citybiz+ Bite’s William Rudebeck on a Mission to Democratize Access to Private Markets

Bite, is a global Fintech firm, focused on the digitalisation of the alternative asset management industry. Late last year, it made a play for the U.S. market — by far the world’s biggest. It opened an office in New York City, where its CEO, William Rudebeck is based.

So what exactly is Bite doing?

It was founded in 2018 by William Rudebeck and Henry Talbot-Ponsonby. The duo brings expertise in investment banking and law. Rudebeck has previously worked at HSBC, Grisons Peak and Danske Bank. Talbot-Ponsonby is a lawyer by training and, like Rudebeck, has worked at investment bank Grisons Peak. Together, they have a successful alternative investment startup, VCP Apex (previously VCP Advisors), under their belt. Now the duo is betting that investors will have a growing appetite for private markets, and small- and medium-size and alternative asset managers with legacy infrastructure will want to rapidly build digital capabilities to stay in business, reduce administrative costs and streamline their investor processes.

The Market Opportunity

Preqin, an investment data company, estimated private markets to be worth a whopping $6 trillion at the end of 2021, having tripled over the last decade. Bite is taking a two-pronged approach toward addressing this humongous market.

On one hand, it has developed plug-and-play SaaS technology — called Bite Stream —a configurable and end-to-end solution that caters to all types of investors. The investor solutions software provides a fully digital, intuitive and efficient investor experience for product launch, investor subscription, onboarding, and post investment events. Bite Stream is a key offering, with simple cloud-based technology — meaning access from anywhere and everywhere. It also is designed to be multijurisdictional, meaning access to global markets. Alongside, Bite has built its own investing platform that it will operate directly for investors. Besides proprietary technology, Bite’s direct platform would offer “select investment opportunities” and “unique value propositions” to a range of clients.

Tech Is Key

Bite has sought to overcome security weaknesses associated with legacy infrastructure at investment firms. In a recent white paper, the startup said it found that 90% of U.S. firms with assets under management of more than $1 billion cited technological capabilities as their top priority. Hence, Bite’s sharp focus on technology including security.

So far, Bite has raised external capital from a range of leading strategic institutional investors and a range of leading VC’s. Its investors include VCP Apex (previously VCP Advisors), JMP Securities (a Citizens Company), Apex Group, Click Ventures, Delta Capital, Fin Capital, Innoven, 10X Capital, Innovation and Technology Venture Fund, Lingfeng Capital and Western Technology Investment.

“We are continuing to attract progressive partners who recognise the steady growth and related opportunities associated with both our robust fintech platform and the soaring global private equity market,” Rudebeck said after its last funding round in March. “It is a testimony to how the financial industry and investor community are gravitating toward alternative investment opportunities, as well as digitalisation and its transformative value.”

In its young history, Bite has won the Best Emerging Fintech Company award from Business Tabloid Magazine, an online publication. The award is “a recognition of our achievements in digitalising alternative investments,” Bite said.