START UP SPOTLIGHT – BLOCKEX
Year launched: 2016
Management team: Adam Leonard, CEO and Aleks Nowak, CIO
In no more than 50 words describe what you do: BlockEx is a Digital Asset Exchange Platform (DAXP) - built for creation, issuance and exchange of digital assets. It’s the world’s first true HFT capable exchange for next generation financial assets built using Blockchain technology. BlockEx also offers custom Blockchain solutions and digital asset creation for governments, regulators and FIs.
How did the idea for the business originate? As both founders have had a keen interest in cryptocurrencies since 2011 the initial idea was to create a purely cryptocurrency exchange, but with a more professional trading angle. After spending time building the platform they realised that the demand from financial institutions on utilising the Blockchain technology is greater than expected, and that technology they had built had much greater potential than just trading cryptocurrencies. With the help of the rest of the team the idea expanded to develop other various products within the core of the platform. This is how the Digital Asset Platform was born. Now it includes Digital Asset Creation Tool, Blockchain issues Bonds Platform, Exchange Platform with Brokerage software licensing solution and soon coming Mortgage and Syndicated Loans Platforms. All of these products use Blockchain technology at it's core.
Do you have customers yet? If not, how far into your business lifecycle are you? We do not have customers yet, however we are in final talks with a handful of brokers that are ready to start using our Brokerage Software. We are looking to launch our own Brokerage in early August 2017. As for our Bond product, we are currently in talks with various SMEs and trying to issue our first blockchain based bond, in the FCA sandbox, in the next couple of months. Regarding our other products, we are in negotiating product specifications on syndicated loans and mortgages with a large banks in Taiwan and North America respectfully, with an aim to build those products in next 12 months.
How have you funded your growth to date? We had an initial round for friends and family of BlockEx.
What would a successful 2017 look like for you? A successful 2017 for BlockEx would be a smooth launch of our own Brokerage and on boarding our first 5 White Label Brokers onto Exchange Platform. Also planned launch of our Bond Platform, preferably with as few bugs as possible. Successful launch is crucial for company, not only because of revenue, but also because of credibility as this would then lead to growth for all our partners and a larger interest in us from others. Our year will ultimately be defined by the growth of our partners and they will only be able to grow to their potential if we supply them with the best product to do so. It would also include successful testing in the FCA sandbox for our bond tool.
Outside of your own business, which start up do you admire the most and why? (Doesn’t have to be fintech) One of our favourite start-ups is Lenddo, a world leader technology company based in Asia. Lenddo uses non-traditional digital user data in order to provide credit scoring and identity verification. They do so with their own patented technology based on machine learning techniques that develop predictive algorithms. Founded in 2011, they already operate in 20 countries. The focus of the company evolved over the years. Recently, they included social media to prove customer’s identity and creditworthiness. They provide simple and secure solutions to unlock loans and improve chances of employment. The company works with dozens of banks to analyse data from millions of smartphones globally. Primarily used in emerging markets, as most people in these regions don’t have traditional bank accounts. Leddo’s goal is to help 1 billion people get access to financial services by 2020.