Neighborly: The Community Investment Marketplace
Congratulations on their $5.5m seed round!
Passion is at the heart of every one of our startups – it’s an attribute we aim to identify in every first meeting with a Founder. After Jase Wilson first presented his vision for a reimagined municipal-bond marketplace, we needed little convincing about his personal passion for community investing. Instead, we peppered him with questions about why, how quickly, how much and with whom. We performed diligence on the problem and spoke with incumbents. We evangelized the opportunity amongst our advisor network and ultimately wrote our largest initial check to date.
Fast forward 18 months and we congratulate Neighborly on their $5.5m seed round, led by our friends at Formation 8. While unquestionably large for a seed round, this opportunity is deserving of such a war chest, given the magnitude of the problem, the size of the muni bond market opportunity ($3.7 trillion!), the immense regulatory hurdles, and the mandate for flawless trade execution. Bee Partners participated in this round, and the position now represents our largest holding of the eleven companies in Bee Partners II. Email us if you’d like more information about our Fund II investments and the five markups to-date, including this one!
Jase’s story about how the Golden Gate Bridge was built by selling bonds directly to constituents on the courthouse steps reminds us why we invest in marketplaces — opportunity emerges when Founders bring transparency to opaque markets. In the case of Neighborly, we ask ourselves… how can we vote to increase our taxes resulting from a new bond issuance only to then not have an opportunity to buy directly into that bond? It seems obvious, but 80 years later the market has evolved quite differently.
We at Bee Partners believe in the power of the market and the passion of the team at Neighborly. We look forward to connecting many of you with this innovative company. In the months ahead, and for our family office friends, please look out for emails from us as we build out an investor syndicate with Neighborly as they continue to grow. Retail investors are welcome to join in as well, simply sign up at neighborly.com.
Once again, congratulations to Neighborly for tackling this huge problem and for fighting the good fight. The problem is far from solved, the work has just begun and we know this is the Team to do it!