Ex-CPPIB Boss’ Opto Nabs $475 Million Value in Round

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(Bloomberg) -- Opto Investments, the newly launched private capital platform led by investment veteran Mark Machin and Palantir Technologies Inc. co-founder Joe Lonsdale, has raised $145 million in a Series A funding round, according to a statement reviewed by Bloomberg News.

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Opto is valued at $475 million after the round, said people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because it was private.

The financing was led by Tiger Global Management LLC with participation from venture capital firms including 8VC, Fin Capital and HOF Capital, among others.

Machin, who last year stepped down from his post as head of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board after almost a decade with the fund, will lead Opto as chief executive officer. He said this year’s unraveling of public equities markets creates an opportunity for launching Opto, which intends to give registered investment advisers access to high-end private funds.

“I don’t think there’s ever been a more important time for investors to have exposure to private markets and alternatives because the days of easily riding cheap index returns are probably over for quite a while,” Machin said in an interview. “We think that the access to alternatives for the average, independent RIA is still broken and that’s something that we want to fix.”

Machin met tech investor Lonsdale years ago during a “social weekend” in Quebec City. After keeping in touch since then, Machin was approached by Lonsdale about an idea for a company and it “tickled” his interest.

“And so I dived in,” Machin said. “I became co-founder, invested a bunch of money and said, ‘Look, I’ll roll up my sleeves and be the CEO.’”

Opto’s leadership ranks include veterans spanning the investment and private capital sectors from firms such as BlackRock Inc. and a16z.

(Corrects name of Fin Capital in third graph.)

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