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Hi all,
Unfortunately, our fundraising was unsuccessful, and we decided to shut down for good.

I am sorry I don't come with better news.

Here is a little bit more on how it all came to be:

We started in 2017, more than five years ago, with the vision of bringing Real-World Assets on chain.

In 2018 we finished developing our Brickblock smart contract ecosystem and even got regulatory approval to launch our very first project based out of the Channel Islands. But the project didn't take off, as demand was too low. We thought the reason behind the failure was the restriction to investment amounts above €100k. So we restarted our efforts to make a similar offer for retail.

In 2019 we were the first company to actually make tokenised real estate available to buy on chain with no minimum investment amount in the EU (as reported by the financial times). And even in one of the most secure jurisdictions, Germany. But demand was low again. All of the projects which went live had trouble raising funding. Blockchain natives were not interested in buying tokenised real estate with a 4-8% interest rate per year when they saw Bitcoin and Ether could bring double-digit returns in a single day (although with higher risk and volatility).

We didn't want to give up. In 2020 we shifted towards offering our smart contracts products to fund managers. We went through the hassle of getting regulatory approval and putting the first fund on chain— another big win. But again, the market was slow to adopt.

We then decided in 2021 to focus on building out fund manager productivity tools under a new company called ScalingFunds and managed to raise funds for it. We designed the product in such a way that Brickblock's blockchain tech was an integral part of the software but for users invisible. We did this to reduce the barrier to entry for non-blockchain savvy users and customers. The traditional finance industry still associates blockchain technology with a lot of risks. But our new method finally improved adoption! Fund managers with more than $1bn lined up to put their new funds onto the platform and use Brickblock's technology which we integrated into ScalingFunds.

2022 however, a lot of the fund managers were not able to raise their funds. The most common reason was a general market slowdown or changed business models due to rising interest rates. Only a fraction of the $1bn materialised. To increase adoption, we targeted already successful fund managers to migrate their funds onto our newly developed platform. It worked again! We signed up another $3bn to migrate throughout the next year.

But at this point, it was just bad timing. FTX blew up. We are in a total bear market. All risk assets, including startup valuation, crashed, and the world is in fear mode. We are still far from profitability and are dependent on external funding. A pump and dump of our token was never an option, so VC funding was the only way to continue chasing our dream. But after 2019, 2020, and 2021 of successful VC funding, our 2022 fundraising was unsuccessful, and we ran out of cash. Our existing investors lost the appetite to support Brickblock going into year six without significant revenue streams.

That's it. The journey is at its end...

I'm sorry I have not made this venture a success. I tried everything I could and worked endless hours, but it was not enough to make it work. Product market fit/traction came a couple of years too late.

I am deeply grateful for all of you who supported us over the last five years. I know it was not always easy, and we did a lot of mistakes. But this was the very best we could deliver as first-time founders.

I am a huge believer in the RWA space, and I hope that the least we did is to level the playing field for new companies to rise and continue pushing the traditional finance industry to adopt technology which will increase transparency and liquidity and make a big step toward democratising the access to RWAs.

What's next? We will liquidate the assets and the companies in the next couple of months.
I will occasionally respond to some comments, but I will also need to take a break and spend some time with my family.

Although it's not under the best circumstances, I want to wish you a peaceful, merry Christmas or, for everyone who is not celebrating Christmas, happy holidays.

Jakob
2024/05/26 20:21:47
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