Traditionally, investments in private companies are available only to major investors and start at ten million dollars or more. To open access to such investments, we launched pre-IPO futures.
Pre-IPO futures are a derivative instrument backed by shares of a private company. The shares are purchased on the private market.
The life cycle of pre-IPO futures
Start of trading
The initial volume of futures to be sold on the UTEX platform is placed by a market maker who has an underlying asset (shares of a private company). When setting the initial price, they are guided by the available information about transactions with shares of a private company on the private market.
While futures are traded on UTEX, their price is determined solely by traders – users of the platform. They submit applications for buying and selling, and perform an independent assessment of what the stock price may be in the future. The assessment is based on the information about the company: the dynamics of its revenue and income, investment rounds and other key events.
Market makers can sell an additional volume of an asset on UTEX if its price has significantly increased or, on the contrary, buy it in case of a significant price decrease. This is how they maintain the liquidity of trades.
End of trading and expiration
After a private company becomes public, we start the countdown to the expiration of the futures. The expiration date depends on the scenario of the company's entry into the stock exchange. In the case of an IPO, it usually takes 200 days to expire.
On the 201st day, the market maker sells shares (the underlying asset) on the stock exchange at their current price. We sell all futures on the accounts of UTEX users at the same price. The difference between the purchase price and the expiration price is a profit for all futures holders.
Investments in private tech companies
What is a pre‑IPO
Reasons to invest in major companies that are not listed on the stock exchange
How private companies grow
Stages of startup development: from an idea to the IPO
Risks of investing in pre-IPO
Low liquidity, lack of information and other pitfalls