IRA platform Alto inks $17m in a Series A round

Alto Solutions, the IRA platform aimed to ease access and investment in alternative assets using retirement funds, closed a $17m Series A funding. 

The round was led by Unusual Ventures with participation from existing investors Moment Ventures, Acrew Capital and Alpha Edison as well as strategic investments from Carta, Coinbase Ventures, Franklin Templeton, New York Life Ventures and Stone Ridge Holdings Group.

In conjunction with the funding, co-founder of Nextdoor and Unusual Ventures partner Sarah Leary will be joining Alto’s board of directors.

The company intends to use the funds to accelerate the development of new products, further enhance its existing capabilities and expand its product and engineering teams.

Led by Eric Satz, Alto provides a self-directed IRA platform to make it easy for individuals to access and invest in alternative assets using their retirement funds. The platform streamlines the process for investors, investment funding portals and investment sponsors alike.

Commenting on the round, Satz said, “Opening a self-directed IRA to invest in alternative assets like startups, real estate, or cryptocurrency should be easy. I founded Alto after spending weeks of frustration trying to navigate the outdated manual processes used by legacy self-directed IRA custodians, not to mention their endless fee menus.”

Indeed, as of 2020, approximately $33tn was held in retirement accounts in the US alone, according to the Investment Company Institute. Yet, individuals have only allocated 2-5% of that to alternatives. Meanwhile, ultra-high-net-worth individuals and sophisticated institutional investors like college endowments often hold 20-50% or more of their portfolio in alternatives.

Satz added, “There’s a lot of friction and unnecessary costs in the self-directed retirement industry, and Alto is on a mission to eliminate them. This funding round will rapidly accelerate the implementation of our vision and product roadmap.”

Highlighting the firm’s upward trajectory, Leary added,As the investment community expands its focus to include alternative assets, like cryptocurrencies, private equity, private credit, and real estate, we think individual investors should not be left behind.

“Alto’s self-directed IRA platform has been built from the ground up to provide individuals a seamless, tax-efficient way to invest in alternative assets using their retirement savings. We are excited to help fuel Alto’s efforts to help democratize participation in these exciting alternative asset opportunities.”

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