PrimaryBid app opens opportunities for ordinary investors
(Photo: Matt Cardy/Getty Images).
TECHNOLOGY platform PrimaryBid, created by Indian origin ex-banker Anand Sambasivan aims to open up the world of opportunities for ordinary investors.
It has enabled several businesses such as Severn Trent, PensionBee, Ocado, Deliveroo and Compass, to include their stakeholders in their fundraising, the Telegraph reported.
The platform gained more relevance in the wake of Lord Jonathan Hill’s review of the UK’s capital markets. Ministers have been looking at ways to include wider participation in the ownership of public companies.
According to Sambasivan, 41, PrimaryBid can help achieving this goal by giving some power back to ordinary investors.
“One thing that was clear to me throughout my career was how dislocated access was between individuals and institutions, and how the institutions could capture value in public markets but individuals couldn’t,” he said.
“It irked me because these are public markets. It didn’t seem fair that when a company raised capital at a discounted price, that was offered only to institutions,” Sambasivan added.
PrimaryBid uses an app to send push notifications to its users when a business uses its platform to raise money. It then allows them to buy shares on the same terms as institutional investors.
No fee is charged from its customers, and the platform gets paid by the issuing companies, depending on the sum of money that it raises for them.
The app faced some technical challenges but that has not deterred Sambasivan’s expansion plans.
In June, the company announced plans to launch operations in France, and also eyes the US market.
Sambasivan’s global approach in business reflects his own international upbringing.
He was born to a middle class family in Mumbai, India, spent most of his childhood in Singapore, went to university in the US and became a British citizen in 2016.
Before launching PrimaryBid in 2016, he worked as investment banker at Bank of America and Credit Suisse in both New York and London.
Its key backers include the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG), Draper Esprit, Fidelity and venture capital firms PenTech and Outward.
Sambasivan revealed that to include a retail offering was difficult during PrimaryBid’s first three years, but huge recapitalisation during the pandemic spurred a wave of new interest.
The company has been involved in more than 160 deals to date, including 70 already this year. The platform now has more than 200,000 subscribers.
Charlie Walker, head of primary markets at LSEG said that the UK market has less retail participation compared to other major markets like the US.
He added that the higher level of retail involvement would stay for long.