Features | May 17, 2017

Neighborly attracts $25 million to bring public finance online

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Laurene Powell Jobs’ Emerson Collective and Palantir co-founder Joe Lonsdale’s 8VC co-led the investment in the two-year-old digital marketplace, reports Fortune. Neighborly connects cities to investors to finance bridges, fire departments and schools.

Traditionally, municipal bonds have been sold to institutional investors through brokers and underwriters. Neighborly opens up the $3.8 trillion municipal bond market to people living in the places looking for funds, “returning the opportunity of bonds back to the people that stand to gain from them the most,” said actor Ashton Kutcher. Kutcher’s Sound Ventures re-upped its investment in the firm.

Neighborly’s commission of one percent are about half the fees of other public-finance firms. Early investors Maven Ventures, Bee Partners, and Stanford University also participated in the funding round.