Blockchain Startup Blocko Launches in UAE After Emirates Blockchain Strategy Push

Blocko, the Samsung-backed South Korean enterprise blockchain provider startup, has launched in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after raising funding in Europe and the Asia Pacific, the company said.

Blocko is a commercial blockchain startup offering multinational organizations the ability to design, deploy and manage digital services on a secure distributed network. Besides providing a blockchain operating system, it also offers a development platform with stable APIs. The company rose to prominence in South Korea after becoming a full-scale enterprise provider for Cisco, Hyundai Motors, Samsung and Gyeonggi-do, the most populous province in South Korea. Up to now It has offered 38 such blockchain solutions in the country.

The startup supports AERGO, a new open-source enterprise blockchain solution based on a hybrid blockchain design with advanced cloud deployment capabilities. For the UAE launch Blocko will team up with AERGO to develop and implement hybrid public-private blockchain technology for the country’s government and enterprises. According to Blocko, the blockchain company is now focusing efforts on bringing the Aergo platform to enterprises in the Middle East, looking to replicate its success in Asia and Europe.

Phil Zamani, the CEO of Blocko and co-founder of Aergo, said: “Many blockchain technologies in the Middle East are still in the proof-of-concept phase. As a hybrid blockchain, Aergo breaks through these barriers, unlocking new features that provide increased levels of efficiency, security, scalability and value”.

Previously the blockchain provider startup raised $16.5 million through two Series B rounds, including an $8.9 million financing last June and a $7.4 million funding round in August, before the launch in UAE. The list of participants for Blocko’s August financing included private equity firm LB Investment, Dadam Investment, KEB Hana Bank and Shinhan Bank, Korea’s oldest bank.

The Dubai government announced in April 2018 a push for blockchain via the Emirates Blockchain Strategy 2021, whereby the UAE government intends to migrate 50 percent of its transactions – such as bill payments and visa applications – to a blockchain platform. The migration of services from a paper-based model to a digital one is expected to generate annual savings of up to US$3 billion in transaction and document costs, removing more than 390 million printed documents and 75 million work hours.

The SEED Group, a conglomerate in royal family member Sheikh Saeed bin Ahmed Al Maktoum’s private office, has, upon Blocko’s official launch, entered a business and technology partnership with the blockchain startup.

Hisham Al Gurg, CEO of SEED Group and the Private Office of Sheikh Saeed bin Ahmed Al Maktoum, welcomes the partnership with Blocko, stressing that “it will enable the UAE to make its digital promise a reality for its government departments, citizens and businesses”.

Towards this end the government of Dubai has made several efforts to push forward the initiative, including introducing regulatory reforms and forming a partnership with IBM for a city-wide blockchain project.

Currently the blockchain startup Blocko is supporting more than 20 enterprise clients, and is aiming for 25 million daily users by supporting government bodies and various other large enterprises in the Middle East.