I just realised it has been about a month since the last update, things have been so busy I haven’t sat down to write one, apologies. Various things have been released on our Telegram group.
Here is a wrap up in one place:
1. Backlog Investments: In addition to the investment in Vimba we have progressed two NCF backlog proposals to contract negotiation stage. We expect this to conclude shortly depending on lawyers. One of these I mentioned in an earlier update, the paperwork is taking a bit longer than expected but is progressing. I won’t give full detail until the paperwork is signed. There are still a few more backlog proposals that Due Diligence is still progressing on but has taken a bit longer others, for good reasons, there will be further updates on these as progress continues.
2 Non Backlog Investments: A third pipeline investment is being finalised - this time for a non NCF backlog company; representing the first investment was brought into the pipeline by NEM Ventures directly. As soon as we can release information we will do - it is a very significant strategic investment and likely to be a co-investment with multiple large organisations in both traditional capital and crypto markets. It is all under wraps for the time being while communications are aligned and other investors complete their due diligence but we have completed ours. It may take several weeks for this to be released.
3. Proposal Count: We have reviewed a total of 58 proposals since we started; including the original 24 from the backlog and 34 new ones. 13 are undergoing detailed Due Diligence, the other 45 have been a mixture of proposers being unresponsive, withdrawing or being rejected in due diligence for a number of reasons. I am aware of several more that will be submitted shortly.
4. Logo We commissioned a designer to provide NEM Ventures with a new logo, one that clearly shows we are part of the NEM family and compliments the existing collateral, but also clearly sets us apart. The result is now on the NEM Ventures website and we are creating a Press Pack section shortly which will provide access to bigger versions. Any of our portfolio companies or partners are free to use it on their materials providing they check with us first and we expect to see it popping up in a few places soon (see below). We are aware of a minor colour oversight that is being corrected very shortly.
5. Communications & PR - we have engaged Wachsman one of, if not the biggest PR name in the Blockchain and Crypto space to run our PR and media comms. Wachsman will also extend that service to the NEM Foundation and wider ecosystem via ourselves. They were instrumental in the placements we received for the Vimba investment (including Yahoo finance) and also worked with us on the GBX listing PR. The value of working with experienced professionals with the right networks was crystallized through those announcements in addition to their reputation preceding them. The arrangement is initially for 9-12 months but we expect it to be extended based on results. We have worked with Alexandra and the NEM Foundation Council to ensure they are included in the contract and able to access the benefit this agreement offers. We expect this to be part of helping solve that fact that often the good news and work in NEM doesn’t making it into the bigger news sites; in addition to numerous other benefits that come with working with the premier Blockchain and Crypto PR agency. Watch this space, it is just getting going.
6. KYC/AML We have contracted with Know Your Customer an AML/KYC provider based in Dublin who will assist with meeting various regulatory obligations. Similar to exchanges, banks, etc we need to ensure companies are who they claim to be, companies are correctly registered and the source of funds is clean. KnowYourCustomer provides a platform to do that efficiently and cost effectively, they will form part of our wider Due Diligence process. We also have access to a compliance officer through our legal firm who if required can conduct further investigation on any red flags. This will be a mandatory step for all companies prior to investment.
7. Q2 Board Meeting
We will be having our second board meeting in mid April with the governance group. To date all milestones are being broadly met, however the NFP ones have taken a back seat due to the various NEM Foundation/NEM Labs proposals and scopes changing - to avoid duplicating work. We expect to pick this up later this year and agreed with the governance group early in Q2 that we will move the NFP milestones back but add several extra stretch ones for Q2 that are more aligned with what the business needs short term.
1. Tutellus We are happy to be supporting Tutellus in the their Demo Day on 10th of April 2019. The day will showcase projects from their current Masters in Blockchain cohort in a contest, with real time voting being conducted via the audience using the NEM public chain. We are supplying support to the winning projects to help them commercialise their ideas, write business plans etc. I will be attending to represent NEM Ventures and look forward to meeting the teams in person.
We have signed an MoU with Gibraltar Stock Exchange (our national stock exchange) to investigate various areas of collaboration in relation to Security Tokens. They are also a founding member of the Verified Token Framework (https://verifiedtokenframework.com/)
3. NEM Español Interview
I was recently interviewed by Alexis Trujillo Reinefeld from NEM Español about what we have been up to, how best to get in touch with us and the Tutellus demo day above. The content is naturally in Spanish but for those in the community who can understand it, the video is above.
Focus for next few months
1. Existing proposal pipeline
We have made excellent progress reducing this from 58 to 13, BUT we want to have it closed to 3-5 so that we can ensure a timely turnaround for proposals. We expect this quarter to continue reaching that goal.
2. Investment proposal pipeline
Now that we have the proposal pipeline under control and into normal business operations. We will be actively looking at how we can help ensure it is well topped up. This is likely to involve working with you the community to highlight projects you want us to look at, getting out to conferences which we are being invited to generally for free due to being a VC and generally getting out name out there as open for business.
3. Incubators and Startup Campuses
We are actively investigating a few partnership ideas for how we can get involved in high quality startup campuses and incubators to try and bring more projects and proposals onto NEM. Ultimately as an investment company we are uniquely placed to be able to partner with these organisations to help bring high quality projects into the ecosystem - and naturally into our investment pipeline. We expect there to be a lot of overlap with some of the NEM Foundation’s efforts in these areas, but from a very different angle and to be collaborating closely where appropriately.
There are bound to be several others that I have forgotten and we will try and add separately - things are moving very quickly and its a busy few months since we got started but operations are now coming into normal running and processes are starting to work to help us run as efficiently as possible.
As always, keep an eye on our our telegram group and this forum post for further updates