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.
Antonia is CEO of ANZ New Zealand. Prior to this she held roles as Managing Director of our Retail and Business Banking business and as Chief Financial Officer. In her most recent role as MD Retail and Business Banking, Antonia was responsible for our network of retail branches, contact centres and banking specialists who take care of over two million consumer and small business customers. Antonia joined ANZ from Morgan Stanley, where she was General Manager of their business services and technology centre in Budapest and had various Finance roles in Sydney and London. She started her career at KPMG.