In everything from AI to scan for diseases and cancers to blockchain to provide global health care for patients, today’s emerging technologies are making a real difference in medicine.
To further that trend, BlueOcean Ventures ll announced the launch of SwissVCToken, a security token offering (STO) platform dedicated to the sale of its BOV Token. With what it claims is the first tokenized VC fund for medical technology, the firm is focused on investing in medical device and life science startups — fields it believes can benefit from blockchain technologies, distributed ledgers, and cryptocurrencies.
“Medtech is at the crossroads between pharma and micro-mechanic/microelectronic, two industries that are very well developed and performing in Switzerland,” BlueOcean Ventures II general partner and cofounder Emmanuel de Watteville told me. “Currently, Switzerland is building an increasingly high profile on the global stage for medtech and life science businesses. The booming venture capital landscape, number of quality entrepreneurs, advanced infrastructure, and successful early-stage businesses have set the stage for Switzerland as the global leader in the medtech space.”
Medical technology aims to create virtual methods of diagnosing, monitoring, and treating the vast range of health issues that affect us all. By streamlining health care services, providing aid in emergency situations, and building devices that cater to patients‘ smallest needs it stands to extend the reach of current health care offerings.
“A great example of this success is Swiss-based Medartis, which raised $142 million on the Swiss stock exchange during its IPO in March of this year,” de Watteville said. “This valued the business at the time at over $630 million. From an investor point of view, exits in medtech are faster, which means the investment cycle from cash into an exit is much shorter compared to biotech.”
BlueOcean Ventures ll uses its network of expert advisors and industry contacts to help build, manage, and coach the startups it invests in with financial guidance and strategic advice. And it has already invested in five promising startups: Ava (elected best Swiss startup in 2017 and 2018), Rheon Medical, Volumina Medical, Luciole Medical, and Abionic.
Through the STO platform, BlueOcean will sell its BOV Token, backed by real assets and based on the value of the existing portfolio companies. The token will allow qualified and accredited investors to indirectly profit from BlueOcean Venture ll’s portfolio companies early on.
So how is blockchain technology affecting the marketplace?
“We believe that blockchain technology is changing and disrupting the VC industry, as well as the general investment paradigm in many ‘illiquid’ industries,” de Watteville said. “The traditional fundraising process for venture capital companies is typically very demanding, paperwork-intensive, affected by domicile, as well as generally inaccessible without a deeply connected network. Moreover, if an individual seeks to invest in a venture capital fund, one would need much more money and the right networks to access the relevant decision-makers within the fund. Holding an interest in a venture capital fund means being ‘locked’ for a period of six to 10 years with little to no re-sell possibility.”
That issue can go away when using blockchain and cryptocurrencies, thanks to instant liquidity. But this isn’t the only reason for using blockchain technology for the platform.
“The second main benefit of a security token refers to the nature of the token being easily accessible and transferable through registered platforms open 24/7 worldwide, and easily divisible and traceable through distributed ledger technologies (DLTs),” de Watteville said. “Security tokens are therefore giving companies and funds such as BlueOcean Ventures II an efficient way to raise and manage capital with an exposition and a facility that has never been possible.”
Blue Ocean Ventures II is focused on investing in early-stage startups from the health care industry, with the ability to act as the lead investor if the company is based in Switzerland.
“Our aim is to grow our portfolio further to a minimum of eight to12 companies, depending on the amounts raised during our STO,” de Watteville said.
The presale of 5 million tokens, with a 60 percent bonus, will open on October 15, 2018. The presale with continue with 20 million tokens at a 30 percent bonus until November 30, 2018. The company says 100 percent of the STO net proceeds will be invested in BlueOcean Ventures II. Once token holders have invested, they can choose to wait until they receive a pro-rata share of the fund’s proceeds or sell their token on exchanges starting in Q1 2019.