Two of Britain’s highest-profile crypto entrepreneurs today launched EQUI, a blockchain-based venture capital platform they say will give everyone the chance to invest in promising startups. Baroness Michelle Mone OBE and Douglas Barrowman started the new venture after previously selling luxury apartments for Bitcoin in Dubai.
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An Ethereum-based VC investment platform where everyone votes with their money? On the surface, that sounds like TheDAO — that ill-fated distributed autonomous company that imploded in 2016 and almost took Ethereum with it.
Barrowman said EQUI is “rock solid” by comparison — in fact, other than the initial concept of democratizing VC investing, the two have little in common. There’s a high degree of human involvement in EQUI, from the hand-picking of startups to the mentoring and networking opportunities he and Lady Michelle will provide.
EQUI is essentially a web application where new projects are picked and showcased. For starters the focus is on high-tech entrepreneurs, but the platform could be used for any startups as it grows.
Users buy EQUI tokens and use them to invest in the startups they like. The plan is for the value of those tokens — which can be traded on third-party platforms as well as within the EQUI ecosystem — to increase backed by the value of the companies it supports. Investors, after a while, would be able to receive a share of the profits their chosen companies make.
Watch Bitsonline‘s interview above to find out more about how it all works, and how both EQUI users and startups could expect to make money.
Barrowman said: “EQUI brings venture capital investing into the modern technological era and opens the investment playing-field up to non-industry professionals, enabling them to back the next hot investment that is traditionally the preserve of institutions and ultra-high net worth individuals.
“We have strong access to deal flow and the investment market generally and will be bringing our experience to the wider market. Once in a generation a new way of thinking disrupts the workings of an established industry. EQUI is that disruptor in venture capital investing and, for me, represents the final evolution of a lifetime’s work spent in the industry.”
Lady Michelle added that having access to the right platform can make all the difference for new businesses.
“EQUI will source the best investment opportunities in real world assets and champion innovators. We will support them by providing extensive business knowledge, enabling businesses to reach their full potential. As a successful entrepreneur myself, I know how important it is to have access to the right resources. Great entrepreneurs can build great companies when they have access to the platform.”
EQUI is holding an ICO in March to get things going — but the pre-sale will be a little more exclusive than the platform itself. A minimum $100,000 USD investment is in place for early adopters, before things open to the public on March 8th.
Does EQUI sound like a promising idea? Let us know what you think.
Images via Bitsonline, EQUI