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What are the best innovations to come out of the financial industry in recent times?

From a completely biased perspective, I’d nominate the nascent and not yet completely visible rise of online equity investing platforms.

While Gust is generally flying under the radar, and currently accounts for an infinitesimally tiny fraction of the marketplace, the actual numbers may be a bit surprising.

Today, over 200,000 companies are using it to organize their materials for raising equity, over 1100 venture capital funds and organized business angel groups are using it to manage their deal flow and portfolios, and nearly 50,000 accredited investors are directly using it to discover early stage investment opportunities and connect with entrepreneurs.

The result is that nearly $2 billion has been invested directly as primary investments into more companies than in total are traded on the NYSE and NASDAQ combined.

When you realize that the platform operates in half a dozen languages and has investors or entrepreneurs in over 200 countries engaging in both local and cross-border investments, you can begin to see the outlines of the future of finance.

That’s likely why SWIFT, the international banking consortium, this year named Gust the world’s most innovative financial technology startup, and why the US software industry has awarded Gust the CODiE for Best Collaboration Solution for two years in a row.

The intriguing thing is that Gust (and the other online platforms in and around the private equity investing space) has just scratched the surface, and it’s the future impact that will be such a game-changer.

Note: The author of this answer is completely biased, as he is the founder and CEO of the aforementioned platform.

*original post can be found on Quora @ http://www.quora.com/David-S-Rose/answers *

Written by David S. Rose

user David S. Rose Founder and CEO,
Gust

David has been described as "the Father of Angel Investing in New York" by Crain's New York Business, & a "world conquering entrepreneur" by BusinessWeek. He is a serial entrepreneur & Inc 500 CEO who chairs New York Angels, one of the most active angel investment groups. David is also CEO of Gust.

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