About SquareBook

We’re bringing fairness, transparency and efficiency to equity capital markets

Insane pops and spectacular flops. Eye-watering fees and stomach-liquidising risk. Mysterious pricing and opaque allocations. Manual processes. And data? Forget it.

Companies, investors and society have had to put up with a backward IPO process for too long.

So we built a better way.

SquareBook is the digital platform for growing companies and investors. Built for every kind of raise, we’re the future of equity capital markets.

Primary markets have been failing companies and investors for too long. 

The old way makes an IPO high-risk, expensive, inefficient and stressful. It’s time for change – so we’re bringing it.

Our mission

Efficient allocation of resources for the benefit of all society

If that sounds like something from an economics textbook, it’s a simple idea: we just think money should be invested in worthwhile projects and businesses. And that it should reach them without getting lost or wasted along the way.

That really shouldn’t be a radical idea (although we know not everyone agrees with us).

What does it have to with IPOs? Everything.

IPOs are vital to economic growth, job creation, innovation, and helping important new companies thrive. But the IPO process itself has seen no real innovation in decades. The result? An outdated model that’s not fit for purpose.

As a team of entrepreneurs, finance professionals and developers, we knew we could do better. We knew it wouldn’t be easy, but when was systemic change in a multibillion dollar market ever a stroll? Now the SquareBook platform is here and we’re changing markets for the better, one deal at a time.

Our users

Companies, advisors and investors of all kinds

SquareBook is a multi-sided platform. We bring together companies, their advisers and investors in one place.

Companies get all the digital tools they need to plan and carry out a capital raise – whether that’s a private deal, an IPO or a secondary.

Advisers get wider distribution, more efficient digital deal management, the ability to scale, and the chance to compete on a level playing field.

Investors get fair allocations based on a transparent, competitive bidding process. No conflicts of interest, no secret handshakes, and no smoke and mirrors. Just a fair deal where you get treated according to your input, whether you’re an institution with over a trillion dollars in AUM or you’re a member of the public.

Our values

Fairness, transparency, efficiency

SquareBook exists because we believe that companies, investors and society deserve better.

Companies deserve a way to raise capital that doesn’t pose huge risk and come with even huger fees.

Investors deserve a fair, transparent way to invest. One where allocations are made based on the value investors bring to the process and to the issuer – not based on quid pro quo relationships.

When this happens, everyone wins. Investors can allocate capital to worthwhile companies more efficiently, without money getting lost and wasted on excessive fees and mispricing of shares.

Book-runners make favourable allocations to investors from whom they generate the greatest revenues elsewhere in their business, notably through brokerage commissions.

– FCA, Quid pro quo? What factors influence IPO allocations to investors?, October 2016

Independent and conflict-free

At SquareBook we’re completely independent. We provide the only route to IPO that’s free from conflicts of interest.

Companies are our customers, and our role is to structure every deal in the best interests of the issuing company, securing the best outcome for it and its new investors.

It’s one of the big ways that we’re a million miles from the old way of doing things in primary markets.


Our story

An economist and entrepreneur (Joe) meets a serial innovator in regulated markets (Richard). They bond over a shared frustration with the IPO process. Well, no one else was going to fix it…

Joe had recently read an FCA paper that triggered a lightbulb moment. Quid pro quo revealed one of the major problems with equity capital markets: huge conflicts of interest. He knew his expertise in game theory could provide the answers.

Richard had recognised a long time ago that the IPO process was failing both issuers and investors. Having built the world’s first electronic trading desk at Credit Suisse and with a 35-year CV including roles at the London Stock Exchange, BZW and Instinet, he saw his next challenge in equity capital markets.

With Joe’s background in founding successful technology businesses and Richard’s experience in regulated markets, everything fell into place when they met at a conference.

A build-out and several team additions later, and we’re making our mission a reality.

SquareBook is bringing the progress that issuers and investors have needed for decades, changing primary markets for good.

Joe Sluys and Richard Balarkas, co-founders of SquareBook

De-risking the process

SquareBook brings companies and investors in public markets together much earlier than the traditional IPO process does – which is often after the company has committed to IPO. We de-risk the process for companies by letting them learn about the market’s demand for their shares before they commit to IPO  


Purpose-built for optimal pricing

We built our technology and our whole process to find the optimal price for shares. Using multi-round auctions, we give companies a uniquely transparent way to assess demand and determine the value of their shares. There’s no rush and nothing is left to chance or opaque processes that take place behind closed doors


All about aligned interests

Investor selection in the traditional book-building process is plagued by conflicts of interest, and companies get limited exposure to selected investors. At SquareBook we give companies access to the widest pool of investors, so they can be sure of finding the right ones, with common goals and aligned interests for the long term


Built for IPOs, secondaries and more, SquareBook is the FCA authorised digital platform for equity capital raises

The SquareBook team

Experts and innovators in capital markets, financial services, economics, game theory, auction design, AI, statistics, content, editorial, legal, and more. We’re a mixed bunch. But we all believe in changing capital markets for the better.