AI recruitment startup Project Crowd raising money by security token offering

Artificial intelligence recruitment platform startup Project Crowd AG is taking a somewhat unusual route to raise funds, listing security tokens for sale on the digital investment platform WeOwn.

The offering is seeking to raise 1 million Swiss Francs ($1.01 million) with investors able to buy into the company with a minimum investment of 200 CHF ($202.50). Unlike initial coin offerings that mostly aren’t formally linked to securities, Project Crowd is referring to the tokens as shares be them issued as a token and managed on blockchain technology.

The company itself is pitching itself as developing a platform that will “address and resolve several of the fundamental issues affecting employers, recruiters and freelancers with the development of the ‘Prowd platform.” The platform is said to use an automated AI matching engine to connect employers and freelancers, recording data on the blockchain to eliminate fraud and speed up the onboarding and payment process.

The Project Crowd listing is also the first listing for WeOwn, a Maltese-registered company that is trying to establish itself as an alternative to venture capital funding and initial public offerings.

“Platforms like WeOwn democratize the investment process, giving everyday people an affordable opportunity to back dynamic, rapidly scaling brands like Project Crowd through an intuitive, user-friendly process,” Sascha Ragtschaa, chief executive officer and co-founder of WeOwn said in a statement. “There’s none of the complexity, confusion and red tape associated with traditional stock exchanges.”

According to WeOwn’s site, fundraising offers can be launched in between 4-10 weeks, providing instant liquidity with no settlement periods.

Security token offerings are not new, first coming of age as an alternative to ICOs in 2018 such is with the successful Overstock Inc. tZERO offering. In an interview with SiliconANGLE’s theCUBE in March 2018,  Trevor Koverko, CEO of Polymath Inc., a company that helps other companies raise money using security tokens said that the method gives digital crypto real-money appeal.

“If you look at the exciting sexiness of having these liquid tokens that kind of feel like stocks but also utilities in the sense that you can use them to do certain things with, that’s a big component of it,” Koverko said that the time.

Like ICOs, security tokens are not without regulatory risk either. Neither Project Crowd nor WeOwn makes any mention as to whether the STO is open to U.S. investors. If they are, they would require approval from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Notably, rule changes to allow for an automated equity trading platform that supports security tokens is currently being considered by the SEC.

Image: WeOwn

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