April 20, 2021
Portfolio
Unusual

Alto—Raising the Bar for the Self-Directed IRA Industry

Sarah Leary
Alto—Raising the Bar for the Self-Directed IRA IndustryAlto—Raising the Bar for the Self-Directed IRA Industry
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Editor's note: 

Today, Unusual Ventures is excited to announce that we have partnered with Alto to help accelerate the development of the next-generation alternative investment IRA platform. We are pleased to lead their $17M Series A round in partnership with Moment Ventures, Acrew Capital, and Alpha Edison.


Alto, the next-generation self-directed IRA platform, makes it easier for individuals to access and invest in alternative assets using their retirement funds. According to the Investment Company Institute, there are currently over $30 trillion sitting in retirement accounts across the U.S., yet individuals have only allocated an estimated 2-5% of that to alternatives. Meanwhile, ultra-high-net-worth individuals and institutional investors often hold 20-50% or more of their portfolio in alternatives. The first of its kind, Alto’s platform streamlines the process for investors, investment funding portals, and investment sponsors. With nearly 30 investment platform partners—such as Coinbase, AngelList, Masterworks, and Republic—Alto enables easy and affordable investments across asset classes, including private equity, venture capital, real estate, cryptocurrencies, and securitized collectibles. By fixing the inefficiencies with the current legacy self-directed IRA providers, Alto is helping people gain access to an asset class that is typically only available to the wealthiest individuals and sophisticated institutional investors.


The Unusual Team connected with Eric Satz, the founder and CEO of Alto, after my colleague Rachel Star posted a Twitter thread about the challenges she faces in managing her personal finances. Upon connecting with Eric, we learned that he too struggled to make a small investment in a friend’s business via his own IRA, despite his years of finance experience as a banker. Eric quickly learned that the industry hadn’t changed much since 1974 when the law that introduced Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) was passed. Eric started AltoIRA to address this gap and help individual investors gain access to alternative investment opportunities. When he decided to raise his Series A round of funding, he wanted a venture firm that understood how to build a company that would endure. He was drawn to Team Unusual’s hands-on approach to partnering with founders.


We believe that the Alto Team has the experience, product, and vision to reshape the dated self-directed IRA space and level the playing field for individual investors. We’re excited about the road ahead for Alto and are honored to be partners with them. 


Congratulations to Eric and the entire Alto Team! 


Read more about Alto’s Series A round from its CEO Eric Satz


Learn more about how to set the right goals, approach the right investors, and craft a winning pitch in order to raise your seed or Series A round


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