THAILAND-BASED fintech company Omise, which came into existence in 2013, wants to raise US$19 million by selling Omise Go (OMG) in an “initial coin offering” (ICO) – a cryptocurrency it created, much like bitcoin and Ethereum.
According to TechCrunch, the company raised over US$25 million after a Series B funding round in July 2016, which was used to expand its Southeast Asia influence. Omise aims to consolidate payment solutions throughout the region – which is notorious for being so fragmented – to encourage financial inclusion.
Through this potential ICO, Omise – who is backed by Japan’s SBI Investment – reportedly wants to use the funds to run a network that allows users to make financial transfers and transactions without paying high service fees, or even without a bank account. TechCrunch said that sources close to the company said there would be a token sale on June 7.
Smaller blockchain and bitcoin companies have made ICOs popular among themselves, but now, more mainstream businesses are beginning to throw their hats in the ring.
CEO Jun Hasegawa told Bloomberg in March, as the company was planning the ICO, Omise will be “the first mainstream business to pioneer the use of a token sale to bring new product to market”.
He was quoted saying: “For the public, this token sale provides an opportunity to share the benefit of a future Omise product, and later to participate in running the mobile money network itself.” Hasegawa was referring to the crowdfunding model, where prospective investors use Ethereum’s digital currency ether to gain OMG tokens – this then gives them a share of fee revenue from the OMG payments platform.
Omise co-founder Donnie Harinsut said in a video explaining the ICO: “The reason we chose blockchain technology is that we want to build a network that people can trust. We want everyone to have access to financial services no matter who you are in society. It’s a fundamental right, not a privilege.”