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 onling 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.