Wednesday, June 29, 2022

NFT Technologies goes public on the NEO Exchange – Business Insider

Forex Market Stock Traders

Mario Nawfal

Mario Nawfal.
Mario Nawfal
  • NFT Technologies listed on Toronto’s NEO Exchange with a market capitalization of about $17 million.
  • Most companies refrain from public offerings during market downturns. 
  • Despite the bear market, NFT Technologies’ founder says there’s no better time to go public. Here’s why.

On Wednesday, NFT Technologies, a firm that helps novice investors put their money in Web3, listed publicly on the NEO stock exchange in Toronto. The listing makes it one of the first nonfungible-token companies to make such a move and the first this year. The company is listed at a valuation of about 28 million Canadian dollars, or about $21.8 million. By market close that value dropped to a little over $17 million US dollars.

While most companies delay their public launches during market downturns, Mario Nawfal, NFT Technologies’ cofounder and CEO, said this could be the best time for crypto firms to list on a public exchange.

“We’ve got more than enough capital, and we’re really comfortable, and everything is really cheap,” Nawfal told Insider. “An investment of a million dollars into a company would now cost 80 or 90% less, so if anything, we’re in a better place.” 

Nawfal said he hoped that listing publicly would help his company attract the “big money” in traditional stock markets. 

Wahid Chammas, the founder of the Cyprus-based asset-management firm TyreGate Capital, said listing in a bear market could help firms focus on “value creation as opposed to stock price.” Chammas told Insider that investor expectations had been lowered, which could allow NFT Technologies to innovate without thinking about the volatility of the market.

According to a Google Trends analysis, interest in NFTs peaked in January before collapsing nearly 77% in the past five months. Similar data from NonFungible, a website that tracks the NFT ecosystem, suggested sales of NFTs declined 89.6% since a peak in September. 

But according to the analytics firm Chainalysis, investors sent over $37 billion to NFT marketplaces in the first five months of 2022, putting them on track to beat the $40 billion sent over the past year. Chainalysis also said the number of unique buyers and sellers in the NFT marketplace had risen every quarter since the second quarter of 2020.

Not everybody is convinced that this is a good time to list publicly. 

“The listing could present a challenge for our nascent company, given its exposure to the current crypto market. While that challenge is not insurmountable, due to major market headwinds, the listing may not shine as much as it would have a few months ago,” said an NFT Technologies employee who spoke with Insider on condition of anonymity, because they were not authorized to talk to the press. He sees an uphill battle for the company since NFTs are still a novel asset with volatile peaks and troughs.

For Chammas, the market for NFTs resembles the dot-com era for tech companies. 

“A few will rise to be unicorns and really impact our lives positively,” he said, “But many won’t survive.” 

In Chammas view, while the dot-com era had its share of failures, the innovation it spurred has been unparalleled. The same could be true for blockchain technologies, he said.

Despite the market headwinds, Nawfal said he believed that the technology behind NFTs, crypto, and other aspects of Web3 were at a turning point analogous to Facebook in the early aughts.

“It not only will change society, it is already changing society right now,” he said. For Nawfal, Facebook’s recent rebranding is a good sign for crypto companies.

“Imagine if Ford twenty years ago changed their name to Ford Electric Cars,” he said. “If people way smarter than me are changing their name to Meta, I don’t know what else could be a good indicator.”

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