SatoshiPay is developing a two-way payment platform, which enables online content providers to monetise their digital content through the acceptance of nanopayments. Using the SatoshiPay platform, online media companies are able to process nanopayments of EUR0.05 (5c) or less with minimal transaction fees. SatoshiPay technology can also process payments greater than 5c, but the company believes the real technical innovation is in relation to nanopayments, in some cases being less than 1c. SatoshiPay is based on blockchain technology.
SatoshiPay believe its technology will provide a direct alternative to paywalls and subscriptions, currently adopted by some media companies, and should instead enable users to pay for consumption on a per article, per song or per download basis; or for content to be consumed and paid for on an incremental basis (payment per paragraph or minute of audio or video content). SatoshiPay works without software download or sign-up for the user (save for creation/top up of an online wallet). Payments are instant and the user’s wallet balance is available on each website that integrates the SatoshiPay software.
Having initially acquired 10.68% of SatoshiPay in January 2017, the Company increased its stake on two further occasions and now holds 27.9%. The Company is valuing its shareholding in SatoshiPay at £4.6m.
In June 2015 the Company invested £50,000 in Sthaler Limited, an early stage identity and payments technology business which enables a consumer to identify themselves and pay using just their finger at retail points of sale. Sthaler jointly developed Fingopay in conjunction with Hitachi. Fingopay uses a unique finger vein ID process which is considered to be more secure than finger print readers and faster than chip and pin operations. The technology is widely adopted in Japan and it is Sthaler’s aim to commercialise the technology in the area of payments globaly.
Since making its initial investment, Sthaler has raised funds at significantly higher valuations and the Company’s 0.9% shareholding is Sthaler is now carried in the Company’s accounts at the most recent external valuation which values it at £300,000.
DTL is a Gibraltar based investing company. DTL has five current investments, the most important of which are its 8% stake in Nektan plc, a leading international B2B mobile gaming company and 10% of Freeformers which helps companies fulfil the employee aspects of their digital strategies and a 1.8% shareholding in Booking bug which has developed a market leading software platform to manage online bookings and appointments.
In 2016 DTL informed investors that it will seek to exit all the shareholdings in the five portfolio companies, during the course of the next 3 years and will disperse the proceeds back to DTL’s shareholders. Disbursement of proceeds will either be through the distribution of shares if a company is listed on a public market (post any lock in period and stability in the share price) or cash from the sale of DTL’s positions.
Blue Star’s investment in DTL is carried at cost of £300,000.
Blue Star has invested approximately £150,000 in each of six esports businesses. The esports sector is experiencing significant growth and according to estimates by games and esports analytics provider Newzoo, may see total global esports market revenue increase to US$1.1 billion for 2019. The largest component of this estimate relates to sponsorship, media rights and advertising and the Company will take advantage of this growth opportunity by investing in franchises and infrastructure investments targeting different regions globally.
It is the intention of each of the companies in which Blue Star has invested to create or acquire a competitive esports franchise to generate revenue from tournament winnings, digital marketing opportunities, sponsorship, membership, merchandise and promotional tours and events. Each of the companies is targeting a different region globally for financing and team building but all will attempt to become global brands. Blue Star is investing at an early stage in each of these companies and as part of its investment Blue Star has secured the right to invest in future rounds of each company to allow it to maintain its position, if it so chooses. Details on each of the companies is summarised below:
The Lords Esports plc is a UK based company with a focus on the European eSports market. The Company has acquired Cyqiq gaming (https://www.cyqiqgaming.cc/) and will launch in Q1 2020.
Googly esports plc is a UK/India based company with a focus on the Indian market. The company aims to be the largest and most respected professional eSports franchise and events/media company.
The Dibbs esports corp is a US incorporated business based in Los Angeles. The Company will be a female only team and will compete in the North American eSports market.