Aryze, a Danish crypto startup developing a global payments system, has completed its initial coin offering (ICO), raising US$1.6 million from 278 individuals representing 14 different nationalities, the company said on Thursday.
Established in 2017, Aryze uses blockchain technology to create a global payments platform powered by fully redeemable stablecoins backed by and pegged to national currencies. Aryze will initially issue tokenized Danish kroners, euros and US dollars. More currencies will be added over time, according to Aryze’s FAQ page.
These stablecoins will be a “true digital representation of cash” running on a payments infrastructure that enables people, businesses and Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices to make instant payments globally with no transaction fees.
The stablecoins solvency will be managed by placing a vast majority of the 1-1 liquidity in government or quasi-governmental bonds and bills.
“Aryze collateralizes stablecoins by incorporating government risk. We’re essentially insuring deposits through short-term government bonds and bills and working towards drastically reducing credit risk,” reads the company’s website. “This is to provide considerably less risk for corporations seeking to exchange currencies, as well as provide an additional revenue stream for Aryze.”
Aryze aims to provide a cheaper, more efficient alternative to cross-border transactions and commerce. Aryze co-founder and CFO Morten Nielsen told Coin Rivet in an interview earlier this month that, at the moment, it costs “an absolute fortune” to move money across the world.
“If someone in the US wants to send US$10 to a person in the Philippines after a hurricane, they will be able to do this and US$9.90 will arrive in the local currency,” Nielsen cited as an example.
“I come from an investment banking background and I want to make a contribution to the world that goes beyond what I’ve done in the past. I significantly believe it can make a difference and that is a key motivator and driver.”
Aryze has also set out to solve the UN Sustainable Development Goal Number 10 by lowering the global average cost of sending money abroad from 7.2% to 3%. Speaking to Forbes in December 2018, Jack Nikogosian, CEO and co-founder of Aryze, explained how the company planned to reach that end, stating:
“Most payment companies and banks are earning a percentage from each transactions conducted … [With Aryze,] we are not transferring money within traditional banking ecosystems, but rather using blockchain technologies to transfer ownership of funds that we keep still.
“We want to create an ecosystem that does not move money around constantly, but instead keeps money safe and in the only place it cannot go away: with the central banks that have issued them.”
Aryze co-founder and CFO Morten Nielsen (left) and Aryze co-founder and CEO Jack Nikogosian (right) – Photo: Nicolas Cosedis
Aryze will initially offer two main products. Aryze Business Solutions will let businesses accept digital payments from any Aryze user and merchant, as well as manage their various funds and conduct foreign exchanges and payments. Aryze Business will include various stand-alone and custom integration tools.
Multi-Asset Modular App (MAMA), a mobile payments platform, will let users send, receive and store multiple assets and currencies. One of the primary features of MAMA will be its built-in modularity which will give users the able to connect extensions or add-ons, customizing the platform to their needs and requirements. Developers and businesses will have a range of tools that will allow them to create modules which users will be able to search for and enable.
In 2018, Aryze was awarded several accolades including the Best Fintech award at Venture Cup, Best Startup at the Copenhagen Fintech Week and received the InnoBooster scholarship from Innovation Fund Denmark.
In a statement, Nielsen shared the company’s ambitions for the years ahead:
“In 2019, we will raise 8-figures (USD) in our next funding round, and there is a large interest from international funds. We have already entered into a major partnership, and more will be announced over the course of this year.
“In 2020, we plan to employ more than 200 individuals and have a turnover of more than US$15 million. As a company, we want to maintain our base in Denmark, and our ambition is that we become a so-called unicorn worth over one billion dollars.”