Despite the rapidly changing nature of business and venture capitalism, the way in which institutions and wealthy individuals invest in new talent and fresh ideas has arguably failed to keep up with the shifts that disrupt the status quo across industries.
In an attempt to tackle this problem, business success stories Doug Barrowman and Baroness Michelle Mone OBE have joined together to launch EQUI – a brand new investment platform powered by cryptocurrency and bringing investing into the future.
“Once in a generation a new way of thinking disrupts the workings of an established industry,” Doug Barrowman said of the project. “EQUI is that disruptor in venture capital investing.”
With EQUI, the pair are enthusiastic about wanting to open up the world of venture capital to a wider demographic of people outside of – as is the norm – institutions and VCs.
“EQUI will find the next generation of successful entrepreneurs and help to build the business success stories of tomorrow, primarily in the areas of technology and blockchain,” added Baroness Michelle Mone.
Leveraging the Ethereum blockchain, the web-based application showcases projects and participants are then welcome to use EQUItokens – a standard ERC20 token designed solely for use on the EQUI platform – in order to purchase a stake in projects they strongly believe in.
These projects will vary in size, but will all demonstrate innovation and scalability. Once realised, those who invest their EQUItokens into projects will get 70 percent of generated profits, and those who keep their token within the platform will receive a further 5 per cent.
No Limit to Participation
Barrowman told CryptoNewsReview: “I like the idea of opening the venture capital world up to the non-institutional, non-ultra high-net worth individuals. We’re almost creating a people-powered investment movement. What is traditionally the preserve of the few now becomes the opportunity for the many.
“The beauty of the EQUItoken is that there’s no limit to who can participate,” he continued. “Everyone from an institution to an individual can now access the website, see what we’re looking to invest in and, if they like it they can use their EQUItokens to participate alongside us.”
Those involved in the business will have access to high-growth startups and established tech companies chosen and vetted by Barrowman, Mone and the rest of the board. On the other side of things, businesses will benefit not only from the opportunity to gather funding from a more diverse range of benefactors, but also from the expertise of those behind the scenes.
The co-founders will be joined by an entrepreneur advisory board that includes Mark Pearson, founder of MyVoucherCodes and other experts in investment, cryptocurrency and law.
“There’s nothing that hasn’t been thought about, and that’s why this will be a success,” Mone said. “We don’t do anything that isn’t… Imagine someone out there who’s got this tech idea or a tech business really struggling because they know their idea’s a blockbuster.
“Being an entrepreneur is the loneliest job on the planet, you can’t even talk to your friends and family about it. But imagine getting the opportunity to work with us and the rest of the board, getting that investment as well. That’s super exciting.”
Quality over Heresay
EQUI isn’t just focused on disrupting the VC world, but also planting a flag in the exciting world of cryptocurrency. What separates EQUI from other ICOs, Barrowman says, is that the value of the EQUItoken is directly tied to the quality of investment projects. Asset values, rather than hype.
“If eight years ago someone told me to get involved in bitcoin, I wish I’d done it back then,” Mone said. “We are a cryptocurrency, a token off the Ethereum platform, so you can get involved even if you don’t want to take your token and invest in what we invest in. Maybe you just want to trade your token.”
Barrowman added. “A lot of the ICOs, you have to ask yourself how do you get value and why has it risen so much in the 12-months since launch? Very often there’s no real substance to it, whereas this one is underpinned by a portfolio of investments – hopefully with a blockbuster along the way.”
The pair bring their lofty reputations with them, not only in the business world as a whole but also in the cryptocurrency space. Most recently Mone and Barrowman successfully launched a $300 million property development in Dubai – the first of its size and scale to be offered for sale in cryptocurrency.
A long-time advocate for women in business, Mone is also the founder of Ultimo Brands International. Barrowman, meanwhile, has spent his 30-year career investing in and operating businesses, notably with his own private investment vehicle, Aston Ventures.
Mone and Barrowman’s current ambition is to make EQUI a global success and EQUItokens a household brand name at the same level that Bitcoin currently occupies. This, accompanied by the act of giving back to the business community, is the long-term goal for the company.
Barrowman said: “The thing that prevents great ideas from happening and companies from developing are money and a support network or advisory network. Certainly in the early days of my career I’d have loved to have had access to EQUI.
“We’ve learned things the hard way and fortunately achieved success, which we’re both very grateful for. So it’s not only nice to launch something like this but to actually be able to impart some assistant and help, and to open up a market that’s not that accessible for everyday people. To invest and participate.”
The EQUI pre-sale will begin on March 1 and run until March 8, with a minimum investment level of $100,000 required. A 25 per cent bonus incentive also applies to this pre-sale period. Following this, from March 8 the public ICO will run until March 31 with bonuses available during the first two weeks.