Silicon Valley FinTech legend Maex Ament chose Berlin as the base for his first blockchain company, Centrifuge. He tells Markets Germany why he is thrilled by the dynamic scene in the German startup capital.
Mathematician and serial entrepreneur Maex Ament founded several successful FinTechs in San Francisco – including Taulia, a digital platform through which companies can handle trade finance – but has chosen to relocate to Berlin for his latest venture. “With Centrifuge, we want to leverage blockchain technology to build a platform for global supplier finance,” he explains. “We believe blockchain will enable a new kind of business interaction in complex supply chains.”
The German-born tech guru says Berlin was a natural choice. “The talent pool of blockchain developers from all over the world, who come together here in Berlin, is simply incredible,” he says. “In no time at all, we recruited a team of 15 people from eight nations, who are working with us to promote our idea.” The main investor in the startup is also based in the capital: “We are pleased to announce that we have a Berlin-based investor BlueYard Capital who believe in our idea and have prestigious partners in Silicon Valley.”
At the heart of Centrifuge is a high concept: companies can share and share data with partners in their supply chain through an open B2B platform. “At the same time, they retain full sovereignty over their own data,” Ament explains. Every supplier can use forgery-proof data from the platform to prove at any time that orders, invoices, or payments have been agreed with a specific partner.
“If I’m a medium-sized supplier, for example, I can use this information to go to a factoring provider or a bank and secure a favorable financing solution.” Currently, the founders are working on a proof of concept with a large German chemical company: “We want to show that our system brings added value to all players, both globally and in complex supply chains.”