This new fund lets you invest in private tech startups like SpaceX and OpenAI

This new fund lets you invest in private tech startups like SpaceX and OpenAI

The Destiny Tech100 fund, which is publicly traded as DXYZ on the New York Stock Exchange, has seen its share price soar.

BY Chris Morris

Some of today’s hottest companies have remained untouchable for investors. Stripe, for instance, was valued at $65 billion in February. And SpaceX is estimated to be worth $175 billion. If accurate, that puts Stripe at a level higher than Spotify, and Nintendo and SpaceX in the same neighborhood as IBM and Intuit. A new fund, though, might give the public a chance to ride the financial coattails of these and other unicorns.

While individual investors aren’t able to invest in startups, accredited investors (people with a net worth of $1 million or an annual income of $200,000 for the past two years) can. The Destiny Tech100 fund, though, takes an unusual approach to bypass that, giving public access to private companies. The publicly traded fund (under the ticker DXYZ) has shares of 23 private tech companies, ranging from SpaceX to OpenAI to Epic Games. And investors are piling on fast.

In its less than two weeks on the New York Stock Exchange, the fund has seen its share price soar 504%. On Friday alone, the stock was up more than 48% in midday trading (spurred, perhaps, by a New York Times article about it.)

“D/XYZ [the company’s spelling of Destiny], through products like the Destiny Tech100, is on a mission to make investing in innovative private companies accessible to all,” said CEO Sohail Prasad in a statement when the fund was announced last month. “The future of investment is inclusive, and that everyone deserves a chance to own the future.”

Shares in the private companies are purchased in a few ways. Prasad and his team leverage relationships to get access—and the company buys employee shares when they go on sale via “tender offers,” which allow workers to sell their holdings before a company goes public. Backers of D/XYZ include the founders of Dropbox and Coinbase; current and former Partners at Sequoia Capital, Greylock Partners, and Y Combinator; and others including musician Nas, soccer star Keisuke Honda, and fashion executive Heather Hasson, it says on its FAQ page.

Should any of the fund’s holdings go public, Tech100 says the returns on the investments will either be reinvested in the fund or paid as a dividend to investors. Annual fees run 2.5%.

SpaceX is the biggest part of the current portfolio, making up 34.6% of the fund. Axiom Space is second, making up 9.7% of the holdings. Another 4% is from Epic Games, and around the same amount is OpenAI shares. Other holdings include Stripe, Chime, Impossible Foods, Discord, and Klarna. (Full details on the number of shares held and their fair value can be found in a March filing with the SEC.) 

To be considered for addition into the Tech100 fund, a company must have recently raised more than $50 million from “reputable institutional investors” and not carry heavy debt. D/XYZ says it will also not consider companies with high turnover or “cultural health red flags.” (The company did not say how it classifies a red flag, nor why SpaceX’s legal issues, including alleged sex discrimination, did not trigger this consideration.) 

The company was cofounded in 2020 by Prasad and Samvit Ramadurgam. The pair, who were once roommates, had previously worked together to cofound Forge, a marketplace for private tech stocks, in 2014, but the partnership eventually became acrimonious.

Prasad terminated Ramadurgam’s employment last November, stripping him of his 32% equity in Destiny XYZ. Ramadurgam has sued his cofounder and the company, seeking to have the decision reversed. The company did not immediately reply to Fast Company’s request for comment about the suit. 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Chris Morris is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience. Learn more at chrismorrisjournalist.com. 


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