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Changing the Growth Game for Private Companies

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I’ve always been inspired by what I call America’s “original” entrepreneurs – owners and operators of private, middle market companies that have existed for generations, pursued steady, conservative growth paths and today, serve as the backbone of the U.S. economy.

It’s with this undeniably important, but unfortunately often ignored category of American commerce in mind that I started building what I believed could radically transform the way private companies access the resources and relationships they need to achieve their goals. The result is Axial — the largest, most active online capital market and professional network for private company CEOs, their advisors, and the capital providers that invest and acquire them.

Six years later, I am proud to share one of our latest accomplishments on this mission. Today, we’ve announced our latest round of financing and a new partner in Edison Partners, a growth-oriented investment firm that shares our vision of creating a profitable, sustainable business, that, like many of our customers, can last generations into the future.

This time around, we raised $14 million and we’re really excited about what that capital is going to allow us to undertake in the coming quarters.

We believe there are two key ways to transform the capital markets to make them more effective for private companies and the professionals that advise or invest in them.

The first is creating a large, diverse and complete network of a private market participants. There are many different capital options for private companies from family offices to private equity to independent sponsors to hedge funds. So one of our key goals is to scale our network to be the most comprehensive network of private market professionals.

The second is making available robust and transparent information on these participants much in the same way public market participants have long been privy to. Another one of our key goals is to capture as much of this information as possible – from investment mandate, to check size, to industry specializations – so that we can connect participants of the market in an intelligent and relevant way.

The new investment will help us continue to work towards those two goals by allowing us to invest in our people and our product.

We need to hire really great people particularly on our data, engineering team and business development/sales teams. These team members need to be intellectually curious to learn the nuances of the capital markets and the different types of customers who use our platform. They need to be humble in recognizing the incredibly hard work that’s gone into building and growing the private companies we serve, respecting the sophistication and complexity of our customers’ day to day as we build tools and products for them. And they need to have the tenacity to constantly challenge the status quo as we aim to bring the private capital markets out of the dark ages.

We also need to apply a significant amount of focus to the most important category of participants in this market, CEOs and owners of private companies. We want CEOs to find value in being a member of Axial regardless of whether they are trying to raise capital today or preparing for a sale five years down the road. So we’ll be focused on building out our product to suit every middle market CEO with an interest in growing and preparing for the future of his business.

Regardless of whether you are an Axial member or not, we invite you to join us in our mission to reconfigure the capital markets in favor of the entrepreneur and the celebration of our latest achievement as we work towards that ideal state.

Sincerely,

Peter Lehrman Signature

Peter Lehrman

Founder and CEO, Axial

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