The Benefits of Joining an Investing Network

What are Investing Networks?

Investing is often a solitary pursuit. However, over the last decade, individual investors have increasingly discovered the power of partnering with like-minded people and investing as a group, whether that is through crowdfunding platforms, real estate syndications or angel investing groups. Particularly in private market investing, where access is key, teaming up can give individuals opportunities to invest in much larger offerings than they could alone. It also allows investors to leverage the expertise of others in sourcing and diligencing deals, as even seasoned investors are not going to be experts in every asset class. Additionally, consistently picking winners and finding great deals is difficult for even the best investors, but joining a group allows people to benefit from the wisdom of crowds.

“I wished I could have an informal network of people whom I respected and trusted, with whom we could exchange ideas and do due diligence together, but I needed more of a critical mass to make it happen. And when I saw what 3i Members was trying to do, I thought, I need this, and it's turned out even better than I thought.” Greg Waldorf, former CEO, eHarmony, Invoice2go

One particular type of partnership that has become more popular, especially post-pandemic, is the idea of a more intimate investor network, where members typically get access to private deals sourced by fellow members. In addition to these opportunities, belonging to a community of people with shared interests can be beneficial socially. Simply put, investing with others can be more fun and exciting than investing alone. Of course, there are risks associated with investing networks, particularly if the dealflow is poorly vetted, or if members or the platform are self-interested and have conflicts of interest.

However, for investors who want access to bigger and potentially more lucrative deals, and community benefits, joining an investor network could be the right move. The best way to evaluate such a network is by looking at the quality of their deals and their community, and their incentives as a company. Today, we look in-depth at 3i Members, a private investor network based in New York and with large cohorts in London, San Francisco, Miami, and other major cities worldwide.

What is 3i Members?

3i Members is an investing network of more than 400 investors, all of whom have founded a company, have led a family office, or have unique qualifications that are beneficial to the community. It was founded in 2021 by Mark Gerson, the founder of GLG, Billy Libby, the founder of Upper90, and Teddy Gold, the CEO of 3i who was formerly a venture partner at Higher Ground Labs. The three of them had a vision of a platform for discussing opportunities in the private markets where outsized returns can be derived from trusted peer insight. Members can invest in deals that have been sourced and diligenced by trusted and experienced investors.

The guiding principle of the network is that there is no solicitation allowed - there is a zero-tolerance policy for members who try to sell anything to other members outside of the formalized deal opportunities. Investing networks only work if there is a high level of trust and everyone believes in making money together, rather than from each other. 3i itself has no economic interest in any deal, ensuring that there are no conflicts of interest.

What sectors have 3i members been investing in?

“The people that I've met throughout 3i have been instrumental for me personally, as a business leader, and as a founder of Alfred - the impact I've experienced is a testament to the 3i community and leadership; everyone really works together and supports each other.” - Jessica Beck, co-CEO, co-founder, Alfred

What makes 3i different?

The Community

It’s not only the deals that investing networks have access to that are important, but it is about who exactly is part of the investing network. 3i Members ensures that every single member is someone who can contribute to the community, and boasts a roster of high-level founders, investors and professionals from a diverse range of backgrounds.

Members include people from these companies

When evaluating the possibility of joining an investing network, it is also paramount to see how existing members interact with each other. With 3i, there is a “Leads & Needs” platform set up for members to communicate about much more than the deals available through the network. There have been discussions about diligencing deals or structuring a company post-acquisition, to even finding internships for their children and organizing a singles dinner. And of course, as members network with each other, it has naturally led to doing business together outside of 3i.

Additionally, members can be matched up with other members for 1:1 virtual connections based on who they want to meet within the network. With up to three introductions per quarter allowed, there is ample opportunity for networking and finding people who have common interests and goals. One of the core tenets of 3i is the “48-hour rule,” which is that members have to commit to getting back to each other within 48 hours. 3i creates value by facilitating access and helping its members create strong, reciprocal relationships.

Deal-Sharing Network

3i pursues esoteric private market deals sourced exclusively from members without any economic interests in the deals presented. Uncorrelated, off the run, emerging strategies that generate asymmetric and high yielding return profiles are prioritized. 3i deals often come with more favorable terms and lower minimums than if an individual invested outside of the network.

All deals are sourced by members who are investing in the deal personally and do not have any special economics. Every month, over a hundred member-sourced deals are submitted for consideration. The 3i deal team, in conjunction with member subject matter experts and a Member Committee, ultimately facilitates network driven due diligence to whittle the slate to two to three deals that are presented monthly. Decisions are based on their data-driven understanding of the network’s global interests and on their own considerable experience as private market investors.

Examples of 3i Deals

Deal 1: $15 million commercial aircraft engine teardown. Alongside an operating partner, members purchased three engines which will be torn down and sold for their component parts. The deal is expected to generate 25%+ IRRs with a 24 month payback and monthly distributions.

Deal 2: Private credit real estate lending fund. The membership invested $30 million into a fund that invests in a mix of performing and nonperforming loans. Members unlocked Anchor Share Class benefits leading to a reduction in fees as well as preferential co-investment rights. The deal is expected to generate 20%+ net IRRs with quarterly distributions.

Exclusive Events and Workshops

In addition to offering investment opportunities, 3i regularly hosts events across the country, with over 125 events in 27 cities in 2023, and is on track for more than 200 events in 2024. These events include attending the Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting and other investment-oriented experiences, but also social outings like themed meals around the world, poker nights and golf outings. There are ample opportunities to create meaningful connections with other members.

Examples of member events this month

3i also offers in-person and virtual workshops and seminars, with subjects ranging from asset classes like private credit, luxury real estate and crypto, to important topics like estate planning, tax preparation and family office software. This ensures that its members have the ability to stay up-to-date on various markets and also gain insight from fellow members who are experts in their given fields. Members also benefit from access to expert databases, legal services, and an extensive service provider network.

How can you join 3i?

The growth of the 3i community has been entirely member-driven. 3i is looking for people who invest significantly, rigorously, thoughtfully and creatively, are nice, generous and derive happiness from the success of others. If you qualify and want access to exclusive alternative asset dealflow, the annual membership cost is $15,000*, and there are no other fees.

If you are an engaged investor who is looking to benefit from joining an investing network, apply here.

*Fees are accurate as of May 22, 2024