Blockchain Startup Harbor Raises $28M USD To Reengineer Private Securities

Announcements, Blockchain, Investing | April 17, 2018 By:

Tokenized securities startup Harbor has raised $28 million in new funding led by Founders Fund, the venture-capital firm co-founded by Peter Thiel. Andreessen Horowitz and crypto investment firms Pantera Capital and Craft Ventures also invested.

Harbor is aiming to re-engineer private securities with blockchain technology to help usher in a new wave of tokenized securities backed by real-world assets, such as real estate, company equity, investment funds, and fine art. The company had already secured $10 million in funding in February and it has collected $40 million to date.

Harbor said the lastest investments will be used to fund further development of its ethereum-based R-Token platform, an open source compliance framework, and a core component of Harbor’s compliance protocol. The R-Token checks every trade and only permits transactions to occur if they meet applicable rules for that specific offering, such as limiting the number of total investors, only allowing specific types of investors (e.g. accredited investors), implementing a holding period, or other domestic or international requirements.

Issuers, broker-dealers, underwriters, and/or regulatory bodies can implement the R-Token standard for specific exemptions and to meet jurisdictional securities regulations, know your customer (KYC) policies, anti-money laundering (AML) requirements, tax considerations, and more.

Joshua Stein, CEO of Harbor, said that tokenizing private securities allows issuers to lock up capital without locking up investors. He added that the prospect of greatly increased liquidity for private securities will enhance capital formation, create new investment opportunities, and support economic growth.

“Harbor is the enabling technology platform for securities issuers and broker-dealers to compliantly tokenize private securities,” Stein said.

Napoleon Ta, partner at Founders Fund, said capital formation is the killer app of blockchains, but a lot of investors and institutions are waiting on the sidelines for asset-backed securities like real estate, private investment funds, and fine art to be tokenized before jumping in.

“It’s only a matter of time, and we think Harbor has the right approach to solving the compliance challenges that will catalyze this monumental shift to the tokenization of traditional assets,” said Ta.