don’t usually post secondary market valuations, because they are endlessly changing and based on minimal trades. But today SharesPost posted research reports and valuations on four private companies, which makes the comparisons a bit more interesting.
SecondMarket, which usually doesn’t disclose much in the way of details of its trades, has published LinkedIn pricing dating back to April 2010. LinkedIn most recently traded for $35 on SecondMarket in March.
The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating potential conflicts of interest in the fast-growing market for buying and selling shares of private companies such as Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc.
Apparently some folks wanted extra cash to buy ultra-deluxe Christmas gifts last year. Current employees of private companies made up the largest single portion of stock sellers on SecondMarket in December, a huge leap from prior months.
The race to become a top marketplace for private-company shares is heating up.
SharesPost, an online marketplace for private stock that launched in June, said it will collaborate with Chicago-based financial firm Advanced Equities Financial so that buyers and sellers of private stock can have access to Advanced Equities’ crew of brokers.
Startup executives and employees haven’t had it easy cashing out of their private company stock since the IPO and M&A markets, which typically provide “liquidity” and a route to riches, have been relatively moribund in recent years. Spotting an opportunity, several companies have sprung up in recent months to try and provide startups with new avenues to liquidity.
Search the Mossberg Archives
AllThingsD contains an archive of columns by Walt Mossberg and Katherine Boehret from The Wall Street Journal dating back to 2005.