Frankfurt Blockchain startup Agora Innovation secures a high six-digit investment from High-Tech Gründerfonds.
High-Tech Gründerfonds is investing a high six-figure sum in the Frankfurt blockchain startup Agora Innovation GmbH
Frankfurt Fintech Agora Innovation develops software for legally compliant financial transactions at Blockchain
Fintech Agora Innovation secures Seed-Investment from High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF): Blockchain Start-up develops platform-independent software that enables global, legally compliant trading of digitized securities (Security Tokens) with Digital Ledger Technology (DLT) ,
In the first round of financing, Frankfurt-based fintech Agora Innovation will receive 750,000 euros of seed capital from High-Tech Gründerfonds. The startup uses IVE (Identity Verification Engine) to develop software that links digital identities to anonymous crypto-wallets for regulated and compliant security token transactions. This will allow the global trading of digitized securities in the legal framework on the Blockchain.
“Our global economic and financial system will change dramatically over the next few years as a result of digitization,” said Phong Dao, co-founder and CEO of Agora Innovation, Looking to the Future. “We support our customers as a trusted partner in leveraging the benefits of DLT and cryptographic technologies”.
With the help of IVE, Frankfurt Fintech is making the blockchain fit for regulated securities trading and institutional investments. The idea behind it: digital identities are linked to anonymous blockchain wallet addresses. This makes it possible to audit corporate and personal data for security token transactions (in the primary and secondary markets) – a precondition for the lawful trading of security tokens on the blockchain.
“We believe that the security token market will evolve strongly and at the same time see issuers as being challenged to meet the evolving regulatory requirements for securities-like tokens in a wide variety of jurisdictions”, said Investment Manager. Ulrich Schmitt the financial commitment of the High-Tech Gründerfonds.
HTGF Managing Director Alex von Frankenberg praises Agora Innovation’s forward-looking business model: “We are very excited about our fourth blockchain investment. Everything wants to be tokenized – real estate, company shares, works of art, raw materials, etc. An important component of this will be the identity solution IVE from Agora Innovation”.
Agora Innovation has started developing IVE to solve a specific problem the startup faced. As a service provider for Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), the founders recognized as early as 2017 that this method of raising capital entails significant regulatory risks. In the future, token offerings would have to be regulated and transparent: can be represented with so-called security tokens. However, in order to comply with the law, STOs must always be able to accurately understand who owns the token or party to a transaction.
Since there is currently no viable solution and because the rules on tokens trading are changing frequently in many countries, the founders of Agora Innovation have started to develop software IVE. IVE can react flexibly to new legal requirements, for example by supervisory authorities such as the German BaFin (Federal Financial Supervisory Authority) or the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
“The regulation of crypto markets is constantly changing – in many countries around the world. This is a huge challenge for token issuers”, explains Phong Dao. IVE can be configured individually to accommodate e.g. To meet requirements for “know your customer” processes in different jurisdictions worldwide.
“With IVE, Agora Innovation GmbH’s team builds a technical solution that enables issuers to quickly react to regulatory changes even after token issuance and to allow only transactions in the peer-to-peer secondary market that comply with the rules of various jurisdictions satisfy. In our opinion, IVE empowers issuers to tap the enormous potential of the peer-to-peer secondary market”, said Ulrich Schmitt about support the team in the future.
The capital from the round of financing will be used by Agora Innovation to expand the team to further develop the product to market maturity. In addition, the Frankfurt startup wants more partners – u.a. Law Firms, Identity Examiners, Exchanges – win and accelerate market entry.
Agora Innovation GmbH was founded in 2017 by Phong Dao, Evgeny Matershev and Robert Malec, who together have more than 40 years of digitalization experience in the financial sector. The blockchain start-up develops the platform-independent software solution IVE (Identity Verification Engine), which regulates law-compliant security token transactions in various countries by linking digital identities with anonymous crypto-wallets. In addition, Agora Innovation offers various complementary services in the area of Crypto Currencies, Smart Contracts and Blockchain. With extensive business and technical know-how, the start-up accompanies companies and other institutions with their own initial coin or security token offerings.
About the High-Tech Gründerfonds
The seed investor High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) finances technology startups with growth potential. With a total volume of 892.5 million euros distributed across three funds and an international network of partners, the HTGF has already supported more than 500 startups since 2005. His team of experienced investment managers and startup experts supports the young companies with know-how, entrepreneurial spirit and passion. The focus is on high-tech start-ups from the software, media and Internet sectors as well as hardware, automation, healthcare, chemistry and life sciences. To date, external investors have invested more than € 2 billion in capital in around 1,400 follow-up financing rounds in the HTGF portfolio. In addition, the fund has successfully sold shares in more than 100 companies.
Investors in the public-private partnership include the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, KfW, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and the companies ALTANA, BASF, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, B. Braun, Robert Bosch, BÜFA, CEWE, Deutsche Post DHL , Dräger, Drillisch AG, EVONIK, EWE AG, Haniel, Hettich, Knauf, Körber, LANXESS, media + more venture Beteiligungs GmbH & Co. KG, PHOENIX CONTACT, Postbank, QIAGEN, RWE Generation SE, SAP, Schufa, Schwarz Group, STIHL, Thüga, Vector Informatik, WACKER and Wilh. Werhahn KG.
Also published on Medium.