Dana brings the knowledge of a marketer and customer experience to the role of operations where he ensures that the human is still an integral part of the system. He has built and sold companies, written a best-selling book on online marketing, is an Adjunct Professor at Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, co-leads the world’s largest augmented reality meetup and has spoken at many technology events around the globe.
Thank you for being here with us today. We want to hear about Augmate. So, for people who haven't maybe been exposed to the company yet, what is Augmate?
Great question. Augmate was originally developed to be a Google Glass at Work partner, basically creating applications that would work with the Google Glass product. What we've evolved to be, is actually a platform that helps manage all types of new wearable devices. So it's a technology that was built on not blockchain at the time, but more traditional architecture. But since 2017, we've evolved to then create a platform for all IoT, specifically in areas of a hired, optimized devices, maybe things like VR glasses, to drones, to other types of devices. And that's where we're integrating blockchain.
Okay, so for the caveman, so I have a drone, or I've got VR glasses, what does Augmate let me do with it?
That's a perfect question because right now, you would just deploy the drone, you know, just use it.
Got my thing-a-ma-jig and fly it around the park.
Exactly, you'd have an app that lets you do that.
…fly it over my house.
If you're in a business, if you're an enterprise, you need to control that entire fleet of drones. You can't do it with each individual app. You can't do it with just trying to plug them in and update the firmware. So we create the underlying control platform so you can put an application on the device. You can maintain security protocols, determine who uses it, who can basically use the types of applications. You'd geo-fence it so if it goes somewhere off target, it gets shut down, et cetera.
Oh wow, okay. So, you're basically a way that I can see what's going on with a whole lot of my stuff.
Govern it, have data about it, get more intelligent about how it's being used, and then tell it how to be used.
You're exactly right. And that's where blockchain comes in. What we're saying is that we're living in this world of centralized server of SaaS-based environments. We're not saying centralized server environments being able to maintain the level of control through public data long-term, as every one of these devices creates a magnitude of data, so it's going to be an overloading scenario where distributed ledger, blockchain, decentralized environments that we're building into. That's the future, that's how we can maintain flow and control on a local side, while then rolling everything up into a management portal.
Amazing. Now, you guys are financing this. Maybe it's not, I'm speaking maybe imperfectly, but you're raising some financing to help with this.
And you're doing it in a way that we, at the Security Token Academy, approve of. What's that with?
We were an existing business before this whole ICO came in, so we've got an existing shareholder base, we've got clients, all that. So we looked at how to really create a new funding vehicle. Since we're integrating blockchain using a token environment, and we naturally landed on these more secure, or I should say, security-focused, starting with this app, we launched this app, product for sale, back in December of 2017. And then we converted that, or we're converting that next week using secure ties to distribute the tokens or I should say, the digital securities to our investor base.
Got it. So next week.
How much did you raise?
We raised just shy of 11 million through that raise.
Prior to that, we raised seed capital, you know, investors like ... You know Tim Draper was an investor, one of the lead seed investors. And UBS Ventures, Siemens, and that sort of thing.
Right, great, they're LA friends of ours. So that's cool. What are you planning to do with the 11 million?
Well, obviously, we were working into a huge market. This is a multi-trillion dollar market, moving forward in the IoT space, in the space that we work in. To do what we're doing, we need people that are the best in the business. Last March, we hired the former Chief Futurist for Cisco, to lead our efforts as a CTO, Dave Evans, tremendous talent. He'd also started a startup, I think it was in 2014, and he sold to Comcast in 2017.
So he's got a track record, he's completely building an open architecture environment. And that needs a group of people that can help build into his vision of that product, also the marketing, sales, et cetera. So that's what we're beefing up all around the world.
Tremendous. What was it that made you decide that security tokens were even worth paying attention to?.
We went through so many back-and-forths, even internally, and we had people very adamant that we should stay utility token, based on where we would get listed on exchanges, et cetera. But again, we had a responsibility to our shareholders, to our employees. We needed to protect the company, go through the SEC rules, for Reg D and Reg S, and filing and all that. And we just naturally evolved through the months when a lot of this discussion was going on, to realize that in the future, we think anybody raising money, specifically is going to put it on an exchange for investors to trade, it needs to go the security route.
That's great. That's usually the next question that I ask. So, looking into the future, where do you think this whole security token market is going to be, say a year from now, or two years from now?
It's really an interesting time because we're seeing companies and exchanges like the Nasdaq, is looking at how they can become more of a player in the token world. So that's naturally going to be a security token. It's unlocking a whole group of investors, institutional investors, Coinbases, custodian capabilities. We just see there's a massive movement and that money will flow in because the security token, or I should say digital security side, gives a lot more liquidity to a position with a company. And it might not just be the equity of the company, it might be specific offerings. Like ours isn't the equity of the company, ours is against a specific area of focus that investors can come in and benefit while the company increases in value and participate is more of a community, but then have that liquidity side. So we think security area's just going to explode, yeah.
Great, well thanks so much for taking the time to share your thoughts with us.
I appreciate it so much.
We wish you all the luck in the world. Enjoy Colorado.
All right, take care.
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