In what could be the highest-profile ICO to come out of the UK so far, Baroness Michelle Mone and partner Doug Barrowman are launching a new investment platform, EQUI, and are looking for $75 in funding.
Their plan is for EQUI to “open up venture capital to a wider audience.” The platform will select early stage tech companies with high growth potential. Investors will be able to invest in these companies through the ethereum-derived EQUItoken. Barrowman will lead the selection team.
“Modernising Venture Capital”
Barrowman says that the platform will modernise the venture capital model and “opens the investment playing-field up to non-industry professionals”. The pre sale minimum purchase comes in at an aristocratic $100,000, though more plebeian investors can participate in the main sale from as little as $100.
The EQUI management board will both spot and nurture talent, particularly blockchain companies. According to Barrowman, “These businesses may require not only capital but also expertise to steer the venture to optimisation and fulfil their true potential.”
For Mone the project also offers the opportunity to make tech investment more approachable to women. “The technology space has been about, predominantly, men,” she said. “Hopefully this will encourage other women to follow as well.”
Both principals are staking their reputations on the success of the project. “We’ve got incredible reputations,” said Mone, “there’s no way we’re going to do anything untowards to let these people [investors] down.”
Certainly the EQUI team is primed to do well out of the project, provided they can make it work. Their white-paper reveals that they will be charging a 3% management fee on all investments then taking 25% of all profits. One third of EQUItokens will be held by management and advisors.
Mone is one of Britain’s most prominent entrepreneurs, initially making her name through her Ultima lingerie company. Since then she has become well known in the UK for media appearances and is an in demand public speaker. In 2015 she was appointed to the House of Lords.