A South Korea-based blockchain provider backed by the tech giant Samsung, Blocko is entering the market in the Middle Eastern, with its launch in the United Arab Emirates only yesterday, after raising funding in the Asia Pacific and Europe.
According to reports by the Middle Eastern business publication Arabian Business on October 2nd, the South Korean company has entered a strategic partnership with the SEED Group, a member of the Private Office of Sheikh Saeed bin Ahmed Al Maktoum in the UAE, after securing $16 million in funding.
The amount, as per the reports was the accumulation of two separate funding rounds earlier this year in August. Certain prominent names of the financial sector participated in the funding rounds including, South Korea’s oldest bank, Shinhan Bank, as well as KEB Hana Bank, LB Investment and Dadam Investment.
SEED Group is known for forming alliances with leading global companies across diversified regions. The Group aims to create partnerships that are mutually beneficial for organizations and that will help accelerate their businesses especially in the Middle Eastern and North African regions.
Blocko Inc. or Blocko was founded back in 2014 and since then has successfully deployed large-scale blockchain solutions to some of the world’s largest companies, including Samsung and Hyundai Motor Group. It is recognized as one of the most experienced companies specializing in designing, deploying and managing high performance and security solutions and services. Having an established presence in countries spread across the globe like, South Korea, the United Kingdom and Hong Kong, Block supports over 20 enterprise clients with solutions.
Now the company is shifting its focus on bringing its Aergo platform to the Middle East. The relationship between Blocko and Aergo can be defined as a symbiotic one. While both the platforms are aiming to revolutionize enterprise blockchain, Aergo according to its website, caters to large businesses and governments who intend to integrate blockchain into the day-to-day operations, providing a solution that allows organizations to deploy their own blockchains and letting them select public, private or hybrid chains.
Phil Zamani, CEO of Blocko and founder of Aergo hopes that the platform will be as successful in the UAE, as it has been in Asia and Europe. He further added:
We launched Aergo in response to the growing need for data sharing between industries and companies in areas such as identity verification, document management and the Internet of Things – the same areas in which the Middle East in particular is seeking practical solutions.
Zamani is of the opinion that several blockchain technologies in the Middle East are still in the proof-of-concept phase and are too complex to be applied or used beyond the papers. That is where Aergo comes in, it breaks through these barriers thus unlocking new features that provide increased levels of efficiency, security, scalability and value.
Dubai has emerged as one of the few cities that aspire to lead the blockchain space, It has become the first city fully powered by blockchain with all bill payments, license renewals and visa applications, that makes up to 100 million documents a year, to be transacted digitally via blockchain by 2020.
The prime objective of this launch in UAE specifically is to help realize the country’s goal. Last year, in April the local government launched the Emirates Blockchain Strategy 2021, the aim of which is to capitalize on blockchain technology in order to transform 50 percent of government transactions into the blockchain platform by 2021.
Reports suggest that the strategy is expected to achieve annual savings worth AED11bn ($3bn) in transactions and documents cost. In addition to that, it is also expected to eliminate 398 million printed documents and 77 million work hours.
SEED Group CEO Hisham Al Gurg, while mentioning that the UAE and other Middle Eastern countries are constantly endeavoring to better the government and digital services via blockchain solutions, said:
And so, we recognized the partnership with Blocko and Aergo as a solution to satisfy the increasing need for companies working at the highest level of scale and security
Considering the pace at which UAE is accepting and moving to employ blockchain technology in various spheres, it is highly likely that the country will achieve its Smart Dubai initiative soon.