Blockchain-based ShipFund close to first million in investments
The blockchain-based investment platform ShipFund of Shipping Company Groningen is close to securing its first million euros in investments, investor relations manager Stephan Benninga tells PCJ. The company aims to secure EUR 2 million by the end of April.
With ShipFund, the Dutch multipurpose vessel operator wants to make investments in the company accessible to the masses by simplifying the investment structure and a low entry barrier of EUR 250.
The first product launched through the platform is called ShipBond, which enables investors to buy bonds of the shipping company for EUR 50 per token. These tokens have a duration of two years and an interest rate of 4.25%.
Roughly 6 months after launching ShipFund, the Dutch multipurpose vessel operator has sold the first three tranches of EUR 250,000 each and is close to selling its fourth tranche, marking the first million euros the platform has secured.
Congratulations on the success. What’s next?
“Thank you, we’re very pleased with it. Next, we will issue more tranches. We aim to secure EUR 2 million in investments by the end of the 12-month running period, which ends April 30th. After that, we’re aiming to open a new tranche every month.”
Who are the investors?
“It’s a diverse group. When we launched Shipfund and ShipBond, we first targeted investors who had previously invested money in the CV and KG system. We’re also receiving investments from people who simply found us online searching for new investment opportunities.”
Investment in shipping has had a bad reputation for a while following the collapse of the German KG system. Why do you think people are investing again?
“I believe we offer an attractive proposition with an interest rate of 4.25%. If we look at the Netherlands, for example, the banks hold EUR 369 billion in savings and with a looming negative interest rate, people are looking for alternative options that will actually increase their capital instead of diminishing it. In addition, repayment of our bonds is guaranteed by our holding company, which supplies investors with much more comfort in comparison to the ‘one-vessel investments’ from the past.”
Are you planning on issuing other products through the platform as well?
“Yes, in the future we also plan to launch a product called ShipShare which will give investors the opportunity to buy equity. We’ve intentionally set up ShipFund as an umbrella under which we can release different financial products. For now, we’ll focus on ShipBond but ShipShare will follow somewhere in the not too distant future.”
Shipping Company Groningen manages a fleet of 40 multipurpose and heavy-lift vessels that operate worldwide.