By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Aragon, a project that creates software to manage companies, has raised $25 million in under 15 minutes late on Wednesday with the sale of its own token, said Luis Cuende, the project’s co-founder.
The proceeds were the second-largest amount received by a start-up operating in the blockchain or distributed ledger space, Cuende said. Aragon’s coin is called Aragon Network Token.
Cuende, 21, said Aragon is the first management tool developed specifically to decentralize the creation and maintenance of companies around the world.
Aragon was built on ethereum, a public blockchain similar to bitcoin’s.
Aragon requires only the internet to function, implementing basic features such as governance, fundraising, payroll and accounting.
“What we make is software for people to organize themselves and run businesses using blockchain technology,” said Cuende.
“They don’t have to interact with banks or lawyers if they don’t want to. They can be in the field of service they want and they don’t have to do all these requirements.”
Cuende, who started his first software project at age 12, did not expect the offering to raise that much money for Aragon.
“If you had asked me two months ago, $25 million was like five times what I was dreaming of,” Cuende said in an interview.
The largest funding raised in a so-called “initial coin offering” (ICO) was $150 million in May 2016 by a blockchain solutions company called Slock.it for The DAO, a crowd-funded venture capital fund.
Aragon is one of numerous blockchain start-ups and projects that have raised capital by creating their own tokens or digital currencies and selling them to the public through ICOs.
With the funds raised, Aragon will focus on further developing its software, implementing security audits and hiring additional developers and operational staff, bringing the team to 10 people this year.
(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)