We have noted and commented, on various occasions, that the digital securities sector is seeing an influx of interest from industries that greatly vary.
We are now greeted with news that World Chess is looking to host a ‘hybrid IPO’, which will see the sale and distribution of security tokens as a precursor to an eventual IPO.
This offering stands to be particularly unique, as it is being called a ‘hybrid IPO’. What this will entail, is a multi-step capital generation process, which will utilize, both, traditional means of raising funds alongside an infusion of blockchain technology.
With the help of Algorand and Securitize, World Chess CEO, Iyla Merenzon, has announced that the company will be hosting an STO shortly. This is a first step towards preparing the company for their eventual IPO and entrance into E-Sports.
In the upcoming STO, it is expected that World Chess will be selling roughly 5% of their company represented by security tokens. Investors will retain the ability to convert these tokens into traditional shares once an IPO takes place. Due to the infancy of the digital securities sector, investors/early adopters in the tokens are expected to gain access at a ‘discount’ when compared to an expected IPO share price.
With the rise of E-sports in recent years, chess stands to benefit. This potential for growth, and introduction to new markets, is the reasoning behind the decision to host a hybrid IPO.
Ilya Merenzon indicates that the funds generated from the event will be used to support the growth and adoption of chess within E-sports.
History of Chess
Not many games manage to persevere through the ages, retaining an audience. Most are a product of their time, and simply don’t age well. Chess, however, is not one of these.
Arguably the most well-known game throughout the world, Chess saw its beginnings in India over 1400 years ago. Discoveries regarding its origins are still being made today, with reports of what is believed to be the oldest surviving chess piece recently surfacing.
The love for Chess remains today, as the game has become viewed as historically and culturally significant. This has resulted in a lucrative collectors market surrounding the game – recently made evident by the discovery of a Chess piece valued at $1.3M.
The game itself is not simply a relic which remains popular due to its historical significance. Today, there remains an active population of players, with a few being true masters of the game.
As with most sports, there are usually one or two players in each generation that stand apart from the rest as true masters. Magnus Carlsen – the current chess world champion – is viewed by many as such a player.
Magnus Carlsen is a 28 year old Norwegian, who first became world champion at 22 years of age. To learn more about his unique and fascinating mind/skillset, streaming giant Netflix hosts a documentary detailing the champion.
Max Crowdfund STO Promises to Fuel Tokenization Revolution
This week, European investors got their first opportunity to participate in the Max Crowdfund STO. The Max Crowdfund platform seeks to revolutionize the EU real estate sector via an aggressive tokenization strategy. Interestingly, the STO will take place across five phases with the first release already surpassing its soft cap of €500,000.
Max Crowdfund is the tokenization and crowdfunding arm of Max Property Group B.V. (MPG). The platform utilizes blockchain technology to streamline real estate investments in a major way. The platform currently boasts over 75,000 global users. Additionally, Max Crowdfund provides the EU market with much-needed liquidity.
Developers seek to expand upon the platform’ s success. As such, funds raised from the STO will go towards the final development stages of the project. Once the platform is completed, it will become a complete real estate security token ecosystem. This ecosystem will include both native Android and iOS apps.
Also, third-parties will be able to tokenize and crowdfund their own properties via the platform. This means that other real estate firms can enjoy the same benefits without the need to invest directly in blockchain technology. Notably, this strategy has the potential to revolutionize development projects. Basically, any developer can now get pre-funded for their projects if investors feel the ROI is good.
A Global Audience
Max Crowdfund will remove many of the typical barriers surrounding real estate investment. For example, investors can participate in property sales for as little as $100. Aside from making real estate investing a reality for anyone, the platform seeks to provide these opportunities to a global audience.
Currently, Max Crowdfund awaits pending regulatory approval from the Dutch financial authorities (AFM). The company filed for approval back in October 2019 but the AFM has yet to make a decision. Typically, an AFM license approval takes around thirteen weeks to complete.
Max Crowdfund is already a major player in the tokenization sector. The platform is best known for its unique combination of features. Features such as automated KYC/AML reduce the amount of time it takes an investor to enter the market. Also, the platform offers multi-currency investment options. This feature is set for major expansion as the platform prepares for its global launch in the coming months.
Max Property Group B.V.
The Max Property Group B.V. entered the EU real estate sector in 2016. The company quickly gained notoriety for its advantageous market strategy. Currently, Max Property Group B.V. controls over €7,000,000 of property assets. The firm specializes in property funds, management services, and sales. Importantly, Max Property Group B.V. started development on the Max Crowdfund platform in 2017.
It’s no surprise to see Max Crowdfund’s expansion. The EU leads the globe in terms of security token regulatory framework. Many analysts see security tokens as the natural evolution of the crypto sector. A solid regulatory framework does more than just protect investors. It allows firms to invest in R&D without concern about the legal ramifications. In turn, you get more investment capital flowing into innovation.
Max Crowdfund STO
The Max Crowdfund STO is underway currently. Given the reputation and success of the platform to date, you can expect to see further investment into its capabilities as the EU tokenization sector continues to heat up.
GreyP Scores with NeuFund STO – Black One Entertainment On Deck
While never intended to be a financially large scale STO, the event was important, as it demonstrated the effectiveness and potential for digital securities to change the way smaller, private companies raise capital.
Just prior to the launch of the STO, we detailed the events which made it possible. In the following article you can learn more about the clearance given to NeuFund by the FMA, and what it means for the platform, moving forward.
Due, in large part, to their successes, NeuFund continues to see strong growth in their client base. The company indicates that their platform investor pool now totals great than 11 thousand individuals. This growth should result in a snowball effect, as issuers are attracted to the platform due to the scope of investors. More STOs will then draw in more investors – and the cycle continues.
Details of the Raise
With regards to the GreyP STO, there were various positive figures that came out of the events. The following are a few of the details surrounding participation:
- 1017 participating investors
- Hailing from 34 different countries
- €4million raised
- Represents 179% of the target cap
This early in the developmental stage of the digital securities sector, any successful STO is an important feat. With every positive and negative experience, industry participants can adapt and grow. Recognizing the importance of the GreyP STO, Zoe Adamovicz took the time to comment by stating,
“It’s an exciting day for Neufund and huge step forward for the security tokens industry at large. We have proven that private companies can effectively utilize blockchain IPOs, whilst lowering the barrier to entry for retail investors. Neufund is the future of stock exchanges.”
Speaking with Zoe
Earlier this year, we were able to complete an exclusive interview with the CEO of Neufund – Zoe Adamovicz. In this discussion, we learn more about NeuFund, themselves, as well as the views of Adamovicz herself.
“Blockchain is one of the greatest opportunities we’ve been presented with in modern history. Decentralization is ultimately about equalizing opportunities, so a young entrepreneur from the third world receives the same access as a wealthy investor. Building solutions that perpetuate the mistakes of existing markets solely for the purpose of increasing revenues is not enough. We, as a Blockchain community, can and should do better.”
Operating out of Croatia, GreyP is a tech company, which was founded in 2013. Above all, the team behind GreyP is working to redefine ‘smart mobility’. This technology has led the company to utilize e-bikes as a development platform.
CEO, Mate Rimac, currently oversees company operations.
Maintaining headquarters in Berlin, Germany, NeuFund is a popular digital securities issuance platform, which was founded in 2016.
CEO, Zoe Adamovicz, currently oversees company operations.
In Other News
NeuFund has also announced their follow-up to the successful GreyP event. This will see Black One Entertainment look to repeat this success in early 2020. While a firm date has not been announced for this STO, more information can be found in the company’s pitch deck, HERE.
Tokenizing London Penthouses and Greek Island Villas
Luxury Real Estate
With multiple STOs already on the docket from a variety of asset classes, Smartlands has just announced a new collaboration, which will, hopefully, see the addition of multiple more. This move sees the UK based company partner with Sotheby’s International Realty.
This collaboration will see the pair explore the feasibility of tokenizing multiple pieces of luxury real estate. The company notes two specific properties as holding the potential for tokenization.
- Greek Islands Villa
- London Penthouse Apartment
While details on the STOs are scarce, for the time being, it is indicated that the Greek Islands Villa is under management by a world renowned hotel network.
This collaboration spurred Smartlands’ Executive Director, Katharine Manderfield, into commenting. She stated that, “Deals of this level of exclusivity will open a new page in asset tokenisation.”
While many are still figuring out their first steps within the world of digital securities, Smartlands remain one of the few companies to have successfully completed an STO. Not only that, but they are now moving on to subsequent opportunities.
Like any experiences, they have the ability to shape our future actions. Expect Smartlands to learn from their past capital generation events, and apply that knowledge to the development discussed here today. The following articles take a brief look at just what these previous successes were.
Due to the nature of real estate, it has caught the attention of various tokenization platforms from more than just the United Kingdom. While there have been hiccups along the way – such as the failure of Fluidity and Propellr – real estate continues to be one of the more lucrative industries, which stands to be transformed by digital securities.
Despite beginning to branch into different sectors, such as commodities and disruptive start-ups, expect for real estate to remain a popular outlet on Smartlands’ path to reaching the goal of tokenizing $1 billion in assets.
Speaking with Arnoldas
Roughly 6 months ago, we were fortunate enough to have completed an exclusive interview with the then CEO of Smartlands, Arnoldas Nauseda. While he has since transitioned into the role of Chairman, our discussion with Arnoldas Nauseda remains relevant today, offering a glimpse into Smartlands operations.
Sotheby’s International Realty
Founded in 1976, Sotheby’s International Realty is a United Kingdom based company. While many associate the name Sotheby exclusively with fine art, there are company branches, such as Sotheby’s International Realty. This branch specializes in facilitating the buying/selling of real estate, with a presence in over 60 countries.
CEO, Philip A. White, currently oversees company operations.
Founded in 2017, Smartlands is a tokenization platform, which operates within the United Kingdom. Through use of the Stellar blockchain, this forward thinking company has developed a variety of solutions built to make fractionalized ownership of real world assets accessible to the masses.
CEO, Ilia Obraztsov, currently oversees company operations.
In Other News
Not content with opportunities based solely in the United Kingdom, Smartlands recently took their first steps towards operating within the United States. These steps were taken by forming an alliance with a U.S. based broker/dealer, bringing support for state-side investors on their platform.