Made in Croatia

Rimac's Greyp Bikes Aims for Billion Kuna Revenue Goal by 2024

By 4 December 2019

More than 1000 investors have invested in this Croatian company, raising its market value to a massive 45 million euros. As Poslovni Dnevnik/Bernard Ivezic writes on the 3rd of December, 2019, Greyp Bikes, whose founder and director is the incredible Croatian entrepreneur from Livno, Mate Rimac, has raised 1.44 million euros in capital, 79 percent more than the target, through the popular German platform Neufund.

This concludes, and very successfully so, the first regulated blockchain and cryptocurrency group investment campaign in a company located here in Europe. In the USA, such investment campaigns have been underway since May 2016, the crowdsourcing platforms and campaigns are overseen there by the SEC regulator and FINRA.

Here at home in Europe, however, the move by the Croatian electric car manufacturer and Greyp Bikes owner sets a real precedent on the financial markets here. Greyp Bikes has launched the first legal Equity Token Offering (ETO) in the whole of Europe.

Its compliance with the law was monitored by the Liechtenstein Financial Market Authority (FMA) regulator. ETO is a combination of the controversial and unregulated Initial Coin Offering (ICO) and the more traditional and preregulated Initial Public Offering (IPO). In recent years, many entrepreneurs have opted to raise capital through ICOs because of the low costs involved, which has created pressure on the offer of expensive investment mechanisms, such as IPOs, upon which the world stock exchanges from the NYSE and LSE to the ZSE are based.

Mario Vojvoda, ETO project manager at Greyp Bikes and co-founder and technical director of Croatian startup Tolar, says they have opened a new opportunity for EU companies and investors: "ETO investing will increase financing opportunities for all companies and democratise the availability of money, which is something crucial in markets like the Croatian one, which isn't so much in the focus of big investors,'' stated Vojboboda, noting that Greyp Bikes' ETO still didn't go all that smoothly despite the excellent results we now see in the end.

Potentially the biggest problem was created by the German regulator BaFina, which, as soon as it found out what was going on, issued a statement accusing the Croatian company of potentially issuing a public offering without a prospectus through the aforementioned German platform.

BaFina argued that there was no exemption from the obligation to publish a prospectus for all campaigns advertised in Germany under their Securities Act. It also demanded clarification from Greyp Bikes. Neither Neufund, Greyp Bikes or even crypto experts saw the issue as ETO approval was issued by the Liechtenstein FMA. This turned the debate into a weighing-in of the forces of the two EU regulators. The direction in which that all went is best described by the fact that BaFina did not seek a ban on Greyp Bikes' campaign, that is, it was more than successfully concluded.

Mario Vojvoda politely declined to comment on BaFina's move, but stressed that the most important thing for them from the beginning of campaign planning was that the process was regulatory-compliant and fully legal.

"We've made great efforts to have a serious, transparent, clear and legally clean process and we consider our process to be completely regular," stated Vojboda. He added that it is absolutely crucial for them to have a dialogue with regulators and to make sure all the details are clear. All of this fuss failed affect the ETO campaign. Greyp Bikes had planned to raise 805,617 euros, and in the end, a total of 1017 investors bought stakes in the Croatian company in the amount of 1.44 million euros.

As a result, Greyp Bikes now has a market value of 45 million euro or more than 330 million kuna. Here in Croatia, Funderbeam SEE offers a similar investment opportunity, but for example without cryptocurrency payments. However, as with stock exchanges, it seems crucial to choose a specific target group of investors. Namely, some of the biggest investors and biggest business partners in Mate Rimac's businesses so far come from Germany.

"The campaign has aroused a lot of investor interest and has thus enabled us to create a technology-loving community that is ready for bold steps in technology development, in which it will actively participate with Greyp, Bikes" explained Vojvoda.

Mate Rimac, founder and CEO of Greyp Bikes, sees the company with revenues of one billion kuna by 2024. Last year, according to Fina, the company reduced revenue from 3.6 kuna down to 3.2 million kuna, while the company's losses increased from 2.7 kuna to 7.7 million kuna. On the other hand, it sees growth in the use of blockchain in smart traffic. Neufund itself is already preparing three new ETO campaigns for two startups from Germany and one from India.

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