Yesterday UK-listed TechFinancials announced it is investing in a new blockchain startup with Footies Tech, the football (soccer) ticketing platform. The aim is to tackle the secondary market for football tickets because fans end up overpaying while the ticket issuer invariably doesn’t earn a cut from scalped prices. By tracking ticket ownership, blockchain enables greater control over ticket resales.
Footies is chaired by Ian Ayre the former CEO of UK Premier League soccer club Liverpool. He’s currently the CEO of Nashville’s Major League Soccer club.
The deal is to create a new company “for the development of a proof of concept [PoC] agreement between NewCo and a European football club”. It’s unclear whether there’s a particular football club that has agreed to PoC. TechFinancials will invest up to $500,000 for 75% of the NewCo. Footies Tech will hold the remaining 25%.
TechFinancials also agreed to license its technology free of charge to cut development time.
Both football and ticketing have attracted blockchain activity. Two months ago Ticketmaster acquired sports ticketing app Upgraded. Blockchain startup GET Protocol specializes in ticketing, but not for sports. And UEFA is using a blockchain-powered app for certain football matches to prevent counterfeiting.
There’s also a move by startup Socios to run “Fan Token Offerings” to encourage fan engagement, as opposed to ticket sales. So far French football club Paris Saint. Germain and Italian icon Juventus have signed up.
TechFinancials and Cyprus
TechFinancials is listed on London’s small-cap AIM market with a market capitalization $7.6m and 2017 revenue of $13m.
The company owns 2% of the recently launched CEDEX blockchain platform for diamonds. It has an option to acquire a further 90% of the CEDEX holding company. Cedex conducted an ICO in March raising more than $20m at the time.
Although TechFinancials is London-listed, it’s incorporated in the British Virgin Islands and its main country of operation is Cyprus with an Israeli leadership team.
Cyprus is proving popular as a hub for Israeli’s to set up companies. The country is an EU member, is tax friendly, and it’s possible to travel door-to-door from Cyprus to Israel in as little as an hour for less than $100. One of the highest profile Cypriot companies set up by an Israeli is eToro. Ledger Insights is based in Cyprus.