By Gavin Gibbon
Phil Zamani hoping partnership with UAE royal family can help elevate the Samsung-backed company in the region
Only a “handful” of blockchain companies, from the thousands currently operating throughout the world, will exist in the next five years, according to Phil Zamani, co-CEO of Blocko and CEO and founder of Aergo.
Zamani told Arabian Business that the current “hype” surrounding blockchain has been witnessed in the past with other technologies and this has ultimately levelled out with the best companies continuing.
He said: “This whole (blockchain) market will consolidate. If there’s one thing that IT has taught me in 35 years, the hype curve is relatively correct. You get a lot of hype, then a trough of disillusionment and then things recover over time.
“It happened with the cloud, it happened with AI and machine learning, it happens with open source. We think this will happen here as well. So from the thousands of blockchain out there, there’ll probably be a handful that will survive the next five years. We aim to be one of those.”
Last month, Samsung-backed Blocko launched in the UAE in partnership with SEED Group, a member of the Private Office of Sheikh Saeed bin Ahmed Al Maktoum.
Having already established a presence in South Korea, the UK and Hong Kong, Blocko secured $8.9m in funding in June 2018 and went on to secure a further $7.44m in a Series B+ round from Korea’s oldest bank, Shinhan, as well as KEB Hana Bank, LB Investment and Dadam Investment in August this year.
The company, which has completed 32 projects in different sectors, is now focusing efforts on bringing its Aergo platform to the Middle East, looking to replicate its success in Asia and Europe.
Zamani said: “We want to build alternative platforms. We have a chance, but no more than a chance, because we have a great team with a great product and great backers.
“My challenge is not wasting time in the wrong country with the wrong partner. Just because they’re called, hypothetically, Saudi Aramco, it doesn’t mean that I have to chase them.
“What I want is a customer where we can identify a real need and we can work with them to see whether we can solve that problem and get them to be a reference for us. Then we’ve got a chance to elevate the platform.”