Traditionally it’s been difficult for individual investors to buy into an IPO and almost impossible to buy pre-IPO stocks. That has certainly changed in recent years. If you know how to buy pre-IPO stock, you may be able to acquire shares in companies with high potential at bargain prices.

☝️ Pre-IPO investing comes with significant risks and several potential restrictions. You’ll need to study the company carefully and be sure you want to invest. In the US, you may need to meet the SEC’s accredited investor criteria to qualify. Pre-IPO stocks may not be available for all companies that are going public. 

How Do Companies Sell Pre-IPO Stock?

Most pre-IPO stocks are sold in one of three ways.

Unfortunately, unless you’re a major player or an employee of the company, it can be difficult to acquire shares by these devices. In some cases, there may be secondary markets where institutions that acquired stocks early resell them.

3 Ways You Can Buy Pre-IPO Stock

If you want a piece of the action you’ll need to know how to buy pre-IPO stocks. Here are three different ways you can find and get in on pre-IPO investment opportunities.

Use a Specialized Broker

Brokers and financial advisors often take part in pre-IPO trades. They may have acquired stocks that they are willing to sell or represent sellers who seek buyers.

You can ask your current broker about pre-IPO stocks or use a broker that specializes in pre-IPO sales. Here are a few brokers to look into.

⚠️ Brokers may impose restrictions on the resale of pre-IPO stocks and may require investors to meet some qualifications. There is no assurance that stocks in any specific Company will be available through any given broker.

Buy Pre-IPO Stocks Directly From Companies

Another way to buy pre-IPO stocks is to take on the role of an angel investor or venture capitalist yourself. If you provide early-stage financing to a startup, you can acquire stocks. If the company eventually holds an IPO, you stand to reap stellar gains. Here are some ways you can buy pre-IPO stock directly from companies.

Using these methods, you can get connected with companies at an early stage in their growth curve. They will probably not be actively planning IPOs. You will have to tie up your capital for some time to reach the IPO phase. Many companies never get there. If you choose a winner, your earnings could be spectacular, but you’ll have to be selective and lucky.

Buy Pre-IPO Stocks Indirectly

By now, buying pre-IPO stocks probably seems daunting because of the investor criteria, minimum investment requirements, and risks of investing in companies directly. If you don’t meet those criteria, or the risk is too high for you, but you’d still like some exposure to the pre-IPO market, consider investing in pre-IPO companies indirectly. You can do this in two ways:

These investments provide exposure to a diversified range of private equity investments. That cuts your potential gains but also substantially trims your risk.

⚠️You should keep in mind that private equity funds are actively managed and may have significant fees.


Buying pre-IPO stock carries significant risks, and it can be a challenge to find available stocks in companies that you believe in. And while there may be significant restrictions and requirements, it’s still not impossible.

The resources given in this article provide you with a range of options. If you study them in detail, you’ll be in a better position to make an informed decision. Remember to check the fees and restrictions associated with any transaction!