This past April, JSE-listed specialty investment group, Sabvest, announced a 30% stake in Revix, a digital asset investment platform that offers investors diversified exposure to 85% of the global cryptocurrency market, through a single investment bundle.
The funding will refine the platform’s technology suite, springboard the company beyond South Africa’s borders, and educate investors about the benefits of incorporating cryptocurrencies as an alternative asset class into a traditional investment portfolio. This April, Revix launched to the South African public, and on-boarded its first several thousand customers.
For Revix and co-founders, Sean Sanders and Louis Buys, who have bootstrapped the concept since March 2018, the investment by Sabvest is more than a cash injection:
“Sabvest is a highly reputable firm being listed on the JSE since 1988 and in space where trust is vital, their involvement lends us credibility and provides access to solid business management and deep technical skills,” says Sanders.
The investment – of more than R10 million – by Sabvest is a vote of confidence in both Revix, and the future of cryptocurrencies as an investable asset class. For Sabvest, the Revix investment is a step away from its traditional investment focus in the industrial sector. The firm has, however, invested in a number of tech-focused companies, including a global leader in distributed ledger technology, on which blockchain is based. Chris Seabrooke, Sabvest CEO and Leon Rood, executive director of Sabvest, are both advisors to Revix.
The 2018 ING International Survey on Mobile Banking, estimates that on average, 9% of Europeans own cryptocurrency, while in Turkey this figure is as high as 18%. As adoption rates increase, so does demand for secure, less complicated ways to access the asset class.
“Other factors for local investors are the currency devaluation and geopolitical risk hedges that crypto offers. With a rand depreciating and a trade war brewing, moving to an asset class that it is peer-to-peer and borderless is attractive. Add to this Facebook’s ‘GlobalCoin’, the announcement that Microsoft is building on the Bitcoin blockchain, JP Morgan’s interbank settlement coin launch, and that Bakt and Fidelity are entering this space and you end up seeing the triple digit returns in 2019’s crypto gains,” explains Sanders.
The name Revix stands for ‘revolutionary index’ and the company plans to shake up the cryptocurrency space by providing an innovative, secure and smart way to invest in digital currencies. “We are looking to broaden the appeal of cryptocurrencies by making the investment experience seamless. We are targeting investors who are interested in crypto, but don’t have the time or inclination to research every opportunity, work out the technicalities of investing, or properly understand the challenges of holding their own assets,” says Buys.
Diversification is at the core of the investment proposition. “If you’re looking to gain exposure to any asset class, it makes sense to hold a diversified basket of investments within that class. No one can predict which cryptocurrencies will gain greater traction, and which will fall away. There are a few competitors out there in this space, but nothing that gives you direct exposure to the crypto market, with automated rebalancing and at a low cost. We are now in that space,” says Sanders.
The platform gives the investor exposure through a portfolio or ‘bundle’ of top cryptocurrencies, for as little as R500. Revix offers a Top 10 Bundle as well as three other theme based Bundles, which offers exposure to sectors in the cryptocurrency universe such as privacy, platforms or payments. “Our theme based Bundles provide exposure to a crypto theme or sector. So, just like you could buy into the mining sector in the stock market through a fund, you can take the same approach with our Bundles” says Sanders.
Revix uses proprietary technology to plug into global exchanges, with a smart pricing algorithm seeking out the best available pricing for investors on reputable exchanges. “Typically, by connecting with global, liquid markets and using technology, we can get better prices than what has otherwise been available to local investors,” adds Buys.
Revix does not currently offer an Android or iOS mobile app. However, the web-based platform is built responsively for both mobile and desktop use, and an application is scheduled to be rolled out.
The company plans to expand into Europe and the UK, followed by Australia, New Zealand, and South East Africa. Sanders, a CFA holder and Buys, a Computer Science Honours graduate, are currently building out their team while raising further funds to advance their ambitions to become the trusted name in the cryptocurrency investment space.