Forge is a venture secondaries platform that facilitates large private market transactions between sellers of private shares and institutional buyers. Forge focuses on sales that include sizable blocks of shares in late-stage companies. As such, it primarily services institutional investors such as hedge funds or asset managers, as well as select high-net-worth individuals. Since its inception in 2012, Forge has facilitated over $3B in transactions for over 200 institutional investors. Forge is backed by a strong syndicate of investors such as FT Partners, Draper Associates, and BNP Paribas, and notable angels such as Peter Thiel.
The site’s institutional focus enables it to be selective on terms and access. Whereas peer venture secondary platforms such as EquityZen and Sharespost look to attract retail investors with smaller check sizes and individuals at companies with expressed consent behind each transaction, Forge follows a more restrictive model. The site’s $100,000 minimum investment – compared to minimums of $20,000 and $10,000 for EquityZen and SharesPost, respectively – essentially self-selects its user base, making its offerings available only to wealthy individuals and institutions.
In terms of product offerings, Forge’s platform offers either late-stage companies (typically Series E or later, $2 billion valuations or higher) or mid-stage companies (typically Series B through Series D, $200 million – $1 billion valuations). The private shares that Forge allows access to include hundreds of private companies such as Postmates, Udemy, Airbnb, SoFi, Palantir, Reddit, Stripe, Carta, Instacart, Addepar, WeWork, Chime, Affirm, and Acorns. Beyond the opportunity to invest in these offerings, Forge also offers news on all its offerings in order to provide the best possible information to its investors. For those who can afford it, Forge is a leading option for investment in late-stage companies in the private markets.
Forge recently purchased SharesPost, a more accessible alternative to venture secondaries focusing on retail and non-accredited investors. It appears that the two will function as independent entities for the foreseeable future.