Home / Tech / A Silicon Valley stock exchange backed by Peter Thiel and Andreessen Horowitz just got SEC approval

A Silicon Valley stock exchange backed by Peter Thiel and Andreessen Horowitz just got SEC approval

Marc Andreessen

  • A new stock exchange backed by Silicon Valley venture capitalists just gained approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission. 
  • The Long-Term Stock Exchange is a new stock exchange designed to encourage long-term thinking and investors.
  • It will compete with New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq to take companies public.
  • Read more stories on the Business Insider homepage.

The New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq may have a stronghold on initial public offerings in the US, but Silicon Valley is ready to challenge the status quo.

The Long-Term Stock Exchange, a new exchange backed by Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund and Andreessen Horowitz, just gained approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company announced Friday.

The approval makes the LTSE one of about a dozen different exchanges that are qualified to take companies public, as well as buy and sell shares on its automated platform. While the NYSE and Nasdaq are large and well known, companies have the option to list with a number of exchanges, from Chicago or Miami to Philadelphia. 

Each exchange comes with its own value proposition, though across the world the NYSE and Nasdaq are the exchanges of choice for high-profile and high-value companies, especially in the technology industry.

The New York Stock Exchange, which took Uber public on Friday, is the most storied of US exchanges. It’s known in part for its historic way of launching IPOs, in which on-floor traders stand near one another and shout numbers.

Read more: A Nasdaq executive says companies are rushing to get their IPOs out before Trump goes up for re-election

The Nasdaq was founded in 1971 as a fully automated stock exchange, where on-floor traders were obsolete. For that reason, it was a hit with tech companies during the Dot Com boom and through Facebook’s own error-ridden IPO in 2012. Nasdaq also took Lyft public at the end of March.

The LTSE has its own value proposition, which is its focus on long-term investors and business strategies. Long-term investing is a philosophy which discourages decision making based off of quarterly earnings and short-term share value. Some of its biggest supporters are pension funds, which operate with nearly a century-long investor horizon. 

It was unclear whether the SEC would approve its application when it applied at the end of November, The Wall Street Journal reported, in part because of the LTSE’s rules which give expanded control and voting powers to founders and long-term shareholders.

In Silicon Valley, many startup founders have opted to stay private for longer, in part because the tech industry is still flush with willing investors and loads of cash, and in part because private companies aren’t subject to quarterly earnings reports.

Like its dream customers, the LTSE is a startup in its own right. Run by CEO Eric Ries, LTSE has the backing of several high-profile venture capital firms including Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund and Andreessen Horowitz, along with the Collaborative Fund and Obvious Ventures.

SEE ALSO: The head of Nasdaq explains what changed when she transitioned from C-suite exec to CEO, and what every leader can learn from that difference

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