Credit & Capital

SEC Approves New Stock Exchange for Startups

The Long-Term Stock Exchange aims to provide "a new way of being public" that puts long-term value creation ahead of quarterly results.
Matthew HellerMay 13, 2019

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has approved a new Silicon Valley stock exchange that could enable tech companies to go public more quickly while giving them time to develop products and services.

The Long-Term Stock Exchange is backed by Silicon Valley heavyweights including ventura capitalist Marc Andreessen and would become the country’s 14th equity market. The SEC on Friday approved its application for registration as a national security exchange.

The approval “advances our vision of a new way of being public for a generation of companies that aspire to build their businesses and generate value for decades to come,” Zoran Perkov, the LTSE’s chief executive, said in a news release.

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The LTSE has touted itself as a market that would “help companies build lasting businesses and empower long term-focused investors by creating an ecosystem in which businesses are built to last.”

As Quartz reports, “U.S. tech companies, many of which have their roots on the West Coast, have long griped about the process of listing shares, which is dominated by Wall Street banks and exchanges on the East Coast.”

Their concerns include “the pressure to achieve short-term, quarterly results at the expense of longer-term sustainable growth.”

Engadget noted that “Many companies wait a decade or more (including Uber) before filing for an IPO, by which point their most dramatic growth is likely over. The LTSE could shorten that period and give tech companies both the money and time they need to bring their ideas to fruition.”

The stock exchange was proposed to the SEC in November by technology entrepreneur, author and startup adviser Eric Ries, who raised $19 million from venture capitalists to get the project off the ground.

The Council of Institutional Investors declined to support the LTSE’s registration application, citing, among other things, the exchange’s proposal to give shareholders more voting power the longer they hold the stock.

The SEC, however, noted that no such “time-phased” voting rights were proposed in the LTSE’s application.

The LTSE expects to begin accepting listings and trading later this year after completing administrative and technical steps.