Aufort is an Estonian company with almost 8 years’ experience in selling investment gold and silver in Estonia. With the goal of expanding globally, Aufort is developing the most transparent and easy-to-use platform, which allows gold to be used in several different ways. Aufort's vision is to become the next generation gold bank.
In November 2020, Aufort managed to close its first seed round through private crowdfunding round, in which 61 investors invested €200,000 in the company. With this money injection, the Aufort team manage to finalize the platform and unique digital gold (AufortGold) product solution development, which was launched in June this year (2021). Since then, the customer base has grown by more than 60%, the average monthly turnover has increased about 300% and the average monthly transactions volume as increased around 400%.
In the last few years, more money (currency, i.e. dollar, euro, etc.) has been printed in the world than in all previous history together. The massive inflow of money leads to (hyper) inflation, which leads to significant increases in the prices of most products and services. A large number of people (both in Estonia and in other European countries) have a record number of savings in bank accounts. Due to the massive money printing and inflation, the value of savings (purchasing power), decreases significantly. Many people have thought about investing their savings to protect themselves from the devastating effects of inflation, but unfortunately many have not started investing because in many cases it is not easy and to start doing it.
Precious metals (investment gold and silver) have historically been one of the easiest and safest ways to invest ones savings. However, buying and owning physical investment gold bars can be expensive and troublesome. When buying gold bars and coins, in addition to the world market price and service fee, you also have to pay for the production and shipping. In addition, the production and shipping of gold bars is not an environmentally friendly process. Physical gold bars need to be stored, which can involve both additional costs and security risks.
Aufort has developed a unique digital product solution, AufortGold: physical investment gold in a digital form that is working on easy-to-use e-shop platform. Aufort allows you to invest in physical gold in digital form cheaper, securely, and more conveniently without leaving home.
Aufort offers a unique solution AufortGold: a physical investment gold in digital form that is built on a transparent distributed ledger technology and easy-to-use webshop platform. Technically, it is a gold-backed cryptocurrency that can be bought, sold and redeemed as a physical gold bar through a convenient webshop format. Investing in gold with Aufort takes only a few minutes - and it can be done by anyone, even by a grandma. It is possible to invest gold without leaving home from half a gram, approximately €26.
In cooperation with world-renowned gold refiners, Aufort ensures the protection of customers' gold against all risks (except force majeure). In addition, Aufort insures the service offered to mitigate additional risks. The storage fee for gold is 0.002% per day of the world market price of gold and this cost is borne by Aufort - storage is free for the customer. The vaults are audited by a third party (SPS Steuerberatungsges.m.b.H.), and the results are published twice a year on Aufort's website. The latest audit can be found here.
Technologically, AufortGold exists in the Obyte decentralized database, which provides additional transparency and security for both the customer and Aufort.
The technology used gives the customer an opportunity to check how much AufortGold is in his account and also how much gold is in the customer's accounts altogether. Comparing this with the results of the audit, customers can be sure that the gold is physically present in the vault. For Aufort, trustworthiness is the most important aspect.
In addition to the buying and selling of gold, Aufort plans to give gold several more real uses: for example, the opportunity to earn interest on your gold deposit, send gold between users or pay for products / services in gold.
Aufort is an online platform that offers solutions directly to end-users (B2C) and businesses (B2B). Customers can use Aufort's products and services directly on the Aufort website. An affiliate program has also been developed, in the framework of which it is planned to start cooperating with several larger online companies, through which customers will use the Aufort platform. Learn more about the partnership program here. In addition, Aufort plans to start working with various cryptocurrency trading platforms (e.g. Coinbase, Kraken, Binance), through which an even larger number of advanced customers will be reached.
Aufort is an online platform, the main source of income is the service fee from the purchase, sale and withdrawal of precious metals. The service fee of Aufort is 2% of the world market price of gold or min €2 per product. The projected additional income streams will come from gold transfer / payment service fees and account management fees.
The Aufort platform is mainly intended for business-to-customer (B2C) and business-to-business- to-customer (B2B2C). For that we use affiliate program, by which we reache new customers through various high traffic web pages and social media influencers. You can read more about the partnership program here.
In addition, Aufort plans to cooperate with various digital asset trading platforms (for example cryptocurrency trading platforms such as Change) and classic financial institutions (for example banks) to reach even more knowledgeable customers.
At the end of 2019, Deutsche Bank Research published an interesting report for the next decade (Konzept, Imagine 2030), which read as follows:
Recently, there has been a great deal of uncertainty about the future of the world economy. Over the last few years, countries have printed and issued more currency than has been the case in all of previous history. In addition, the recent global outbreak of COVID-19 is contributing to the situation. Historically, uncertain times have brought people back to gold, which has been a secure financial instrument for centuries.
Demand for gold, and in particular for digital gold, is increasing significantly. In 2003, the overall demand for investment gold was 470 tonnes, of which 400 tonnes was for physical bar and coins and 70 tonnes for digital gold (ETF). In 2010, the general demand for investment gold was 1,700 tonnes, of which the demand for physical bars and coins was 1,300 tonnes and for digital gold 400 tonnes. In 2020, the overall demand for investment gold was 1,800 tonnes, of which 900 tonnes was for physical bars and coins and 900 tonnes for digital gold. If you are interested, you can find more statistics here.
The global gold market cap is around 10 trillion euros, of which investment gold is around 5 trillion. AufortGold is an internationally scalable product solution that can already be offered across Europe. Technically, it can be offered in all countries around the world, but depending on the legal restrictions on different continents, Aufort's primary focus is currently on the Member States of the European Union. The first two interesting markets are Finland and Germany. In the long run, we also see big potential in Africa (Nigeria), for many good reasons.
Finland and Germany are also extremely gold-minded countries with a high standard of living. In Germany, for example, every second adult owns investment gold. Africa is home to one of the world's largest gold mines, and Africans are generally very gold-minded people. There are many people in Africa who do not have a bank account but have a smartphone, so digital money is important and useful for them. Many African countries have high inflation rates, therefore many people seek protection against the inflation.
There are several digital gold service providers on the market, but none of them offers it through an easy-to-use e-store platform. Should a customer wish to redeem their gold as a physical bar, in most cases this option is either not available or the minimus or fees are very high for the average person and the retail investor.
The largest and well-known digital gold service providers built on a distributed ledger technology (blockchain) are Tether Gold (USA), PAX Gold (USA), Perth Mint Gold Token (Australia), Meld Gold (Australia) and DigixGlobal (Singapore). The largest digital gold companies built on the usual so-called old-school excel-based database are Goldmoney (USA) and BullionVault (USA) and GoldSilver (USA), the market leader in physical investment gold.
* DAG (directed acyclic graph) is a newer type of distributed ledger technology, which solves a number of blockchain scalability issues such as environmental friendliness (energy use), transaction speed and network fees.
** Normally 1-2 business days for a new user's first transaction.
Almost 8 years of experience in selling physical investment gold and silver in Estonia
In total, sold more than 138,000 grams of gold and silver
Tehnopol startup incubator program 2020-2021
Turnover in 2021 from January until now (October) approx. €300,000
Operating licenses: purchase and wholesale of precious metals and stones (FVV000117) and virtual currency related services (FVT000038)
Cooperation agreements with internationally recognized precious metal wholesalers and refiners
Launch of new digital product AufortGold in June 2021
The aim of the second capital raising round is to raise up to €500,000, which will be directed mainly to sales and marketing activities, in addition to team expansion and further product development.
Sales and marketing: 55%
Product development: 15%
In the last quarter of the year, we plan to launch digital silver product solution AufortSilver and take the first steps to expand into the Finnish and German markets. In 2022 and 2023, Aufort is planning additional funding rounds for a large-scale expansion.
2021 – 500,000 euros
2022 – 20 million euros
2023 – 200 million euros
Aufort's vision is to become the next generation gold bank. This ambitious plan requires both capital and a strong team to further develop the platform and product / service and to expand actively in foreign markets. The first successful capital raising round took place in November 2020, when Aufort was trusted by 61 angel investors who invested €200,000 in the company. This round of funding is the second and we are planning the third in 2022. Each funding round significantly increases the value of the company. Aufort does not plan to distribute profits over the next few years - all revenues will be reinvested in active expansion and growth, which will increase the value of the company significantly. Aufort also plans to allow public trading of the shares in 2022, for example on Ignium or Funderbeam platform. This will give the opportunity to the investors in the first two rounds to sell their shares.
The (pre-money) valuation of the company in the second funding round is 5 million euros and after the financing round (post-money) the valuation of the company is approximately 5.5 million euros. Planned third funding round valuation is min. 10 million euros. Example: if everything goes according to plan, then when investing €1,000, the expected value of the investment after the third funding round is €2,000. Please be sure to read the risk warning below as well.
A longer-term exit plan is to sell Aufort to a larger financial institution that wants to integrate Aufort with its existing systems.
Olympic gold medal winner, certified leadership coach, motivation trainer and coach. Gerd has been 18 years as a top athlete that has brought him 11 medals, including both the 2008 Olympic gold medal and the 2007 world champion title. After retiring from being a professional athlete, Gerd has been the coach of the Polish national team. Gerd has also made some successful investments in the field of real estate.
Reimo has long-term experience in residential and commercial real estate development since 1999. He is the head and one of the founders of the real estate development group Retori Estate. Reimo has been accompanied by a sport throughout his life - he has become the champion of the “Tallinn Leader” team in the Estonian Volleyball Championship. Reimo also participated as one of the biggest investors in the first funding round.
Asse is Estonia's leading blockchain expert, entrepreneur, author, trainer and consultant. Asse has more than 15 years of experience in IT, blockchain technology and psychology. In addition to several other exciting challenges, Asse has been the head of IT development at the Estonian Ministry of Finance, a blockchain banking expert at LHV Bank and the founder of the Estonian Cryptocurrency Association. Asse was also the lead investor in the first funding round.
The purpose of the risk warning is to draw attention to the potential risks associated with investing. We recommend that a novice investor seek the advice of an investment advisor or a specialist.
It is advisable to hedge the risks associated with investing by investing only a part of your available funds and balancing it with safer and more liquid investments.
Liquidity means how easily shares of a company can be sold after purchase. It may not be easy to sell parts of a start-up or active business. In addition, it is not known whether or when the company's shares are listed on a regulated market (primary or secondary market), such as Funderbeam or the Tallinn Stock Exchange. It is not possible to earn a regular return on investment (dividends) by investing in an unlisted private limited company (i.e. with a capital investment).
Dividends are payments that a company makes to its shareholders to distribute the company's profits. Companies are not obliged to pay dividends to their shareholders, as this is decided at the shareholders' meeting and a majority of shareholders is required to make such a decision. Start-ups or young companies rarely pay dividends to their investors in the early years, as most of the capital is reinvested in expansion.
The materials published as part of the campaign may not be comprehensive and may not reflect all the risks associated with the company's operations. If desired, it is also possible to read the company's documents in more detail before investing.
Many start-ups or small businesses are not successful or do not develop as planned and therefore investing in these companies can involve significant risks. The possibility of losing part or, in extreme cases, your entire investment, must be taken into account.