Oct 19 (Reuters) – JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) is launching a platform that aims to connect startup founders with venture capital investors to simplify the fundraising process, the bank told Reuters.
The new platform, Capital Connect, focuses on serving the financing needs of startups from their early stages, marking the ambition of the biggest U.S. bank by assets to further expand into the private market and build a founder-friendly brand in Silicon Valley.
The new team is run by Michael Elanjian, head of Digital Investment Banking and Digital Private Markets at JPMorgan, and has expanded from three to 125 people over the past two years.
On Capital Connect, startup founders can ask for introductions to investors, build virtual data rooms and potentially trade their company shares on a secondary market. They can use the website to fundraise as early in the process as the Series A round.
“We’ve seen a secular trend over the last decade is in the growth in private capital, and the private market is here to stay. We want to be the one-stop shop for all things private for servicing companies and investors of all sizes,” Elanjian said in an interview.
As the size of venture capital-backed companies expanded in the past few years, the race to serve the fundraising needs of founders and investors has pushed banks to build relationships early.
Banks from Goldman Sachs (GS.N) to Silicon Valley Bank , to fintech players such as Carta, have expanded services into the private market with a focus on VC-backed startups.
Elanjian said the platform will take advantage of JPMorgan’s capabilities as a full-service bank.
“We believe we can differentiate ourselves in the venture market by building a scalable digital platform, paired with the expertise, data, and relationships of our investment and private bank,” said Elanjian.
Capital Connect could be a starting point to digitalize more services, including the investment banking business that generated billions of fees in big-ticket IPOs and M&A deals, Elanjian said.
Reporting by Krystal Hu in New York
Editing by Matthew Lewis
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.