Fintech & e-commerce

Taurus Announces $65M To Digitize Securities

Taurus, a Switzerland-based fintech company focused on digital asset infrastructure, announced on Tuesday it raised $65 million in Series B funding. The round was led by fintech-focused Credit Suisse with additional participation from the likes of Deutsche Bank, Cedar Mundi Ventures and Pictet Group. 

Taurus works through the entire spectrum of digitizing and tokenizing assets, particularly securities. The company issues and manages tokenized assets and has built a software solution that allows banks to offer clients custody and trading services. The company also built what it called the first regulated marketplace for tokenized securities. 

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“Our thesis is the world of digital assets and the world of traditional finance will ultimately converge,” said co-founder Sébastien Dessimoz. “We basically built our business based on the assumption that we’ll see the institutionalization of this world.”

Digital securities on the global stage

That thesis is starting to come to life. In 2021, Switzerland voted in a new law that would allow any share or bond to be made official either on paper or via a digitized token, and both are equally recognized as proof of an asset. The Taurus marketplace for securities, T-DX, is regulated under the Swiss government’s financial marketplace department, FINMA. 

“I think what is important in terms of innovation is that we have the right regulatory framework in place,” Dessimoz said. “Plus having the technology there to allow this kind of transaction.”

In January, Swiss bank Cite Gestion became the first to hire Taurus to tokenize every single one of their shares. But it’s not the only one to do so — investment management firm Hamilton Lane worked with another digital asset platform, Securitize, to tokenize three funds.

Companies in the digital securities space have raised around $142 million so far in 2023. It’s unclear how affected blockchain-based platforms are by the cryptocurrency crash in 2022, but Taurus says it works with cryptocurrency banks and traditional financial institutions that don’t touch crypto. Taurus has more than 25 clients in the banking and corporate world. 

There are a couple of benefits to tokenizing assets. Because the token is inherently secure, trading shares becomes more efficient. Rather than issuing a number of shares and getting signatures from both parties to confirm the trade, the process can be done electronically.

But the world of tokenized securities is rather nascent, and the industry is still working toward a set of standardized regulations as well as grappling with the issue of cybersecurity.   

“Unfortunately the regulatory framework is moving country by country,” said Dessimoz. “There is no global legal framework all over the world.”

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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