This week, the Singapore-based investment firm the Sumner Group secured $20 million in seed funding from a combination of Middle Eastern investors. The funds will go towards furthering the firm’s Singapore-based subsidiary’s, Sumner Global’s portfolio. The move signals increased blockchain interest from Middle Eastern financiers.
Sumner Global will offer their SGHX security token via an STO scheduled for later this year. The funds raised are to go towards Sumner’s first major UAE acquisition. Speaking on the campaign, CEO and chairmen David Sumner explained how successfully completing the first stage of seed funding enables the platform to execute its growth strategy globally.
$100 Million Goal
Sumner Global seeks to raise $100 million in total during its fundraising campaign. The remaining $80 million will come through a combination of private sales. Additionally, the firm plans to list SGHX tokens on numerous exchanges. Lastly, Sumner Global will host a public STO to complete its fundraising goals. This strategy is common in the market.
Both Bluerock Capital and Bluestone Capital pledged $10 million towards the project this week. These firms specialize in investment sponsorship. According to recent reports, Bluerock Capital successfully raised $120 million for various investments in January 2019. Bluestone is a subsidiary of Bluerock Capital.
Middle East Crypto
Analysts continue to monitor developments at Sumner Global as it is one of the first, and by far, the largest security token project currently in the works in the UAE. The middle east continues to show strong support for blockchain technology. Countries such as Dubai hold strong influence in the traditional markets and government officials have taken steps to promote further blockchain integration in the region.
Sumner described how SGHX tokens will have compliance regulations integrated directly into the token’s smart contract. The entire STO will be verified as fully compliant from the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Singapore is one of the most pro-crypto countries in Asia.
Investors will gain access to a “diversified portfolio of natural resources, building materials, tokenized securities, and healthcare recruitment firms according to the firms CEO. Security tokens enable more liquidity in the market place. This added liquidity is attained by tokenizing items that were once nonliquidable such as personal equity.
Far from an ICO
One of the main reasons for this project’s ongoing success is the integration of security tokens. In the past, local regulators frowned on ICOs. Many saw this fundraising strategy as unregulated. The advent of security tokens allows governments to back blockchain projects with confidence.
Discussing the main differences, Sumner called STOs a “far cry from ICOs.” He explained how SGHX tokens are backed by a combination of both public and private companies. These asset-backed tokens are considered the natural evolution of cryptocurrencies by many.
Middle East Crypto
You can expect to see more investment capital flowing from these oil-rich regions in the near future. Analysts have touted the entrance of traditional investment capital into the cryptomarket as one of the main requirements for large scale adoption. Now, Investors have a more secure option to pursue.
STOMarket Adds Mt Pelerin – MPS Token
This week, the research and analytics firm, the STOMarket announced the addition of the first international security token to its tracker. Importantly, researches chose the Swiss tokenization platform, Mt Pelerin Group as the project to receive this honor. Now, potential, and current MPS token investors can monitor market developments easier than ever before.
Currently, the STOMarket hosts the largest repository of live security token data available globally. The firm has held on to this title since it first entered the market in 2018. Importantly, the group was the first data aggregator in the digital securities industry. As such, STOMarket researchers gathered primary offering data for over 300 STOs to date.
Mt Pelerin Group SA Tokenized Shares
The decision to list MPS tokens makes sense for a number of reasons. Primarily, the Mt Pelerin Group SA is one of the first tokenized shares to provide direct and full ownership to token holders. This strategy differs greatly from companies that utilize tokens simply as a form of tethered ownership rights. In this instance, the token is the actual share.
As part of the strategy, the Mt Pelerin Group tokenized its 2018 cap table. Interestingly, 5% of these tokenized shares were sold at a public offering. Importantly, no US investors were permitted to participate in the event. Notably, the group chose to make MPS tokens ERC-20 compliant.
Currently, Ethereum host the largest number of security tokens in the market. As such, ERC-20 compliant tokens enjoy added interoperability when compared to other protocols in the space. This interoperability comes in the form of more wallets, Dapps, and platform options. Already, the MPS token trades on the Uniswap Decentralized Exchange.
Mt Pelerin Joins the Ranks – STOMarket
Discussing the important milestone, Arnaud Salomon, CEO of Mt Pelerin stated that his team was “thrilled” to see the MPS token listed on stomarket.com. He described how this decision places his project in line with other “industry trailblazers.” Lastly, he described how the addition allows investors and analysts to monitor this unique token’s growth.
Not surprisingly, the STOMarket continues to expand its role in the market. For example, in 2019, the firm launched support for secondary trading transactions. Immediately, investors gained access to important data on the six largest security tokens in the market. Since then, the group has added multiple tokens. Today, the firm is building advanced support for hourly security token pricing, trading volume, and market cap updates internationally.
As part of the STOMarket’s early response strategy, the company works closely with security token issuance platforms and exchanges. Notably, the firm has data partnerships with MERJ, BlockStation, Tokenise, just to name a few. Discussing the important role the company plays, Marko M. Hafez, Co-Founder and CEO of Blockstation explained how researchers took the “initiative to centralize and publicize STO and Tokenized IPO listing.”
STO Data Access
Providing the STO market with live trading data continues to be a critical role in the space. Thankfully, the STOMarket makes it easy for anyone to monitor and share data on developments in the industry. You can expect to see these researchers play a more pivotal role in the market as STO adoption continues to expand in the coming months.
FINMA Releases Annual Report – List Security Tokens and DLT
This week, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) published its annual report for 2019. Interestingly, the report highlights developments surrounding security token offerings (STO) and distributed ledger technology (DLT). The news falls in line with efforts by Swiss regulators to further develop the country’s blockchain sector.
Discussing the results of the report, FINMA officials pointed out that there continues to be “challenging questions” the group encounters. Specifically, regulators face questions regarding the trade, custody, and settlement of different token types. Additionally, FINMA continues to receive questions about possible licensing requirements pertaining to the central securities depository pursuant to Art. 61 of the Financial Market Infrastructure Act (FMIA).
Importantly, FINMA regulators believe that tokenized securities need to be met with an updated regulatory framework. Specifically, regulators would like to create a new licensing category for institutions looking to trade, settle and custody securities under a single entity. These concerns are echoed by US regulators who also face tough questions regarding streamlining the securities settlement process for tokenized assets.
Stablecoins Are in the Spotlight
Also, the FINMA report gives special attention to the emerging market of stablecoins. Stablecoins are tokenized assets that are pinned to real-world assets such as gold, or in most instances, fiat currencies. Stablecoins have been in the spotlight lately as a myriad of major non-governmental concepts have come to light. Specifically, Switzerland is home to Libra, Facebook’s stablecoin project. As such, regulators seek to control, but not stifle these efforts.
FINMA also included data on initial coin offerings (ICO) for the year. Importantly, there were 1185 individual ICOs that took place last year within the group’s jurisdiction. Of these ICOs, the group started investigations into approximately 60. Out of the 60 investigations, 30 resulted in enforcement actions. Surprisingly, these numbers are a decrease over 2018. In 2018, 42 investigations concluded in enforcement actions.
Specifically, FINMA identified a breach of the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) in around 10 ICOs. Another 8 cases narrowly missed prosecution but did make it to FINMA’s warning list. Ultimately, FINMA brought enforcement proceedings against three firms in 2019.
Interestingly, this year’s report highlights a focus on the secondary-markets regarding digital assets. The group continues to explore structuring for the trading and custody of these tokens. As such, regulations continue to develop surrounding the operation of trading venues and other security token associated support activities.
FINMA continues to play a pivotal role in security token adoption in the EU. Currently, the group oversees over 29,200 financial services firms and products. These products include a diverse range of blockchain-based applications. Additionally, FINMA has been actively collaborating with the Swiss Federal Council to develop a framework for blockchain tech through amendments to the current federal laws.
FINMA – A Step Ahead
FINMA’s forward-looking stance and flexibility in regards to the STO sector has allowed Switzerland to remain a financial hub for blockchain activity within the EU. Given the overall tone of Swiss regulators, it’s apparent that this group seeks to increase blockchain integration to new levels. As such, you can expect to see Switzerland retain its title as a global financial powerhouse for years to come.
Draper Goren Holm Adds Rodney Sampson as Venture Partner
The Los Angeles-based venture firm, Draper Goren Holm announced the addition of well-known Philanthropist Rodney Sampson this week. According to reports, Sampson is now a venture partner in the firm. As such, he will play a key role in identifying projects of interest to the group moving forward. The news showcases the further expansion of the US-blockchain sector, and a desire by Draper Goren Holm to remain ahead of the curve in terms of blockchain integration.
Draper Goren Holm
The investment firm of Draper Goren Holm specializes in accelerating and incubating early-stage blockchain and fintech startups. Currently, the firm handles over 65 partnerships with top venture capital funds, media companies, and service providers in the sector. Notably, the firm is named after its three primaries – Tim Draper, Alon Goren, and Josef Holm. Together, this triad is able to catapult innovative tech projects into stardom.
The addition of Rodney Sampson will only strengthen Draper Goren Holm’s positioning in the market. Sampson is one of the most recognized investors in the market. Much of his recognition comes from his astounding investment history and the events he hosts yearly. Importantly, Sampson participates in around 300 events per year. Consequently, he regularly works closely as an advisor to high growth startups and seed-stage venture funds.
Rodney Sampson Has the Experience to Excel
As one of his early business ventures, Sampson co-founded, built, and sold Multicast Media Technologies for $24 million in 2010. Additionally, he retains a partnership and is the largest minority LP at TechSquare Labs which is valued at over $1.5 billion. Sampson is also the Executive Chairman of OHUB and a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the leading inclusive ecosystem building platform – The Brookings Institution.
How the Team Met
Not surprisingly, these individuals didn’t decide to join forces out of pure chance. Sampson met Alon Goren and Josef Holm at a crowdfunding event in Las Vegas nearly a decade ago. Tim Draper also knew Sampson from the time they both judged a pitch competition for 43North in Buffalo. Importantly, Sampson believes the team wasn’t brought together by accident. He believes that together, they can work to “solve our planet and society’s hardest challenges.”
Discussing the important addition, Draper Goren Holm’s Founding Partner, Goren spoke on how Sampson will become a key contributor to the team’s unified efforts. He commended Sampson on an impressive career and his “grit, deep industry insight, and entrepreneurial spirit.” Finally, he discussed how the team will one day build the next generation blockchain hub in Los Angeles.
Goren’s thoughts were echoed by the other Founding Partners of Draper Goren Holm. Specifically, Holm spoke on Sampson’s new role in the firm. He states that Sampson will help the group scout out industry talent. In this way, the firm seeks to leverage Sampson’s decades of experience to ensure only the best and brightest concepts make it to the table.
The American venture capital investor Tim Draper was born on June 11, 1958, to a long line of venture capitalists. Perhaps it was this early start that allowed him to become one of the most successful venture capitalists in the world. His most prominent investments include some of the best-known companies in the world. Draper helped start Baidu, Hotmail, Skype, Tesla, SpaceX, AngelList, SolarCity, Twitter, DocuSign, Coinbase, Ancestry.com, Twitch, Cruise Automation, just to name a few.
Tim Draper Crypto
Draper has been involved with blockchain technology since the very beginning. In early 2014, Draper started to acquire Bitcoin in small batches. The price was around $2 at that time. Aside from his early savings, Draper also received international media coverage when he purchased the Bitcoin confiscated during the Silk Road trial by US Marshalls. According to reports, he purchased 40,000 Bitcoins at around $632 apiece.
Alon Goren is another well-known investor in the market. His career includes becoming the CEO and Co-founder of InvestedIn. Importantly, the platform specializes in social fundraising and crowdfunding platforms. Prior to founding InvestedIn, Alon held multiple high-ranking positions at tech giants such as IMDB and MySpace.
Importantly Goran is a strong advocate for tokenization. Especially in regards to securities. In the past, he hasn’t been shy about what he considers antiquated securities laws. In a recent interview, he explained that “people operating in good faith” need more flexibility to develop the market properly.
Not surprisingly, Josef Holm is also a leader in the crowdfunding industry. He has over 17 years of start-up, business development, digital marketing, and social marketing experience. Notably, he co-founded and is the CEO of Tubestart.com. The platform is a fan-supported content development platform. In 2014, he founded Krowdster.co. This platform was the first to introduce to the market crowdfunding campaign analytics, optimization, and promotion software based on big data, machine learning systems and predictive analytics.
Draper Goren Holm
Draper Goren Holm entered the market in August 2018. Originally founded by Alon Goren and Josef Holm, the company added Tim Draper only months after its start. The company focuses on incubating and accelerating early-stage blockchain startups. As such, the company helped launch Totle, Ownera, Innovesta, LunarCrush, Degens, Giftz, Vertalo, Coinsquad, CasperLabs, Element Zero, DeFi Money Market, to name a few.
Additionally, the firm hosts some of the most important summits of the year. These summits include CIS, the Security Token Summit, and the LA Blockchain Summit. Importantly, the CIS conference was one of the firm’s first ventures. Today, it is the largest blockchain conference on the West Coast.
Draper Goren Holm – The Men Behind The Magic
You can expect to continue to see innovative and disruptive technologies receive a boast from this firm. Their unmatched experience, coupled with a unique market outlook, is what keeps Draper Goren Holm one step ahead of the competition. Sampson is no stranger to the fast-paced tech capitalist world. His experience is sure to prove valuable as the group seeks to push blockchain adoption to the masses. For now, the cryptocommunity awaits the firm’s net major move.