NASSAU, BAHAMAS — ArawakX announced yesterday that it is introducing the first licensed equity crowdfunding platform in The Bahamas, as an initial phase of their Marketplace and Clearing and Facility license.
After a massive education campaign that began in 2019, over 254 companies and 469 investors have expressed written interest in equity crowdfunding.
Equity crowdfunding is a way that small and medium-sized enterprises can raise capital for growth. ArawakX has been granted conditional approval from the Securities Commission of The Bahamas and is awaiting final approval.
ArawakX Chief Technology Officer D’Arcy Rahming Jr said: “All conditions have been met. We are in contact with our regulators, who are being very thorough.
“A marketplace and clearing facility license is one of the most difficult licenses to get. This has been a labor of love, a very expensive and lengthy process.
“We know that thousands of people will be impacted positively by our ArawakX platform. We have full operational capabilities with world-class technology providers and world-class Bahamians running it.”
Rahming studied abroad at Engineering at Northwestern University and spent seven years in management consulting with large and small companies in The Bahamas.
“I’m so happy that we, as a jurisdiction, are taking the fintech revolution by storm,” he said.
“In the past, young, talented Bahamians like myself would have had to leave The Bahamas for places like New York, Chicago, London or San Francisco to do anything innovative. Now, with the right team, the regulators are saying this is a place to innovate; this is a country that’s going to make an impact in the 21st Century.
“This is a great time to be a Bahamian. As Bahamians now can innovate from home, hopefully we will see a meaningful reversal of the brain-drain that has plagued our country.”
The ArawakX has amongst its board members Chairman D’Arcy Rahming Sr, who spent several years building a $100 million exchange in Chicago and became the first COO of BISX; and Hilary Deveaux, a former executive director of the Securities Commission.
The company has hired a team of professionals consisting of a CEO, CFO, compliance and MLRO, technology architect, project manager, chief community officer and office administrator.
Rahming Jr said: “We are delighted to have their experience. Our concentration will be on innovative firms based in The Bahamas that can bring in badly needed US dollars. We have been delighted to find real Bahamian talent.”
He added: “Our initial hires are all Bahamians. We expect to hire over 200 more Bahamians. If our listed companies meet their funding targets, thousands of new high-paying jobs will be created by those companies.
“Although we anticipate in later phases we will be expanding in the Caribbean, in this first phase we intend to find Bahamian companies capital up to $5 million — also providing Bahamian investors with opportunities to participate, starting as low as $25.
“I am grateful to be working with regulators who understand the importance of Bahamian market participants and the role they play in capital markets. Obviously, our capital markets have some ways to go to be financially inclusive, so the granting of this license to qualified Bahamians indicates a readiness for us to embrace the fintech revolution and transform our jurisdiction.”
ArawakX, located in Sandyport, expects to launch its first companies in three months’ time.
Interested individuals may contact them at ArawakX.com or 810-0333.