Australia's digital investment platform for alternative assets, VentureCrowd, has announced a partnership with venture-focused digital product development firm MakerX to build Vest.
Vest is a blockchain-based wealth technology (WealthTech) platform where syndicate communities can view hyper niche deal flow, invest in deals and be rewarded for their contributions to the community.
Vest is a contribution to the alternative asset investing system and aims to lower the barrier to entry for all investors.
According to the company, funds management functionality via tokenisation will enable security, liquidity and authenticity in trading with the distributed ledger technology on the Algorand blockchain.
The initiative pioneers the transition to web3 and brings together technical capabilities, blockchain, UX and design to deliver the next-generation of WealthTech.
Startup founders who sign up to the Vest platform will also gain access to aligned and activated communities seeking to participate in issues and ideas they are interested in, giving them a way to capitalise on talent and opportunity in return for equity. The Vest platform aims to provide purposeful companies with a stage, bringing together like-minded people.
According to the company, the platform will offer:
- Digitised deal origination, which means that founders can get access to capital faster.
- Tokenised securities and digital registries, which allows registry management for companies and fund managers including access to an always-on capital raising capability, as well as the use of smart contracts to reward contributions to project value-creation.
- Digitised secondary trading which enables tokenised shares and interests in managed funds to be bought and sold outside the usual merger, acquisition or IPO liquidity events.
With more high-growth companies staying private for longer, Vest will enable VentureCrowd to position itself as the only capital partners that founders will need from seed to IPO, the company states.
Australian-headquartered MakerX comprises a leading product development team with deep technical, user experience and design capabilities, and specialises in digital product development for start-ups and venture builders.
The firm's past projects include a Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) platform for a multi-billion-dollar US retailer, and onRamp, a SaaS platform that empowers developers to build dynamic web3 asset management solutions in days rather than months.
VentureCrowd has raised more than $250,000,000 across a wide range of alternative assets since inception and has more than doubled its capital raising capability every year for the last three years. In FY22, gross revenue grew 45% with over 69,000 registered members on its platform.
VentureCrowd CEO, Steve Maarbani says, "Web3 has the potential to fundamentally reshape how the private capital markets work and make investing more accessible, more secure and more flexible.
"We are excited to be working with MakerX to build Vest, a revolutionary new platform that will be an investment town square where all inputs are valued, be it from investors with a purpose or startups looking to fundraise. The opportunities are endless for investment with Web3, and we believe Vest will accelerate investments progress and contribute to continuous deal flows."
MakerX CEO, Matt Davies, says, "We're honoured to be a part of this cutting edge initiative to democratise engagement in the capital markets. This gives everyday people access to opportunities for investment which historically have been unavailable to them.
"Vest leverages new technology which enables open transparency of information on the platform, secure exchange of assets, and tradability of assets which would otherwise be locked up for long periods of time."
Vest is jointly owned by VentureCrowd and JosephMark, a venture studio that brings new and existing brands to life through venture strategy, design, product, story, and innovation. VentureCrowd and JosephMark have previously entered into a joint-venture partnership in October 2021. The Vest platform is due to launch by mid 2023.