2019 was a very exciting year for Bitbond. We got to pioneer Security Tokens in Germany, reached over 1,200 retail investors around the globe and established an entirely new line of business supporting clients with the tokenization of securities. This year has been fast paced for Bitbond so far, therefore we would like to use the opportunity to look back on last year’s achievements and update you on our 2020 goals by stating some of the ongoing projects.
The year started with a letter from BaFin that should change the securities market in Germany: As the first issuer in German history, Bitbond received the regulator’s approval for a Security Token Offering. After 130 applicants had previously been denied approval of their securities prospectus, this was a true milestone achievement for us. Throughout the following months, we put all of our focus on making the STO a success.
The media feedback for our issuance was overwhelming and exceeded our expectations: our project was picked up by major national (e.g. Handelsblatt, ntv, Börsenzeitung, Süddeutsche) and international publications (e.g. Forbes, Hackernoon, AltFi). On the first day of the subscription period, we were able to raise over 1 million EUR and by its closing, we issued more than 2.6 million BB1 Tokens to over 1,200 investors around the globe. We even received an ISIN for our security token (ISIN DE000A2TR7Q2, WKN A2TR7Q, ITIN 8WR5-AKBG-X).
What had started as a pragmatic approach to raising debt financing for our lending platform soon proved to be the cornerstone for a strategic advancement. In response to the immense demand we received from financial institutions and issuers for our tokenization technology, we made a bold strategic decision: Bitbond is shifting its focus from being a blockchain-driven lending company to becoming a driver in the market of tokenized securities. As a consequence, we have decided to return our BaFin license as asset broker in order to streamline our business. We believe the opportunity in this field is enormous and thanks to our own, well-recognized transaction, we have a headstart as a credible service provider in the European market and beyond.
In concrete terms, this means that Bitbond is providing clients in the financial services industry as well as large-scale issuers with tokenization technology, transaction advisory and operational assistance. The first project to be disclosed is KlickOwn, a German investment platform for real estate financing. We are supporting the Hamburg-based startup by providing our battle-tested STO technology as well as the expertise gained throughout our own transaction. Since Q3 2019, we have closed deals with more than half a dozen renowned corporate clients and banks such as Bankhaus von der Heydt (1754). Additionally, we are excited to share that Bitbond recently became a capital markets partner of Börse Düsseldorf. We are excited to announce more of our projects to the public soon.
What does this mean for the investors of our security token offering? In a nutshell: everything remains the same. We are maintaining the SME loan portfolio we have developed since our STO but are refraining from further loan origination. All STO proceeds not invested in the SME loan portfolio are being allocated to Bitbond as working capital financing as described in our securities prospectus, i.e. investors will profit from Bitbond’s growing success via customary interest rates paid to Bitbond Finance Gmbh.
For the remainder of the year (and decade), we will continue to do what we know best – applying blockchain technology to solve real-world problems in the financial services sector. We are currently developing tokenization technology for various national and international banks, preparing token-based debt transactions for large corporate clients and even talking to a national Government about tokenizing the first sovereign bond. And many more exciting announcements are yet to come!
Our approach remains the same: we operate to the highest quality standards, challenge established structures in the world of finance and deliver innovative solutions for our clients. Our team is well prepared for Bitbond’s ambitious goals as we rely on decades of experience in technology, banking and finance, consulting and law. We are looking forward to an exciting 2020 and want to thank all of our STO investors for their tremendous support.
Radko Albrecht & the Bitbond management team