Fundraising supported by Sequoia, US venture capital funds Sovereign’s Capital and Firsthand CompaniesNDN2, as well as the Hong Kong SAR government
Folium, its new token management platform, brings greater transparency to cryptocurrency transactions
HONG KONG and SINGAPORE, March 31, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Sprout, a company that helps organizations better manage stocks, stock options and digital assets, today announces that it has raised $3 million in a first round of funding. The funds will be used to power the company’s next stage of development, including the launch of Folium, its new token management platform.
This fundraising reflects the growing maturity of Sprout’s business and demonstrates strong investor reception for the results the company has achieved since its inception in 2019. Backers include Sequoia Capital India, Sovereign’s Capital, NDN2 Vision Fund, First-hand companiesother early-stage investors led by a major venture capitalist Ruby Luas well as funding programs supported by the Hong Kong SAR government.
Sprout is co-founded by two international startup veterans with experience leading companies such as Uber, Mapbox and Kabam. Its mission was to fill the service and knowledge gaps that currently exist in equity management software, particularly around employee stock options. While to date he has mainly focused on Asia Pacific market, it has seen strong organic growth globally with clients across multiple industries including fintech, e-commerce, insurance, logistics, media and business services.
Today’s launch of Folium expands Sprout’s token management offering and reflects the current and future needs of their customers. Tokens have become a popular store of value and compensation vehicle for traditional and crypto organizations, but until now, this next-generation asset class has not been well tracked and managed. With Folium, organizations can tag and trace digital coins and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on a variety of public and private blockchains. Stakeholders will be able to manage smart contracts, token acquisition, distribution, and fully understand the context, through a unified stock and digital asset management platform.
Andy AnneCEO of NDN2 and YAS Digital, said, “As an investor and customer of Sprout, I have been impressed with the tremendous value the company brings in terms of supporting equity management and the symbolic remuneration of our employees. Token management is becoming an essential part of the operational needs of any business and the launch of Folium reflects this. NDN2 and YAS Digital are proud to partner with the Sprout team to bring new transparency to this space.”
Andy Leeco-founder of Sprout, said, “With this current fundraising, Sprout will be able to focus on product and market expansion and propel the next stage of growth and development of our business. I would like to thank our early investors, advisors and backers for their commitment and our staff for their tireless dedication to getting us here. With Folium, we believe we have a unique product that can bring the transparency and tools needed by the asset industry to make tokens better managed, understood and inclusive for everyone. We are excited about the support we have received early on and our future opportunities.”
Crunchbase estimates that there are currently 6,000 crypto-related businesses worldwide with total funding reaching $43 billion. Sprout believes this continued growth will fuel the need for digital asset management tools across businesses across industries and markets to embrace crypto as a new asset class.
The company also sees an opportunity to work with organizations and regulators to support proof of ownership and stronger KYC and AML frameworks, with increased transparency around cryptocurrencies and other digital assets. Government scrutiny in this area is ongoing, with particular attention to token ownership and related party transactions.
Folium’s launch customers include microinsurance company YAS Digital, metaverse community NOIZ, and green NFT platform Articoin.