27 November 2019

KWM advises Blocko on Private Family Office partnership to bring blockchain offering to MENA region following USD 46.4 million capital raise

Blocko, advised by King & Wood Mallesons (KWM), forms a strategic partnership with SEED Group (the Private Office of Sheikh Saeed Bin Ahmed Al Maktoum) to accelerate penetration into Middle Eastern market aimed at building large-scale digital blockchain transformation solutions for government clients following 38+ production-level implementations in South Korea.

KWM has worked closely with Blocko Inc., one of the world’s leading blockchain solutions development firms, as well as the Aergo Foundation, Blocko’s non-profit counterpart that governs the open-source software behind Blocko’s blockchain product, on legal advisory throughout its international expansion from South Korea into other regions including Hong Kong, China, Germany and the United Kingdom. Most recently, KWM advised Blocko Inc. on their entry into the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to provide governments and large organisations in the region with secure, scalable and high-performance solutions built around blockchain across industry verticals.

Blocko Inc. and the Aergo Foundation jointly secured USD 46.4 million in funding through multiple rounds over the past 18 months to fuel an increasing demand from international customers who wanted access to Blocko’s South Korea-based high-scale and high-secure blockchain solution (Aergo). KWM successfully advised and guided Blocko in finalising its latest business partnership with SEED Group in Dubai (the Private Office of Sheikh Saeed Bin Ahmed Al Maktoum) aimed at deploying secure large-scale blockchain solutions across the UAE.

This partnership enables Blocko’s entry into the Middle East at a time of growth in the use of blockchain technology in the region. The partnership aims to utilise Blocko’s leading enterprise blockchain platform, Aergo, and Blocko’s proven blockchain delivery capabilities focused on enterprise solutions, to achieve certain goals of the Emirates Blockchain Strategy 2021, which aims to capitalise on blockchain technology to transform 50 percent of government transactions into the blockchain platform by 2021.

The KWM team advising on the transaction was successfully led by Dubai-based partner, Shawn Davis, with additional specialist expertise provided by blockchain and crypto regulatory partner, Urszula McCormack and employment partner, Peter Bullock, both based out of Hong Kong.

Phil Zamani, CEO of Blocko MENA and CEO of Aergo, said: “We have an excellent and long-standing relationship with KWM. From the onset of our Aergo formation in 2018, we wanted the best legal advice possible in what is a complex and regulatory-poor environment. I personally worked very closely with Urszula McCormack, one of the world’s leading blockchain and financial regulatory lawyers, together with technology specialist, Evan Manolios and employment specialist, Peter Bullock. Our relationship was further enhanced when forming our new Middle Eastern subsidiary for which we received excellent support and legal guidance from corporate partner Shawn Davis and associate Brendan Palmer from KWM’s Dubai office.”

Recognised as one of the world’s most innovative law firms, KWM has substantial experience advising on matters involving blockchain technology. With access to a global platform, a team of over 2000 lawyers in 27 locations around the world works with clients to help them understand local challenges, navigate through regional complexity, and to find commercial solutions that deliver a competitive advantage for our clients.

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