Week Ending 09.28.2018

 

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MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS

Medici Land Governance, the Salt Lake City, Utah based blockchain company tracking property ownership, sold a 43% stake to the CEO of online retailer Overstock.com Patrick Byrne. Medici Land Governance is owned by the venture capital unit of Overstock.


FILINGS

Valtech, the London, UK-based business services firm with a focus on AI, AR and blockchain, said it plans to raise USD 100m in an initial public offering Nasdaq.

SharedLabs, the Jacksonville, Florida-based information technology company, said it plans to raise up to USD 17.5m from an initial public offering of 2.5m shares at USD 5.00 to USD 7.00 each. That’s far less than the initial filing in May when it said it planned to raise USD 32.5m. The company provides artificial intelligence and blockchain consulting and services.

PeerStream, the New York City-based blockchain services firm, said shareholders, which include a J. Crew trust fund and co-founder Clifford Lerner, plan to sell 800,000 shares in a Nasdaq uplist. The shares are worth USD 4.6m based on the USD 5.75 over the counter price. Lerner resigned in June. The company changed its name in March and was previously known as Snap Interactive.


FUNDING

Belvedere Resources, the Toronto, Canada-based mining company transforming into a blockchain firm, said it raised CAD 450,000 (USD 351,761) from the sale of 576,922 subscription receipts at CAD 0.78 each.

In August the company raised CAD 6.9m from the sale of 8.89m subscription receipts at CAD 0.78 each. In June, the company said it is acquiring BlockCoBuilders, which makes blockchain-backed software for the logistics industry, in a deal valued at USD 13.6m.

Nine Dynamics, the Calgary, Canada-based financial analytics company using AI, said it raised an unspecified amount from investors associated with Canada’s MATCO Investments. The company also has a cryptocurrency trading platform.

Spiking, the Singapore-based cryptocurrency trading app using AI, said it raised an unspecified amount from a second private token sale. In August, the company said it had raised USD 2.3m in a pre-Series A.    

Cerberus, the New York City-based hedge fund, said it launched a new unit to facilitate AI, blockchain and other data related investments. Called Cerberus Technology Solutions the fund will also focus on using data and technology in the fund’s existing investments. (Cerberus hired a new CEO for the unit. See People section for details.)

DreamTeam, the Kiev, Ukraine-based esports payments platform using blockchain, said it raised USD 5m in a seed funding from Luxembourg-based Mangrove Capital Partners. 

Intema Solutions, the Montreal, Canada-based marketing and blockchain services company, said it plans to raise as much as USD 750,000 from the sale of warrants.

In August a Quebec superior court granted its request to prepare a restructuring plan for creditors. 

Other deals include Petroteq and Blocksafe Technologies 


LEGAL & REGULATORY

1pool Ltd. a/k/a 1Broker, the Marshall Islands-based broker, and its CEO Patrick Brunner violated US securities laws when offering bitcoin funded swaps, according to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Corporate moves to manage data are similar to the 19th century gold rush in California, US Securities and Exchange Commissioner Kara Stein said in a speech to the Georgia State University College of Law. 

Update on regulation of investment funds and cryptocurrencies from Dalia Blass, director of the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Investment Management to the US House of Representatives Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Securities and Investment.

Maxwell Wealth Planning CEO Neil Maxwell has had an interim suspension imposed by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFPBS). The CFPBS said Maxwell had invested two client’s funds in a blockchain investment fund without their knowledge.


PEOPLE

Fan-Controlled Football League, the Culver City, California-based fantasy sports firm using blockchain, said former quarterback Joe Montana has made an unspecified investment in the company and will act as its chief strategic advisor.

Crypto.com, the Hong Kong, China-based cryptocurrency payments company, said it formed an advisory board that includes venture capitalist Antoine Blondeau as chairman, former LendingClub executive Chien-Liang Chou and London Stock Exchange COO Chris Corrado.

Cerberus, the New York City-based hedge fund, said it hired JP Morgan executive Len Laufer as CEO of its new AI and data unit Cerberus Technology Solutions. The unit will facilitate AI and other data related investments, and will also focus on using data and technology in the fund’s existing investments. (See Funding section for details.)

Gemini Trust, the New York City-based cryptocurrency exchange, said it hired Sydney Schaub as general counsel. Schaub has held positions at ecommerce company Rent the Runway, Google and payments company Square.

In July, the company hired former New York Stock Exchange CIO Robert Cornish as chief technology officer. 

Templum, the New York City-based company developing a cryptocurrency trading platform, said it hired Annemarie Tierney as head of strategy and general counsel. She was previously head of strategy at Nasdaq’s private market.

TruDecision, the Grapevine, Texas-based financial technology company using AI, said former IBM executive and blockchain researcher John Medellin has joined its advisory board. TruDecision is focused on auto loans.

Other hiring included Ideanomics here and here, Cannabis Science here and here and True Nature 


DATA

Blockchain companies attracted USD 61.5m in venture capital funds in September based on the transactions we tracked. 

The largest was Cocos2D-x, the San Francisco-based blockchain game developer, which raised USD 40m from investors including Binance Labs, a fund run by Malta-based cryptocurrency trading platform Binance.


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