Deon Digital is a Swiss public limited company and provider of a programming language for “Smart Financial Instruments”, which ensures uniform processing on distributed database environments. With the help of digital shares, the company has been able to tap into new investor circles.
We spoke to Soraya Bachmann, Assistant to the Board of Directors at Deon Digital AG, to find out how they use Aequitec software to manage their shares.
How did you originally keep your share book?
We already kept a share book when the company was founded. At that time, there was no suitable software solution for us, so we created a classic table of shareholders. Over time, however, we found that it became increasingly complicated to keep track of the number of over 120 shareholders over the first financing rounds. The additional issuance of participation shares also added our employees. From an organizational point of view, the manual administration of the share book was feasible, but very tedious and simply no longer up to date.
How has Aequitec helped you as a share registry provider?
By creating digital shares, we were able to attract new anchor investors, who helped us enormously in scaling the business model. However, we have not digitized all of our shares. Our participation certificates are still classic book-entry securities and had to be managed separately by professional software. With Aequitec, we have a software that can manage all forms of shares.
What convinced you to switch providers?
With the introduction of digital shares, we had chosen one of the classic share registrars. Unfortunately, shares that are not traded on the stock exchange cannot be sold via the securities account of the custodian bank. Therefore, share transfers were handled manually with the banks. It is clear that with manual processing, an error will creep in at some point. This can all be corrected, but it costs time and nerves. With the change to Aequitec, we are happy that shareholders can register their share transfers. The Chairman of the Board of Directors can then bring the matter to the Board of Directors and pass a resolution quickly, because we have a shareholders’ agreement, which must be upheld. This process is now much more automated and we look forward to more features to streamline the process through Aequitec.
What are the general challenges in keeping the share register?
The biggest challenge is not to delude oneself from the beginning that it is “only” a table that needs to be maintained. All the work processes and coordination with banks, notaries, shareholders, trustees are very time-consuming. Of course it is my job to help here, but my working time can be useful and create value in many places. Therefore, any support from a professional software is welcome.
Can you recall an “aha” moment with Aequitec?
Certainly, it was nice to see that I could download a familiar table structure of the share register from the software with one click. This allowed us to verify that the upload to the platform was successful. Especially since we still need a tabular form of the share register as well as the transaction history for external due diligence processes.
What advice or recommendations would you give to companies considering using Aequitec?
For us as an issuer of shares, we would have been happy to have professional software from day one. Sure, in the beginning every company shies away from additional costs. In retrospect, however, early use would have saved us a lot of costs and, most importantly, nerve-wracking issues. Early use makes absolute sense.