Linqto Review 2022: How To Get Started In Private Investing

4.1
Quick Take: Linqto aims to make it as easy as possible for wealthy investors to buy shares of private startups that could be future unicorns. The company’s platform lets users invest for as little as $10,000 – but you have to be an accredited investor to qualify for an account, which eliminates most people.
  • Accessibility
    3.5
  • Account Minimum
    4.5
  • Fees
    5.0
  • Breadth of Products
    3.5
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Minimum investment of $10,000 is much lower than what you’ll find at many investment firms
  • No added fees or hidden costs
  • Comprehensive information on listed companies, including valuations, risks and financial data

Cons

  • Must be an accredited investor to create an account
  • Limited number of companies to invest in

What Is Linqto?

Linqto is a San Francisco-based investment platform that lets accredited investors buy shares of private companies for as little as $10,000. Investors use the platform to identify, research, evaluate and invest in companies they believe will rise in value. As of March 2022, Linqto listed 26 private companies, ranging from fintech startups to software, e-commerce, health-care and sustainable materials firms.

What is an Accredited Investor?

You have to be an accredited investor to sign up for Linqto. If you’re not, you can upload your documentation on the company’s Investor Status Page and it will usually accredit you within 48 hours.

According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, an accredited investor must meet one of these criteria:

  • Earned income that exceeded $200,000 (or $300,000 together with a spouse or spousal equivalent) in each of the prior two years, and a reasonable expectation of the same for the current year
  • Net worth over $1 million, either alone or together with a spouse or spousal equivalent, excluding the value of your primary residence
  • A Series 7, 65 or 82 license that is in good standing.

Who Is It Best For?

Linqto is designed for high-net-worth individuals who want to own shares of startups but without joining an investment or venture capital firm. It’s best for those who can handle a certain element of risk because while Linqto aims to thoroughly vet its companies, it’s still a speculative business and there’s no guarantee that your investment will pay off. Investors with some level of experience in researching companies and understanding valuations and financial projections will fare best with Linqto. It’s not a good fit for those without much risk tolerance, or without a good deal of money saved up.

How to Apply to Linqto

To apply to a Linqto account, go to the company’s website and hit the “Sign Up” button, or create an account using its app on Apple or Android devices. On the “Create Account” page you will provide your full name and email address, and then create a password. If someone referred you to Linqto, there’s a box where you can list their name if you want to. You’ll also have to verify that you meet the Accreditation Terms and agree to the Linqto Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Linqto Features

Linqto tries to make it as simple as possible to find the right company to invest in. The process begins with visiting the “Invest” page, where the companies are listed. You can filter by vertical (e.g., E-commerce, Foodtech, Marketing Software, etc.) or sort by name, valuation or date added. You can then click on individual company pages, where you’ll find news and information about the companies as well as Linqto Investment Summaries. The summaries provide in-depth information regarding valuations, risks and financials, as well as an overview of the nature of each business’s operations.

When you decide on a company, you’ll use the slider to select the size of your allocation, then click the “Place Order” button to initiate your order. Linqto’s team of financial professionals will guide you through the funding process to complete your order. You’ll also be given wire instructions and be sent a confirmation when your funds are received. New investors have 10 business days to fund their orders while returning investors have five business days.

How Linqto Earned its Scores

Here’s a breakdown of the different factors that comprised GOBankingRates’ scoring.

Accessibility

Federal regulations require that only wealthy accredited investors can take part in platforms like Linqto. Those who don’t meet the requirements can’t invest with the company, which makes it inaccessible to most people.

Account Minimum

Considering that some investment firms require a minimum investment of $100,000 or more, Linqto is a comparatively affordable option. All of its investments come with a minimum investment of only $10,000, which lets you diversify your holdings across a number of companies.

Fees

Linqto doesn’t charge any fees for its investment management platform – no management fees, brokerage fees, carried interest, or other fees. This makes it an ideal platform for investors who don’t want their returns whittled down by a bunch of extra expenses.

Breadth of Products

You only have one investment option at Linqto – private companies. In this respect, it doesn’t offer nearly as much diversity as investment firms that let you pick among stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other investment vehicles. However, there is a decent variety in terms of the types of companies you can invest in.

Good To Know

In addition to investing as an individual, you also have the option of investing as an LLC, Trust or other entity at Linqto. Just provide details of the entity to one of Linqto’s financial professionals and they will create the entity through which you can invest and add it to your existing Linqto account. You’ll have the flexibility to make one investment in your personal account, and the next in your other entity.

Linqto vs. Competitors

Linqto operates in a fairly narrow niche, but there are a few other platforms that offer similar investment options. Here’s a quick look at how they stack up.

Platform Best For
Linqto Accredited investors who want comprehensive information about the companies they invest in.
Bloomio Global investors looking for a large lineup of companies from many different industries.
SeedInvest Novice investors who want a low minimum investment to put into startups.

Linqto vs. Bloomio

With offices in Switzerland, Malta and Russia, Bloomio has a much larger international presence than Linqto. It also has nearly 60 startups to choose from – more than twice as many as Linqto. But Linqto gets a big edge in terms of making it much easier to find information on its companies, including financial analyses.

Linqto vs. SeedInvest

SeedInvest is a good option for novices, because you aren’t required to be an accredited investor to buy shares of some of its startups, and minimums can go as low as $200 to $1,000. Linqto offers more companies to invest in as well as more detailed information on the companies themselves.

Final Take

Linqto is a good option for accredited investors who want to own shares of pre-IPO companies but don’t want to break the budget. The platform is easy to navigate and offers in-depth information on listed companies. However, it is not the best choice for novice investors with limited funds.

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FAQ

Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Linqto.
  • Do I have to be an accredited investor to join Linqto?
    • Yes, per U.S. regulations, all of Linqto’s investors must be accredited.
  • What happens when my company exits Linqto?
    • When an underlying company exits to the public markets, Linqto will obtain your brokerage account information. If you don’t have a brokerage account, you can open one at an online or traditional brokers. Linqto will then transfer your now-public, registered shares of stock into your brokerage account.
  • How do I verify my identity?
    • You can verify your identity on Linqto’s website or mobile app. Once you’ve created your account, you’ll be directed to a screen that lets you to scan either your passport or driver’s license Once you’ve scanned your passport or driver’s license, you’ll be asked to take a selfie to complete the process.

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.
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