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Go4Equity founders open corporate finance office

Three founders of the now defunct Go4Equity online exchange for private equity finance are parlaying their experience and contacts into an emerging corporate finance consultancy in Zurich.

Beat Bühlman, Harry Sprecher, and Reto Suter founded Tendo AG late last year when their Internet startup, Go4Equity AG, was shut down by its largest shareholder.

Tendo's first mandates are positioning it as a corporate finance consultancy for high-tech firms, particularly Internet and wireless firms. It is busy with an MBO in the mobile messaging space, an M&A mandate for a publicly traded Swiss company and an expansion financing for an IT consultancy in Switzerland. It also advised on the ComputerExpress MBO last Fall and two seed financings of privately owned companies.

Startup experience

Go4Equity was a well-financed online private equity platform that tried to cut out the middleman (the venture capitalists, that is) enabling companies to go directly to individual investors for finance via the Internet.

It was one of four such online exchanges for private equity capital that emerged in Switzerland during the Internet dotcom boom, none of which exist anymore (see web link below).

It was also a well-publicized startup, even being the subject of Swiss national television documentary that tailed the firm's founders with a camera crew as they tried to raise capital and open offices in London. But the platform only managed one placement after months and months of preparation and searching on the part of the founders.

Eventually, the platform's largest shareholder, SMS Securities, a Zurich based investment bank specializing in private equity and Swiss small and mid-cap equities, now known as A&A Actienbank after acquiring the bank of the same name, bought back the outstanding shares of the struggling firm and folded its employees into its organization last November.

By Valerie Thompson

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