Our new Disruption by Blockchain series aims to highlight companies that are leveraging the incredible potential of blockchain technology to disrupt and revolutionize their industry. Through one on one interviews, we'll speak directly with industry leaders to cut beyond the hype and get directly to the heart of practical use cases and examples of how it will change the world, one industry at a time.
The following is an interview we recently had with Felipe Lema Vorobey, CMO of Blackmoon.
1. What’s the history of Blackmoon? How and where did you begin?
FLV: Blackmoon Financial Group is a fintech and investment management company incorporated in Ireland that has been operational since August 2014, having its roots in venture capital investments in financial technology since 2012.
The company is lead by Oleg Seydak, entrepreneur, financial technology investor, founder of Blackmoon Financial Group, former co-founding partner of Flint Capital; and Ilya Perekopsky, entrepreneur and IT angel-investor, and former vice president and chief commercial officer of VK.com.
Following is a timeline of the company’s history, from the initial vision in 2014 to the new opportunities of today.
Blackmoon’s automated platform for institutional-class investment in alternative lenders was created in May 2015 and testing began. The Blackmoon Lending Marketplace platform was launched and the first loan was processed in June 2015.In 2016-2017 Blackmoon grew rapidly and expanded its service to the US and Europe.
Blackmoon Financial Group identified an opportunity to leverage internal expertise in setting up investment products for institutional investors and managing dedicated investment funds. Work began on creating the first tokenized asset management platform, Blackmoon Platform, to set up and operate tokenized investment funds with a wide range of investment mandates.
On September 13th, 2017 Blackmoon successfully closed their token sale by reaching their hard cap of $30M USD. The token sale lasted less than 20 hours. Over 9000 accounts were opened and attracted participants from over 135 countries.
2. Who are the founders and key team members?
The founders are Oleg Seydak and Ilya Perekopsky, as mentioned above.
The other key team members are:
Ilya Remizov CTO
He used to be STO for 8 years at Nanosemantics, leading AI for speech recognition. Played an instrumental role in open-source development, specifically PHP4/5.
Sergey Vasin, Investment Director COO
Former Investment Director at Flint Capital with a focus on alternative lending investments. Holds CFA charter.
Felipe Lema Vorobey, CMO
Former Senior Brand Marketing Manager for Coca-Cola and Qiwi electronic payments. Former Head of Marketing Department at CarPrice.ru.
Alexander Rugaev, Chief Crypto Officer
Advisor to a number of crypto projects, the founder and CEO of icopromo.com.
Among our advisors are Artem Tolkachev, John Hyman, Nicolas Tranter Oscar Hartmann, Vasyl Latsanych, Moe Levin and other financial and IT experts.
3. What problem are you solving?
FLV: Blackmoon addresses the main issues of the current tokenized investment vehicles, such as lack of diversification, non-compliance with existing and foreseen regulation, and lack of standardization. Our goal is to become the industry standard and one-stop solution in setting up tokenized funds, regardless of whether such funds invest in the fiat or crypto world. Blackmoon will bridge the gap between these two worlds while taking advantage of both.
Thus, we are solving many problems for crypto and fiat investor and giving them new advantages.
4. What is your solution to this problem?
FLV: We are helping to expand the boundaries of investment possibilities and to encourage regulators to recognize blockchain tools as the new reality in classical financial markets. Ultimately, Blackmoon aims to be the benchmark for tokenized investment funds and vehicles that invest in traditional investment instruments as well as in emerging distributed economy opportunities.
5. Why is your industry ripe for disruption?
FLV: Blockchain has been a buzzword in the financial sector since 2009. It has sparked substantial interest in the industry through its advantages of a distributed ledger, value transfer, and resilience to counterfeiting. Cryptocurrencies experienced a huge growth in 2017. Bitcoin increased in 1369%, Ether raised for more than 3000%, the majority of altcoins has experienced dramatical growth as well.
New entrants to the financial technology market aim to disrupt the highly concentrated and over-regulated financial industry. In this environment, incumbents are taking steps to keep up with the pace of technology and with customers' demands. For example, it was recently unveiled that Barclays had been in discussion with the British financial regulator Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) about bringing cryptocurrencies into play.
Regulators themselves are also moving to embrace blockchain and cryptocurrencies. For example, Bitcoin is accepted in Japan, and Swiss tax authorities confirmed Bitcoin VAT-free status. Still, there is much that needs to be done to make the tokenization of these investment vehicles a seamless, transparent, and regulatory-compliant process.
We believe that Blackmoon is the company to bridge the existing gap. Tokenized investment funds are the future of the financial industry, offering compelling advantages such as transparency, tradability, and cost efficiency.
6. What’s the future of your industry?
Prediction #1: We believe that strict compliance regulations will be enforced towards the industry. This has already started and we at Blackmoon look forward to this action from global regulators. The important issue is now studying the feature of the blockchain industry. It's extremely important to educate the society about the benefits and risks of the industry. This is key because no matter how you look at it, the blockchain industry is the future.
Prediction #2: Business will be more and more interested in blockchain technology and tokenizing assets. We expect $2 bln tokenizing assets till 2022 on the Blackmoon platform.
Prediction #3: Public sector will start to implement blockchain technology to store huge databases, to encrypt data and etc. Maybe some of the already existing blockchain startups will be hired by public institutions as contractors.