ConsenSys believes it can become a valuable company, provided it can get through the next year.
As The Information first reported Monday, the company is seeking approximately $200 million in new investment. However, ConsenSys also projects $152 million in expenses in 2019, with $52 million in revenue, for an estimated $100 million cash burn, according to an investor deck obtained by CoinDesk.
The company is pitching itself to investors as a combination of three significant assets: equity in roughly 134 projects or companies, token holdings from major initial coin offerings and internal operations with significant long-term revenue potential.
With additional funding, ConsenSys expects to do the following through 2020: launch at least 10 blockchain networks, grow revenue to $100 million per year, tokenize 30 percent of activities in its so-called “mesh” of projects and help the ethereum community deliver its 2.0 upgrade.
As CoinDesk reported last year, the company went through a major restructuring in order to focus more on businesses with revenue potential. This year’s slide deck gives some clarity about what the company is currently emphasizing.
“ConsenSys is building the products, platforms and companies to enable the tokenization of the $80 trillion global economy,” the slide deck reports in its first pages.
The deck describes the ConsenSys product strategy as comprising four “interconnected layers:” open platforms, the future of work, decentralized finance (DeFi) and Web 3.0.
It highlights several companies at each layer, including Grid+ and Gnosis, as open platforms; OpenLaw and Gitcoin, as the future of work; Trustology and ConsenSys Digital Securities, as decentralized finance (DeFi); and Kaleido and uPort, as Web 3.0.
Beyond those, the document says ConsenSys Labs has incubated 82 projects, its accelerator has worked with 27 and the company has directly invested in 35 companies between ConsenSys Ventures and ConsenSys AG.
Of all the projects, the deck places the most emphasis on four: PegaSys, Truffle, Infura and MetaMask.
It describes PegaSys as infrastructure for enterprise ethereum and ethereum 2.0, with a team size of 60 people. Infura is infrastructure-as-a-service for ethereum, with a team size of 18. Truffle is described as the ethereum development environment, with a team size of 20. Finally, MetaMask is a simple browser extension for using ethereum, with a team size of 17.
Meanwhile, the company holds large stakes (both in the form of equity and tokens) in companies that came up during the ICO boom. It represents its stakes in Gnosis, Grid+ and AirSwap as the most valuable while promising future token launches.
While acknowledging the tokens for these projects have lost a great deal of value, the document argues:
“We have conviction that our projects are focused on cryptoeconomic networks that will be essential and dominant in Web3 and have long term value.”
The deck saves its strongest argument for last, perhaps suspecting that only real revenue will convince investors at this stage.
“After building the market and commercial engagement appetite, we refocused our business development efforts to build a broad enterprise and government pipeline across key verticals,” the deck contends.
The company earned $6.5 million in 2017, $21 million in 2018 and projects $52.3 million for 2019. Most of that revenue has come through services, primarily ascribed to the Solutions division.
Meanwhile, ConsenSys argues its deal pipeline (that is, contracts under discussion) has been growing rapidly, with $125 million in potential deals as of mid-March, and $10 million secured that month.
“We are shifting from smaller (~$200,000) advisory and proof-of-concept work to large (~$10 million ) product and platform development engagements,” the deck reports.
A request for comment was not returned by ConsenSys as of press time.
ConsenSys lanyards photo via CoinDesk archives
Germany’s central bank chief is not alarmed by Facebook Libra
- Germany’s central bank chief, Jens Weidmann, believes that Libra must answer all the questions before they go ahead.
- He feels that if Libra delivers on its purposes, then it can be “attractive to consumers.”
The president of Germany’s central bank and European Central Bank policymaker, Jens Weidmann has stated that he is in favor of Facebook’s Libra. As per Reuters, Weidmann said at a G7 meeting:
“There’s no reason to be alarmed but there’s reason to be vigilant.”
Weidmann also said that Facebook should only go ahead with Libra after answering all the questions posed to them. Facebook’s blockchain lead, David Marcus, recently revealed to U.S. senators and congressional representatives, that Libra will go ahead only after it has satisfactorily addressed all regulatory and ethical concerns. Weidmann also believes that if Libra delivers on all its promises, then it can be “attractive to consumers.”
Someone Is Trying to Trademark ‘Samsung Coin.’ It’s Not Samsung
Someone in South Korea appears to be trying to take advantage of Samsung’s blockchain efforts by nabbing the “Samsung Coin” trademark.
According to filings with the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), an application to register the trademark in both English and Korean was submitted on July 10 by an individual called Kim Nam-jin.
The filing was made under categories related to computer programs, such as “downloadable electronic money computer program,” “electronic money card,” “electronic encryption device,” and “IC card with electronic money function.”
However, when contacted, a Samsung representative told CoinDesk that the tech giant was not behind the application.
“We don’t work this way,” they said.
While the trademark application does not specifically state whether it’s related to blockchain or cryptocurrency, the filing follows CoinDesk’s previous report that Samsung is developing its own blockchain using ethereum tech, and may eventually issue its own cryptocurrency, possibly called “Samsung Coin.”
In a possible clue as to their motivation for the filing, the same individual has previously tried to lodge trademarks relating to cryptocurrency work by other major technology companies.
The KIPO database shows that Kim Nam-jin also filed an application on July 10 seeking to trademark “ThinQ Wallet.”
However, on July 2, LG Electronics, also based in South Korea, filed trademark applications both in South Korea and in the U.S. for “ThinQ Wallet.”
Based on the LG application details, the wallet would provide a variety of mobile services including “software platform for blockchain” and “mobile electronic wallet for cryptocurrency.”
The “Samsung Coin” filing was initially covered by a few news sources that incorrectly indicated Samsung is applying for the trademark.
CoinDesk Korea’s Shinjae Yoo assisted with reporting.
WATCH: A FinTech Lawyer Breaks Down Libra’s Legality
Joel Telpner, Chair of Fintech and Blockchain Practice Group at Sullivan & Worcester LLP, isn’t surprised that Facebook is getting a grilling on Capitol Hill. In fact, he’s pleased.
“These are attacks on Facebook itself that really has nothing to do with crypto has nothing to with Libra it’s just Facebook being bad boys you know [they’re] concerned about [their] privacy policies,” he said.
His point, quite simply, is that any scrutiny of crypto in DC is vital.
“Parts of the hearing so far where they’ve actually been able to get into conversations about Libra and about crypto have been interesting because on that side of it you’ve seen some Senators that have been skeptical,” he said. “But overall it’s kind of it’s been encouraging to hear some of the senators talking about ‘Hey, this is a good thing.’”
Telpner joined CoinDesk editor Pete Rizzo in a wide-ranging conversation about the legality of Libra and, in the end, what Facebook and the Government will have to do to come to terms with the future of crypto.
You can read our complete Libra coverage here and watch our CoinDesk LIVE interviews here.