Insight & Analysis

Press release: Forge to expand global private market platform; partners with Deutsche Börse

Published: Sep 2022

8th September 2022Forge Global Holdings, Inc., a leading private securities marketplace, announced today its international expansion together with its strategic partner Deutsche Börse. Leveraging the technology, track record and expertise of Forge, and market and regulatory know-how as well as the network of Deutsche Börse, Forge Europe will establish a digital marketplace for European companies and investors that provides access to Forge’s US liquidity network. Forge Europe will provide liquidity programs for companies, a marketplace that brings together buyers and sellers of private growth company shares and exclusive private market data that enable investors to make informed investment decisions.

Newspaper press release

The private market in Europe has demonstrated tremendous growth in recent years. More than 650 unicorn and pre-unicorn companies with a combined market cap of more than €625 billion fuel the growing demand from investors to access the thriving private market asset class. As private markets mature in Europe, structural challenges persist including a lack of liquidity, access for investors, transparent price discovery and digitized transaction facilitation. Through its proven trading technology and operating expertise, Forge successfully transformed the private market ecosystem in the US by facilitating more than $12 billion in transaction volume with more than $600 million in trading volume coming from European investors and companies.

“The growing interest in private market investing and the growing need for liquidity by private growth companies transcends geographic borders,” said Kelly Rodriques, CEO of Forge. “As Europe’s population of high-growth technology companies continues to grow rapidly, creating an efficient and trusted private marketplace that can meet the needs of those companies and investors across a complex regulatory landscape is a challenge Forge is uniquely positioned to solve. With our innovative technology platform, credible experience and private market expertise – and with a strategic partner in Deutsche Börse that understands local market requirements and how to run scaled and regulated market infrastructure – we believe Forge Europe can deliver to European participants the benefits of a liquid, transparent and efficient global private market.”

Deutsche Börse, a long-time supporter of and investor in Forge, has strong European regulatory and market expertise and relationships with issuers, buy-side investors and other financial institutions that expand Forge’s ecosystem reach in Europe. As a strategic partner to Forge Europe, Deutsche Börse will further leverage its growth ecosystem, including its network of private European growth companies and international investors, as well as contribute a substantial minority investment in Forge Europe.

“Investing in private markets has grown significantly in Europe over the last decade, with record investments in growth companies last year. Forge impresses with its renowned private market expertise. Deutsche Börse stands out for its ability to operate a scalable and reliable market infrastructure and has established an extensive capital markets ecosystem. Together, we will be a first mover in Europe to build up a trusted, efficient and technology-driven global private market platform. This is how we will address the liquidity needs of growth companies and venture investors,” said Eric Leupold, Managing Director of Deutsche Börse’s Cash Market business. “For us at Deutsche Börse, this is a promising opportunity to expand into a new asset class with high potential.”

Forge Europe is targeting its launch in mid-2023, first in Germany, the UK and France, before expanding to the rest of Europe, subject to the requisite regulatory approvals. It will offer a tech-enabled online platform to facilitate secondary transactions in private growth companies across Europe, by bringing together private company shareholders, such as founders, employee shareholders and early-stage investors, and interested professional investors. Forge Europe’s initial product offering includes company liquidity solutions, which will efficiently structure, manage and administer secondary transactions for private growth companies as well as facilitating transactions between buyers and sellers directly. European private market participants will be able to access Forge’s global private market data and analysis. In its second phase, Forge Europe will offer a digitized software solution providing access to its transaction marketplace to private market participants.

With headquarters in Berlin, Forge Europe will seek to hire local teams in all key markets.

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