Singapore firm launches token sale to fund platform for start-ups

NEW YORK, May 11 (Reuters) - Singapore-based has launched the sale of its own digital currency to fund building of its blockchain-based platform to connect start-ups with investors and experts for funding and advice, the company’s co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Jan Isakovic said on Thursday.

The sale of its digital currency or token called CFI will begin on May 24.

The platform is designed for start-ups in the blockchain space seeking to create their own currency and sell it to investors. Blockchain, the underlying technology behind bitcoin, is a financial ledger maintained by a network of computers that can track the movement of any asset without the need for a central regulator.

“Our vision is to connect startups, experts and investors and create a full start-up ecosystem, using the power of the blockchain technology to fuel the interactions,” Isakovic told Reuters in an email.

“We believe that the key advantage of token crowdsales are not funds collected, but the fact that the funds come from engaged supporters. They act as evangelists and early adopters, helping fuel very fast initial growth when compared to traditional startups.”

The company’s ultimate goal is to create a platform where hundreds of thousands of the best startups go to expand their potential and find investment, Isakovic said.

It would be a venue where millions of experts with proven track records offer their expertise and where tens of millions of investors go to find the best projects to support without worrying about their legitimacy.

Over the last year, blockchain start-ups have been raising cash by creating and selling their own currencies or tokens in unregulated offerings that skip banks or venture capital firms as intermediaries.

Interest in these deals has been driven by the remarkable performance of original virtual currency, bitcoin, which has surged more than 90 percent so far this year, hitting a record high just shy of $1,900 per token on Thursday.

Isakovic said the first $2.5 million raised will fund the initial development of the platform and its operations for two years, which will allow the establishment of the company’s strategic regional outposts.

For every additional $1 million raised above the $2.5 million threshold, will set up a new regional subsidiary and hire two additional experts that will work with the company for at least two years.

The company plans to set up regional offices in Europe, the United States and Canada as well as Asia. (Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)