New Platform Seeks to Standardize Searchable Alternative Investments Data, Foster Digital and In-Person Connections Between Investors and Managers
On Wednesday, AltsAxis LLC announced the launch of its AXIS platform, which standardizes data on alternative investments, placing that data into a searchable database for use on mobile devices. The company states that its platform will resolve inefficiencies currently in the alternative investments space by overcoming difficulties investors face receiving up-to-date, useful and accurate information.
As the platform launched, it contained data on 160 funds reporting performance returns and regulatory filings on over 7,000 alternative asset management firms, and its 375 users consisted of a broad range of investors, including family offices, which constituted 36% of users, RIAs and wealth managers at 19%, pensions, endowments and foundations at 40% of users and investment consultants comprising the remaining 5%.
The platform covers a range of alternative investments including private equity funds, hedge funds, venture capital funds, managed futures, real estate funds, private credit and digital asset funds.
“Silo Approach” versus Standardized Data
Describing what makes the new platform a unique advancement for alternative investing, Mark Salameh, Founder and CEO of AltsAxis said, “Most platforms by the nature of their business model can only provide a small window into the vast universe of alternative products, which I call the ‘silo approach.’”
“AltsAxis’ mission is to standardize alternative investment data on thousands of funds while making it easily accessible and at no cost to allocators so they can begin to make informed decisions about what is best suited for their investment portfolio/mandate without having to go to multiple platforms and data sources.”
Allocators and alternative investment managers may create a profile and engage on the platform for free.
The platform also provides social media engagement functions designed for participants, in the words of Salameh, “to engage and find out more about one another, so they can make well-informed decisions for meeting their goals and facilitating growth.”
Alts Platforms – Positioned to Expand More Rapidly?
Commenting on the launch, Adam Malamed, CEO of Miami-based tech incubator Ajax Investment Partners, said, “It’s interesting to see the proliferation of new alternative asset platforms over the past year, given that the space has been dominated for some time by a small group of large players, including CAIS, iCapital and Crystal Capital.”
“There’s been a gaping void in the industry when it comes to access for retail wealth managers to quality alternative products for their clients – And this gap has persisted, even as the need and demand has begun to accelerate.”
According to Malamed, this also accounts for why large and sophisticated institutional investors, including private equity firms, have been starting to increase their strategic investments in alts platforms, citing as an example the recent investment in CAIS by Apollo Group, Reverence Capital and Franklin Templeton.
In Malamed’s view, “AltsAxis has correctly identified a number of the key challenges facing the alts space today,” but notes the firm will need to scale up rapidly to compete effectively against the larger and more well-established platforms.
Malamed, who has worked extensively with alts managers and alts platforms as an investor and strategic partner, also emphasizes that newly launched alts platforms choosing not to focus on the mass affluent segment of retail wealth “could be missing a major future growth opportunity.”
Addressing Different User Segments
Salameh notes that the unstable geopolitical climate, including the Russia-Ukraine conflict and its effects on other nations, drive increased demand for the platform, but adds that instability isn’t the primary driver for family offices and institutional investors, as “their interest in alternatives is consistent regardless of market conditions,” and “can be directly attributed to the problem we are solving for them.”
With a wide range of users, different participants come to the platform with distinct needs in mind. Salameh states that while family offices and institutional investors are sophisticated regarding alternative investments, wealth managers and RIAs receive information and education through the platform “on how to navigate the alternative investment universe and feel confident doing so.”
Conventions to Supplement the Platform
At the same time, all the platform’s users share the same need for convenient means of connecting with alternative asset managers to source and build relationships. As an extension of this function, AltsAxis plans to host two conventions in 2022, VegasAXIS in Las Vegas in May and CaliAXIS in Dana Point, California in October.
According to Salameh, the conventions will supplement AltsAxis’ role as a fintech company with meetings that are “a natural extension of our digital platform.”
“The vision for these events is to bring our users together physically to reengage and network.”
Julius Buchanan, Senior Contributing Editor at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at email@example.com