South African based global real estate platform Wealth Migrate plans to run an initial coin offering (ICO) early next year, to raise $30-million in an offering that will allow investors to invest in global property portfolios.
Speaking to Ventureburn yesterday, the company’s founder and CEO Scott Picken said the ICO will allow investors to build “real wealth”.
“People are getting tired of ICOs with wasteful dreams and want it (the tokens) to backed by something tangible,” he said.
Picken wasn’t able to confirm a date when the ICO will open to investors, but was able to say that the ICO will be run through a company registered in Malta and will utilise its WealthE Coin.
He pointed out that as the token doesn’t amount to a security, but rather that of a utility, Wealth Migrate won’t require a license from the Financial Services Board (FSB) to run the ICO.
In all 20% of the tokens will be made available to be used as utility tokens, but 80% will be used as a store of wealth. Phase one of the ICO will involve putting the utility coin on offer, while Phase 2 will kick in when cryptocurrency exchanges are up and running, he said.
People are getting tired of ICOs with wasteful dreams and want it (the tokens) to backed by something tangible, says Wealth Migrate founder
Added to this, the ICO will also include elements of gamification, he said. For example, investors will be able to earn coins by participating in certain activities, such as training courses, he pointed out.
In addition, he said documentary film maker Jeff Hays is working with Wealth Migrate to shoot a documentary on wealth creation.
Wealth Migrate was founded in 2010 and has 60 employees at present. The company has since facilitated 1500 investment transactions totalling $66-million and involving investors from 46 countries, through its blockchain platform.
Picken said a number of South Africans have also participated in these transactions — via Wealth Migrate’s partner, business advisory service PKF, which is registered with the FSB.
While he conceded that this isn’t the “ideal way” to carry out equity crowdfunding in South African, it is the only way to do so under the current regulations.
South Africa at present has no specific regulations on equity crowdfunding. Picken is one of the founding members of the African Crowdfunding Association, which is seeking to advocate for crowdfunding regulation on the continent.
In addition, 120 investors owned a 35% stake in Wealth Migrate, following a crowdfunding raise the company did in 2014. “We’re pretty much a community-built organisation,” commented Picken.
He said Wealth Migrate will run a seminar in Japan next Tuesday (12 December 2017) to inform potential investors about the ICO. In the past two months the company has run seminars across the world, he said — in cities such as London, Las Vegos, Davos, Dubai, Brisbane and San Francisco, among others.
The company plans to launch its marketing campaign for the ICO on 15 December — the day in 1791 when the US Bill of Rights was signed into law.
Said Picken: “We believe it’s time to democratise wealth”.
With the price of Bitcoin having this week breached the $12 000 level, investors and onlookers will be eager to find out more, come next week.
Editor’s note (8 December 2017): Subsequent to the publication of this article Jaco van Niekerk, Wealth Migrate’s head of legal & global compliance, clarified that Wealth Migrate has a business association with PKF Capital Markets (Seychelles) Ltd, which is a Registered Securities Dealer with the Financial Services Authority of the Seychelles. “Investors that invest in real estate opportunities (do so) via the Wealth Migrate platform and (do) not participate via PKF,” he said.
In addition, he said some regulators, like the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) in the US, consider an ICO as a security offering, in which full compliance with the relevant securities laws are necessary. “The ICO of Wealth Migrate will be a utility token and is not equity crowdfunding,” he added.
This article appeared on StartupWorld, 7 December 2017.