January 2021 | Why does a SME chose the emission of digital securities for financing their projects? In the fourth and final part of our interview with Jens-Michael Arndt and Markus Lange, things get personal. The managing partners of the Vogemann shipping company and issuers of the Vogemann Green Ship Token talk about entrepreneurial challenges, their own experiences with blockchain technology and reveal what guides them in their lives (besides shipping).
neoFIN: You are currently raising capital through digital securities. What particular entrepreneurial decisions have you already faced as a SME?
Markus Lange: In the context of the financial crisis, which then also became a shipping crisis, we had to reduce our fleet significantly. The loss of the many ships showed us two things:
- We could and can rely on our staff and our staff can rely on us. We stuck together in the crisis and got through it together.
- The quality of the ships is decisive for success in every respect. For the investors as well as for the financing banks and the service providers around the ship. In the future, we will not chase after any supposed “bargains”. On the one hand, because they are not “bargains” in the long run, and on the other hand, because they are ecologically unacceptable investments.
neoFIN: Have you already dealt with blockchain in your private life?
Jens-Michael Arndt: To be honest: No. It was only in the context of the development of the Green Ship Token that we got to grips with the topic of blockchain.
However, we immediately noticed that the technology on which our chosen financing instrument is based fits very well with the topic of “sustainable shipping”. Two innovative technologies taken up by an “old shipping company”, that should be exactly the right place in the current environment. We “Vogemen” would not be where we are today if we had not constantly shown the courage to break new ground.
neoFIN: If you hadn’t ended up in shipping, what else would you have liked to do?
Markus Lange: The industry didn’t really matter, although in my case it was a lucky coincidence. What is important to me above all is to deal with people.
Jens-Michael Arndt: It’s hard to imagine… I already did a traineeship in bulk shipping right after I finished school and even before my apprenticeship.
neoFIN: Do you have a motto in life, and if so, what is it?
Markus Lange: “If you have a dream and have no respect for realising it, then the dream is not ambitious enough.”
neoFIN: In conclusion: How have you found financing as a digital securities issue (so far)? What advice would you give to other companies, especially SME, in this context?
Markus Lange: We think it’s like real life: Just talking about it is quite nice. But at some point you have to bring yourself to try something. We are confident that we will be successful. We can never be sure. But taking chances is the lot of an entrepreneur. And this is what we do. We can only recommend this to everyone.
neoFIN: Thank you very much for the detailed interview!