On 10 June 10, 2013, the Startup Stock Exchange (SSX) will open its marketplace for startup investing and funding. On SSX, investors of any level can buy shares of vetted startup companies, and shares are traded freely — investors can buy or sell anytime and control their own account. For startups and small businesses, SSX is a compelling way to raise funds.
When SSX opens investors will be able to buy shares in two companies. Underling SSX’s parallels with a stock exchange rather than a funding platform, its founders refer to the company listings as IPOs.
“I am very excited”, says CEO Ian Haet. “These businesses represent different sectors and different geographic locations. That’s exactly what we want: a marketplace that connects startups and investors worldwide. SSX was founded because our own entrepreneurial experiences demanded a better way to fund early stage and small businesses. We knew there had to be a better way. SSX is that better way.”
SSX operates via the Dutch Caribbean Securities Exchange (DCSX) in Curaçao. The DCSX is an international exchange for the listing and trading of domestic and international securities, similar to the NYSE or London Exchange. Curaçao is a constituent of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and abides to Dutch and European laws.
“Unlike other funding marketplaces, SSX allows [almost] anyone to become an Angel Investor”, says Mr. Haet. “Using their online brokerage account, they may purchase 1 share, 100 shares, or any amount of shares.” SSX will accept investors worldwide, with the exception of USA, Canada, Iran and North Korea.
For investors, SSX provides access to vetted companies worldwide. SSX’s review of applicants include, investigating material facts, potential liabilities and the professional backgrounds of the management team. A company profile page including share prices, shares, shareholders, trading activity and historical data, as well as company reports every two weeks ensure transparency.
Other benefits for investors include no minimum income or investment requirements; a liquid market; 24/7 real-time transactions; and government regulation.
SSX says that it offers a fee structure specifically designed for the capitalisation of startups and small businesses. Other benefits for companies include the acceptance of companies worldwide in any business sector; easy access to SSX’s global base of investors; receiving mentoring and feedback; and reducing the time required for funding.
SSX was founded by Ian Haet and Brian Niessen. Haet has a background in international business management and technology consulting, real estate development, and finance.
Niessen is Chairman and CIO. He has a background in creating and managing technology companies. His expertise includes e-commerce, online banking, online gaming, and large-scale real-time transaction systems.
SSX has received private funding from US and European investors including Greg Kidd, a first round angel investor in both Twitter and Square.
On June 10, SSX will open at exactly 08:00 am EST. Investors around the world will be able to create a trading account and companies can start their application. SSX will accept wire transfers and Safety Pay, with other methods of payment (credit cards and PayPal) scheduled for later this year.
“SSX allows investors to invest with ease and confidence”, says CEO Ian Haet. “We are committed to provide a secure and transparent trading environment. I believe SSX will democratise the marketplace, opening opportunity to startups, early stage businesses and emerging companies”.