July 2019 – The long wait has come to an end: in July 2019, the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) issued two new licences for public STO: Fundament and Startmark.
The first comes from the Fundament Group and thus from our own network. Fundament itself is a legal tech service provider that digitizes various asset investments. The company offers a full range of legal, technology and distribution services to tokenize asset classes. It creates regulated financial instruments for a new global investor market.
With its first own STO, the one-stop-shop can show how tokenization works. The focus is on a diversified portfolio of commercial real estate in the metropolitan regions of Germany. These are for example Hamburg, Frankfurt, Rostock and Jena. The total issue volume is around EUR 250 million. Investments of one euro or more are possible.
Startmark, whose STO was also approved, pursues a completely different approach. This is rather a digital fund that invests in start-ups. Investors can invest starting from an amount of only 100 euro. This is an absolute novelty. Participation in not exchange-listed enterprises is clearly more expensive with the usual Investments or – as with Crowdfunding for example – not diversified. The offer is always cheaper than a classic fund. The usual market commissions, fees for the first transaction and the costs for intermediaries are eliminated.
Three approved STOs in Germany, three different concepts
The three pioneers show how diverse STOs can be. While Bitbond and Startmark focus on corporate financing, Fundament focuses on real assets. Which, of course, has to do with the different business purposes. Bitbond is a loan platform that finances loans for small and medium-sized enterprises. Founder Radoslav Albrecht told Wirtschaftswoche: “We want to offer private investors access to loans from small and medium-sized enterprises. Our goal are more opportunities to finance the loans on our platform away from the money of the risk investors.
According to Startmark, like a large venture capital fund, it distributes the investment money to a large number of promising start-ups. They are first intensively examined and then accompanied by StartMark management consultants on their way to business success. “The TV show ‘Die Höhle der Löwen’* has already inspired millions of people in Germany. But actually investing professionally in new business ideas has so far been reserved for very few major investors,” says Startmark shareholder and managing director Ralf Heine. “Although it is possible to invest money here and there in a single young company via crowd investing, there is no risk diversification”.
Fundament, on the other hand, tokens real values with real estate. But this is just the beginning. “We see a great future in the diversification of various tokenized assets. We also offer our services to other asset managers, for example we are currently talking to ship managers. But tokenisation is also a big issue in the areas of renewable energies or private equity,” founder Robin Matzke told BTC-Echo.
*German version of Dragons’ Den