Stock options are a spectacular benefit that companies have been using to attract top-tier talent for decades. As an employee, that feeling of ownership and opportunity in an organization which you helped to create is unparalleled. But what happens when you want to sell your company shares but the company has not gone public? For most, owning company shares can feel a bit like carrying around a locked treasure chest. Accessing the equity of those shares can seem arduous and complicated, if not impossible, as it is largely based on whether or not a company goes public or exits via a merger. Luckily, there are options out there which makes selling your private shares easier than ever. The Complications of Selling Pre-IPO Equity Buying and selling IPO stock is relatively easy and accessible via the public stock exchange, but how does it work if you own shares of a private company? Most assume that they are unable to sell their private company shares until their company experiences an exit event - for example when a company goes public and is listed on the stock exchange. However, waiting for this to happen can take years, if it even comes to fruition. The IPO process is complex, and takes time and resources. Going public isn’t the only exit event that occurs. When a company goes through a merger or acquisition, this is also an opportunity to access liquidity. Although, this too can come with it’s pitfalls. The controlling company will buy your shares at their proposed price, and then those shares will essentially disappear from your portfolio and be replaced with cash. On the other hand, if it’s a stock-for-stock merger, your shares will be replaced with shares of the new company. This situation can be less than ideal, especially if you don’t have controlling interest over the company. The Easy Solution to Selling Pre-IPO Equity As an employee of a private company, it is likely that the thought of cashing out has crossed your mind at one point or another. You may see your paper net worth increasing, but have no idea how to go about selling your shares. For these reasons, company shares have historically been a liquid asset only if and when a company goes public. Until recently, access to pre-IPO companies has been limited. EquityZen is here to change that. EquityZen is a pre-IPO marketplace making it easy for you to sell your company shares and exercise your options via our funds. Our 100% virtual marketplace allows transactions to occur quickly, seamlessly, and without mountains of paperwork. Within minutes, you can get started for free. EquityZen funds give you diversified exposure to pre-IPO companies. Getting Started 1. Create a free account 2. Take a quick survey about your equity holdings and liquidity goals 3. Upload your shareholder documents 4. *Your shares will be listed on our website in one of our single-company funds 5. That’s it - EquityZen will handle the rest Just sit back and relax! As soon as there is a matching investor, EquityZen will alert you and get the ball rolling on the transaction. We provide all the appropriate paperwork and will work with your company directly to complete the sale. *As part of due diligence, EquityZen performs a valuation analysis on the company. We use this analysis together with publicly available information, comparables, and other market data to initiate pricing and prepare to list your equity on our marketplace. Not all equity is a right fit for the platform. Join thousands of other shareholders and gain access to this $500B+ market by joining today.