SecondMarket reports $400M in trading in 2010

Ronny Kerr · February 1, 2011 · Short URL:

Private company trading quadruples last year, while overall trading in other assets hits $5 billion

If you’ve read a story about SecondMarket on VatorNews in the past few months, chances are it had much more to do with Facebook’s skyrocketing valuations on the secondary market than anything else. Don’t be surprised, though: SecondMarket is much more than a place to trade shares in private companies.
While the company reported this week that it completed over $400 million in transactions for those pre-IPO companies, those trades account for less than 10 percent of all transactions on the site, which totals to about $5 billion.
SecondMarket is a secondary market for trading all sorts of alternative and illiquid investments: bankruptcy claims, mortgage backed securities, whole loans and more.
That said, the fastest growing segment of SecondMarket is the trading of private company stock, which in the fourth quarter of 2010 reached $150 million, doubling volume from the quarter before. Besides Facebook, the most popularly traded private companies would have to be Twitter and Zynga, the other favorites in the Silicon Valley world right now.
Coming out of a strong financial year, the company is already looking to the future with a new online platform currently in development. Though he’s being “intentionally short on details” at the moment, SecondMarket founder and CEO Barry Silbert says the new platform makes a lot of significant aesthetic changes to increase usability and efficiency. As far as the environment goes, it doesn’t seem like much is changing, but the interface enclosing that environment will be rehauled.
In a nutshell, Silbert’s company is trying to create “the standard for the next generation of alternative investments.”

No precise release date for the revamped platform has been given, but Silbert says they are just putting finishing touches.

Just about a year ago, SecondMarket completed a $15 million round of funding from Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing to make more hires, pursue M&A deals and expand the platform. Looks like they spent their money well. Watch Bambi Francisco’s exclusive interview with Silbert here.

Support VatorNews by Donating

Read more from our "Trends and news" series

More episodes

Related Companies, Investors, and Entrepreneurs



Joined Vator on

SecondMarket is the marketplace for alternative investments. It has become the online destination for accessing market data, building your investor network and transacting in assets such as private company stock, structured products, public equity and bankruptcy claims. SecondMarket centralizes and simplifies secondary market activity by connecting buyers and sellers, and providing world-class market and operations expertise. Since 2004, SecondMarket has brought together more than 75,000 individuals and institutions and completed billions of dollars in alternative investment transactions. SecondMarket is a registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA, MSRB and SIPC. For more information, please visit


Barry Silbert

Joined Vator on