There’s no doubt that financial services, even within the banking and investing world, is ripe for disruption. A new startup is debuting today that aims to be an AngelList-like network that connects institutional investors who have over $1 billion under management. What does that mean? Instead of connecting angel investors and VCs with startups, Trusted Insight is a creating a networking platform between fund managers and investment institutions.
Basically any institutional investors who want to raise money (i.e. VCs, private equity firms, real estate companies or hedge funds) can use Trusted Insight to connect with and solicit funding from large endowments, foundations, pension funds, and sovereign wealth funds. The startup already has about one-third of the world’s institutional investors already logged into the platform including pension funds, foundations, endowments, family offices, hedge funds, private equity funds, real estate funds, and real asset funds.
If you add up the assets under management of all of the users with profiles on the site, it is in the trillions of dollars. And the company has raised a round of funding from Data Collective, Founders Fund, RRE Ventures, Morado Ventures, Real Ventures, 500 Startups, Alexis Ohanian, Garry Tan, Eric Chen, and Marleen Groen.
According to the startup, institutions use the platform to keep in touch with investment opportunities with fund managers. For instance, large endowments (limited partners use it to keep in touch with managers of venture capital funds, real estate funds, and hedge funds who they’ve met). Fund managers have raised hundreds of millions of dollars through these relationships on the site already, we’re told.
But it’s more than just a LinkedIn for investors. The site also provides personalized news feeds on specific topics that interest them. For instance, if an endowment is particularly focused on private equity in emerging markets, their daily feed of stories can be filtered to this. Managers can track their portfolio page by fund, geography and asset classes.
Similar to the way AngeList is surfacing job opportunities, Trusted Insight is also posting hundreds of job listings for positions within these firms. And lastly, the startup is aiming to create a community by throwing regular events for fund managers and institutions, and helps publicize ones of note. For example, Trusted Insight promoted 500 Startups founder Dave McClure recent event for LP’s in Venture Capital firms, Premoney.
Trusted Insight says that it now has 40,000 LP investor professionals on the platform in 98 countries and territories around the globe. And 30,000 institutional investors engage with Trusted Insight each week.
One LP commented on the startup, “Trusted Insight has played a vital role in helping me find new LP contacts,” says Rod Walkey, of Migration Capital, a Fund of Fund in Latin America.
In terms of competition, Trusted Insight is going head to head with Bloomberg, which has long served financial institutions with a high-powered communications, news and financial data terminal. But there’s a compelling opportunity in disrupting the financial services giant, which charges upwards of $24,000 a year per terminal. If Trusted Insight can actually provide some of the same services (and more when it comes to the networking and fundraising), it could be a transforming utility for the institutional investing community.