Setter VC spin-out Hiive continues build-out

Hiive, a trading platform for stakes in privately held companies, is led by former Setter MD Sim Desai and aims to launch in the spring.

Members of the venture capital team at Setter Capital have joined their former managing director at Hiive, an automated platform for trading stakes in VC-backed companies.

Zubair Mumtaz, Prab Rattan and Nathaniel Robertson have all joined Hiive, according to their LinkedIn profiles. Rattan is co-founder and head of private markets, while Mumtaz and Robertson are vice-presidents.

Hiive, which counts Setter as a minority investor, is scheduled to launch this spring.

The chief executive officer of Hiive is Sim Desai, who spent more than 13 years with the Toronto-headquartered Setter before founding Hiive in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to his LinkedIn profile.

“At the end of the day, these [shares] are amenable to being traded,” Desai told Secondaries Investor. “They don’t require a full-service sell-side process on the part of brokers, even though in the current market the brokers are charging the kind of fees you would expect from a full-service investment banker.”

Users will have access to real-time pricing information and historic pricing data.

“We believe there is an opportunity to add a tremendous amount of efficiency to the market,” Desai said.

Among Hiive’s competitors are CartaX, whose Series F funding round in April valued it at $3.1 billion, and Forge, which listed in September via a merger with SPAC Motive Capital in a deal valuing the combined entity at $2 billion.

While difficult to put a number on, secondary transaction volumes of stakes in VC-backed businesses could be even greater than the LP interest market, according to Hans Swildens, founder of VC secondaries firm Industry Ventures.

Volumes are likely to grow as companies stay private for longer and shareholders look for ways to turn paper gains into cash. The median age of a California-based company to IPO was around eight years from 2010 to 2016, but the range grew to nine to 10 years since then, according to research by the state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office.

Article updated to reflect that Setter Capital did not complete an investment in Hiive and the two firms are not affiliated.