Digitorney: Disrupting the World of Lawyers
Dr. Ruediger Theiselmann is the CEO and Co-Founder of Digitorney — a digital marketplace for business law. Through Digitorney’s platform companies can get access to more than 5,000 lawyers in nearly 50 countries, finding a suitable expert they are looking for. Following their digital approach, Digitorney is issuing its own Security Token, representing 10% of the shares in the company.
We are pleased having Dr. Theiselmann as our interview guest.
Which problem is Digitorney trying to solve?
When companies face legal issues in other countries or certain niches, they either involve big international law firms or look for a local expert which is either costly or time-consuming and often enough proves to be a black box. Digitorney helps companies find the right lawyers and to make use of suitable legal tech solutions — worldwide and in all fields of business law. This market generates 349 billion US Dollars revenues per annum globally and hence offers massive potential.
Why did you choose a Security Token Offering as a means to raise funds?
Our major objective is to make use of a digital funding solution in line with our digital business model. In addition, we wanted to remain independent from the interests of single investors. When we co-developed a blockchain communications tool, we got in touch with the crypto world and that was the starting point for our STO.
What is the Track Record of your team?
Our team consists of seasoned and entrepreneurial lawyers, tax advisors and digital professionals who used to work in law firms and companies. I myself have a versatile background in law, banking and communications with a strong digital footprint: online journalism, online brokerage/banking, dissertation in digital IP rights and legal tech.
Why should I purchase Digitorney Tokens and what are my rights and risks as an owner?
Investors enjoy full benefit from the economic ownership of a stake in our company. It includes voting rights, dividend rights and — in the future — full tradeability. In addition, they take part in the equity upside in particular when it comes to a sale of Digitorney to a strategic investor.
Who is eligible to purchase your tokens?
Our STO is suitable for both professional and retail investors. Our offering is registered in the Netherlands and therefore actively promoted to the Dutch market. Foreign investors are allowed as well, with some restrictions.
When will I be able to sell / trade your tokens? On which exchanges?
Right from the beginning, Digitorney Tokens are fully tradable assets. Investors can trade directly with people and wallet to wallet. We plan a listing on one or more Security Token exchanges within 12 months after going public. There are currently plans to establish a new exchange for Security Tokens in the Netherlands next year — and that’s what we’re aiming at. Prior to listing on an exchange, Digitorney Tokens can be traded between parties that have been registered.
What was the biggest learning you made during the last year?
The learning curve in terms of blockchain has been extreme this year — not only related to technological aspects but also to the metrics of the crypto market and its future potential. At the same time, we clearly see that many people are still reluctant to plunge into the blockchain world. If you want to attract a broader stakeholder base you need to demonstrate tangible advantages and communicate in a clear manner.
What is your biggest fear regarding tokenization of securities?
Deviating rules for Security Token offerings are my biggest concern. In a global and digitized environment it leads to uncertainty for issuers if regulators treat public token offerings differently. From my perspective, it requires an international approach which should be coordinated by the International Monetary Fund, for instance.
What is the most exciting happening you are waiting to see in the Security Token Ecosystem within the next year?
It will be very interesting to see how Security Token exchanges will drive the change in both the crypto world and the international corporate finance sector. My personal expectation is that the tokenization of company shares and corporate assets evolves on a global scale from 2019 onwards once the first exchanges are in place. This will be the starting point for a revolution of the corporate finance sector in terms of both equity and debt capital markets.
Where do you see the biggest challenge for Digitorney in the next 5 years?
Many lawyers still work in a traditional manner and are determined by structures that have been existing for decades. Hence, it needs a change of mindset in the legal advisory markets. This process has already started and Digitorney is at the forefront of things. It will be the biggest but also very most exciting challenge to be part of this change process.
Thank you for the interview.
Note: This interview was conducted on 26.12.2018