2018 in review: a special message from our CEO

What a year 2018 has been for Own. Tough, rewarding and exciting! 

We’ve reached some significant technical milestones over the past 12 months, including launching our DLT back-end services, our Decentralised Share Register and My Own mobile application.  

We have also put in some diligent work behind the scenes, which will come to fruition next year. We have developed a fully regulated and legally compliant end-to-end self-service security token issuance process, which will launch at the end of January, and our blockchain back-end services are now at a stable stage and will soon be released to production. With these things coming together, we will be open for serious business! 

Growing the Own vision  

The milestones we’ve achieved have only been possible through the talent and hard work of the Own team. We expanded the company in 2018, establishing an engineering team, marketing department and new hubs in Bosnia and Munich. Having started as a vision among just three of us, Own now consists of close to 20 people.  

This growth has not been a numbers game, however; we have been very selective in our recruitment, choosing team members with a can-do attitude, who really understand our vision and are focussed on delivering results and really excel in each of their specific skillsets. We build industry leading products, we’re part of a major revolution, so we need to have the best people to take on an industry that needs changing. 

I love the team we have built and am grateful to every single member for what they do. As a start-up, our business model and focus has changed over the course of the year and this has required an adaptable mentality. We have all learned to be flexible and listen to feedback – throwing the ways of the corporate world out of the window – doing everything we can to pivot our strategy when needed, at the same time as maintaining a steady hand for our clients. The long hours and big ideas have not gone unnoticed!  

Building a community  

Although we have been on an upward trajectory this year, that doesn’t mean everything has been plain sailing. The ETH price has been declining massively over the course of 2018, and that has depreciated our funds – a challenge for a small organisation. To counteract this, we have been careful with our spending, and really focused on clients and revenue. In some ways the difficult climate has benefited us, because a mistake can be fatal, so it has made us very careful with our business decisions.  

One thing that has remained constant is the overwhelming support Own has received from our community. We have been working under the radar for a long time, but now we feel like the talk of the town.  

The level of attention we have received in 2018 has taken me by surprise, and I would like to thank the community for the support they have shown us. During this crypto winter (or ice age), they have really motivated us to succeed, especially when some industry experts have been critical about blockchain and token activities. There has been a lot of hype surrounding blockchain and tokenization, but we are starting to see genuine use cases and we’re right at the heart of this industry revolution.  

Here’s to 2019 

We had a mad start to 2018 with our fund raise, and we have barely been able to draw breath since. But we end the year with our feet on the ground, and the foundations in place to really focus on clients, revenue and profitability in 2019. Expect to see company growth. 

I’d like to thank everyone that has supported Own throughout the past 12 months and wish you a very Happy Christmas and prosperous New Year. See you in 2019! 

Sascha Ragtschaa 

CEO, Own

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