Retail investors may be a step closer to investing in unicorns


Forge Global CEO on first private market index

An alternative trading platform CEO wants to revolutionize private equity investing to help mitigate a stalling initial public offering market.

So, Forge Global’s Kelly Rodriques partnered with Accuidity to launch the Forge Accuidity Private Market Index this spring.

The ultimate goal: Give more investors easier access to unicorns.

“This is a major financial innovation that’s just happening now,” Rodriques told CNBC’s “ETF Edge” this week. “There is a future … where index products and other financial innovations are making it possible for every investor to participate.”

The Forge Accuidity Private Market Index consists of 60 private companies including SpaceX, Stripe and Epic Games, according to Forge Global’s website. But as of right now, access is still closed off to everyday investors. 

“Today, the regulations are such that you need to have a minimum net worth to meet the threshold of being accredited,” Rodriques said. 

That means even with Forge’s new initiative, only institutional investors and individuals with a high net worth can purchase shares. But anyone, accredited or not, can sell their shares of private companies on the platform. However, those same companies still have a right to refuse transactions on the platform.  

Rodriques hopes as interest in private investing increases, those regulations will shift. 

“We see a world very soon, where nonaccredited investors can come into a basket of index stocks and make a bet across 60 to 70 names, thematics, the same way you do in the public market, and that will really open it up,” he said.

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