A16z, Founders Fund Back $28 Million Raise for Tokenized Securities Startup
Originally published on: CoinDesk
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April 17, 2018
Tokenized securities startup Harbor has secured $28 million in funding from major Silicon Valley venture capital firms, the company announced on Tuesday.
The strategic round was led by Founders Fund, and included the participation of Andreessen Horowitz and Pantera Capital. Existing Harbor investors Craft Ventures, Vy Capital and Valor Equity Partners, as well as Future Perfect Ventures, 1confirmation, Abstract Holdings and Signia Venture Partners also took part in the round.
Harbor’s president and general counsel, Joshua Stein, told CoinDesk that the company will use the funding to further develop its ethereum-based R-Token platform, which he said provides for “compliance at the token level.”
In practice, this means that the protocol tokenizes real-world assets and uses ethereum smart contracts to ensure that investors can execute trades only if they satisfy pertinent regulations, such as know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) requirements.
The company also intends to direct funds toward the expansion of its team.
“We’ve had so much inbound interest from folks from different asset classes seeking to tokenize what they’re doing,” Stein said in an interview. “Now we need to build out the team and the platform and the protocol to be able to handle that inbound interest.”
Stein suggested that Harbor was able to attract prominent investors in part because the company has gained significant traction since its inception.
He told CoinDesk:
“There’s literally tens of trillions of dollars of real-world assets that would benefit from the ownership interest being tokenized, and that can unlock tremendous economic value.”
Pantera Capital’s Joey Krug echoed this point in statements.
“With Harbor, we could see things like funds tokenizing LP interest for illiquid asset classes, marrying the liquidity of markets with the illiquidity of the underlying assets owned by the fund. The infrastructure Harbor is building will unlock a range of new possibilities for capital markets,” he said.
Stein said Harbor’s efforts to create liquidity will benefit the larger blockchain ecosystem, and that he’s excited about the services and dapps emerging from the ethereum community.
“By driving a whole bunch of economic value around the public blockchain ecosystem, we help drive all those different companies, providers and developers,” he explained.
Harbor intends to roll out its platform for securities issuers and licensed broker-dealers this summer.
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