Venture firm Carthona Capital has led a $2.2 million funding round for Reach Alternative Investments, a start-up that has devised a strategy and technology platform to provide individual investors with access to leading private equity funds globally.

The fundraising has been supported by global pre-seed angel investment network Antler. Reach was developed through the Antler entrepreneur program last year.

So far, Sydney-based Reach has set up a waitlist for sophisticated investors “to keep them posted on exclusive institutional grade private market opportunities from the world’s leading asset managers”. The firm plans to launch investment operations later this year once it has gained sufficient interest in commitments which will start at $75,000. Reach has partnered with private capital industry association Australian Investment Council to provide potential investors with education about the sector.

The founders of Reach are chief executive Sam Phillips, and chief operating officer Hugh McCaffrey.

Phillips has spent more than 20 years overseas, mainly in Hong Kong and the US, working with hedge funds, institutional investors and in private equity. He was most recently managing director, capital markets, private equity secondaries, at asset management firm MCM Partners in Hong Kong.

McCaffrey is a lawyer who last year spent six months as an entrepreneur in residence with Antler.

Phillips said he had decided to come home to Australia to help change the landscape of how Australians are able to invest responsibly, noting that access to leading private equity funds globally has to date only been available to the largest institutional investors. Providing access to these funds will help level the playing field and narrow the gap between how an institutional investor and an individual investor can achieve their investment goals, he said.

Reach plans to provide services at both the individual level – sophisticated individual investors and self-managed super funds – and the organisational level – working with adviser groups to provide their clients with the benefits of more diversified portfolios.

“Our technology is designed to allow integration to Australian advisers, ensuring they can continue to monitor entire portfolios through their existing platforms,” Phillips said.  

“We want to bring diversified private equity opportunities, run by the world’s leading fund managers with the longest track records, to Australian sophisticated investors. Investors and their advisers are telling us that they want to better diversify portfolios, especially from an over concentration of listed assets. Private equity, and the long-tenured nature can assist in levelling volatility in a portfolio, and also brings the potential for outperformance from long-term capital appreciation of these diversified opportunities.”

Image: The Reach team: Suren Ganeshalingham, Amol Mankar, Rosie Conway, Bronwyn Delaney, Sam Phillips and Hugh McCaffrey.