Crowdequity platform Republic has raised $12 million in commitments for a token presale from Binance Labs, NEO and several other companies. The platform, founded by alumni from AngelList, aims to raise $92 million in a public sale.
Binance Makes First Venture Capital Invesment
Binance Labs, which announced a $1 billion blockchain investment fund on June 5, is a blockchain technology incubator run by the crypto exchange Binance. They provide funds for pre-ICO projects and teams and often fund investments through their ERC20 token BNB.
Ella Zhang, head of Binance Labs, said, in an email: “Republic brings new investment opportunities for retail investors to participate in well-curated startups. Binance and the Labs’ teams are working towards the freedom of value-exchange, which we believe Republic will shed light on.”
Investment in the Republic token also came from Neo Global Capital, affliate of cryptocurrency NEO, East Chain Co., Jeffrey Tarrant, and Passport Capital. The investments were in the form of investment in the company and the purchasing of tokens.
Another good VC friend of mine just said “my industry is completely disrupted, money is no longer the bargaining chip, we are moving into crypto.” I said what I always say, “welcome”.
— CZ (@cz_binance) 8 juin 2018
While Republic have not released their whitepaper or any details on their new token, they have revealed their new funding model: Simple Agreement for Future Equity and Security Tokens (SAFEST). This gives investors a choice in how they invest. There will be an option for investors to have their full investment in tokens or they can choose for up to 20% of their investment to be in the form of equity in the company. If the token fails to launch, they can move all of their investment into equity.
Republic co-founder Kendrick Nguyen said: “This whole ecosystem is so new, and I think it’s up to every market participant to be thoughtful and responsible in how they conduct their fundraising.”
NEO Global Capital opened in March and have since invested $1 million in smart economy workforce platform Moonlight. Moonlight is aimed at making it easier for organizations to employ and recruit talent. To help support the development of NEO, Moonlight have allocated 20% of funds from their upcoming token sale to help projects that will enhance the growth of the NEO ecosystem. Furthermore, two of the co-founders are both City of Zion co-founders and council members, a group designed to support the NEO ecosystem.
Recently, Binance Labs announced their ‘Community Influence Fund’ in an online broadcast by CEO Zhang. NewsBTC reported that they will be investing in blockchain and cryptocurrency startups using their native token BNB. They have already invested in four projects including MobileCoin, built by Oasis Labs, and verification platform Certik. They are also creating the Binance Ecosystem Fund in a collaboration with 20 other partners.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has also supported the ICO market saying that it is necessary for the development of the cryptocurrency space. He accepted that some aspects needed changing, but that on the whole the business model is viable.