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Retail investors may be a step closer to investing in unicorns – CNBC

The CEO of an alternative trading platform wants to revolutionize private equity investing to help ease a sluggish initial public offering market.

So Forge Global’s Kelly Rodriques partnered with Accuidity to launch the Forge Accuidity Private Market Index this spring.

The ultimate goal: to make unicorns more accessible to more investors.

“This is the big financial innovation that’s happening right now,” Rodriguez told CNBC’s “ETF Edge” this week. “We see a future where index products and other financial innovations allow any investor to participate.”

The Forge Accuidity Private Market Index is made up of 60 privately held companies, including SpaceX, Stripe and Epic Games, according to the Forge Global website, but is not currently accessible to public investors.

“Current regulations require a minimum net worth to be certified,” Rodriguez said.

That means that even with Forge’s new initiative, only institutional investors and high net worth individuals will be able to buy shares. But anyone, accredited or not, can sell shares in private companies on the platform, although those companies still have the right to refuse to trade on the platform.

Rodriguez expects those regulations to change as interest in private investment grows.

“I expect we’ll soon see a world where non-accredited investors can participate in a basket of index stocks and bet on 60 to 70 stocks or themes just like they would in the public markets, which would really open up possibilities,” he said.