WeOwn today announces that it is building WeExchange - a new global, decentralised stock exchange - to enhance its investment ecosystem for high-growth companies and everyday investors. The exchange will give SMEs access to new capital raising opportunities and provide investors with flexible access to equity in dynamic brands.
Traditional exchanges remain siloed national projects, reliant on layers of intermediaries. This makes the listing process complex, inefficient and expensive, closing the door for many companies to access much-needed capital. Even internationally known brands are struggling to launch successful IPOs, suffering from over-valuations and inflated business cases. This has had a knock-on effect on investor confidence, with Millennials and Generation Z in particular looking for affordable options with a better user experience.
WeExchange aims to solve this by enabling direct trading between companies and investors across the world, using a decentralised order book and order matching. This will create a fast, frictionless secondary market, with a leaner operating model that reduces listing and trading fees.
Sascha Ragtschaa, CEO & Co-Founder of WeOwn, said: “WeExchange will improve the capital markets through modern, decentralised technology, providing new potential to the underserviced, illiquid SME market, and 24/7 access for global investors.”
The exchange will be built on WeOwn’s bespoke blockchain, digitising securities to ensure immediate liquidity. Trades will be settled in seconds, as every interaction can be validated on the blockchain network in near real-time.
Sascha Ragtschaa added: “The world needs a stock exchange that reduces risk, friction and costs, bringing companies and investors closer together – even if they are miles apart geographically. WeOwn is creating a different approach that offers new opportunities to both SMEs and everyday investors, completing the investment lifecycle.”
By leveraging WeOwn’s existing technology infrastructure, WeExchange will provide an accurate, tamper-proof register of all investors and their holdings. This will remove the counter-party risks that arise when investors trade with people they don’t know, and the exchange will be supported by effective rules and procedures to define and protect users.
The company is in the process of rolling out peer-to-peer secondary market capabilities for existing digital investment platform members, and the launch of WeExchange – planned for 2020 – is the final, critical element in building a truly democratic, end-to-end ecosystem.