6. Feb. 2019 - Press release
Bank Frick establishes spin-off Distributed Ventures AG
Bank Frick has established its own subsidiary in order to promote and finance blockchain and fintech start-ups. From the birth of an idea to the reaching of market maturity – Distributed Ventures AG supports founders every step of the way and offers help in implementing future-oriented business models for the financial sector. As a pioneer in the area of blockchain banking, Bank Frick is thus underlining its goal of promoting the development of the financial ecosystem. At the same time, the Bank gains access to promising business ideas.
Dr Marco Schmitz, Head of Distributed Ventures AG. This picture is available on frick.ly/pressphotos.
Balzers (LI) – Bank Frick has established Distributed Ventures AG with its registered office in Balzers. The spin-off will serve as a port of call for selected project teams that are developing innovative business models in the areas of fintech and blockchain. Founders and start-ups receive support in matters pertaining to consulting and marketing as well as in connection with financial planning and can make use of the fully equipped premises of Distributed Ventures. The spin-off thus adopts an approach that is unique in Liechtenstein.
Future-oriented financial ecosystem
Prospective founders receive support from Distributed Ventures from the seed phase all the way through to a possible exit. Through Bank Frick, they also gain uncomplicated access to a regulated universal bank and its links to the financial system, enabling them to quickly test and implement their ideas. “We view Distributed Ventures as an important strategic addition that provides us with the opportunity to build on and consolidate our advantage as a fintech bank. For us, Distributed Ventures will play an important part in the development of a forward-looking financial ecosystem, enabling us to retain existing client groups and tap into new target segments,” says Edi Wögerer, CEO of Bank Frick.
Distributed Ventures will be headed up by Dr Marco Schmitz, who until now has served as Head of Blockchain Compliance at Bank Frick. Amongst other former roles, he worked for five years as a Governance, Risk and Compliance Technology Manager for PwC. Prior to this, Marco Schmitz was employed by Commerzbank in Frankfurt: “Every day, we are seeing new business ideas, projects and fintechs with enormous potential. We want to help the founders and support them in a manner that allows both sides to benefit from one another. Liechtenstein, with its short distances and the planned Law on Transaction Systems Based on Trustworthy Technologies (Blockchain Act), offers us the perfect conditions for this.”
Thanks to the proximity to Bank Frick, founders benefit from its network and experience as a fintech- and blockchain-savvy financial institution and receive support from the Bank in matters relating to financing. Conversely, Bank Frick gains access to promising business ideas and business plans and thus has the opportunity to utilise their potential for itself in order to expand its business field. “With its structure, Distributed Ventures is unique in Liechtenstein and ahead of other labs with its services,” says Dr Marco Schmitz.
Incubator and accelerator under one roof
Distributed Ventures provides projects in the incubation phase with intensive support during the development of their business idea and business plan. A prototype is subsequently created and the financial planning is drawn up. During the accelerator phase, the founders work together with Distributed Ventures on their demo version and the pitch deck for external investors. The founders initially present their idea in front of a committee. This then makes a decision with regard to seed financing and supports the start-ups in searching for further financing partners in order to provide the companies with the resources to quickly assert themselves on the market.
Bank Frick is a family-run Liechtenstein bank with headquarters in Balzers. It was founded in 1998 by Kuno Frick Sr (1938–2017), with the majority now controlled by the Kuno Frick Family Foundation. Minority shareholder Net 1 UEPS Technologies, Inc. (Net1), holds 35 per cent of Bank Frick’s share capital. Net1 is a financial technology company listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange in New York.
Bank Frick focuses on providing products and services for financial intermediaries such as fiduciaries, asset managers, payment service providers and fintechs.
One of Bank Frick’s unique selling points is its high level of expertise in the regulated blockchain banking sector. The Bank supports Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), provides custody of crypto assets and dealing services in leading cryptocurrencies for Bank Frick clients, and makes crypto assets bankable.
Bank Frick develops tailor-made funds for intermediaries and acts as a custodian bank.
It is the only bank in Liechtenstein with acquiring licences from Visa and MasterCard.
Bank Frick employs more than 120 members of staff and operates a branch in London, UK.