Despite all the challenges that 2021 presented, SolidBlock has had a spectacular year. Operating with a dedicated staff on a 100% work-from-home schedule, SolidBlock marked the opening of two new digital asset projects, a significant raise in our first round of seed money, a continuation of amazing partnerships, and a revamped website.
SolidBlock’s co-founders Yuval Wirzberger and Yael Tamar know they are in the right place at the right time. They partnered in 2018 with a shared vision for using blockchain as a disruptive technology and tool for democratizing real estate. Yuval brings over 20 years of technology and product management experience, and Yael is a blockchain strategist and entrepreneur, having held executive roles in marketing and business development.
Plus, we had a little fun. Watch Yael’s amazing CEO Rap on YouTube.
SolidBlock has completed an initial raise of seed money and opened an extended round, led by the legendary American venture capitalist Tim Draper’s fund, Draper Associates.
Tim Draper is the founder of Draper Venture Network, Draper Associates, and Draper Goren Holm, and holds prominent investments in Hotmail, Skype, Tesla, SpaceX, Twitter, DocuSign, Coinbase, Robinhood, and Focus Media. A proponent of Bitcoin and decentralization and author of How to be The Startup Hero: A Guide and Textbook for Entrepreneurs and Aspiring Entrepreneurs (2017), Tim received wide coverage for his 2014 purchase of seized bitcoins at a US Marshals Service auction.
“We’re absolutely thrilled by Tim and his team’s interest in SolidBlock,” explained Yael. “I’ve always admired Tim’s ability to ‘see’ the next best idea and support it fully. This seed money will assist SolidBlock in scaling our business, advancing our tech stack, and solidifying our position as the leader in the real estate tokenization space.”
In a year when Moore Global predicted “the tokenized real estate market could hit $1.4 trillion within 5 years,” SolidBlock added two major projects to its digital marketplace.
Red Frog Beach Portfolio is raising $37 million to expand Panama’s first Green Globe Certified sustainable island resort. Backed by Ocean Group International’s 18 years of acquisition, development, and hospitality management, investors can own a piece of paradise and conserve 1000 acres of rainforest, while enjoying long-term returns with the construction of 190 hospitality units and micro-communities. Equity shares are available for purchase under the name frOGI Coin.
Detox Digital Coin is increasing the number of substance abuse treatment programs in the US. This niche commercial real estate sector addresses a rapidly expanding market with an unmet demand – the exploding opioid crisis and the lack of treatment facilities. The first in a series of acquisitions has been identified. It has an extended NNN lease with an annual 3% base rent escalation representing an attractive 7.50% Net Capitalization Rate, and a projected 11% annualized ROI.
Partners We Trust
In addition to the established exchange relationships with TextureCapital, AtlasOne, and tZERO (where AspenCoin is listed and traded), SolidBlock made inroads in the DeFi space by integrating its platform on a DAO (decentralized autonomous organization). SolidBlock’s assets have been approved as collaterals on MakerDAO which supports “the world’s first unbiased currency and leading decentralized stablecoin.”
SolidBlock’s vision is to create the first decentralized investment bank focused on real estate with a permissioned blockchain ecosystem where nodes will be governed by invested institutions, a network called SolidCoin. “Once we transfer the value of real estate into digital form,” explains Yael, “we can tap into the DeFi market in terms of lending and borrowing, and create a digital bank to leverage a digital world for real-world assets.”
SolidBlock welcomes our continued relationship with Gemini, a licensed New York trust company and investment platform which SolidBlock investors rely on for their escrow and custodial services.
We’ve also recently partnered with Intelligo to work with us on due diligence checks for our upgraded onboarding tokenization process.
And we’re working with GK8 to provide secure cold-gap wallets to our investors.
Lastly, we have an ongoing partnership with INX, a trading platform that is changing the game of how we invest by enabling the listing and trading of regulated security tokens and cryptocurrencies for institutional and retail investors. INX was the first public company to receive SEC (US Securities and Exchange Commission) approval to trade security tokens. INX and SolidBlock will be collaborating to list SolidBlock’s projects on the INX exchange platform as well as cooperating on raising funds via the INX network.
This partnership is extremely valuable as SolidBlock is expanding its technology by collaborating with different stock exchanges and ATS’s (Alternative trading systems) to allow digital asset trading under their umbrellas. The more exchanges that list SolidBlock-issued products, the larger the number of investors who will be exposed to our projects.
Conferences and Keynote Speeches
Although many international conferences met virtually or in a hybrid in-person/virtual combination, they still managed to draw large worldwide audiences in the thousands and educate those audiences about tokenization and blockchain technology. Yael was invited to present at several conferences.
It was no surprise that a fair number of crypto-oriented conferences were held in Florida in 2021. Under Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, Miami has become a crypto Mecca. In June, more than 12,000 people attended the Bitcoin 2021 summit, the first major in-person conference to be held during the pandemic. The following week, the $22.5M sale of an apartment at the Art Hotel in Miami using cryptocurrency (SolidBlock’s know-how was used to close the deal) marked the largest crypto sale to date worldwide. Yael also presented a keynote speech at the Virtual World CryptoMeet 2021, in November where she talked about “DeFi vs CeFi: The Next HOT Opportunity.”
Another hot topic was women in FinTech. Yael not only spoke at several conferences in Greece, Israel, and the US, she chaired her own panel on the topic, “Smart Girls Exit First: Women Founders in Blockchain,” where she and two women colleagues discussed overcoming gender equality and equity challenges in the startup world. They also shared why women founders have more fun.
As Regional Chair of FIBREE, the Foundation for International Blockchain and Real Estate Expertise, Yael hosted and managed the preparation for the 2021 FIBREE report. She also traveled virtually to Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe, spreading SolidBlock’s vision of leveraging blockchain technology to democratize real estate investing.
Yael was also a contributor to The Digital Asset Handbook published this year by Clear Rating, and available on the SolidBlock website for downloading.
With her broad smile and sunny outlook, Yael is the perfect podcast host. To the advantage of BlockSolid, guests were all too available this past year as they hunkered down in their homes. Yael conducted intense interviews with stakeholders in the blockchain, FinTech, and PropTech worlds, including PR guru and startup whisperer Motti Peer; the amazing Crypto Chick Rachel Wolfe; David Weild IV, the “father” of The JOBS Act of 2012 that “broadened the tool kit for entrepreneurs;” and Brian Mac Mahon, Head Honcho at Expert DOJO, the most active startup accelerator in Southern California. You can check out all the current and future episodes here: Spotify, iTunes, YouTube, and the BlockSolid webpage.
Onboarding New Staff
This year has seen an explosion in the number of hires for SolidBlock. We have three new employees working in Content and Social Media, a new CTO, head of investor relations, designers, and legal counsel, too. With our stalwart Director of Operations, a phenomenal technical staff in India, and solid interns, SolidBlock is humming.
Looking Ahead to 2022
Blockchain is changing the world in terms of social, corporate, and individual governance.
By tokenizing real estate using blockchain technology, our goals to democratize and empower individuals’ financial wellbeing are coming to fruition. It’s time to create the tools for a liquid property market, change the way families create a safety net, and encourage value creation based on the real estate sector. Tokenized real estate is a bridge to DeFi, a decentralized financial system. Peer-to-peer transactions mean bypassing the opaque banking system, lowering transaction costs, and championing transparency above all.
Heading into 2022, we’ll be plying our trade at the next big conferences, and focusing on our mission to democratize real estate by creating a market that is global, inclusive, and efficient.
Stay on the lookout for news about the creation of our very own SolidCoin.