JPMorgan Secretly Develops Investment Platform

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JPMorgan is reportedly in the midst of developing a business unit dedicated to private companies that will offer an array of services around the concept of matching startups and investors, CNBC reported on Monday (Feb. 28), citing sources with insider information. 

Project Bloom, as it’s called internally, is headed by Michael Elanjian, who leads the company’s digital private markets, the sources said. Elanjian, a 2018 Goldman Sachs hire, is said to be looking to sign several hundred firms and hundreds of investors before launching prior to the end of 2022. 

See also: JPMorgan Active Mobile Customers Hit 59M, Tech Investments Top $12B

The goal is to create a fully scaled private company network that would serve as a one-stop digital portal for startups and venture capital firms, family offices and other institutional investors that will match startups with investors and assist with funding rounds, the sources told CNBC. It would also serve as a digital exchange for JPMorgan clients.

Other services could include assisting companies with selling shares in tender offers, extending loans on private stakes, and providing a digital framework for secondary trading. 

There are some 80 employees working on Project Bloom in cities worldwide, including New York and New Jersey; Plano, Texas; Chicago; Glasgow; London and Buenos Aires, the sources said. The division is working in secrecy, separated from other workers. 

Read more: Bahrain Central Bank Completes JPM Coin System Test

With this new unit, JPMorgan’s private markets trading desk would feed into the new platform and the bank would also be able to pull together services from its corporate and investment bank, commercial bank and private bank, the sources said.

Having a self-service platform could also help the world’s largest bank by assets target early-stage firms, something it traditionally has not. Banks traditionally cater to public firms and startups that are firmly established. 

Private companies with valuations topping $1 billion have more than doubled since March 2020 to 1,032 with a total value of $3.4 trillion, according to CB Insights data.

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Read More: JPMorgan Secretly Develops Investment Platform

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