ICO led by former Dutch bank boss raises €11.5 million

The first investment round of ICO HeadStart, a recently established crypto company headed by former DSB bank boss Dirk Scheringa, is now closed. This pre-ICO raised a total of 11.5 million euros. The company will issue its own token and launch the actual ICO in February, RTL Z reports.

The ICO raised a massive 10.2 million euros over its first weekend. The other 1.3 million euros was raised over the past week. The bulk of the money, 8.8 million euros, came from so-called 'angel investors' - private investors who often receive a share in the company in exchange for their investments. The rest was raised by selling tokens, which the company calls 'Mother of all Tokens', or MOAT. These tokens can be used to purchase services from the company in future, or can be resold.

According to HeadStart founder Nawid Habib, the amount raised is "above expectations". The target amount was 10 million euros. The actual ICO for MOAT is expected to be launched in early February. "We will now first calculate its price on the basis of the amount invested. Pre-sale 2.5 percent of the tokens were sold. In February another 12.5 percent will be sold in the ICO." he said to the broadcaster.

An ICO is often described as being in between an IPO and a crowdfunding action. Investors use cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum, or sometimes traditional currency with a credit card, to buy tokens that in some cases are like shares in a company, and in other instances are used like currency to make purchases or support nonprofit organizations.

The process is rather controversial in the Netherlands, as it is unregulated. The Dutch authority on financial markets AFM does not supervise ICOs as they don't fall under its mandate. The AFM previously warned that ICOs are vulnerable to deception, fraud, and manipulation.

ICO Headstart describes itself as a safe and reliable ICO platform for companies that develop techniques that rely on blockchain, which is also used by better known cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. "We offer our community access to the safest ICO proposals which have been carefully selected by experts from our compliance department, while adhering to give them the best possible ICO proposal and the highest security standards in the ecosystems", the company's website reads.