Horizon Globex, the FinTech company that builds and powers securities exchanges, and MERJ Exchange Limited (“MERJ”), operator of the award winning global securities exchange and an affiliate of the World Federation of Exchanges, have signed a joint venture and licensing agreement to launch “Upstream”, a revolutionary app-based market for crowdfunded securities. Upstream addresses the demand for liquidity in the $5-billion-dollar crowdfunding sector.
Upstream is accepting listing applications from existing issuers who have completed their offerings on crowdfunding platforms around the world, and who are looking to provide exit-liquidity to their shareholders and offer their shares to a whole new set of fans, investors, and traders.The crowdfunding industry has billions in tied-up liquidity stemming from a lack of accessible secondary markets. Upstream will provide the first dedicated secondary market for crowdfunded securities to trade in real-time from a user-friendly smartphone app.
Additionally, Upstream supports securities offerings tied to fan-driven asset classes including athletes, sports teams, celebrities, and musicians that immediately become eligible for secondary trading.
Expected to launch Q1 2021, Upstream will offer regulated trading and settlement of cash market securities to investors of all levels. MERJ market rules prohibit short selling, frontrunning, wash trading and other market manipulations. Upstream technology enforces MERJ market rules using a public orderbook with transparency powered by blockchain technology.
Investors’ accounts include new named fiat bank accounts set up inside Upstream to safely deposit and withdraw funds. Investors securely trade and instantly settle securities in EUR, USD, JPY or GBP using the Upstream app. Securities eligible to list include common stock, preferred stock, bonds and compliantly issued security tokens.
“For years, investors in the crowdfunding space have been supporting their favorite companies with no visible exit in sight,” said Horizon President Mark Elenowitz. “Upstream will deliver an intuitive app for retail investors to trade their positions and re-invest in high-growth opportunities, or even share in an athlete or artist’s future income.”
Horizon CEO Brian Collins said, “Our trading platform offers exciting new listing opportunities, and by engaging with existing crowdfunding sites and their issuers around the globe, we believe Upstream provides a vital secondary market that the crowdfunding industry has been waiting for.”
“MERJ has been one of the fastest growing exchanges in the world for the last 2 years. We achieved this growth by addressing the needs of issuers and investors,” said MERJ CEO Ed Tuohy. “Upstream offers an important solution for the maturing equity crowdfunding market, combining an established regulatory framework with best-in-class technology.”
Horizon will join MERJ’s list of approved Sponsor Advisors, authorized to assist issuers through the initial listing process and ensure ongoing compliance with prevailing listing rules. Upstream technology will also be available to all other sponsors, members and brokers to MERJ.