What does your company do?
BlockState builds a new generation of market infrastructure based on Blockchain technology. We create a more efficient and secure platform for various financial products, specifically in 3 verticals: asset management, debt products (loans and bonds) and derivatives. We focus on a collaborative approach with industry incumbents. As a technology facilitator we enable financial institutions to offer better products and services to their clients.
How did you get the idea for your company?
I founded BlockState together with my cofounder Michael, also an EYES Member. Michael already founded and sold a company using blockchain technology for a loyalty system. I got in touch with Bitcoins and crypto assets roughly 7 years ago. So we are both familiar with the market and ecosystem for quite some time.
We saw the need for financial products that bridge the gap between the blockchain ecosystem and the financial market in early 2017. This was the reason why we started to build our first product, an index product that makes investing in crypto assets easy and safe for private and institutional investors. The market infrastructure products we started afterwards were somehow opportunistic. We saw legacy infrastructure in banks that could be improved significantly by DLT (distributed ledger technology).
How did the company start?
We started to work part time until we founded BlockState in Q1 this year.
What is the culture of your company?
One of the great benefits of being an entrepreneur is that you can shape an organizations culture. Michael and I luckily are very much aligned in terms of culture. The culture we are trying to shape is somehow related to our products. We want to establish a transparent, inclusive and open company culture that at the same time is very efficient.
How did you fund the company?
In the beginning we bootstrapped and paid what needed to be paid ourselves. Early this year we got angel investments that enabled us to move faster ahead. We are currently seeking a small seed round with investors that can contribute not only capital but also their network. In Q4 this year we will also offer tokenised equity via blockchain. It could be compared to an IPO rather than an ICO. Tradeable equity tokens give liquidity to our investors and enable the company to finance itself according to its capital needs. I believe equity tokenization will make early stage investments for investors much more appealing, not being stuck for half a decade in a cap table. This new form of financing will facilitate the inflow of additional capital in startups and growth companies independent from the industry they are active in. How VCs will react to this new form of equity is still open. We get mixed feedback but ultimately the benefits will outweigh the perceived disadvantages. Feel free to contact me if you are considering tokenizing your company's equity. Happy to help.
What are the next steps?
We are launching our ETP product in August/ September this year. Also we are one of the founding members of DIA, a Swiss association that makes financial data and crypto assets in particular more transparent and accessible. We are looking forward to giving this much needed transparency to the ecosystem by providing incorruptible data later this year.