Is Blockchain set to change the way businesses raise capital – Ryan Hanley talks to BLM

Financial Services | Interview | Technology
Ryan Hanley

Tokenmarket is an investment platform powered by Blockchain, which provides businesses with an alternative way of raising capital.

BLM spoke with its Managing Director Ryan Hanley, to find out more.

Can you tell me more about the platform?

Tokenmarket does two things. It works with ambitious companies to help them raise capital from a wider pool of investors than is traditionally available.

It also presents well vetted offerings to investors, allowing them to gain access to businesses at an earlier stage than normal.

All of this is powered by Blockchain and we believe it represents the future of investing in early stage companies.

How much as been raised in total via the platform?

In total Tokenmarket has raised £240m from thirty-one different token offerings. We currently have 170,000 investors registered with our platform.

What types of companies are using the platform to raise capital?

Any company can use our platform to raise capital, but we currently receive more interest from software orientated and innovation led businesses, that are likely be operating in the technology space.

But as mentioned, it’s not all technology companies and we have a broad base of businesses.

What type of investors are using the platform?

It’s a wide range and they come from 153 different countries. They are well vetted and typically quite wealthy, private investors. We’re also seeing a trend for VC’s showing an interest in using our platform together with their traditional methods of raising finance.

Our platform allows capital to be raised on series B, C and D funding rounds.

How big can Tokenmarket become?

We’re building a new universe here and it can become as big as we want our vision to be. Our aim is that a company or investor can come to us at any stage, whether that is for Series D funding or an IPO.

What do you see as the barriers to achieving this growth?

There is still a hangover from some of the malpractice carried out by other companies operating in this space. There were examples of people going out with offerings that just couldn’t be justified; and there is of course the misconception around blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

But this is changing and it is regulated. It’s a case of re-building the reputation and that just takes time. Another barrier is integrating the more traditional investors into the network; and ensuring they understand fully how we operate and how it can benefit them to engage with us.

How is Tokenmarket democratising the process for investors?

We ensure that nobody is investing more than ten per cent of their net worth for a start, so it’s not a wild west type scenario.

But what we allow people to do is go direct and get closer access to the founders. Traditionally you would get locked into a fund for seven years and it can be a bit blind. With Tokenmarket you can have more control and information; and there are no barriers.

It’s a similar concept to JustEat for example, where you don’t need to call somebody and place an order, but you make that decision directly.

We’re seeing this across lots of industries because consumers in the UK are very savvy and educated – they want to be able to have control; they want to be able to switch to different platforms and better rates.

And what about companies?

From the perspective of the company its interesting too. Facebook had to wait ten years until they could get a public offering, for example. After six months people knew it was going to change the world, but they didn’t have a chance to invest.

With Tokenmarket you can identify these types of companies earlier and allow people to invest.

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