Sydney-based blockchain startup Havven raises $39 million in Australia’s largest ICO
Thursday, March 1, 2018/
Move over Power Ledger, Australia has a new top crypto dog in town after blockchain startup Havven finalised a $US30 million ($38.6 million) initial coin offering (ICO) this morning.
Kicking off at 7.00am, the token sale was over in just 90 minutes. But the full $US30 million was not sold in that time, as the company had already completed a massive $US26 million pre-sale from high net worth individuals and crypto investment funds.
Public contributors to the sale were left with approximately 1.2 million of the startup’s HAV tokens (or around $US4 million worth of tokens), to get their hands on. With the sale completed, tokens will be issued to investors between March 7-13, but it is currently unknown when or where they will commence trading
Speaking to StartupSmart, Havven founder Kain Warwick says completing the sale was “really exciting”, and the enthusiasm across the raise process shows the demand and need for a stablecoin protocol layer.
“People really see the potential in the project, and we’ve had so much support over the last two or three months,” he says.
“I think much of the cryptocurrency community knows that volatility is an issue, and our approach to a stablecoin is a bit different to other projects, and there’s been a lot of interest in that.”
Solving one of the biggest problems in cryptocurrency
Havven’s business model looks to solve what Warwick calls one of the biggest problems in cryptocurrency: the creation of a ‘stablecoin’. Digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, while decent options as speculative investments, are poor long-term stores of value due to their inherent volatility.
Havven looks to provide businesses and investors in the crypto space with a stable digital currency option through its platform, and the startup uses two interlinked tokens — the ‘HAV’ token and the ‘nomin’ token — to establish this stablecoin system.
Users who get their hands on some HAV tokens, either through the recent token sale or by purchasing them through exchanges, can choose to lock up those tokens as collateral in an escrow contract. That contract is then used as a backing to ensure the stability of the ‘nomin’ token, which will be initially pegged to the price of one US dollar, but the startup aims to eventually add support for more currencies.
Warwick says the team won’t know how many contributors will be looking to escrow their HAV tokens, and for how long, until the company completes its audit of the ICO, but they estimate around 50% of contributors will have their tokens locked up after distribution.
Discussion with platforms to use stablecoin underway
With the sale — and $39 million — under their belt, the team is now looking to get the Havven platform fully up and running, and Warwick says he’s begun talks with various decentralised and centralised platforms for them to integrate the Havven stablecoin as an option.
“It’s early days, but hopefully some of the bigger platforms will have some announcements to make pretty soon,” he says.
The first set of nomins will be backed by a portion of the ether raised in the token sale, which will be the main source of nomins until the team has established and balanced the network. Warwick was tight-lipped on the HAV token being listed on exchanges for those speculative investors, saying the team was more focused on building the functionality of the network.
The whole process has been a mark of validation for Warwick and the Havven model, and with one of the largest telegram communities of around 125,000 across two groups, he’s thankful for the level of engagement that already exists with the platform. The wider education process around the Havven platform will “take a bit of time”, he says.
“In reality, we’re going to be distributing tokens to close to 150,000 wallets, which is one of the largest token sale distributions in recent memory. That’s a lot of people who understand and are ready to interact with the platform,” he says.
The majority of the startup’s raised funds will be kept as ether to be used as collateral with the network, with a small amount exchanged to fiat for operating expenses.
And despite closing one of the largest fundraising exercises in Australia in the past 12 months, there’s not much rest on the cards for Warwick and his team.
“We’re straight back into it. We’ve got to distribute the tokens as fast as possible, and then we’ve got a very detailed roadmap ahead of us, including full integration of the platform and multi-currency support,” he says.