In early August, CI reported that Templum – a registered ATS targeting digital assets, was working with Aspen Digital to tokenize a security based off of common stock in the St. Regis Aspen Resort. Using the Reg D (506c) exemption, the tokenized security has been described as the first of its kind.
According to the offer page on Indiegogo, “Aspen Digital is proposing to sell Aspen Coins, presenting purchasers with a unique opportunity to gain an indirect fragmented equity ownership stake in the St. Regis Aspen Resort in Aspen Colorado, an iconic trophy property.”
More specifically, Aspen Digital is a Maryland corporation that has been formed to own the St. Regis Aspen Resort. Aspen Digital is said to be “a single-asset REIT” that intends to own only the St. Regis Aspen Resort.
The “tokenized asset offering,” or TAO, has a per token price of $1.00 with a minimum investment hurdle of $10,000. The total offering is for $18 million representing an 18.9% non-voting equity stake in the firm.
The deal is expected to close at the end of this month and the newly minted token is predicted to trade on Templum (and/or perhaps other digital asset platforms) at some point in the future.
The manager of the Aspen property REIT, Elevated Returns, was founded by Stephane De Baets who has about 20 years of experience in asset management, financial structuring, and mergers & acquisitions. Elevated is said to be creating a “real estate tokenizing platform” it expects to use for future property investments and STOs.
One of the investment verticals most frequently mentioned as being perfect for tokenization is real estate. By using smart contracts, investing in tangible property assets may be easier to manage for both issuer and investor.
There are a few blockchain based platforms targeting the real estate sector but Elevated Returns (along with its subsidiaries) is the first to actually offer a security token with the intent to issue even more.
This is an interesting development in the digital asset sector. And due to the caliber of the principles involved, could be a harbinger of bigger things to come. CI reached out to De Baets, who is President of Elevated Returns, to learn more about his vision and how the Aspen Coin concept emerged.
How did you come to partner with Templum on issuing a security token? And why did you select this path to raise capital?
Stephane De Baets: Great question. We believe Templum is on the forefront for ATS exchanges when it comes to regulations and compliance with SEC and FINRA, as Templum is fully approved as an ATS exchange with both parties.
In addition, Templum has a great institutional distribution client network. As the success of the security token is based on liquidity, having the right secondary market strategy is key and this is exactly what Templum provided us with.
Is this more of a marketing ploy as it is “first”? Do you expect tangible benefits to issuing securities on blockchain?
Stephane De Baets: Yes, the blockchain technology is very valuable for real estate today.
This is a great way for private real estate deals to be transparent, accessible and liquid. We believe that liquidity will come through using blockchain technology with peer-to-peer investing in real estate, democratizing the asset class the same way valuation exploded for stocks as access to stocks became easier.
Why did you decide to market the offering on Indiegogo? Was this due to their investor reach?
Stephane De Baets: Our marketing partner is Indiegogo.
The value of their community speaks for itself, with more than 9 million users with a very strong network of accredited investors, representing 235 countries and territories.
This is a great network and name to have marketing for us on the Aspen Digital offering.
What about additional transactions. Is this part of your roadmap?
Stephane De Baets: Yes, of course, we have multiple properties in the pipeline. We estimate our pipeline to be anywhere between $2-3 billion we can tokenize of global real estate assets.
Are you accepting international investors for St. Regis Aspen?
Stephane De Baets: Yes, our Security Token Offering is a global product subject to local securities laws.
We feel that we have a global product for people who want to have exposure to real estate in U.S, especially as the St. Regis Aspen is a globally recognized and desirable trophy asset.
Elevated’s portfolio includes some high-end property assets. Do you expect to continue issuing securities on blockchain from your holdings?
Stephane De Baets: Yes, we are actively looking to acquire minority stakes in high-end luxury assets with the view of tokenizing them down the line.
What about investors. Do you foresee STOs enabling your company to capture a broader network of (accredited) investors?
Stephane De Baets: Absolutely, we envision a whole global community of investors bridging the new with the old.
It will appeal to the traditional real estate investors, such as the person who stays at the hotel.
In addition, it also appeals to the very large community of crypto fanatics that are looking to diversify their coins into a more tangible security token like Aspen Digital which is backed by a real asset.
Will you continue to partner with Indiegogo for marketing? What about aiding them in listing non portfolio real estate assets?
Stephane De Baets: Yes, we believe this partnership can grow, and so far, we like where it is heading. We believe the real estate vertical is so large that for the moment we will focus on being the experts in this field.
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