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Highlights

 

Welcome to another episode of Category Visionaries — the show that explores GTM stories from tech’s most innovative B2B founders. In today’s episode, we’re speaking with Brian King, CEO of LODAS Markets, a marketplace for alternative investments that has raised $8.5 Million in funding.

Here are the most interesting points from our conversation:

  • Background in Marketplaces: Brian’s extensive experience includes being part of the startup team for Bats Markets and launching Bats Europe, which is now the largest exchange in Europe.
  • Inspiration for LODAS Markets: The idea for LODAS Markets stemmed from observing family and friends trapped in illiquid investments, motivating Brian to create a more liquid marketplace for alternative investments.
  • Initial Traction: LODAS Markets has attracted significant buy-side interest, with over $1-$2 billion represented in the marketplace from institutional investors such as insurance companies, hedge funds, and PE firms.
  • Overcoming Marketplace Challenges: Balancing the chicken-and-egg dilemma of attracting both buyers and sellers was a major challenge, which the company overcame by leveraging relationships with financial advisors and creating top-of-funnel strategies.
  • Competitive Landscape: LODAS Markets faces limited competition in creating secondary markets for private real estate and private funds, distinguishing itself as an ATS (Alternative Trading System) functioning like a stock exchange for real estate.
  • Vision for the Future: Brian envisions a future where alternative investments are interconnected through technology, making it easier for investors of all kinds to access and thrive in this market.

 

Actionable
Takeaways

Leverage Relationships:

Building a marketplace requires balancing buyer and seller interests. Leverage existing relationships, particularly with financial advisors, to attract the necessary participants.

Utilize Technology for Simplification:

Streamline processes through technology to make it easier for participants to engage with the marketplace, such as simplifying account setup to under five minutes.

Address Market Pain Points:

Identify and solve significant pain points in the market. For LODAS Markets, this meant providing liquidity to traditionally illiquid investments.

Focus on Team Building:

Surround yourself with a strong team to alleviate fears and increase the chances of success. A dedicated team is crucial for navigating challenges.

Evangelize Your Vision:

Clearly communicate your vision to stakeholders and the market. Demonstrating the long-term benefits of your marketplace can attract both investment and participation.

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