TEL AVIV, 25-Oct-2022 — /EPR FINANCIAL NEWS/ — The secondary market platform THELAPHANT.IO introduces, for the first time in Israel: “a stock liquidity plan” for high-tech employees and companies – a new and exciting development for high-tech employees, investors, and institutional entities.
Thelephant explains that the goal of the program is to transform the liquidity event from a one-time event into a repetitive event for Israeli high-tech employees, early investors and companies.
In 2021 ConvertKit turned down an acquisition offer from Spotify. Instead, ConvertKit chose to promote a deal focused on the welfare of its employees. On twitter, the Nathan Barry, the founder of ConvertKit, explained that 48 accredited investors, incorporated into a single legal entity, purchased shares from the employees and founders of ConvertKit. This transaction is defined as a secondary transaction – the purchase of shares of a private company from existing shareholders, in this case, from employees.
The success was noteworthy. Barry recounts how he sold 3.18% of the company’s shares at a valuation of $200 million dollars. The proceeds from the sale were sufficient for him to let his parents and his wife’s parents to retire comfortably. Following the success of the start-up, Barry intends to perform a secondary transaction in the company every two years.
In fact, Nathan Barry implemented a stock liquidity program via secondary investments in the company he had founded. Liquidity programs for high-tech companies are a phenomenon which has become increasingly common over the past two years, particularly in the United States.
Now, Israeli owned secondary market platform THELEPHANT.IO, is seeking to “import” liquidity programs and present it to Israeli high -tech companies and employees. The stock liquidity program is generally intended for mature high-tech companies who have been around for several years, which a valuation, according to the last round of financing, of around 1 billion dollars.
Through the stock liquidity program, the executives of private high-tech companies are cooperating with their employees and shareholders to enable liquidity events in the stocks they rewarded to their employees in connection with their employment and for early investors who joined the company in its early days and after a few years since their investments are looking for some liquidity. The stock liquidity program enables these employees and early investors to get the money they worked so hard for in a regulated and orderly manner, regardless of the company decisions concerning going public or a doing a merger.
Thelephant, via the stock liquidity program, actually transforms the liquidity event from a one-time event to a repetitive occurrence.
The secondary market and the trade in private stocks is one of the fastest growing fields in the world, and in Israel, and has been growing at an accelerated rate over the past few years. For example, many high-tech employees in companies which choose to remain private, and which have yet to list their stocks for trading on a stock exchange, suffer from significant absence of liquidity. They may have received, years ago, options / shares entitling them to very substantial sums of money, sometimes millions of dollars, ON PAPER. However, the money remains on paper for a long time. Likewise, investors reading every day about the success of these tech giants are eager to hop on the success train of these unicorns but given the fact that the company is still private, access is naturally limited. This is also true for institutional entities, who seek to invest many funds in a variety of investment routes, including such fascinating high-tech companies. But even for them, accessibility is, as aforementioned, limited, since these companies are private companies.
In Israel, over a hundred employees and former executives in Israeli unicorn companies have already joined Thelephant
The Israeli market has experienced over the past few years a very significant growth and will soon include nearly 100 unicorns, private companies worth over a billion dollars. Within the unicorn circle, about a third of the unicorns are defined as centaurs – private companies with annual recurring revenues of over 100 million dollars, and there are dozens of soonicorns – companies on the brink of joining the exclusive unicorn club.
Chaim Schiff, a founding partner and CEO of Thelephant group, says that “the high-tech companies in Israel and around the world understand the importance of generating a regular liquidity program for the options/stocks they have allocated to their employees. This is a valuable and highly significant tool to preserve employees, talents and senior management in the company”.
Schiff recounts that over the past year “over a hundred employees and senior executive from Israeli unicorn companies have signed up to our secondary platform. These employees have placed the shares they received from their employers for sale, and thereby joined many employees and former executives in US and European companies who have already successfully liquidated their shares via our platform. These include companies such as Palantir, Sofi, Dataminr, Impossible Foods, SnapNurse, Klarna, Via and many others.
Amongst the shares offered by former executives and employees on THELEPHANT.io secondary platform you can also find private high-tech giants from the United States, Europe and Israel. These include the Israeli companies BigID, DriveNets, Sisense, Trax, eToro, Optibus and OpenWeb.
THELEPHANT.io secondary platform currently offers for sale shares in leading U.S, European and Israeli high-tech giants at a cumulative value of over $500 million. Most of these shares are being directly offered by hundreds of employees and senior executives in these fascinating companies.
For the first time in Israel: Thelephant stock liquidation program
The Thelephant group announced in October 2022 the launching of their stock liquidation program for high-tech companies and employees in Israel. Schiff explains that “the stock liquidation program will include a comprehensive end-to-end service in order to provide the company management and its employees all the tools they need to manage a secondary stock sale event. The program will provide access to its research, technological solutions, and proven experience in conducting transactions in the secondary market via a professional, experienced and creative team. The program will offer, through the international brokerage arm of Thelephant group a connection to a global network of investors comprising of international institutions, leading European, Israeli and U.S financial entities, and other accredited investors who are seeking access to shares of leading private high-tech companies.
As part of the implementation of the program, Thelephant will collaborate with the Fintech company Simetria and its CEO Ziv Keinan. Simetria has developed a technological platform dedicated to simplifying the complex process of managing a secondary transaction for high-tech company, thereby enabling the company management, with minimal inputs, to communicate the sale conditions to employees and stockholders, and enabling them to participate. The system designed by Simetria provides the company management full transparency and control in managing the transaction process. In parallel, the system enables the company’s employees to join the sale by defining the amount of shares to be sold, and execution of the many documents associated with the secondary transaction.
Keinan explains that “the Simetria platform enables, with a few keystrokes, to execute a shares sale and purchase event under the full control of the company management over the secondary process. The goal of Simetria is to provide symmetry for the private markets, which is why we developed a product meant to provide a vital service for companies, especially during times when there is no foreseeable chance for liquidity”.
Schiff summarizes by stating that “To date, no similar solution was available for Israeli high-tech companies. It is precisely at this time, when the amount of IPOs in the United States is the lowest it has been in 20 years, that the importance of a liquidity program for shares of high-tech companies and employees is all the more significant”.
A network of investors opens up through the global brokerage division of Thelephant
Another major element which is essential for the success of the program is provided by Thelephant groups’ brokerage division, under the management of Itay Ben-Ari, is its global investment network made up of institutional investors, leading financial entities in Europe, Israel and the United States, and accredited investors from all over the world.
Ben-Ari explains that “we have built, and we continue to diligently build up our global investors network. We see considerable demand from accredited investors for the secondary sale model in both Israeli and U.S unicorns. Without Thelephant, these investors would find it hard to obtain access to the shares of these private high-tech companies.
The close connections that we have built up within the ecosystem over the years and familiarity with the management of various high-tech companies and their employees, along with the information and research we make available via our Research Division and, in addition, the input and data we can collect and reflect to our clients generate added value for our customers.
Given our comprehensive experience in performing transactions in the complex secondary worlds, which include quite a few factors, including the sellers, the investors, the company, taxation, regulatory issues, international money transfers and so forth, we provide both services and solutions for the investors and holistic support of the entire process from start to finish.
Ben-Ari adds, “repetitive liquidity plans, when led by the company, reduce and neutralize the pressure from the early shareholders and the employees, as well as the pressure to list the company on a stock exchange and going public before the company is ready for this stage in its corporate development.”
In Israel, Thelephant formed a strategic collaboration with MORE Magna, the brokerage arm of MORE Investment House, the fastest growing institutional in Israel. This collaboration adds greater accessibility to institutional entities, Family Offices and other accredited investors in Israel.
The CEO of MORE Magna, Ron Sireni, explained that “we have analyzed and observed the approach of institutional entities in Israel towards private high-tech companies defined as Israeli Unicorns. In addition, we understood that they lack almost any access to US based Unicorns. Therefore, we work together with Thelephant to make these fascinating opportunities available to Israeli institutional investors, Family Offices and other accredited investors in Israel. Our activity includes extensive research and professional support until the successful closing of the deal”.
Sireni added that “high tech companies and high-tech employees in Israel that will participate in the stock liquidity program managed by Thelephant will enjoy access to institutional class and other leading investors who seek access to invest in the private high-tech giants”
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“The information included in this communication is only condensed information intended solely to direct the attention of the reader and does not constitute or embody any proposition or invitation or solicitation to purchase or sell stocks or securities and does not constitute an invitation or part of an invitation to receive such aforementioned proposals.
Elephant Secondary Market Brokerage Ltd (“Elephant”) is not an “expert” and/or investment advisor. The information presented in this article does not constitute investment consultation as defined in the Israeli law for regulation of the investment consultation occupation, 1995, and the aforementioned information does not constitute a substitute for consultation or professional investment marketing which takes into account, among other things, the unique needs of every individual.
Elephant operates as a trade platform in the secondary market brokerage and its platform presents a portfolio which is offered for sale by private shareholders exclusively to accredited investors. Proposals to sell the securities will only be provided to “accredited investors” as defined in the first appendix to the Israeli securities law- 1968.
The information provided herein is only general information and does not contain all of the information required to reach investment decisions including, but not solely, the risks, costs, applicable taxation, or projected profits.