Due to the volatile financial market caused by the Coronavirus crisis, the price of gold reached record levels in the summer, exceeding 2,000 dollars per ounce. The high price has also interested investors - Estonian company Aufort that specialises in the sale of precious metals, raised 200,000 Euros through private crowdfunding in order to become an innovative gold bank enabling customers to make transfers and payments in gold.
According to Bert-Ken Raudberg, founder of Aufort, the increase in the price of gold has been caused by the massive additional printing of money globally and the fear of inflation accompanying it. This shall be coupled with an increase in the price of most products and services, including gold and silver.
"Gold continues to be a safe option in today's uncertain economic situation in which to invest one’s money and I predict that its price has not yet reached its peak of the coming years," said Raudberg. "The current year has had a highly positive impact on us. The interest of the Estonian people in gold, and also in silver, has increased noticeably, leading to a considerable growth in clients and turnover.
Within a year, Aufort’s turnover has more than tripled to 350,000 Euros. Aufort also recently laid the foundation for a new fintech platform that combines gold with blockchain technology and an e-commerce platform. The company plans to reach tens of thousands of users in the coming years.
"Our vision is to bring gold back into widespread use and grow into a next generation gold bank that offers people the opportunity to trade in gold, take out gold backed loans, deposit gold in order to earn interest on it, and to use gold for making transfers and payments," said Raudberg. "The main difference compared to a conventional bank is that all transactions are based on gold and the platform is built on a secure and transparent decentralised blockchain technology. This is profitable for the client as in the long term, the price of gold will only increase, but the Euro will become cheaper due to inflation.”
The vision of a next generation gold bank led Aufort to the Tehnopol Startup Incubator accelerator this autumn. In November, the company raised 200,000 Euros from 61 investors through private crowdfunding, directing the investment into the development of a new product and platform. The lead investor in the process was the well-known blockchain technology and cryptocurrency expert, Asse Sauga.
"The crowdfunding round was significantly more successful than expected – we achieved the target of the planned campaign in only 9 days instead of 21. We have decided that we will conduct a second round of financing next year already, as the number of investors was greater than could be accepted. The additional financing will allow the expansion within Europe and entry into the African market. We are certain that a year from now, investor interest will continue to be high, as the technology used and the solution currently in development will create significant additional value to the client," added Raudberg.
The next investment round is planned to take place in autumn 2021 with a goal to raise up to one million Euros.
In the seven years of its operation, Aufort has sold almost 113,000 grams of gold and silver, created exclusive gift solutions, and served thousands of clients in Estonia. The name of the new trademark – Aufort – is derived from two words: Au is gold, and fort, which means ‘golden fort’ when put together.
Aufort founder & CEO
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