Bitbond recieved BaFin approval for its tokenized bond in January 2019, going on to launch Germany's first regulated security token offering (STO) later that year. Established in 2013, the firm originally operated as a blockchain-based lending platform for small businesses, raising more than €5 million (US$5.4 million) in 2017 to finance new loans.
Startups building solutions such as invoicing and taxing services and payroll and payments solutions for small and medium businesses also received the nod of VCs. In the U.S. alone, where more than 140 startups are operating in the space, raised $4 billion. In many more markets, such startups are beginning to emerge. In India, for instance Open and NiYo are building neo-banks for small businesses and they both raised money last year.
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