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Daura – the digital share platform for Switzerland

Digitization is advancing. One company that is at the forefront is daura. The Zurich-based digital share platform has big plans. Digital share ledgers, general meetings and capital increases: What do these offerings offer investors?

There are many platforms that enable asset trading. But so far, only a few focus on trading digital assets. Yet this is precisely what plays an important role for investors. After all, Switzerland is already further along in this regard than many other countries, which is primarily due to its modern DLT legislation. This creates important framework conditions for service providers like daura.

What is daura’s business?

The business model of daura is primarily to offer interested parties a digital share platform. This serves potential capital providers and investors in equal measure. Particularly important is the digitalization of the share register of the respective company. To this end, the company relies on modern blockchain technology for trading digital shares. Starting from this central service, the platform provider has created an entire portfolio of services.

What does the service portfolio look like?

At daura, the following five service areas are at the core:

  • digital share ledger
  • digital general meeting
  • digital incentives
  • digital capital increases
  • digital investments

What are the advantages of daura?

The services offered by daura do not only benefit companies. You as a potential investor can also benefit from individual services in several ways.

  • Digital share register: Swiss companies that issue registered shares are required by law to keep a share register. By digitizing the share ledger, they can realize efficiency benefits. Now that it is digitized practically at the touch of a button, the information stored in it is up-to-date and complete at all times. In addition, the transfer of shares is digitally supported. As an investor, you benefit from the digital share ledger in the form of several protective mechanisms. For example, transmission to unknown distributed ledger addresses is not possible. This prevents theft. In addition, the digital token serves as security for each holder of a share certificate.
  • Digital general meeting: As a rule, stock corporations have to hold general meetings. To do so, however, they need the data of their shareholders – especially name and address. With daura’s digital share register, this information is always up to date. This means that both ordinary and extraordinary general meetings can be held easily and digitally. Invitations, proxies and real-time voting are also possible digitally. Results and resolutions can be securely recorded in the blockchain. Digital general meetings not only make sense in times of Corona, but also save resources because travel is no longer necessary. This saves you as an investor time and effort. Digital general meetings are accordingly also beneficial for the climate, our environment and personal comfort.
  • Digital incentives: Individuals can participate in public companies in the form of digital share certificates. Here, it is possible to flexibly divide the shares into practically any number of shares. In addition to employee shares, customer shares or successor shares, for example, can also be realized without any problems. In this way, companies can increase employee motivation and deepen business relationships. Accordingly, digital share incentives can also be understood as impact investing in a broader sense.
  • Digital capital increases: The possibility of carrying out capital increases digitally enables companies to increase their capital base in an uncomplicated way. They benefit from fast implementation, low transaction costs and a global circle of interested parties. In addition, a larger circle of companies can receive fresh capital, as Johannes Höhener, Head FinTech at Swisscom Digital Business, points out on the website, “Based on blockchain technology, daura enables the issuance of Swiss shares. This also gives unlisted companies access to the capital market.”
  • Digital Investments: In return, registered investors get the opportunity to invest in exciting companies. Due to the higher efficiency associated with digitalization, transaction costs are comparatively low in the process. This saves you money as an investor. The focus of investments via the platform is currently on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) based in Switzerland. This market segment is generally considered to have particularly strong growth.
Portrait of Peter Schnürer, CEO of the daura equity platform in Zurich

Handling shares as digital assets based on blockchain technology is extremely efficient

Peter Schnürer, CEO of the daura equity platform in Zurich

Who runs the company?

Daura is a joint venture based in Switzerland. Peter Schnürer serves as the CEO. A trained banker with a degree in business administration, he previously worked at the interface between information technology and finance. He is assisted by the lawyer Andreas Rudolf as Chairman of the Board of Directors,

What role do the daura partners play?

The following partners are involved in the company, which was founded in 2018:

  • Swisscom is not only the largest telecommunications company in Switzerland. It is also one of the nation’s leading IT companies.
  • SIX acts as an infrastructure operator for Switzerland as a financial center. As a service provider, the company takes care of securities transactions and the related information processing as well as the development of a digital infrastructure.
  • Sygnum is a bank that focuses on the digital assets segment. Luka Müller is not only co-founder and president of Sygnum, but also a founding partner of the consulting firm MME.
  • As a partner of the law firm Wenger & Vieli, Christian Wenger specializes in commercial and business law. He focuses primarily on the private equity and venture capital segments.

How is the business progressing?

Peter Schnürer, CEO of daura, is very satisfied with his company’s business development. Admittedly, he says, the digitization of equities is a longer process that requires some adjustments. Nevertheless, “we are seeing exponential growth in the number of users and capital raised,” he told media. By the end of 2021, he said, the company aims to have more than 100 companies on the platform. There have been around 800 subscriptions from companies so far, he said. In the process, subscribed capital increased eightfold from half a million Swiss francs in 2019 to four million Swiss francs in 2020. Schnürer paints a rosy picture of the outlook for the future: “Handling shares as digital assets based on blockchain technology is extremely efficient and makes so much sense, which is why I conclude that there will be no other way at all in 20 years.”

Cooperation with Berner Kantonalbank

Together with Berner Kantonalbank BEKB and Hypothekarbank Lenzburg, daura has created a platform for tokenized assets. The focus is not only on trading, but also on managing the tokens. Trading is to take place on the OTC-X trading platform. BEKB has been successfully operating this fully electronically organized platform for more than fifteen years. The three partners each bring their specific know-how to the project. Accordingly, daura is responsible for both the issuance of the share tokens and the digital share ledger. An important advantage for investors and companies is the low transaction costs. Efficiency gains play an important role here, which are made possible by the blockchain or distributed ledger technology used. In addition, a digital marketplace is soon to be launched under the SME|X brand, which will enable the trading of securities that can be transferred as tokens. Through the cooperation, the parties want to create a complete ecosystem for tokenized assets. In this, companies and potential investors should be able to benefit from attractive financing and investment options.

Berner Kantonalbank

Founded in 1834, Berner Kantonalbank (BEKB) is one of the oldest and largest cantonal banks in Switzerland. The bank currently employs more than 1,200 people and has total assets of around 36.4 billion Swiss francs. In addition to private customer business, BEKB focuses primarily on small and medium-sized enterprises. With OTC-X, it operates the largest Swiss platform for OTC trading

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

What is a share ledger?

A share register is a register that companies issuing registered shares must keep. According to Swiss law, both shareholders and beneficiaries must be entered here with their names and addresses. Particular efficiency advantages result from a modern digital share register, in which all data is always up to date.

What is impact investing?

Impact investing refers to an investment of money that, in addition to an appropriate financial return, is also intended to have a positive impact on society or the environment. This impact-oriented investing can also be realized through digital share incentives. This allows parts of society to participate in the company’s success,

What are OTC and OTC-X?

The abbreviation OTC stands for “Over The Counter”. In the financial industry, OTC refers to over-the-counter trading. With OTC-X, BEKB offers an electronic trading platform for unlisted – i.e. not listed on a stock exchange – shares.

Thomas Grether

Journalist | Editor | Entrepreneur & Environmental Scientist.
Main focus: Tokenization | Digital Transformation Processes in Companies | Internet and Web Publishing | Environment

Thomas Grether

Journalist | Redakteur | Unternehmer & Umweltwissenschaftler
Schwerpunkte: Tokenisierung | Digitale Transformationsprozesse in Firmen | Internet und Webpublishing | Umwelt