A startup offering payroll and human resources (HR) solutions is looking to raise $20 million via an initial coin offering (ICO), according to Wednesday (Dec. 27) reports in the Inquirer.
Salarium is offerings its cryptocurrency SALPay token to raise the funds. Since its launch in 2013, the company has expanded its services to integrate with its eWallet and debit Mastercard solutions.
“The purpose of our ICO is to provide a token utility for our business-to-business customers to remit their payroll into the Philippines,” explained founder and CEO Judah Hirsch. “The funds will be used to provide liquidity and license the exchange. Our product is already live and working. The exchange in the Philippines will be connected to SALPay, and so our existing customers will be the first users.”
The company’s token pre-sale ran from Nov. 22 to Nov. 26, while the ICO is running from Nov. 27 to Dec. 31. The company currently services more than 500 companies, including more than 10,000 employees. Salarium is based in Singapore but only provides services within the Philippines, and its clients consist mostly of small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in the manufacturing, information technology (IT) and business process outsourcing industries.
ICOs have become an increasingly popular avenue for businesses to raise money, but the strategy hasn’t surfaced without criticism and controversy.
Earlier this year, two blockchain executives — Ethereum cofounder Joseph Lubin and Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse — agreed that many ICOs are actually fraudulent. Many are used to back “high-quality projects, [though] there have been a lot of copycat projects where people copy all the same materials [and] don’t intend to deliver any value to the people buying the tokens,” Lubin said during an interview while attending the Singapore FinTech Festival, according to CNBC. “I think a lot of what’s happening in the ICO market is actually fraud.”