Trusted Insight is a four-year-old, New York-based platform that has made itself valuable to institutional investors – 100,000 of them and counting – by giving them a place to research one another, scout out new deals and trends, and connect on due diligence — all with the help of advanced algorithms and semantic analysis.
Now the 16-person company is gearing up for its next phase, suggests cofounder Alex Bangash, who previously founded Rumson Group, an advisory firm that specialized in private equity and venture investments.
Most notably, the company will be unleashing some financial products of its own, though Bangash won’t be more specific than that today, citing competitors that are copying Trusted Insight down to “features we want to throw away.” He merely says to “think of us as the Netflix of investment management. Netflix can create ‘House of Cards.’ We can [create our own offerings] in this business, too.”
Trusted Insight is also preparing to open its doors a bit wider to “different tribes,” says Bangash, who cites fund managers, companies, and “high net worths” who are accredited but don’t necessarily have a billion dollars behind them. (The platform will “still retain its exclusivity,” he insists.)
Trusted Insight also has numerous new features up its sleeve, including “certifications” that help to highlight who is truly expert in what, regardless of their academic credentials.
As for how it achieves what’s on its road map, Bangash says the company has three options, including organic growth. To wit, Bangash says Trusted Insight is poised to double or even triple its user base in the next year, as well as to increase the data it’s managing by five times. Considering that a “small but meaningful portion” of its 100,000 members already pay for one of Trusted Insight’s varying tiers of service, which range in price from $99 to $499 per month, the platform could “be a very large business on [its software-as-a-service fees] alone,” he says.
A second option includes partnering with another outfit (Bangash says Trusted Insight is “talking with two or three players”) or raising a big fat round of funding, which seems like the most likely scenario. Already, Data Collective, Founders Fund, RRE Ventures, Morado Ventures, Real Ventures, and 500 Startups are among those that have invested an undisclosed amount of money in Trusted Insight. And Bangash says he’s been receiving “inbound interest from prestigious investors” anew.
Either way, Bangash sounds confident in the network effects that Trusted Insight now enjoys, noting that “someone could develop a nicer LinkedIn, too, but people probably wouldn’t use it.” The trick going forward is turning Trusted Insight from a “transformational company,” as he calls it, into a transactional one.
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