Slovenia’s Cashila believes in a different future for investing in startups, and specifically startups in the space of decentralised cryptocurrencies. That’s why the startup is launching ICONOMI, a new fund management platform for investors, especially those unfamiliar with the world of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, to trade and invest with greater ease.
Currently ICONOMI, being led by the team in Ljubljana, is in the midst of a fundraising campaign to launch the platform with two funds – driven by app tokens instead of traditional shares – a passive fund managed by algorithm and an active fund managed by a team of experts.
“You might have noticed in the last year there’s a lot of app tokens coming up so basically companies raising money and issuing app tokens, which are basically the shares of the companies,” said Tim M Zagar, cofounder of Cashila and ICONOMI. “Startups crowdfund the projects by selling the equity of the company in this manner. On the blockchain they issue the stocks. We’re investing in these sorts of companies.”
The first will be a passive fund called the ICONOMI.INDEX FUND that’s transparent and traded on all major cryptocurrency exchanges. The second fund, the ICONOMI.PERFORMANCE FUND, will be managed by Cashila experts who will scout for early-stage investments in startups. Some investments over a certain amount will need to be verified manually for security purposes, explained Zagar.
The current ongoing campaign is coming into its last two days and has surpassed $6 million with over 2,300 investors. These initial funds are intended to build the final ICONOMI fund management platform and any surplus cash raised before the deadline will go into the company’s first funds.
Tim and his colleagues recently laid out their case for ICONOMI in a whitepaper as a means to create the “missing link between the old and the new economy”. They believe it can attract new investors to the distributed economy, boost the value of digital assets, and provide funding opportunities for startups in the field that would not have existed otherwise.
Cashila feels it is ahead of the curve with ICONOMI and crowdsourcing funds, according to Zagar. “It’s going in this direction,” he said. “A lot of startups will start using the crowd sale for raising funds for the company. I think the VC world is changing and it’s going to change in this direction.”
“That’s why we think next year for sure there’s going to be more than a thousand companies doing this sort of fundraising because right now there’s maybe a few hundred. This can change really quickly. I think it’s a backdoor to the future in a sense.”