NEM Ventures Portfolio Update Q1 2021

Hi All!

It’s been a while since our last update, but the Symbol launch work coupled with the Ignite incubator has meant it slipped a little. NV to date has reviewed about 200 startups, invested in 14 of which 2 closed down, 7 have fundraised with a higher valuation or plan to in the near future, and 3 went through the Ignite incubator. We have a nice geographical span (Europe, N and S America, and Asia Pacific) and a good mix of diversity in the leadership teams. In terms of performance, this is in line with or even better than typical VC firms. We are proud of our Portfolio having stuck through all the rough patches of 2020 and we hope that 2021 will be a whole lot easier! We aim to return to more regular reporting, here is what the companies have been up to:


  • Implemented an energy cap trading incentivization system using Symbol
  • Completed a user test of 18 homes and achieved upwards of 20% energy savings in most with AI energy monitoring and blockchain based incentivization on mobile app and non-contact energy monitor
  • Won a city level award for the project in Shanghai and a small grant, as well as finished as finalists in a number of other competitions one of which also had a grant
  • Completed working prototype of home energy consumption breakdown by appliance using custom AI algorithms
  • Deployed Ample environment and energy monitors and behavior influencing devices in one office building in Shanghai
  • Ample is currently in a state that it is ready to scale beyond initial pilots. Covid has presented significant challenges with things like student accommodation and schools being closed, restrictions working inside/moving around cities etc. The team is working around these challenges but schedules have been significantly impacted, understandably so.


  • XYM integrated shortly after Symbol launch, at parity with XEM on the physical PoS terminals and web terminal
  • Launched a big pilot with Currency Exchange International, Corp. (CXI) - the pilot is currently underway in 12 US locations and will expand to 40+ locations in the coming weeks
  • Launched “Cycle Online”, a new service that enables online retailers to accept cryptocurrencies alongside traditional payment methods
  • Introductions made and conversations ongoing with multiple parties in relation to XEM/XYM payment acceptance, not yet publicly disclosable until finalised or announced


  • ANT$ being used in several projects. ANT$ (with minimal reconfiguring) can be used in a variety of industries: supply chain, logistics, asset tracking, environmental compliance to name a few specific verticals
  • “Successful PoC and pilot with a startup based in Japan, tracking real batches of products from the US to Japan! This pilot/product uses ANT$ to store verified batch info on Symbol.”
  • Created the curriculum for and delivered the first Symbol SI training session. Working on a new PoC for SI training, “COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution” to showcase Symbol functionalities
  • Working in a consortium with significant partners on an IoT/AI/Blockchain solution, the details of which are currently private


  • Closing down the company, unfortunately, due to the ongoing Covid challenges, ride-sharing is a very difficult concept to onboard customers for. Prior to the pandemic, there were 2 pilot sites starting, but both canceled the pilot due to Covid
  • Company is going through liquidation at present and NVL are working with the directors to reapportion assets and close down gracefully


  • Symbol fully integrated into STO and Custodial platform immediately after Symbol launch, with one committed STO issuance on the platform for 2021 and others under discussion
  • Graduated from MAS’ FinTech Regulatory Sandbox
  • They are the first fully regulated independent digital asset custody service provider to be granted the Capital Markets Services (CMS) license by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), to provide custodial and asset servicing solutions to accredited and institutional investors thereby positioning them well in South East Asia
  • Working on an exciting new product line with other partners/investors which is not yet publicly announced
  • Currently in late stages of a subsequent investment round which NVL has committed to participate in as a following investor to avoid dilution. This round is expected to significantly increase the value of the company from the point at which NVL invested
  • Propine is hiring


  • Created an app and went live on Symbol mainnet
  • Secured first clients & made first revenue
  • Discovered a new market and started the process of pivoting
  • Got substantial press coverage, participated in several conferences as key speakers, published several successful materials.


  • stXEM and stXYM launched and the opt-in process was fully supported
  • StakedTokens Launched: stETH, stXEM, stFiro, stDOt, stMATIC, stZEN, stDASH, and stXYM, with approximately USD $350M worth of assets staked with an ARR of USD $6M
  • Unfortunately an incident has occurred with one of their custodians which has resulted in Ethereum assets becoming locked, this is being worked through at present, as a result, various functions are temporarily suspended


  • Techemynt Launched First New Zealand Dollar Stablecoin, $NZDs, this is a Circle compliant stable coin that uses the same Circle Framework as USDC, but is based on the New Zealand dollar with EY audited 1:1 deposits backing the supply.
  • Techemy Capital Launched “Managed DeFi Portfolio: Competitive Solution for the DeFi Ecosystem”
  • Introduced a successful mid-size SI partner to the ecosystem who are considering possibilities of Symbol for existing Fintech and Energy clients (name with-held while the partner confirms interest or not)
  • Sphere Identity software has been sold in a cash and stock deal. They have rights to license to other jurisdictions which they continue to explore
  • Dasset trading platform product turned profitable
  • Launching various IDO projects for clients, including notable Wall St Bets, not currently on NIS1/Symbol due to lack of smart contracts but investigating options around the EVM items of the roadmap to see where this may be possible in the future
  • Techemynt submitted a proposal to make the NZDS stable coin into a multi-chain solution with Symbol and NIS1 as the first chains after Ethereum and then to look at porting USDC onto Symbol, unfortunately, it was not possible to gain approval for this for Funding and Technical reasons, they may be directed to the Quadratic funding approach in the future when it is available.


  • Closed the company due to inability to raise follow-on funding, currently going through liquidation and NVL are awaiting the outcome and return of any assets possible.

Wave Financial

  • The fund has grown to over $500 million in assets under management
  • Named one of the top 5 regulated US Digital asset managers by CoinTelegraph
  • Assisting ecosystem with various introductions to regulated asset related infrastructure companies (STO issuers, exchanges etc) these are early stages and will take some time
  • Scaling very quickly and a long way ahead of forecasts, currently hiring multiple positions to keep up with the growth
  • Engaged in a lot of external outreach and presence building via conferences, podcasts, thought leadership etc
  • Recently announced the opening of their second Kentucky Whisky Fund 202, any interested (accredited) parties please contact Wave Financial directly
  • Also won TADS Best of Class Asset Backed Token at Hong Kong Blockchain Week 2020 for the first Kentucky Whisky Fund 2020 to be tokenized on NEM’s Symbol blockchain

NEM Ignite Graduates

Cohort 0:


  • Graduated from NEM Ignite’s beta cohort
  • 3 paid pilots either underway or in the process of implementation
  • Assisting with onboarding a small-mid size SI into the ecosystem with information and referencing
  • Focus is primarily on scaling via existing customers, perfecting product/vision before onboarding more

Cohort 1:


  • Building a product to provide access to smarter, faster credit for SMBs (Small Medium Business) in the Supply Chain utilizing the Symbol platform. The assessment process will be automated through it’s AI-based risk engine, providing borrowers with easy to qualify for short term loans to help grow their business
  • The digital credit contract with the borrower is minted into an NFT that is then staked on a DeFi lending platform. The community (both NEM and DeFi) are able to participate in providing credit to the SME and earn a yield while supporting sustainable businesses
  • Initially focused on providing credit to Artisanal food and Craft brewers
  • Currently collaborating with several large partners to democratize access to the financial system. The details are expected to be announced in the coming months with NEM actively participating in the process to help connect various parties with common interests into a decentralized business consortium


  • The startup incentivizes users to do positive acts rewarding them with digital tokens. The system creates a digital reputation for people and institutions in recognition for their contributions to society, improving collaboration and motivation in a virtuous cycle of positive value
  • The project has recently finished a Beta version testing with great results
  • The team is developing a new IOS/ Android version and is fundraising


  • Building a ticket management product for event managers and musicians geared towards improving the ticketing experience of both ticket issuers and fans.
  • Currently in the process of researching their target market and in the early stages of building out the product

In light of the NGL changes that are ongoing, we have suspended Ignite for the time being as we need to ensure mentors are available for delivery. We hope to pick this up as the ecosystem settles down and will revisit it in a few months. We think the process has been valuable both for ourselves and those who have participated and we thank all the mentors and incubatees! We are always happy to hear from any projects in the ecosystem and please feel free to contact us or submit a proposal via the website.