Kasei Holdings enjoyed a low-key entry as a publicly quoted stock market company on the Aquis exchange in London on Wednesday 4 November.
There was no fanfare of trumpets and very little in the way of media coverage – and it would be fair to say that a company listing with share capital totalling £4.5million was unlikely to initially attract wide-ranging interest.
However, this may not be the case in the future.
Kasei investors will have exposure to bitcoin and ethereum, as well as other cryptos
Kasei (KASH) is an investment company, investing into firms using Blockchain technology and digital assets, which is looking to raise capital from investors and provide them with broad based exposure to this fast-growing ecosystem.
Kasei is all but unique for a UK firm in its quest to manage a portfolio based on the expanding market of digital assets, whilst recognising the vagaries and pitfalls of this volatile asset class.
For investors, an education in the latter should be a prerequisite
The essence of the company is to bring a disciplined traditional investment approach to the digital asset space.
Jai Patel, Kasei’s chief information officer, who has experience at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein and Barclays Capital as a director in equity derivatives trading, said: ‘The existing product offerings out there are siloed into super sophisticated venture capital orientated funds, or the assets themselves, which are confusing to many investors.
‘Our aim is really to use our knowledge as a team in banking / finance / investment management, with great experience in volatile asset classes, to transpose that experience into this new asset class.
‘As such, the investment vehicle provides diversified exposure to the ecosystem – a kind of one-stop-shop, as it were. Our goal is very much to concentrate on what we foresee will be the core building blocks of the next iteration of the internet (Web 3.0).’
Dr Jane Thomason, Kasei’s chairman, is a co-founder of the British Blockchain and Frontier Technology Association. She convened London Fintech Week, London Blockchain Week and London Digital Impact Week.
Dr Thomason says: ‘Most people who own crypto are under 45 years of age. The interest in buying cryptocurrency among older adults is growing, but a lack of understanding and familiar investment vehicles is a major barrier to investment.’
Kasei investors will have exposure to bitcoin and ethereum, as well as a wide variety of other digital assets, such as cardano and polkadot, some of which may be very volatile.
It will also invest in new or early stage projects, something which due to the inherent risk involved will form 20 per cent or less of invested capital.
Our special Bitcoin and crypto demystified livestreamed panel discussion takes place on Tuesday 16 November, find out how to watch it below
Jai Patel and his management team own 40 per cent of Kasei’s shares, which makes them aligned with their investors. Kasei will pay its team a low basic salary, with a bonus based on the performance of Kasei and the assets it selects.
There will be a cap on staff bonuses so means that only 20 per cent of profits can be distributed to staff with the balance retained to grow the company.
Such an investment is not for the faint hearted, as the directors fully expectKasei’s share price to be volatile, as are the underlying digital assets that it will be investing into.
The team has access to a wide array of digital assets including cryptocurrencies, as well as to start-up firms and coin offerings, often before they are in the public domain.
Kasei’s director of research, Brian O’Beirne, with a degree in law and technology from Berkeley, USA. He has been involved in crypto since around 2014 when he started attending bitcoin meet-ups in San Francisco, and is ideally placed to identify new trends and opportunities.
Kasei’s management team provides the credentials needed to make measured investment judgements for this new asset class, which is growing in popularity exponentially, but digital assets are volatile and require a sophisticated thought process before one invests.
Jonny Fry, co-founder and chief executive of TeamBlockchain, is a blockchain, digital assets and funds specialist and co-founder of The British Blockchain Frontier Technology Association.
He founded, and was the CEO for over 20 years, of Premier Asset Management, a mutual fund company which he listed on the London Stock Exchange.
> Find out more: Bitcoin and crypto demystified
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