The Largest Accelerator Network in Asia Partners with Argon Group, a leading digital finance advisory firm, and Swarm.Fund, the first security token platform, to Democratize Venture Capital Access
PALO ALTO, Calif., May 11, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — SparkLabs Group, which has the largest accelerator network in Asia and operates global venture capital funds, has engaged with Argon Group, a leading digital finance advisory firm, to launch the first startup accelerator security token offering through their Smart City & Smart Planet Fund (sparklabs.tokenhub.com).
The SparkLabs token is not a utility token and is simply a smart contract that represents an investor’s (“Limited Partners”) equity into its fund vehicle that will have equal holdings in start-up companies that are associated with SparkLabs IoT & Smart City Accelerator in Songdo, South Korea and SparkLabs Cultiv8 Accelerator in Orange, Australia.
“SparkLabs has been very conservative in our approach and viewpoints on the cryptocurrency space and token offerings. We have been concerned that many utility tokens are in fact securities and have viewed this space with some trepidation. After meticulous diligence, we have now decided to jump into the pool a bit with a security token offering that we believe is conservative and provides a better understanding for venture capitalists on how this can affect our industry in the years to come,” stated Jimmy Kim, Co-founder of SparkLabs Group and former CFO of Nexon (South Korea’s largest online gaming company). Additionally, Mr. Kim’s most recent startup, N3N, was Cisco’s first IoT investment.
Graduates of SparkLabs accelerators have an average raise size of over $3.5 million with 80% of the startups receiving funding after the program. SparkLabs’ startups also average over $500,000 in funds raised prior to entering the accelerator programs.
“We believe our Smart City & Smart Planet Fund allows people across the globe to invest into two accelerator funds that can truly change the world in terms of urban innovation, innovation in agriculture, and how we interact with our planet. Both accelerators have excellent partners, such as Australia’s Government of New South Wales which generously provided access to over 30,000 acres of farmland for our startups to utilize as a test bed,” explained Frank Meehan, Co-founder of SparkLabs Group. Mr. Meehan was born and raised in Australia and is currently living in London. Prior to launching SparkLabs, he was best known for leading DeepMind’s Series A (acquired by Google) and sat on Siri’s board of directors until it was acquired by Apple.
“Argon Group is excited to be working with SparkLabs on this new and creative development for venture capital. I believe that SparkLabs is an imaginative accelerator, and, in my view, it comes as no surprise to me that they are leading an effort combining both pioneering urban and environment planning and an innovative approach to capital raising,” said Elliot Han, Managing Director at Argon Group.
About SparkLabs Group
SparkLabs Group (www.sparklabsgroup.com) is comprised of SparkLabs accelerator network, one of Asia’s premier startup accelerators; SparkLabs Global Ventures, a leading global seed stage fund; SparkLabs Ventures, a localized early-stage fund (Series A & B) in South Korea; SparkLabs Capital, a late stage investment vehicle. SparkLabs accelerator network consists of SparkLabs Korea (Seoul), SparkLabs China (Beijing and launching Shanghai, Chengdu and Shenzen), SparkLabs IoT & Smart Cities (Songdo, South Korea), SparkLabs Taipei, SparkLabs Cultiv8 (Sydney) and Ping An FinTech Accelerator, Powered by SparkLabs (Shenzhen & Hong Kong).
About Argon Group
Argon Group is a leading boutique investment bank focused exclusively on the digital finance and token-based capital markets. Argon Group has developed an end-to-end offering, supporting the full process of raising capital in digital capital markets as well as aftermarket trading and support. Key clients include Blockchain Capital, Civic, Storj, Science Blockchain, Protos, TheKey and others.
About Swarm Fund
Swarm Fund is a blockchain-based resource for private equity. It’s a fully decentralized capital market place that democratizes investing by using the power of the blockchain to open up alternative investment classes to investors through funds using cryptocurrency tokens. It makes traditionally exclusive investment opportunities, such as private equity and hedge funds, inclusive for the Swarm by pooling together smaller investments into larger, institutional-sized blocks, providing fund managers access to arguably untapped capital stack.
The Swarm blockchain allows real world investment opportunities to be “tokenized” using the SRC20 protocol, a cryptographic standard for security tokens.