Complex Made Simple

Samsung-backed enterprise blockchain company launches in the UAE raising over $16m

Blocko enters the region aiming to accelerate the region’s digital transformation for both its businesses and residents by supporting government bodies and large enterprises to embrace and deploylarge scale blockchain solutions

Blocko supports over 20 enterprise clients, including Samsung, Cisco and Hyundai Motors, estimated to be serving more than 25 million end-users daily Blocko already built 38 full-scale enterprise blockchain solutions in South Korea GITEX visitors to view the region’s first functional private blockchain, in which smartphone, AI, robotics, automation and IoT devices will be connected and share data without being connected

Blocko, a leading enterprise blockchain provider has officially launched in the UAE to offer a simpler way for enterprises and government entities to adopt blockchain solutions into their infrastructure.

Blocko and its newly-launched hybrid public-private blockchain implementation of Blocko’s blockchain technology, Aergo, enter the emirates through a strategic business and technology partnership with SEED Group, a member of the Private Office of Sheikh Saeed bin Ahmed Al Maktoum.

Currently supporting over 20 enterprise clients with solutions in place estimated to be serving more than 25 million end-users daily, Blocko aims to accelerate the region’s digital transformation for both its businesses and residents by supporting government bodies and other large enterprises to innovate by embracing and deploy high scale blockchain solutions.

Having already established a significant presence in South Korea, the UK and Hong Kong, Blocko secured US$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 2019. The company is now focusing efforts on bringing the Aergo platform to enterprises in the Middle East, looking to replicate its success in Asia and Europe.

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Phil Zamani, co-CEO of Blocko and CEO and founder of Aergo, said: “Our strategic partnership with SEED Group and entry to the UAE will address the most demanding and complex problems being faced by organisations seriously considering entering the advanced digital ecosystem with blockchain solutions. We launched Aergo in response to the growing need for data sharing between industries and companies in areas such as identity verification, document management and the Internet of Things – the same areas in which the Middle East in particular is seeking practical solutions.”

According to Zamani, many blockchain technologies in the Middle East and globally are still in the proof-of-concept phase, are too complex to use, or do not have the capabilities to provide the performance and scale required to secure millions of devices and users. As a hybrid blockchain, Aergo breaks through these barriers, unlocking new features that provide increased levels of efficiency, security, scalability and value. The main areas of focus for the Aergo are high performance, efficient consensus and ease of development, enabling the exchange of assets including information, tokenised goods and supply chain registries.

Blockchain technology has been embraced by the UAE and significant government strategies have been launched in recent years to encourage its implementation by both public and private entities. In April 2018, the UAE Government launched the Emirates Blockchain Strategy 2021, which aims to capitalise on blockchain technology to transform 50 per cent of government transactions into the blockchain platform by 2021. By doing so, the UAE Government has announced it expects annuals savings of Dh11bn in transactions and documents processed routinely, 398 million printed documents and 77 million workhours.

Dubai aspires to be the first city fully powered by blockchain with all bill payments, license renewals and visa applications, which account for over 100 million documents a year, to be transacted digitally via blockchain by 2020. According to Smart Dubai, this transformation could save 25.1 million manhours valued at over Dh5.5bn per year.

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“The UAE and the wider Middle East region are constantly seeking advanced blockchain solutions for government and digital services. And so, we recognised the partnership with Blocko and Aergo as a solution to satisfy the increasing need for companies working at the highest level of scale and security. They have the right expertise to deliver blockchain solutions effectively that, in turn, will enable the UAE to make its digital promise a reality for its government departments, citizens and businesses,” saidHisham Al Gurg, CEO of SEED Groupand The Private Office of Sheikh Saeed bin Ahmed Al Maktoum.

Many companies around the world, in sectors including manufacturing, banking, mobile payments, logistics and distribution, as well as local governments, are already taking advantage of Aergo. Zamani explained: “Our open architecture, proven capability in deploying functional technologies and a willingness to provide tailored knowledge transfer with our local partners are the core principles of Aergo. Having already built 38 full-scale enterprise blockchain solutions in South Korea for companies like Samsung, Cisco, Hyundai Motors, and also Gyeonggi-do province, we are now ready to join forces with organisations in this region who are ready to embrace blockchain to leverage existing IT or cloud infrastructure for better returns on investment and capital expenditure.”

Aergo is exhibiting at GITEX from October 6–9, 2019. The team will be demonstrating live on the stand the region’s first functional private blockchain, in which smartphone, AI, robotics, automation and IoT devices will be connected and share data without the requirement of being connected to a network. Visitors will have the opportunity to experience the platform’s ease of use, its enhanced levels of security and its functionality firsthand.