OMERS is set to become the first pension fund in Canada to invest in the country’s technology sector since the 2008-09 recession. The company is planning to raise $50-million for an Ethereum-focused cryptocurrency business called Ethereum Capital.
The company said that it believes Ethereum will be one of the foundational building blocks in the blockchain space.
John Ruffolo, executive managing director of OMERS’ platform investments arm said,
“We believe in the long-term future of the blockchain as the technology that will be underpinning business. And we are optimistic about the technologies associating with it”.
Many crypto-related businesses have already invested in OMERS
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The new entity will list on the public exchange via a reverse takeover of a TSX Venture shell company and thus become a public company. Purpose Investments partly finance the business and partially owned by OMERS. Other companies that participated in its creation include Citizen Hex. However, that buys and sells Ethereum digital tokens and L4 Ventures, a Toronto blockchain incubator.
The company will not only buy control shares but also invest in the ether currency itself. Since the companies in the Ethereum-based businesses where it will hire control shares “are still in a very nascent stage”. He said the real market worth it was the underlying entrepreneurial businesses in Ethereum platform. Since that would cause it to grow and not the currency speculation.
Having critical individuals as advisers will help them to “a technology company that is the central hub of business on the Ethereum network” according to an industry veteran Som Seif who leads Purpose Investments. He will also be chairman and co-chief investment officer of Ethereum Capital.
Ethereum, which has emerged as a platform of choice for creators of digital tokens, already hosts many initial coin offerings and companies. Last year, it announced a partnership with many blockchain supporters including MasterCard, Microsoft, J.P. Morgan and Bank of Nova Scotia.
Reverse takeovers are not new in Canada’s TSX Venture Exchange. It allows the company to skip the cost and regulatory burden of creating great prospects. However, Ethereum Capital is the latest in the scenes. After private placement of 20 million subscription receipts sold for $2.50 apiece by the two Canadian underwriters, there will be an amalgamation with publicly lists B.C. shell company Movit Media. After the close of the deal, investors will receive one share of Movit for each receipt.
Ethereum Capital noted that the Canada blockchain technology regulation was “uncertain and evolving.”