Stonize is a digital platform making securitisation simple, cost-efficient, and transparent.
As part of their journey on BlockStart’s Acceleration Programme, as a startup developer of blockchain technology, they were looking to further develop their solution and for new opportunities for collaboration with end-user SMEs that could validate and help them improve their “Stonize” and “Flow” blockchain solutions.
We spoke with CEO Alessandro Ranaldi to know more about Stonize and their participation in BlockStart.
In one paragraph, what is Stonize?
Stonize is a digital platform for securitisation workflow management.
Can you tell us how the idea for your startup began?
At the end of 2018 we had the thesis that digital assets leveraging blockchain technology could increase accessibility and transparency in the capital market. For us it was important to focus on a specific use case to maximize our execution effectiveness, and as a target segment in the capital market we cherry picked the asset-backed securities that are created through the securitisation process. We started the company in July 2019 and the problem we have been solving is that these transactions have to deal with multiple roles and transparency requirements, but the current workflow is manual and fragmented. This generates a slow and inefficient process, which ultimately makes these transactions poorly accessible. Now, thanks to our digital platform we can guarantee 10 times faster procedures and enhanced data integrity. So with us transparency and accessibility is not a trade-off anymore.
What is Stonize passionate about achieving?
We are passionate about building products that can bring increased accessibility, privacy and security into the markets we operate in, and achieve exponential growth. We have a relentless execution for that.
Who are the team members and what backgrounds do you have?
The core team is made by 3 people: myself, Giuseppe Morlino (Head of Research and Integration) and Michele Mastrogiovanni (CTO). We have strong competencies in the business and technology areas, combined with entrepreneurial experience.
Can you tell us about the prototype you have developed with the support of BlockStart Acceleration Programme?
During the prototype phase we worked on two core features of the platform: Self-onboarding and Trusted automation. The Self-onboarding feature allows users to onboard on the platform on their own. Instead, the Trusted automation feature allows users to generate legal contracts based on templates and custom input data and, at the same time, it allows to easily verify the integrity of the legal contracts. These features enable a legally binding process.
During the prototype phase we also launched a second product called Flow, leveraging the knowledge that we got from Stonize in terms of privacy, security and use of blockchain technology. Flow has a mission to connect people through voice. It is the easiest way to hang out online with friends and new buddies. In particular, it allows users to interact while listening to the same audio content, like if they are in the same room. We developed an MVP with the Interaction and Synchronised audio content features. In particular, the Interaction feature allows users to talk and react through sounds effects. Instead, the Synchronized audio content allows users to listen to the same audio content at the same time.
In this app we followed a privacy and security by design approach. We are using WebRTC, which allows a peer to peer and end-to-end encrypted voice communication.
Also, to better protect the identity of a user, we implemented a Proof of Concept to detect any suspicious activity in the use of his/her voice, as in the case of deepfakes. Indeed, what it could happen is that another person could talk from his/her account, or his/her voice could appear in a third party account, without him/her knowing that.
Our mechanism leverages the voice fingerprint model and its notarisation on the blockchain.
What were you most excited about in taking part of BlockStart Acceleration Programme?
For us the programme was a great opportunity to access an international and high profile network of professionals in order to gain insights and accelerate our journey.
Which were the major challenges you have faced during the development and market/fit validation of your prototype?
The major challenge was to test and build the second product while also executing on the securitisation platform. However, we managed to do it because our DNA is to build product driven businesses and we could leverage the competencies we got in our journey until now in terms of privacy, security and use of blockchain technology.
What unique aspects does your company and the prototype you have developed have to offer to the market sectors/type of companies you wish to enter/sell and to the blockchain ecosystem in Europe, as a whole?
With Stonize we are providing the securitisation market with a digital platform that is characterised by a unique combination of trusted technologies: eIDAS compliant digital identities, which make the process legally binding, and a permissionless blockchain, which guarantees the integrity of data overtime.
With Flow we are providing young people with the easiest way to hang out online with friends and new buddies. In particular, it allows users to interact while listening to the same audio content, like if they are in the same room. From the content creation standpoint it equips users with tools to be content creators themselves and distribute it. The users can move seamlessly between creation and consumption.
Moreover, we implemented a Proof of Concept to detect any suspicious activity in the use of the user’s voice, as in the case of deepfakes. The mechanism leverages the voice fingerprint model and its notarisation on the blockchain.
Where do you see your company in 5 years?
We will be experiencing exponential growth and delivering value added to millions of people.
Apply to our Open Call #3 for SME adopters!
One of the main objectives of BlockStart is to encourage collaboration between end-user SMEs and potential blockchain/DLT specialists, as technology providers, and to promote knowledge about the benefits and opportunities of these technologies. This collaboration is of upmost importance in the Pilot stage of the acceleration programme, where startups will have the chance to test their solutions together with SME adopters.
The 1st cut-off date of Open Call #3 for SME adopters to participate at the Ideation Kick-off will close on 6 July at 5pm CET (Brussels Time). Only SMEs operating in the fields of fintech, ICT and retail are eligible and should apply here. A 2nd cut-off date for SME adopters is expected for the end of the year, for SMEs participation at the Pilot stage, which will start in December 2021.
Selected SME adopters will benefit from up to €4,500 equity-free grants, with €1,500 being provided upon their participation at the Ideation Kick-off and €3,000 after completing the Pilot stage, together with the blockchain developers. Eligible SMEs will have the chance to implement blockchain/DLT pilot solutions together with blockchain startups, that have gone through BlockStart’s 3rd Acceleration Programme.