Issuance expects to run at least 15 token deals this year

 

ISSUANCE EXPECTS TO RUN AT LEAST 15 TOKEN DEALS THIS YEAR

TIM LEEMASTER

 
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Issuance, the Los Angeles, California-based investment banking services firm for blockchain, expects to run at least 15 token deals this year, according to CEO Darren Marble.

The company is currently working on raising a USD 50m tokenized fund for Block Estate, a real estate firm. The deal is expected to be completed in in late spring or early summer.

It is also working on a deal to tokenize one of the 16 drugs a Nasdaq-listed biotechnology firm is developing. Marble declined to identify the firm.  

Working with public companies is one way Marble sees for the blockchain industry to get beyond the often dismal performance of many initial coin offerings in 2017 and 2018.

Companies raised USD 21.48 billion from 1072 initial coin offerings in 2018, or just under 3.5 times the USD 6.58bn raised from 453 offerings in 2017, according to Coinschedule data. Surveys last year showed as many as 90% of such offerings had lost money. 

 

“One prerequisite for this industry is that investors have to win,” Marble said. “We have to have high quality deals with compelling terms.”  

 

Marble migrated into the cryptocurrency industry when another company he founded and runs, Crowdfund X, started getting inquiries from companies looking for ICO marketing in 2017. Crowdfund X was focused on Reg A+ listings.

Most of the inquiries didn’t appear compliant with SEC regulations, but when a licensee of film maker Kodak announced plans for a USD 176.4m deal limited to accredited investors Marble felt the industry was moving in the right direction and got involved.

The company also arranged a USD 134m token offering from tZERO, the blockchain subsidiary of Salt Lake City, Utah-based online retailer Overstock.com.

Issuance, which Marble also co-founded, expects to finalize the acquisition of Crowdfund X by the end of the month.

Issuance is also out raising funds of its own. The company is currently raising a seed round and plans to immediately start a Series A once the seed round is completed, which is expected as early as February, Marble said.

Earlier this month New York-based blockchain company PCG invested an undisclosed amount in the seed round.

Marble declined to comment on how much the company planned to raise in total or in the individual funding rounds.

 

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