June 29, 2020

Press Release

Forge Announces Expansion in APAC to Provide Hong Kong Private Equity Investors Access to Unicorn Opportunities

As a leading private market innovator, Forge’s presence in Hong Kong will accelerate access to secondary market activity in the region

SAN FRANCISCO- Forge Global, Inc. (“Forge”), a preeminent private securities marketplace, has announced its entry into the Hong Kong market.

Forge’s presence in Hong Kong will provide regional professional investors with access to shares of high-growth private technology companies, a large market comprising more than 473 unicorns worldwide with a combined market value of $1.4 trillion. The global expansion follows the company’s announcement that it signed an agreement to join forces with SharesPost - creating one of the largest global private securities marketplaces. The combined company under the Forge brand has recorded over $6 billion in global transaction volume.

“As the number of global unicorns continues to increase and as high-growth companies are staying private longer, the global investment community is seeking early access,” said Kelly Rodriques, CEO of Forge. “Forge is continuing to build momentum globally and provide a greater number of investors with frictionless access to this typically hardto-access private market that has long been known to provide exceptional returns.”

Forge has the data, technology, and expertise to significantly streamline transactions in pre-IPO unicorn companies. Forge’s investment in the Asian market offers a differentiated global platform and a reliable partner with a solid track record of providing pricing guidance, transparency, and consistent execution to a highly fragmented but fast-growing market.

"The APAC market presents a very exciting opportunity for us and I’m confident our technology and execution, coupled with our strong investor and shareholder reach, is best positioned to take advantage of this vast market opportunity,” said Christopher Chan, VP of Business Development at Forge. “Forge is also able to provide crossborder expertise, helping Asia-based investors, shareholders and companies bridge the gap with International counterparts. Given recent market dynamics so far this year, being able to help APAC buyers and sellers opportunistically access liquidity and investment opportunities across the globe has emerged as a powerful differentiator for Forge."

Since its inception, 21 percent of Forge’s transaction volume originated from APACbased private companies, including transactions in the most recognizable pre-IPO brands. Moreover, Asia represents the second-largest base for unicorns behind the U.S. Hong Kong, specifically, is a key market for a number of active secondary market transactors, and there has been increasing regional demand for access to unicorns across Asia, Europe, and the U.S. Forge intends to bridge that gap by providing Asian professional investors with a trusted partner for more effective access to pre-IPO unicorn companies.

Forge is providing pre-IPO access to Hong Kong-based professional investors through a partnership with a licensed local partner. Forge is expected to directly offer private securities once the relevant regulatory approval is obtained.

About Forge

As private market innovators, Forge serves the complex and emerging needs of the private market ecosystem by forging new connections through our technology, data and expertise. Founded in 2014, the firm empowers investors and shareholders by enabling liquidity in the private markets. Forge was founded by Y Combinator alumni and backed by top Silicon Valley investors and large, global institutions including Peter Thiel, Draper Associates, Munich Re, BNP Paribas, and Deutsche Börse.

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