The world of investing is one of ups and downs in more ways than most people realize, with bear and bull markets, hype cycles, and supply/demand fluctuations being only some of the elements keeping investors on their toes. The popularity of investing, however, only seems to have gone up over the past years thanks to technologies like the Internet, cryptocurrency, NFTs, and artificial intelligence continuously attracting new investors.

While the thrill of the hunt is still one of the most exciting parts of investing, it is no longer the sole driving force behind the surging popularity of this financial pursuit. True, NFTs and crypto may have sparked a gold rush among investors dreaming of owning their own “Lambo”, but they also did much more than that. These technologies also brought a sense of community to a historically individualistic space, fostering collaboration and inclusion, as well as renewing the call for a more accessible, inclusive, and fair market.

Californian fintech company Linqto is looking to give investors just that by getting as many people as possible into what promises to be the next big thing in the world of finance: private markets. For the longest time, only millionaires and multi-million dollar organizations could invest in the most promising startups. Linqto is disrupting decades of history and status quote by opening the gates for investors all over the world to join the 1% by investing as little as $2.5k in companies like Epic Games, Uphold, Ripple, Circle, and Discord. 

Linqto is the brainchild of Bill and Vicki Sarris, who became prominent in the tech industry after developing the video chat application for Stanford University’s famous 2007 “Dialogues in Democracy”. The technology developed by the former financial services architect and former biologist power couple was so unique at the time that it was chosen by the Obama administration to support the former President’s historic Virtual Town Hall.

Image credit: Linqto

The technology evolved over the next few years and became the foundation for Linqto’s first banking application in 2010, launching in 2014 with the release of Linqto’s Personal Banker. At the time, the platform was all about making it easier for customers and financial institutions to interact with each other via video, audio, and text. This application of streaming technology resulted in Linqto winning and being nominated for awards like Citi’s “Mobile Challenge”, Future of Money and Technology Summit’s “Winning Startup”, and Monarch’s “Overall Most Innovative Award.”

Linqto’s incursion into the traditional finance and fintech industries continued at a steady pace with the launch of additional platforms like Otter and LEVERAGE. Through its software, Linqto sought to capitalize on the increasing interest that banks, credit unions, and trade associations had in reaching a new audience of tech-savvy consumers. In 2020, the company went a step further by making it possible for accredited investors to buy or sell startups and other pre-IPO companies.

Since its launch, Linqto’s private equity trading platform has become the backbone of the company, allowing it to achieve one milestone after another. The platform saw over $100 million being invested by its members during the first two years, only to surpass the $200 million one year later. With more than 426 thousand registered users and equity for 48 companies available to them, Linqto has already surpassed the $300 million milestone in total investments.

By revolutionizing private markets, Linqto is doing much more than creating new financial opportunities for investors of all backgrounds, it is creating an ecosystem in which the dream of investing in the next Google or Facebook is an actual possibility. In a world in which everyone wants to be part of something bigger, that’s pretty cool… even more if you also stand to benefit from supporting it.

Written in partnership with Tom White.