Investing Expertise and Capital in Blockchain Technologies
This profile is part of a paid investor education campaign.*
Codebase Ventures (CSE:CODE; FWB:C5B; OTCQB:BKLLF) invests exclusively in blockchain technologies, as they believe blockchain technology will radically transform how business is conducted throughout the world. The company is based in Vancouver, BC, but has also recently expanded into the US market with its wholly-owned subsidiary in the Silicon Valley, 360 Blockchain USA.
According to 360 Blockchain USA President and CEO Jeff Koyen, “Blockchain is a shared ledger used to record transactions across a decentralized network of computers. ‘Decentralized’ is the key word here. Because they have no central authority figures, blockchains are governed by the network operators. Before any transaction is recorded to the ledger, a certain level of agreement must be reached by the entire network.”
Blockchain technology is being adopted across a number of industries, including banks and financial institutions. The market has grown at a much faster rate than anticipated, and is expected to be worth $2.3 billion by 2021.
Unlike many companies in the blockchain landscape that are launching cryptocurrencies or initial coin offerings (ICOs), Codebase Ventures’ focus is to invest in technologies that are using blockchain in varied and innovative ways. To this effect, the company has acquired or invested in five companies that each use blockchain to pursue their mandate.
This includes SV CryptoLab, a social hacker community space by day and a cryptocurrency mining operation by night; Pressland, an open-source media directory looking to relaunch as a blockchain-powered platform combating fake news; and Arcology, a blockchain platform that will use machine-learning and pattern-recognition technology to create hierarchical blockchain structures.
Recently, Codebase Ventures has acquired the ICORanker.com and BlockchainRanker.com websites which provide Codebase Ventures with access into the token industry. These sites also act as a platform that vets and rates blockchain applications, services and software providers. Finally, Codebase Ventures has initially invested $100,000 in ePIC Blockchain Technologies Inc., a blockchain processing hardware company that is developing scalable and energy efficient mining tools and infrastructure to cryptocurrency miners.
Part of what sets Codebase Ventures apart from its peers is that the company entered the space early on and put together a knowledgeable management team that takes its time to properly assess potential deals. This team includes Jeff Koyen, who plays roles both as a strategic advisor to the head company and as CEO of 360 Blockchain USA. He brings with him 20 years of experience in technology journalism and, with that, a keen eye for determining viable opportunities for the company. His caliber is matched by his peers and together they lead the company with in-depth experience in multiple areas including business development, corporate finance, media, insurance and capital markets.
- Early mover in funding blockchain technologies beyond cryptocurrencies
- Has acquired or invested in five companies that deploy blockchain-based technology
- Recently-launched wholly-owned subsidiary in US led by experienced technology journalist Jeff Koyen
- Knowledgeable management team that makes well-researched and informed decisions regarding their acquisitions and investments
CryptoLab: Mining and Community Building
In January 2018, 360 acquired 60 percent of the outstanding shares in SV CryptoLab, a cloud-based cryptocurrency mining organization. Since then, the company has raised its ownership to 80 percent, exercising its right as part of the agreement.
Under the proposed agreement, 360 would have the option to acquire the remaining 20 percent and keep on SV’s current CEO to lead the advancement operations as a key component of the company’s management team. During weekdays, SV would continue to run a part hacker part social space that hosts meetups. Meanwhile, during nights and weekends, the lab would use its computing power to conduct its cryptocurrency mining operations for the economic benefit of 360.
“We are excited to reach this milestone, completing our initial acquisition in the blockchain space, so that we can scale this concept,” said Codebase Ventures’ President and CEO George Tsafalas. “We are working to replicate SV CryptoLab’s business model, together with its proprietary evaluation algorithm, in other cities soon.”
Since the submission of the letter of intent for the original acquisition in November 2017, SV has further developed its cryptocurrency mining operations to include on-site Bitcoin mining, adding 370 ASIC microprocessors to its enterprise. Additionally, SV has also entered into contracts to mine Ethereum and Zcash, to other rapidly growing cryptocurrencies. 360 has also indicated that it is exploring the possibility of opening a second location in the same format on the eastern coast of the US.
Pressland: Media Transparency Through Rewarded Crowdsourcing
In April 2018, 360 acquired Pressland, a media directory and website focused on media transparency. Pressland was launched in 2015 and offers a crowdsourced directory of 20,000 media outlets and professionals. Pressland is led by Koyen, who brings over 20 years of journalistic experience. With the help of 360, Pressland will be re-launched to provide the public with blockchain-powered tools that will help expose unreliable news items.
“Today, thanks to the innovative power of blockchain technology and utilizing 360’s expertise and resources we have the unique opportunity to expand Pressland’s mission to debunking fake news and exposing unreliable players in the media,” said Tsafalas.
The platform will function as a reward economy built on its own cryptocurrency token. With the use of the token, Pressland community members will be incentivized to contribute intelligence and insights and verify data from media outlets and media figures. “This data will then power a suite of tools designed to debunk fake news on other platforms, such as Facebook,” said Koyen.
In May 2018, Pressland announced that it will be issuing its own transactional currency in the form of a blockchain-based cryptographic token. The July 2018, Pressland partnered with Token Agency for marketing purposes for their upcoming token sale.
“To run a successful token sale, it’s critical to communicate your project’s mission, goals and value proposition. This is no simple task in the buzzy world of crypto and blockchain,” said Koyen.
Additionally, Pressland has signed a LOI to form a commercial partnership with Membit Inc., the maker of the Membit augmented reality (AR) photo-sharing app for iOS. Membit will be using Pressland’s data to help verify original journalism produced on its platform. The two companies are also in discussion for jointly creating a platform for journalists to in the field. The platform would allow journalists to validate and verify their reporting in the field. Preliminary designs for this app should be released in the early 2019.
Arcology: Providing Hierarchical Structures to Blockchain
In late 2017, 360 announced that it would invest an initial $1 million for 30 percent of a first-of-its-kind blockchain platform from Alberta, Canada. Subject to the terms of the agreement, the investment would increase up to $2 million for 51 percent of the company.
Arcology is a blockchain platform that utilizes machine-learning and pattern-recognition technology to develop hierarchical blockchain structures that solve common market problems including speed and scalability. Arcology has been designed to be more scalable and ‘intelligent’ than the current leader in its market, Ethereum.
“In identifying this opportunity, 360 will help advance blockchain technology to where it needs to be in a decade, not just years, from now,” said Tsafalas. “The blockchain revolution is just beginning, and we’re proud to be at its forefront.”
As of April 2018, Arcology has recruited a team of experts from the fields of artificial intelligence, machine learning and biologically inspired adaptive network design to build new blockchain technologies that will address the inefficiencies in the current platforms on the market and compliments Archology’s current blockchain platform. Revenue from this project will come from a variety of traditional sources, such as subscriptions, licensing and consulting fees.
Additional Investments and Acquisitions
In July 2018, 360 acquired the iCORanker.com and BlockchainRanker.com websites with a suite of professional services and marketing data for $1.75 million in cash and stock. BlockchainRanker.com vets and rates blockchain platforms, services and software providers and will relaunch under 360’s management.
“Acquiring ICORanker is our entry to the lucrative world of token analysis, ratings and recommendations,” said Koyen. “The token sale ecosystem has a bright future, and we’re excited to take ICORanker to the next level of profitability.”
According to a report published by PwC, token sales have raised $13.7 billion in the first five months of 2018 which has doubled the totals from 2017.
NOS Blockchain Inc. Joint Venture
In November 2017, 360 entered into a joint venture agreement with NOS Blockchain Inc., which provides 360 with first right of refusal on all NOS blockchain technologies. NOS is a subsidiary of Nerds On Site Inc., which specializes in providing cost effective, leading edge solutions to small and medium sized enterprises. The company has a client base of over 12,000 and a customer satisfaction rating of 96.5 percent.
“Codebase Ventures has invested $100,000 in NOS to accelerate the development and implementation of NOS’s existing, advanced blockchain technologies,” said Tsafalas. “The leadership team at NOS Blockchain Inc. has an extensive track record of success, building a technology company from the grassroots into a market leader in the IT solutions space. Their advanced stage blockchain technologies are the basis of our decision to structure a joint venture and invest $100,000 at this time.”
ePIC Blockchain Technologies Inc.
In January 2018, 360 initially invested $100,000 in ePIC Blockchain Technologies Inc., a blockchain processing hardware provider. ePIC is focused on designing scalable and energy efficient cryptocurrency mining tools and infrastructure. Currently, ePIC is designing a cryptocurrency chip that is specifically designed for bitcoin mining that should be able to go to market by Q4 2018.
“Codebase Ventures has invested $100,000 in ePIC to accelerate the development of ePIC’s purpose-built cryptocurrency mining chip,” said Tsafalas. “ePIC has a defined focus that resonates strongly with our team. The infrastructure required to mine cryptocurrencies represents a massive business opportunity and we are focused on finding start-up technologies that can empower the blockchain revolution and deliver significant results to our shareholders.”
George Tsafalas—President and CEO, Director
George Tsafalas has extensive experience in senior operational management, corporate business development and corporate finance in the private and public sectors and is an entrepreneur. Currently he is a Senior Partner at Stadnyk and Partners Inc. He specializes in the execution of strategic budget plans and monitors the development of the portfolio programs, including review of the financial objectives and milestones. He has over ten years of senior management experience in the oil and gas sector, as well as in the hospitality industry and professional sports sectors. He has experience in the attraction of private equity capital, including angel investment groups and firms and has assisted in several successful equity capital fundraising efforts.
Jeff Koyen—Strategic Advisor, President and CEO of 360 Blockchain USA
Jeff Koyen is an award-winning journalist and entrepreneur who has been active in cryptocurrency and blockchain as an investor and trader since 2014. As a media strategist and advisor, Koyen is valued for his keen eye for weak signals, emerging trends and early discovery, and he has a proven track record of launching new digital properties for both startups and legacy media companies.
Brian D. Keane—Director
Brian Keane serves as a Consultant at Stadnyk and Partners Inc in New York, New York and formerly served as its Managing Director. He has over 17 years of capital markets, investing and C-level consulting experience. He has invested in, advised upon or restructured over 75 emerging growth companies in the US, Canada, Caribbean and Asia, representing over $2 billion in transaction value. He has advised several buy-side investment funds and worked at investment banks including: Rodman & Renshaw, LLC, Ladenburg Thalmann & Co and TechVest. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Scranton and a Juris Doctor from New York Law School.
Tatiana Kovaleva has extensive experience working in the Capital Markets. Over the last twenty years she has served in the Capacity of Chief Financial Officer for multiple publicly traded companies.
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