Alto Closes $17 Mn Series A Funding Round

Alto will use the investment to accelerate the development of new products, further enhance its existing capabilities, and expand its product and engineering teams

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Nashville-based self-directed IRA platform Alto Solutions, Inc. (Alto) that make it easier for individuals to access and invest in alternative assets using their retirement funds announced the successful close of a $17 million Series A funding round led by Unusual Ventures, with additional participation from existing investors Moment Ventures, Acrew Capital, and Alpha Edison, and strategic investments from Carta, Coinbase Ventures, Franklin Templeton, New York Life Ventures, and Stone Ridge Holdings Group.

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“Opening a self-directed IRA to invest in alternative assets like startups, real estate, or cryptocurrency should be easy,” said Eric Satz, founder, and chief executive officer, Alto. “I founded Alto after spending weeks of frustration trying to navigate the outdated manual processes used by legacy self-directed IRA custodians, not to mention their endless fee menus. There’s a lot of friction and unnecessary costs in the self-directed retirement industry, and Alto is on a mission to eliminate them. This funding round will rapidly accelerate the implementation of our vision and product roadmap.”

Among Alto’s current investment partners include AngelList, Coinbase, EquityZen, Masterworks, Republic, and Wefunder, as well as financial advisors, fund sponsors, and other direct issuers.

Sarah Leary, co-founder, Nextdoor, and partner, Unusual Ventures will join Alto’s board of directors.

“Unusual Ventures is thrilled to lead Alto's most recent round of funding. As the investment community expands its focus to include alternative assets, like cryptocurrencies, private equity, private credit, and real estate, we think individual investors should not be left behind. Alto's self-directed IRA platform has been built from the ground up to provide individuals a seamless, tax-efficient way to invest in alternative assets using their retirement savings. We are excited to help fuel Alto's efforts to help democratize participation in these exciting alternative asset opportunities,” Leary commented.

Alto will use the investment to accelerate the development of new products, further enhance its existing capabilities, and expand its product and engineering teams.

"We began our relationship with Eric and Alto in 2019 and have observed the strength of their team and growth potential first hand. We're excited to participate in this latest funding round and continuing to partner to make it easier for individuals to invest and trade cryptocurrency in tax-advantaged retirement accounts," shared Shan Aggarwal, head, Coinbase Ventures:

"True portfolio diversification requires an allocation to a broad range of public and private investments, including alternative assets. Roughly over 70 per cent of all U.S. savings are held in retirement accounts, and only 2-5 per cent of that is invested in alternatives, which tend to be illiquid and have longer investment horizons. Alto provides an easy way for individuals to diversify their portfolios, using their retirement funds in a way that up until now has only been available to the wealthiest in this country. We’re thrilled to welcome Unusual Ventures to the Alto Board, and Coinbase, Franklin Templeton, New York Life Ventures, and others as new investors," added Ammar Hanafi, general partner, Moment Ventures:

According to the Investment Company Institute, as of 2020, approximately $33 trillion was held in retirement accounts in the US alone. Yet, individuals have only allocated an estimated 2-5 per cent of that to alternatives. Meanwhile, ultra-high-net-worth individuals and sophisticated institutional investors like college endowments often hold 20-50 per cent or more of their portfolio in alternatives.