Own is on a mission to change the equity market, giving market operators and enterprises greater control over the way they raise capital and manage financial assets – cutting out costly, time-consuming intermediaries in the process.
To enable this, we have created an ecosystem of products and services that enable full end-to-end equity issuance and servicing, to rival existing models like IPOs and Private Fund Raising. This tokenized ecosystem comprises of a series of modules that market operators, businesses and investors can use to raise capital or invest in new global opportunities, monitor those investments and communicate digitally, to forge a strong, direct relationship that is not possible within traditional investment models.
Users have the opportunity to benefit from our entire product suite, or to start by leveraging certain elements and then build up the features they are utilising. Over 300 are already doing this, as they have signed up for our Decentralised Share Register (DSR) and My Own mobile application. The next piece of technology they can use, which will further enable our vision is the Financial Asset Security Tokenization (FAST) Platform, and we’ll be releasing a number of new features over the coming months to bring us closer to our goal. In fact, our next upgrade – FAST Platform 2.0 – is due to go live in early 2019.
While our engineering team puts the finishing touches to version 2.0, we wanted to provide an overview of this market-changing technology platform, outlining the development roadmap that will enable us to provide equity issuance and servicing in the near future.
What is the FAST Platform?
Own’s FAST – Financial Asset Security Tokenization – Platform is our primary tool for enabling a full end-to-end equity issuance and servicing platform to rival traditional investment models, such as IPOs and private fundraising.
The platform can be accessed by market operators, businesses and investors, who are able to use our full technology suite.
What are the benefits?
As part of our tokenized asset ecosystem, Own’s FAST Platform connects companies and investors, significantly lowering the cost and time it takes to initiate fundraising transactions.
Our solution helps businesses to issue shares and raise capital within 10 weeks, while leveraging partner equity services to ensure the process is fully regulated and legally compliant. This speed is achieved by cutting out unnecessary middlemen – brokers, dealers, trading accounts, registrars, CSDs and clearing houses – which dramatically reduces associated fees as well.
Additionally, our platform is built on Own’s purpose-built blockchain, developed specifically for the financial services industry, meaning all data actions are completely secure. FAST Platform users can take advantage of our asset tokenization technology, which digitises the rights to an asset to enable tamper-proof trading and fractional share ownership. This opens the market to an entire new investor base, lowering the barrier for entry and making investment opportunities much more appealing to a younger investor demographic.
Beyond share issuance, our FAST Platform enables enterprises to manage their entire equity lifecycle in a ‘one stop shop’ including share registration, voting events, dividends, reporting and other corporate action.
It also encourages investors to actively participate in the owner relationship, by voting in real-time on company resolutions, monitoring the value of their shareholdings and updating their contact details where necessary to ensure ongoing communications.
The Own team has been working hard since our inception to find innovative use cases for the blockchain within financial services. Our FAST Platform is market-leading in that it provides companies and investors access to asset tokenization technology; an emerging market with huge potential.
How can companies access the FAST Platform?
There are two ways in which enterprises typically start using our FAST Platform. The first way is signing up directly for the solution; it’s free to register, and our core services are also available free of charge.
The second way in which businesses come to use the FAST Platform is by managing their investor database through our DSR. Enterprises may choose to initially just manage their register through our technology, but then begin to explore the other features we offer. In fact, once we enable share issuance on our platform, DSR users get the first chance to participate.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter which route companies choose; they can move seamlessly between our different products and services to leverage our complete ecosystem. All they need to do is register free of charge and create a company profile.
In addition to our business portal, we offer market operators a customised dashboard with colours, logos and fonts tailored to their company branding. The exact appearance of the market operator dashboard depends on the reason they are using our FAST Platform – for example, some enable public investors to join, others focus on invite-only private market opportunities – and we work with each market operator client to create a layout that works for their organisation.
How can investors access the FAST Platform?
Like our enterprise clients, the FAST Platform is free of charge for investors to register with and use – all they need to do is create a log-in and build their own profile. In addition to an online dashboard, we also have a bespoke mobile app, My Own, that investors can download to control their shares on-the-move.
Some investors are invited to sign up for our simple-to-use app by the company that they hold shares in, using a unique confirmation code. This automatically populates the dashboard with their holding information, and sets-up communication channels through which they can vote on board resolutions.
If the companies in which investors have a stake aren’t yet FAST Platform users, we encourage them to sign up and send investors a confirmation code to kick-start the process. Sign up to our mobile app now and be the first to start investing in businesses and tokenized financial assets.
We appreciate that there may be users who want to use the FAST Platform as both a company and an investor, so we give them the capacity to operate in both roles.
When will version 2.0 be released?
Our team have been working round-the-clock to finalise the next upgrade to our FAST Platform, and we expect to release it by the end of January.
This next update is a huge milestone for Own, as it enables enterprises to create primary issuances through our platform for the first time, and for investors to get involved in these new fundraising opportunities.