As filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission on January 28, 2021
Registration No. 333-
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933
(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)
(State or Other Jurisdiction of
Incorporation or Organization)
(Primary Standard Industrial
Classification Code Number)
35/F Two International
8 Finance Street, Central
+852 2248 0600
(Address and Telephone Number of Registrant’s Principal Executive Offices)
Puglisi & Associates
850 Library Avenue, Suite 204
Newark, Delaware 19711
(Name, Address, and Telephone Number of Agent for Service)
David A. Sakowitz
Jared S. Manes
Winston & Strawn LLP
200 Park Avenue
New York, New York 10166
Tel: (212) 294-6700
Fax: (212) 294-4700
Approximate date of commencement of proposed sale to the public: From time to time after the effective date of this registration statement.
If any of the securities being registered on this Form are to be offered on a delayed or continuous basis pursuant to Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933, check the following box. [X]
If this Form is filed to register additional securities for an offering pursuant to Rule 462(b) under the Securities Act, please check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering. [ ]
If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(c) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering. [ ]
If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(d) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering. [ ]
Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant is an emerging growth company as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act of 1933.
|Emerging growth company||[X]|
If an emerging growth company that prepares its financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards† provided pursuant to Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act. [ ]
†The term “new or revised financial accounting standard” refers to any update issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board to its Accounting Standards Codification after April 5, 2012.
CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE
|Title of Each Class of Securities to be Registered||
|Proposed Maximum Offering Price Per Share(1)||Proposed Maximum Aggregate Offering Price||Amount of Registration Fee(2)|
Ordinary shares underlying warrants
|(1)||Pursuant to Rule 416 under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), the registrant is also registering an indeterminate number of additional securities as may be issued to prevent dilution resulting from share dividends, share splits or similar transactions.|
|(2)||Calculated by multiplying the estimated aggregate offering price of the securities being registered by 0.0001091.|
Includes the resale of (i) 2,571,669 ordinary shares issued in connection with the Private Placement (as defined herein), (ii) 3,000,000 ordinary shares (the Earnout Shares) issuable to the Selling Securityholders (as defined herein) upon satisfaction of certain earnout conditions contained in the Share Exchange Agreement (as defined herein) and (iii) 30,000 ordinary shares issued to certain service providers.
|(4)||Estimated solely for the purpose of the calculation of the registration fee pursuant to Rule 457(g) under the Securities Act based on the exercise price of the warrants.|
Pursuant to Rule 457(c) under the Securities Act, and solely for the purpose of calculating the registration fee, the proposed maximum offering price is $15.74, which is the average of the high and low prices of the registrant’s ordinary shares on January 27, 2021 on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
Includes the registration of 2,571,669 ordinary shares underlying warrants issued in the Private Placement Offering (as defined herein).
The registrant hereby amends this registration statement on such date or dates as may be necessary to delay its effective date until the registrant shall file a further amendment that specifically states that this registration statement shall thereafter become effective in accordance with Section 8(a) of the Securities Act or until the registration statement shall become effective on such date as the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), acting pursuant to said Section 8(a), may determine.
The information in this prospectus is not complete and may be changed. Neither we nor the selling securityholders may sell these securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This prospectus is not an offer to sell these securities and is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted.
SUBJECT TO COMPLETION—DATED JANUARY 28, 2021
5,601,669 Ordinary Shares
2,571,669 Ordinary Shares Underlying Warrants
This prospectus relates to the resale from time to time by the selling securityholders of Diginex Limited (the “Company”) named in this prospectus or their permitted transferees (collectively, the “Selling Securityholders”) of (i) 2,571,669 ordinary shares of the Company (the “ordinary shares”) issued to certain Selling Securityholders in connection with that certain Securities Purchase Agreement dated January 11, 2021 by and among the Company and the purchasers named therein (the “Securities Purchase Agreement”), (ii) 3,000,000 ordinary shares (the “Earnout Shares”) to be issued upon the satisfaction of certain milestones set forth in the Share Exchange Agreement, (iii) 2,571,669 ordinary shares issuable upon the exercise of 2,571,669 warrants issued pursuant to the Securities Purchase Agreement and (iv) 30,000 ordinary shares issued to certain service providers.
We are registering the offer and sale of these securities to satisfy certain registration rights we have granted. The Selling Securityholders may sell the securities covered by this prospectus in a number of different ways and at varying prices. We will not receive any of the proceeds from the sale of the securities by the Selling Securityholders. We will receive proceeds from warrants exercised in the event that such warrants are exercised for cash. We will pay certain expenses associated with the registration of the securities covered by this prospectus, as described in the section titled “Plan of Distribution.”
Our ordinary shares and public warrants trade on Nasdaq (defined below) under the symbols “EQOS” and “EQOSW,” respectively. On January 27, 2021, the closing prices of the ordinary shares and public warrants were $15.52 per ordinary share and $2.14 per warrant, respectively.
An investment in our securities involves risks. See “Risk Factors” beginning on page 5 of this prospectus.
Neither the SEC nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or determined if this prospectus is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.
The date of this prospectus is , 2021.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
|ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS||ii|
|CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS||iii|
|FREQUENTLY USED TERMS||iv|
|CAPITALIZATION AND INDEBTEDNESS||39|
|USE OF PROCEEDS||40|
|UNAUDITED PRO FORMA CONDENSED COMBINED FINANCIAL INFORMATION||41|
|Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations for the Year Ended March 31, 2020||47|
|Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations for the Six Months Ended September 30, 2020||64|
|DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES||111|
|PRINCIPAL AND SELLING SECURITYHOLDERS||117|
|PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION||139|
|EXPENSES RELATED TO THE OFFERING||148|
|ENFORCEMENT OF CIVIL LIABILITIES||148|
|WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION||149|
|index to financial statements||150|
|PART II Information Not Required in Prospectus||152|
You should rely only on the information provided in this prospectus and any applicable prospectus supplement. Neither we nor the Selling Securityholders have authorized anyone to provide you with different information. Neither we nor the Selling Securityholders are making an offer of these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer is not permitted. You should not assume that the information in this prospectus or any applicable prospectus supplement is accurate as of any date other than the date of the applicable document. Since the date of this prospectus, our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may have changed.
This prospectus is part of a registration statement on Form F-1 that we filed with the SEC using a “shelf” registration process. Under this shelf registration process, the Selling Securityholders may, from time to time, offer and sell any combination of the securities described in this prospectus in one or more offerings. The Selling Securityholders may use the shelf registration statement to sell up to an aggregate of 8,173,338 ordinary shares as described in the section entitled “Plan of Distribution.”
We will not receive any proceeds from the sale of ordinary shares to be offered by the Selling Securityholders pursuant to this prospectus. We will pay the expenses associated with the sale of ordinary shares pursuant to this prospectus. To the extent required, we and the Selling Securityholders, as applicable, will deliver a prospectus supplement with this prospectus to update the information contained in this prospectus. The prospectus supplement may also add, update or change information included in this prospectus. You should read both this prospectus and any applicable prospectus supplement, together with additional information described below under the caption “Where You Can Find More Information.”
No offer of these securities will be made in any jurisdiction where the offer is not permitted.
Unless the context indicates otherwise, the terms “Diginex Limited,” the “Company,” “we,” “us” and “our” refer to Diginex Limited, a Singapore corporation. References in this prospectus to the “business combination” refer to the consummation of the transactions contemplated by that certain Share Exchange Agreement, dated as of July 9, 2019, as amended and supplemented by the Amendment and Joinder to Share Exchange Agreement, Second Amendment to the Share Exchange Agreement, Third Amendment to the Share Exchange Agreement, and Fourth Amendment to the Share Exchange Agreement (dated October 8, 2019, January 28, 2020, May 6, 2020 and June 24, 2020, respectively), and the Merger Agreement, dated as of October 8, 2019, which transactions were consummated on September 30, 2020.
This prospectus includes statements that express Diginex’s opinions, expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, assumptions or projections regarding future events or future results and therefore are, or may be deemed to be, “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”). These forward-looking statements can generally be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology, including the terms “believes,” “estimates,” “anticipates,” “expects,” “seeks,” “projects,” “intends,” “plans,” “may,” “will” or “should” or, in each case, their negative or other variations or comparable terminology. These forward-looking statements include all matters that are not historical facts. They appear in a number of places throughout this prospectus and include statements regarding our intentions, beliefs or current expectations concerning, among other things, the business combination, the benefits and synergies of the business combination, including anticipated cost savings, results of operations, financial condition, liquidity, prospects, growth, strategies and the markets in which the Company operates. Such forward-looking statements are based on available current market material and management’s expectations, beliefs and forecasts concerning future events impacting Diginex. You are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties, as well as assumptions, which, if they were to ever materialize or prove incorrect, could cause the results of Diginex to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Potential risks and uncertainties include those generally set forth under “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this report, including:
|●||expectations regarding our strategies and future financial performance, including our future business plans or objectives, prospective performance and opportunities, and competitors, revenues, customer acquisition and retention, products and services, pricing, marketing plans, operating expenses, market trends, liquidity, cash flows and uses of cash, capital expenditures, and our ability to maintain access to content and manage license relationships, and to invest in growth initiatives and pursue acquisition opportunities;|
|●||fluctuations in exchange rates between the foreign currencies in which we typically do business and the U.S. Dollar;|
|●||litigation and regulatory enforcement risks, including the diversion of management time and attention and the additional costs and demands on our resources; and|
|●||the ability to recognize the potential benefits of the business combination.|
Readers are urged to carefully review and consider the various disclosures made by us in this report and our other filings with the SEC. These reports attempt to advise interested parties of the risks and factors that may affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and prospects. The forward-looking statements made in this report speak only as of the date hereof and we disclaim any obligation, except as required by law, to provide updates, revisions or amendments to any forward-looking statements to reflect changes in our expectations or future events.
“8i” means 8i Enterprises Acquisition Corp., a British Virgin Islands company that upon the closing of the business combination became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Diginex.
“business combination” means the transactions contemplated by that certain Share Exchange Agreement, dated as of July 9, 2019, as amended and supplemented by the Amendment and Joinder to Share Exchange Agreement, Second Amendment to the Share Exchange Agreement, Third Amendment to the Share Exchange Agreement, and Fourth Amendment to the Share Exchange Agreement (dated October 8, 2019, January 28, 2020, May 6, 2020 and June 24, 2020, respectively), and the Merger Agreement, dated as of October 8, 2019, which transactions were consummated on September 30, 2020.
“Closing” means the closing of the business combination.
“Constitution” means our amended and restated Constitution as currently in effect.
“Diginex Hong Kong” means Diginex Limited, a corporation incorporated in Hong Kong which became a subsidiary of the Company following the closing of the business combination.
“Nasdaq” means the Nasdaq Stock Market LLC.
“ordinary shares” means the ordinary shares of the Company, with no par value per share.
“public warrants” means warrants issued on the consummation of 8i’s initial public offering and warrants issued to holders of certain 8i promissory notes converted into warrants and ordinary shares in connection with the business combination. Each public warrant entitles the holder thereof to purchase one-half (1/2) of one ordinary share at a price of $11.50 per full share.
“private placement warrants” means the warrants issued pursuant to the Securities Purchase Agreement, each exercisable for one ordinary share.
“private placement warrant shares” means the ordinary shares to be issued upon exercise of the private placement warrants.
“Registration Rights Agreement” means the Registration Rights Agreement, dated as of January 11, 2021, by and between the Company and the investors party thereto.
“Selling Securityholders” means the persons listed in the table in the “Selling Securityholders” section of this prospectus, and the pledgees, donees, transferees, assignees, successors and others who later come to hold any of the Selling Securityholders’ interest in our securities after the date of this prospectus.
“warrants” means the warrants issued pursuant to the Securities Purchase Agreement, each exercisable for one ordinary share.
An investment in our securities involves a high degree of risk. Before you invest in our securities you should carefully consider those risk factors hereunder and those risk factors that may be included in any applicable prospectus supplement, together with all of the other information included in this prospectus and any prospectus supplement, in evaluating an investment in our securities. Our business, prospects, financial condition, or operating results could be harmed by any of these risks, as well as other risks not currently known to us or that we currently consider immaterial. The trading price of our securities could decline due to any of these risks, and, as a result, you may lose all or part of your investment. Before deciding whether to invest in our securities, you should also refer to the other information contained in this prospectus, including the section entitled “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements.”
Risks Related to Diginex’s Business and Industry
Diginex has a limited operating history and has incurred operating losses since its inception as it has been investing in the build out of its business lines. Its business lines are nascent, unproven and subject to material legal, regulatory, operational, reputational, tax and other risks in every jurisdiction and are not assured to be profitable.
Diginex has a limited operating history on which an investor might evaluate its performance. It is therefore subject to many of the risks common to early-stage enterprises, including under-capitalization, cash shortages, limitations with respect to personnel and financing sources and lack of revenues, any of which could have a material adverse effect on Diginex and may force it to reduce or curtail its operations. Diginex is not currently profitable and has incurred operating losses since its inception. There is no assurance that Diginex will achieve a return on shareholders’ investments and the likelihood of success must be considered in light of the early stage of its operations. Even if Diginex accomplishes its objectives, it may not generate positive cash flows or profits.
Furthermore, Diginex’s business lines are nascent, unproven and subject to material legal, regulatory, operational, reputational, tax and other risks in every jurisdiction, including those applicable due to its use of distributed ledger technology, and are not assured to be profitable. In the year ended March 31, 2020, the business generated revenue, though not at a material level. Diginex may fail to develop its business lines or produce a return for its investors. It is possible that some of Diginex’s business lines may be difficult to enter and/or it may become evident that a particular business line is not a productive use of capital or time. This could result in Diginex modifying its business and focus away from such business lines. For Diginex’s business lines that have access to client or counterparty assets, the regulatory requirements associated with shutting down such businesses may be costly and expose Diginex to inquiries, investigations, lawsuits and proceedings by clients, counterparties, other third parties and regulatory and other governmental agencies.
From time to time, Diginex may also launch new business lines, offer new products and services within existing business lines or undertake other strategic projects. For example, Diginex is currently working to launch the investment products business (the “Investment Products Business”). There are substantial risks and uncertainties associated with these efforts and Diginex could invest significant capital and resources into such efforts. Regulatory requirements can affect whether initiatives are able to be brought to market in a manner that is timely and attractive to Diginex’s customers. Initial timetables for the development and introduction of new business lines or new products or services and price and profitability targets may not be met. New products or services may need to be initially launched on a limited basis prior to their full launch. In addition, Diginex’s revenues and costs may fluctuate because new business lines, products and services generally require startup costs while revenues take time to develop, which may adversely impact Diginex’s results of operations.
If Diginex is unable to successfully build its business while controlling expenses, its ability to continue in business could depend on the ability to raise sufficient additional capital, obtain sufficient financing and monetize assets. There can be no guarantee that Diginex will be able to raise funding in sufficient quantity or at acceptable terms to fund the continued development of its business lines.
The occurrence of any of the foregoing risks would have a material adverse effect on Diginex’s business, financial condition and results of operations.
Digital Assets and distributed ledger technology may not be widely adopted.
Digital Assets are a new asset class that, as of yet, have not been widely adopted, particularly by institutional investors and corporate securities issuers (the “Digital Assets”). The majority of Diginex’s business lines rely, or will rely, on the acceptance and use by such investors and issuers of Digital Assets at a scale to create demand for Diginex’s products and services sufficient to make Diginex’s business lines commercially viable. Though Diginex believes that the anticipated benefits of Digital Assets will create such demand, there can be no assurance that this will occur, or if it does occur that it will be in the near term.
Furthermore, the growth of the distributed ledger industry in general, as well as the protocol technology on which Diginex will rely, is subject to a high degree of uncertainty. The factors affecting the further development of these protocols and, therefore, Digital Assets, include, without limitation:
|●||worldwide growth in the adoption and use of Digital Assets and distributed ledger technology and its associated protocols;|
|●||government and quasi-government regulation of Digital Assets and distributed ledger technology and their use, or restrictions on or regulation of access to and operation of distributed ledger technology or similar systems;|
|●||the maintenance and development of the open-source software protocol of smart contracts;|
|●||banking restrictions on companies operating in this industry;|
|●||changes in consumer demographics and public tastes and preferences;|
|●||the availability and popularity of other forms or methods of buying and selling goods and services, or trading assets including new means of using government-backed currencies or existing networks;|
|●||general economic conditions and the regulatory environment relating to Digital Assets; and|
|●||a decline in the popularity or acceptance of Digital Assets.|
The distributed ledger industry as a whole has been characterized by rapid changes and innovations and is constantly evolving. Although it has experienced significant growth in recent years, the slowing or stopping of the development, general acceptance and adoption and usage of distributed ledger technology and Digital Assets may have a materially adverse effect on Diginex’s business plans.
Diginex’s business lines may require regulatory licenses and qualifications that Diginex does not currently have and that may be costly and time-consuming to obtain and, even if obtained, may subsequently be revoked.
Diginex’s business lines involve certain activities which require regulatory licenses and qualifications such as custody services, broker-dealer services, securities trading, asset management and capital market activities. These activities are subject to material, costly and constraining financial regulation in jurisdictions worldwide. The process of acquiring and maintaining these licenses and qualifications will be costly and time-consuming, will occupy material management attention and is not certain to be successful. Diginex may not meet the requirements for such licenses or qualifications, including, for example, minimum capital requirements, or may fail to secure discretionary approval of relevant regulatory bodies. A failure or delay in receiving approval for a license or qualification, or approval that is more limited in scope than initially requested, or subsequently limited or rescinded, could have a significant and negative effect on Diginex, including the risk that a competitor gains a first-mover advantage.
In particular, Diginex is or will be seeking the below licenses.
|■||Major Payment Institution license pursuant to the Payment Services Act|
|■||Recognized Market Operator license pursuant to the Securities and Futures Act|
|○||Digivault and Capital Markets|
|■||Capital Market Services License pursuant to the Securities and Futures Act|
|○||Capital Markets Business|
|■||Type 1 Dealing in Securities License pursuant to the Securities and Futures Ordinance|
|■||Safeguarding and Administering Investments license pursuant to the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Regulated Activities) Order 2001|
|■||FCA registration under the MLRs (Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfers of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017)|
|■||FCA Small Payment Institution under the Payment Services Regulations 2017|
|○||Capital Markets Business|
|■||Category 4 Investment Advisor license pursuant to Regulatory Law 2004|
The law and regulation surrounding the operation of Diginex’s businesses with respect to Digital Assets is unclear, uncertain, rapidly evolving and not assured to develop in a way that is favorable to Diginex. The anticipated business activities of Diginex may cause regulatory bodies to delay, or refuse to issue, licenses and qualifications to Diginex that it would otherwise receive. For example, a regulatory authority may delay or refuse to issue a broker-dealer license to Diginex due to concerns about its focus on digital securities as opposed to more traditional securities. There is a risk that Diginex’s business could be outlawed in jurisdictions in which it seeks to do business, which could materially affect Diginex’s ability to expand its business and become profitable.
When a decision to enter a jurisdiction is made, Diginex may utilize local law firms to ensure it is informed of the local regulatory requirements needed to operate therein. Diginex also maintains regular communications with the regulators in the jurisdictions in which it holds or wishes to seek licenses. In addition, to ensure that Diginex maintains regulatory compliance, Diginex has built internal capabilities to monitor regulatory changes as well as obtaining supplementary support from external experts. Diginex’s business lines are developing a regulatory roadmap to identify additional relevant licenses and qualifications they will need to operate; however, this has been done for only a small number of jurisdictions and significant further investment will be needed. This may result in unplanned costs and/or delayed or cancelled launches into particular jurisdictions.
Diginex’s senior management originate from multi-jurisdictional regulated financial service institutions. As such, Diginex’s senior management have accumulated experience in operating within a regulated environment and understand the importance of compliance with regulations, including securities. However, Diginex’s senior management do not have direct experience of dealing with regulatory requirements in relation to Digital Assets.
Diginex may be unable to establish partnerships with entities to satisfy regulatory requirements.
To the extent it is unable or not cost-effective to procure the necessary licenses or qualifications to conduct its business in jurisdictions any of Diginex’s business lines seek to enter, Diginex plans to partner with existing entities that have such licenses or qualifications to enable it to offer its products and services. However, there can be no assurance that it will be able to do so, or that it will be able to do so now, in the future or at an acceptable price. Prospective partners may (i) not exist, (ii) be unwilling or unable to engage in activities involving distributed ledger technology, (iii) not offer terms that are acceptable to Diginex, (iv) have a conflict of interest with one or more of Diginex’s business lines that makes such a partnership impermissible, (v) be otherwise unable or unwilling to partner with Diginex, or (vi) terminate their relationship with Diginex. If Diginex is not able to establish and maintain such partnerships, it may be unable to pursue its business in certain jurisdictions which could have a material adverse effect on its business, financial condition and results of operations.
Diginex may be unable to maintain partnerships with entities to satisfy regulatory requirements.
Where Diginex does not obtain licenses, and seeks to build partnerships with regulated firms such as Starmark Investment Management Limited in the United Kingdom, which provides regulatory coverage for the capital markets business (the “Capital Markets Business”) through an umbrella licensing scheme, a risk exists that a partner may lose its own regulatory status for reasons beyond Diginex’s control, or a partner may choose to exit from a partnership that it establishes with Diginex, either of which may leave Diginex without regulatory cover to provide services within the market the partner supports.
Changes in law or regulation could subject Diginex to further material, costly and constraining regulation, licensing qualifications and other requirements.
Legal or regulatory changes or interpretations of Diginex’s existing and planned activities could require the licensing or qualification of Diginex, or impose costly and contradictory regulatory burdens on Diginex, outside of management’s current expectations. In addition, jurisdictions that do not currently require licensing or qualifications to conduct Diginex’s existing and planned activities may adopt regulatory regimes that do require them. For example, in June 2019, the Financial Action Task Force adopted new guidance on the registration and licensing requirements that should be applicable to Digital Assets and entities that provide services for the holders and issuers of Digital Assets, and in November 2020, the Hong Kong Securities and Finance Commission issued a consultation paper regarding the proposed mandatory licensing for spot trading of Digital Assets. Among other things, this guidance urges countries which do not yet have regulatory systems in place to mitigate the issues presented by the potential misuse of Digital Assets to create them rapidly using a risk-based approach. Such additional requirements could cause Diginex to incur additional expenses, which could materially and adversely affect its business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, even where activities have been approved and obtained necessary licenses, a change in the legal framework may render such activities illegal or no longer economically sustainable.
Diginex faces substantial litigation and regulatory risks.
As an enterprise whose material business lines include financial services, Diginex depends to a significant extent on its relationships with its clients and its reputation for integrity and high-caliber professional services. As a result, if a client is not satisfied with Diginex’s services or if there are allegations of improper conduct, including improper conduct by any of Diginex’s partners, by private litigants or regulators, whether the ultimate outcome is favorable or unfavorable to Diginex, or if there is negative publicity and press speculation about Diginex, whether or not valid, it may harm Diginex’s reputation and may be more damaging to Diginex than to businesses in other, non-financial industries.
Many of Diginex’s business lines are subject to significant regulation and oversight, including periodic examination by regulatory authorities. Diginex could be the subject of inquiries, investigations, sanctions, cease and desist orders, terminations of licenses or qualifications, lawsuits and proceedings by counterparties, clients, other third parties and regulatory and other governmental agencies, which could lead to increased expenses or reputational damage. Responding to inquiries, investigations, audits, lawsuits and proceedings, regardless of the ultimate outcome of the matter, is time-consuming and expensive and can divert the attention of senior management. The outcome of such proceedings may be difficult to predict or estimate until late in the proceedings, which may last a number of years.
The risks described above may be greater for companies in the distributed ledger industry as it is relatively new and clients, counterparties and regulators are expected to need significant education to understand the mechanics of products and services that rely on distributed ledger technology.
Furthermore, while Diginex maintains insurance for certain potential liabilities, such insurance does not cover all types and amounts of potential liabilities and is subject to various exclusions as well as caps on amounts refundable. Even if Diginex believes a claim is covered by insurance, insurers may dispute Diginex’s entitlement for a variety of different reasons, which may affect the timing and, if the insurers prevail, the amount of Diginex’s recovery. Any claims or litigation, even if fully indemnified or insured, could damage Diginex’s reputation and make it more difficult to compete effectively or to obtain adequate insurance in the future.
If Diginex and/or any governmental agency believe that it has accepted capital contributions by, or is otherwise holdings assets of, any person or entity that is acting directly or indirectly in violation of any money laundering or corruption laws, rules, regulations, treaties, sanctions or other restrictions, or on behalf of any suspected terrorist or terrorist organization, suspected drug trafficker or senior foreign political figure(s) suspected in engaging in foreign corruption, Diginex and/or such governmental agency may “freeze the assets” of such person or entity. Diginex may also be required to report and remit or transfer those assets to a governmental agency. Any such action may harm Diginex’s reputation and materially and adversely affect its business, financial condition and results of operations.
If Diginex is unable to successfully identify, hire and retain skilled individuals, it will not be able to implement its growth strategy successfully.
Diginex’s growth strategy is based, in part, on its ability to attract and retain highly skilled senior financial service professionals and software engineers. To date, Diginex has been able to locate and engage such employees; however, because of competition from other firms, Diginex may face difficulties in recruiting and retaining professionals of a caliber consistent with its business strategy in the future. If Diginex is unable to successfully identify and retain qualified professionals, it could materially and adversely affect Diginex’s business, financial condition and results of operations.
Competition, including from new market entrants in the future, may cause Diginex’s revenue and earnings to decline.
Diginex has entered and is entering into multiple business lines that have traditionally been dominated by large businesses that have access to substantially greater resources than Diginex. Many of these businesses and other competitors have significant competitive advantages, including longer operating histories, the ability to leverage their sales efforts and marketing expenditures across a broader portfolio of services, greater global presence, more established third-party relationships, greater brand recognition, greater financial strength, greater numbers of company and investor clients, larger research and development teams, larger marketing budgets and other advantages over Diginex.
While Diginex believes its focus on providing products and services that take advantage of distributed ledger technology differentiates it from many such competitors, many of its business lines have relatively low barriers to entry and Diginex anticipates that such barriers to entry will become lower in the future. Diginex currently expects that, as Digital Assets become more mainstream, additional competitors, potentially in large numbers, may begin to provide equivalent products and services. A number of investment banks have already participated in the issuance of Digital Assets and are continuing to grow their expertise. In addition, the introduction of new technologies, as well as regulatory changes, may significantly alter the competitive landscape for Diginex’s business lines. This could lead to fee compression or require Diginex to spend more to modify or adapt its offerings to attract and retain customers and remain competitive with the products and services offered by new competitors in the industry. Increased competition on the basis of any of these factors, including competition leading to fee reductions, could materially and negatively impact Diginex’s business, financial condition and results of operations.
Some market participants may oppose the development of distributed ledger-based technology products and services like those central to Diginex’s business lines, which could adversely affect Diginex’s ability to do business.
Many participants in the financial industry (including certain regulators) and other industries may oppose the development of products and services that utilize distributed ledger technology. The market participants who may oppose such products and services may include entities with significantly greater resources, including financial resources and political influence, than Diginex has. The ability of Diginex to operate and achieve its commercial goals could be adversely affected by any actions of any such market participants that result in additional regulatory requirements or other activities that make it more difficult for Diginex to operate.
Diginex may not successfully develop technology to service its business lines.
Diginex relies heavily on the use of technology that it has created or plans to create by itself or with other third-parties as much of the existing technology for the financial services business was not built to service Digital Assets, which require a unique set of considerations. If Diginex’s technology solutions do not work as planned, or do not meet or continue to meet the level of quality required by Diginex, its clients or its regulators, it may make transacting business less efficient, more expensive and potentially prone to errors, thereby reducing the positive effects Diginex seeks to make available to its clients through the adoption of distributed ledger technology.
Diginex may not be able to keep pace with rapidly changing technology and client or regulatory requirements.
Diginex’s success depends on its ability to develop new products and services for its business lines, while improving the performance and cost-effectiveness of its existing products and services, in each case in ways that address current and anticipated client and regulatory requirements. Such success is dependent upon several factors, including functionality, competitive pricing, licensing and integration with existing and emerging technologies. The distributed ledger industry is characterized by rapid technological change, and new technologies could emerge that might enable Diginex’s competitors to offer products and services with better combinations of price and performance, or that better address client requirements, than Diginex’s products and services. Competitors may be able to respond more quickly and effectively than Diginex can to new or changing opportunities, technologies, standards or client requirements.
Due to the significant lead time involved in bringing a new product or service to market, Diginex is required to make a number of assumptions and estimates regarding the commercial feasibility of new products and services. As a result, it is possible that Diginex may introduce a new product or service that uses technologies that have been displaced by the time of launch, addresses a market that no longer exists or is smaller than previously thought or otherwise is not competitive at the time of launch. The expenses or losses associated with an unsuccessful product or service development or launch, or a lack of market acceptance of Diginex’s new products and services, could adversely affect Diginex’s business, financial condition or results of operations.
Diginex’s ability to attract new clients and increase revenue from existing clients also depends on its ability to deliver any enhanced or new products and services to its clients in a format where they can be easily and consistently deployed by most or all clients without significant client service. If Diginex’s clients believe that deploying its products and services would be overly time-consuming, confusing or technically challenging, then Diginex’s ability to grow its business would be substantially harmed.
Cybersecurity incidents and other systems and technology problems may materially and adversely affect Diginex.
Cybersecurity incidents and cyber-attacks have been occurring globally at a more frequent and severe level and will likely continue to increase in frequency in the future. The distributed ledger industry is a particular target for cybersecurity incidents, which may occur through intentional or unintentional acts by individuals or groups having authorized or unauthorized access to Diginex’s systems or Diginex’s clients’ or counterparties’ information, or exchanges on which Diginex trades, all of which may include confidential information. These individuals or groups include employees, third-party service providers, customers and hackers. The information and technology systems used by Diginex and its service providers are vulnerable to unauthorized access, damage or interruption from, among other things: hacking, ransomware, malware and other computer viruses; denial of service attacks; network failures; computer and telecommunication failures; phishing attacks; infiltration by unauthorized persons; fraud; security breaches; usage errors by their respective professionals; power outages; terrorism; and catastrophic events such as fires, tornadoes, floods, hurricanes and earthquakes. Recently, the virtual currency exchange industry has become a significant target for fraud. To date, Diginex has only experienced phishing incidents, none of which have been material. While Diginex will deploy a range of defenses, it is possible Diginex could suffer an impact or disruption that could materially and adversely affect Diginex. The security of the information and technology systems used by Diginex and its service providers may continue to be subjected to cybersecurity threats that could result in material failures or disruptions in Diginex’s business. If these systems are compromised, become inoperable for extended periods of time or cease to function properly, Diginex or a service provider may have to make a significant investment to fix or replace them. As a company whose material business lines include financial services, Diginex has and will continue to have access to sensitive, confidential information of clients and counterparties and, in certain business lines, access to such clients and counterparties’ assets, which makes the cybersecurity risks identified above more important than they may be to other non-financial services companies.
Concerns about Diginex’s practices with regard to the collection use, disclosure, or safekeeping of confidential information, personal data, and assets, even if unfounded, could adversely affect its operating results. Furthermore, failures of Diginex’s cybersecurity system could harm Diginex’s reputation, subject it to legal claims and otherwise materially and adversely affect Diginex’s business, financial condition and results of operations.
Diginex’s business lines rely on vendors and third-party service providers.
Diginex’s operations could be interrupted or disrupted if Diginex’s vendors and third-party service providers, or even the vendors of such vendors and third-party service providers, experience operational or other systems difficulties, terminate their service, fail to comply with regulations, raise their prices or dispute key intellectual property rights sold or licensed to, or developed for, Diginex. Diginex may also suffer the consequences of such vendors and third-party providers’ mistakes. Diginex outsources some of its operational activities and accordingly depends on relationships with many vendors and third-party service providers. For example, Diginex relies on vendors and third parties for certain services, including know-your-customer (“KYC”) and anti-money laundering (“AML”) background checks, and systems development and maintenance. The failure or capacity restraints of vendors and third-party services, a cybersecurity breach involving any third-party service providers or the termination or change in terms or price of a vendors and third-party software license or service agreement on which Diginex relies could interrupt Diginex’s operations. Replacing vendors and third-party service providers or addressing other issues with Diginex’s vendors and third-party service providers could entail significant delay, expense and disruption of service. As a result, if these vendors and third-party service providers experience difficulties, are subject to cybersecurity breaches, terminate their services, dispute the terms intellectual property agreements, or raise their prices, and Diginex is unable to replace them with other vendors and service providers, particularly on a timely basis, Diginex’s operations could be interrupted. If an interruption were to continue for a significant period, Diginex’s business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected. Even if Diginex can replace vendors and third-party providers, it may be at a higher cost to Diginex, which could also adversely affect Diginex’s business, financial condition and results of operations.
Finally, notwithstanding Diginex’s efforts to implement and enforce strong policies and practices regarding third-party service providers, Diginex may not successfully detect and prevent fraud, incompetence or theft by its third-party service providers, which could adversely affect Diginex’s business, financial condition and results of operations.
Competitors will likely attempt to imitate Diginex’s services, products and technology. If Diginex is unable to protect or preserve its proprietary rights, its business may be harmed.
As Diginex’s business continues to expand, its competitors will likely imitate its products, services, and technology, which could harm Diginex’s business. Only a portion of the intellectual property used in the operation of Diginex’s business lines is patentable, and therefore it will rely significantly on trade secrets, trade and service marks and copyright. Diginex also relies on trade secret protection and confidentiality agreements with its employees, consultants, suppliers, third-party service providers, and others to protect its intellectual property and proprietary rights. Nevertheless, the steps Diginex takes to protect its intellectual property and proprietary rights against infringement or other violation may be inadequate and it may experience difficulty in effectively limiting the unauthorized use of its patents, trade secrets, trade and service marks, copyright and other intellectual property and proprietary rights worldwide. Diginex also cannot guarantee that others will not independently develop technology with the same or similar function to any proprietary technology it relies on to conduct its business and differentiate itself from competitors.
Diginex could incur significant costs and management distraction in pursuing claims to enforce its intellectual property and proprietary rights through litigation, and defending any alleged counterclaims. If Diginex is unable to protect or preserve the value of its patents, trade secrets, trade and service marks, copyright, or other intellectual property and proprietary rights for any reason, its brand and reputation could be damaged and its business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially adversely affected.
Diginex may face the risk that one or more competitors have or will obtain patents covering technology critical to the operation of one or more of its business lines and that it may infringe on the intellectual property rights of others.
If one or more other persons, companies or organizations has or obtains a valid patent covering technology critical to the operation of one or more of Diginex’s business lines, there can be no guarantee that such an entity would be willing to license such technology at acceptable prices or at all, which could have a material adverse effect on Diginex’s business, financial condition and results of operations. Moreover, if for any reason Diginex were to fail to comply with its obligations under an applicable agreement, it may be unable to operate, which would also have a material adverse effect on Diginex’s business, financial condition and results of operations.
Due to the fundamentally open-source nature of distributed ledger technology, Diginex may not always be able to determine that it is using or accessing protected information or software. For example, there could be issued patents of which Diginex is not aware that its products infringe. Moreover, patent applications are in some cases maintained in secrecy until patents are issued. The publication of discoveries in scientific or patent literature frequently occurs substantially later than the date on which the underlying discoveries were made and patent applications were filed. Because patents can take many years to issue, there may currently be pending applications of which Diginex is unaware that may later result in issued patents that its products infringe.
Diginex could expend significant resources defending against patent infringement and other intellectual property right claims, which could require it to divert resources away from operations. Any damages Diginex is required to pay or injunctions against its continued use of such intellectual property in resolution of such claims may cause a material adverse effect to its business, financial condition and results of operations.
Managing different business lines could present conflicts of interest.
Diginex has built and continues to develop an ecosystem of products and services. While Diginex will take steps to prevent or mitigate conflicts of interests, there are certain inherent and potential conflicts of interest in managing different business lines. Due to the broad scope of Diginex’s anticipated business lines, potential conflicts of interest include situations where its services to a particular client, or Diginex’s own investments or other interests, conflict, or are perceived to conflict, with the interests of another client, as well as situations where one or more of Diginex’s business lines have access to material non-public information that may not be shared with its other business lines and situations where Diginex may be an investor in an entity with which it also has an advisory or other relationship. Furthermore, the allocation of investment opportunities among its investors could also present a conflict of interest. In managing these different conflicts, fiduciary duty obligations may require Diginex to resolve conflicts in favor of clients over itself or other third parties. Employees and executives may also have conflicts of interest in allocating their time and activity between the business lines. Appropriately identifying and dealing with conflicts of interest is complex and difficult, and Diginex’s reputation could be damaged and the willingness of clients to enter into transactions with Diginex may be affected if Diginex fails, or appears to fail, to identify, disclose and deal appropriately with conflicts of interest. In addition, potential or perceived conflicts could give rise to litigation or regulatory enforcement actions. As a result, failures to appropriately identify and address potential conflicts of interest could materially adversely affect Diginex’s business, financial condition and results of operations.
Diginex could be the victim of employee misconduct.
In recent years, there have been a number of highly publicized cases involving fraud, conflicts of interest, or other misconduct by employees, and there is a risk that an employee of, or contractor to, Diginex or any of its affiliates could engage in misconduct that adversely affects Diginex’s business. It is not always possible to deter such misconduct, and the precautions Diginex takes to detect and prevent such misconduct may not be effective in all cases. Misconduct by an employee of, or contractor to, Diginex or any of its affiliates, or even unsubstantiated allegations of such misconduct, could result in direct financial harm to Diginex.
Diginex’s loss of access to its private keys or its experience of a data loss relating to its Digital Asset investments could adversely affect Diginex.
Certain Digital Assets are controllable only by the possessor of the private key or keys relating to the “digital wallet” in which the Digital Asset is held. Private keys must be safeguarded and kept private in order to prevent a third party from accessing the Digital Assets while held in such wallet. To the extent a private key is lost, destroyed or otherwise compromised by Diginex or another digital party and no backup of the private key is accessible, Diginex will be unable to access the Digital Assets held in the related digital wallet. Any loss of private keys relating to digital wallets used to store Diginex’s Digital Assets could adversely affect its business, financial condition and results of operations.
In addition, if Diginex’s Digital Assets are lost, stolen or destroyed under circumstances rendering a party liable to Diginex, the responsible party may not have the financial resources sufficient to satisfy Diginex’s claims.
Diginex may not be able to effectively manage its growth.
As Diginex grows its business, its employee headcount and the scope and complexity of its business lines may increase dramatically. Diginex only has a limited operating history at its current scale and its management team does not have substantial tenure working together. Consequently, if Diginex’s business grows at a rapid pace, it may experience difficulties maintaining this growth and building the appropriate processes and controls. Growth may increase the strain on resources, cause operating difficulties, including difficulties in sourcing, logistics, maintaining internal controls, marketing, designing products and services and meeting customer needs.
In addition, Diginex is seeking to run many business lines and, while these business lines are anticipated to be complimentary, there can be no assurance that Diginex will be able to effectively deliver internal or external resources effectively to each business line as and when needed, particularly when multiple business lines are experiencing high levels of need at the same time. Finally, many of Diginex’s business lines are interlinked. For example, the Capital Markets Business is expected to be closely related to Digivault and the Exchange Business (the “Exchange Business”). Delays or the inability to roll out products in one business line may pose corresponding issues in other business lines.
If Diginex does not adapt to meet these challenges, it could have a material adverse effect on its business, financial condition and results of operations.
Operational risk may materially and adversely affect Diginex’s performance and results.
Operational risk is the risk of an adverse outcome resulting from inadequate or failed internal processes, people, systems or external events. Diginex’s exposure to operational risk arises from routine processing errors, as well as extraordinary incidents, such as major systems failures or legal and regulatory matters. Because Diginex’s business lines are reliant on both technology and human expertise and execution, Diginex is exposed to material operational risk arising from a number of factors, including, but not limited to, human error, processing and communication errors, errors of third-party service providers, counterparties or other third parties, failed or inadequate processes, design flaws and technology or system failures and malfunctions.
Operational errors or significant operational delays could have a materially negative impact on Diginex’s ability to conduct its business or service its clients, which could adversely affect results of operations due to potentially higher expenses and lower revenues, create liability for Diginex or its clients or negatively impact its reputation. Recurring operational issues may also raise concerns among regulators regarding Diginex’s governance and control environment.
Diginex may not be effective in mitigating risk.
Diginex is establishing risk management and oversight policies and procedures to provide a sound operational environment for the types of risk to which it is subject, including operational risk, credit risk, market risk and liquidity risk. However, as with any risk management framework, there are inherent limitations to Diginex’s current and future risk management strategies, including risks that it has not appropriately anticipated or identified and that certain policies may be insufficient when used in connection with Digital Assets. Accurate and timely enterprise-wide risk information is necessary to enhance management’s decision-making in times of crisis. If Diginex’s risk management framework proves ineffective or if Diginex’s enterprise-wide management information is incomplete or inaccurate, it could suffer unexpected losses or fail to generate the expected revenue, which could materially and adversely affect its business, financial condition and results of operations.
The regulation of Digital Assets and distributed ledger technology continues to evolve in every jurisdiction, and regulatory changes or actions may restrict the use of Digital Assets, the operation of distributed ledger technology that supports such Digital Assets and platforms that facilitate the trading of such Digital Assets.
As distributed ledger technology and Digital Assets have grown in popularity and in market size, governments, regulators and self-regulators (including law enforcement and national security agencies) around the world are examining the operations of distributed ledger technology and Digital Asset issuers, users, investors and platforms. To the extent that any government or quasi-governmental agency exerts regulatory authority over the Digital Asset industry in general, the issuance of Digital Assets, and trading and ownership of and transactions involving the purchase and sale or pledge of such Digital Assets, may be adversely affected, which could materially and adversely affect Diginex’s business, financial condition and results of operations.
The prices of Digital Assets are extremely volatile. Fluctuations in the price of Digital Assets could materially and adversely affect Diginex’s business.
The prices of virtual currencies, such as bitcoin and ether, and other Digital Assets have historically been subject to dramatic fluctuations and are highly volatile. A decrease in the price of a single Digital Asset may cause volatility in the entire Digital Asset industry. For example, a security breach that affects purchaser or user confidence in bitcoin or ether may affect the industry as a whole. This volatility may adversely affect interest in and demand for the products and services Diginex seeks to offer, which would materially and adversely affect Diginex’s business, financial condition and results of operations.
Distributed ledger networks, Digital Assets and the exchanges on which such assets are traded are dependent on internet infrastructure and susceptible to system failures, security risks and rapid technological change.
The success of distributed ledger technology-based products and services will depend on the continued development of a stable infrastructure, with the necessary speed, data capacity and security, and complementary products such as high-speed networking equipment for providing reliable internet access and services. Digital Assets have experienced, and are expected to continue to experience, significant growth in the number of users and amount of content. There is no assurance that the relevant public infrastructure will continue to be able to support the demands placed on it by this continued growth or that the performance or reliability of distributed ledger technology will not be adversely affected by this continued growth. There is also no assurance that the infrastructure or complementary products or services necessary to make Digital Assets a viable product for their intended use will be developed in a timely manner, or that such development will not result in the requirement of incurring substantial costs to adapt to changing technologies. The failure of these technologies or platforms or their development could materially and adversely affect Diginex’s business, financial condition and results of operation.
Furthermore, Digital Assets are created, issued, transmitted, and stored according to protocols run by nodes within the blockchain network. It is possible these protocols have undiscovered flaws or could be subject to network scale attacks which could result in losses to Diginex. Finally, advancements in quantum computing could break the cryptographic rules of protocols which support certain Digital Assets.
Malicious actors could manipulate distributed ledger networks and smart contract technology upon which Digital Assets rely and increase the vulnerability of the distributed ledger networks.
If a malicious actor, including a state-sponsored actor, is able to hack or otherwise exert unilateral control over a particular distributed ledger network, or the Digital Assets on such a network, that actor could attempt to divert assets from that distributed ledger or otherwise prevent the confirmation of transactions recorded on that distributed ledger. Such an event could materially and adversely affect Diginex’s business. Digital Assets have been the subject of attempted manipulation by hackers to use them for malicious purposes. For example, misuses could occur if a malicious actor obtains a majority of the processing power controlling the Digital Asset validating activities and altering the distributed ledger on which Digital Asset transactions rely. Moreover, if the award for solving transaction blocks for a particular Digital Asset declines, and transaction fees are not sufficiently high, the incentive to continue validating distributed ledger transactions would decrease and could lead to a stoppage of validation activities. The collective processing power of that distributed ledger would be reduced, which would adversely affect the confirmation process for transactions by decreasing the speed of the adaptation and adjustment in the difficulty for transaction block solutions. Such slower adjustments would make the distributed ledger network more vulnerable to malicious actors’ obtaining control of the processing power over distributed ledger network processing.
The network contributors for certain Digital Assets could propose amendments to the network protocols and software for Digital Assets that, if accepted and authorized by the network for the Digital Assets, could adversely affect Diginex.
The networks for certain Digital Assets are based on a protocol governing the peer-to-peer interactions between computers connected to each other within that network. The development team for a network (if any) might propose and implement amendments to a network’s source code through software upgrades altering the original protocol, including fundamental ideas such as the irreversibility of transactions and limitations on the validation of blockchain software distributed ledgers. Such changes to original protocols and software could materially and adversely affect Diginex’s business.
Banks or other third-party services providers may decline to provide services to companies engaged in distributed ledger-related businesses, including Diginex.
A number of companies that provide distributed ledger technology-related products and services have been unable to find banks that are willing to provide them with bank accounts and banking services. Similarly, a number of such companies have had their existing bank accounts closed by their banks. Banks may refuse to provide bank accounts and other banking services to distributed ledger technology-related companies, including Diginex, for a number of reasons, such as perceived compliance risks or costs. Similarly, continued general banking difficulties may decrease the utility or value of Digital Assets or harm public perception of those assets. In addition to banks, other third-party service providers including accountants, lawyers and insurance providers may also decline to provide services to companies engaged in distributed ledger technology-related businesses because of the perceived risk profile associated with such businesses or the lack of regulatory certainty. The failure of distributed ledger technology-related businesses to be banked or obtain services could materially and adversely affect Diginex’s business, financial condition and results of operation.
The extent to which Digital Assets are used to fund criminal or terrorist enterprises or launder the proceeds of illegal activities could materially impact Diginex’s business.
The potential, or perceived potential, for anonymity in transfers of Digital Assets, as well as the decentralized nature of distributed ledger networks, has led some terrorist groups and other criminals to solicit certain Digital Assets for capital raising purposes. As Digital Assets have grown in both popularity and market size, government authorities have been examining the operations of distributed ledger technology and Digital Assets, their users, investors and exchanges, concerning the use of Digital Assets for the purpose of laundering the proceeds of illegal activities or funding criminal or terrorist enterprises. In addition to the current market, new distributed ledger networks or similar technologies may be developed to provide more anonymity and less traceability.
The use of Digital Assets for illegal purposes, or the perception of such use, even if such use does not involve Diginex’s services or products, could result in significant damage to Diginex’s reputation, damage to the reputation of Digital Assets and a loss of confidence in the services provided by the distributed ledger technology community as a whole.
Political or economic crises may motivate large-scale sales of Digital Assets, which would result in a reduction in values and materially and adversely affect Diginex.
As an alternative to fiat currencies that are backed by central governments, virtual currencies, which are relatively new, are subject to supply and demand forces based upon the desirability of an alternative, decentralized means of buying and selling goods and services, and it is unclear how such supply and demand will be impacted by geopolitical events. For example, political or economic crises could motivate large-scale acquisitions or sales of Digital Assets either globally, regionally or locally. Large-scale sales of certain Digital Assets could result in a reduction in their value and could materially and adversely affect Diginex’s business, financial condition and results of operations.
Economic, political and market conditions, both in Hong Kong and worldwide, can adversely affect Diginex’s business, results of operations and financial condition.
Diginex’s business is influenced by a range of factors that are beyond its control and that it has no comparative advantage in forecasting. These include, among others:
|●||General economic and business conditions;|
|●||Overall demand for Diginex’s products and services; and|
|●||General legal, regulatory, and political developments.|
Macroeconomic developments, including the developments associated with the United Kingdom’s vote to exit the European Union, known as Brexit, evolving trade policies between the U.S. and international trade partners, including the People’s Republic of China (the “PRC”) or the occurrence of similar events in other countries that lead to uncertainty or instability in economic, political or market conditions could negatively affect Diginex’s business, operating results and financial conditions and/or any of its third-party service providers. Furthermore, any general weakening of, and related declining confidence in, the global economy or the curtailment of government or corporate spending could cause potential clients to delay, decrease or cancel purchases of Diginex’s products and services and the adoption of distributed ledger technology in general.
While Diginex shifted its incorporation from Hong Kong to Singapore in connection with the Business Combination, a material element of Diginex’s operations are expected to remain in Hong Kong. Hong Kong has been governed by the basic law, which guarantees a high degree of autonomy from the PRC in certain matters until 2047. If the PRC were to exert its authority to alter the economic, political or legal structures or the existing social policy of Hong Kong, investor and business confidence in Hong Kong could be negatively affected, which in turn could negatively affect markets and business performance and have an adverse effect on Diginex. There is uncertainty as to the political, economic and social status of Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s evolving relationship with the PRC’s central government in Beijing has been a source of political unrest that has periodically resulted in large-scale protests, including those that have arisen since March 2019 in response to an extradition bill proposed by the Hong Kong government, which was subsequently waived. These protests created disruptions for businesses operating in Hong Kong and have negatively impacted the overall economy however, the frequency and intensity of protests have declined since the passing of the Security Law.
Diginex’s business lines and its acceptance of currencies other than the U.S. Dollar will subject it to currency risk.
Nearly all of Diginex’s business occurs, and is anticipated to occur in the medium term, outside of the U.S. As a result, some of Diginex’s expenses are, and are anticipated to be, denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar. Because Diginex’s financial statements are presented in U.S. dollars, it must translate non-U.S. dollar denominated revenues, income and expenses, as well as assets and liabilities, into U.S. dollars at exchange rates in effect during or at the end of each reporting period. These fluctuations may materially impact the translation of Diginex’s non-U.S. results of operations and financial condition.
Furthermore, increases or decreases in the value of the currencies Diginex receives may affect its operating results and the value of its assets and liabilities.
Due to the nature of Diginex’s business, Diginex may at some point choose to relocate certain sections of its operations from Hong Kong.
The main operations of Diginex’s business are currently located in Hong Kong. It is possible that Diginex may decide to relocate certain operations from Hong Kong to Singapore or another jurisdiction in the future. In doing so, it is also possible that Diginex may not be able to retain certain expert staff. If Diginex loses the services of any member of management or other such key personnel as a result of relocating, it may not be able to find suitable or qualified replacements and may incur additional expenses to recruit and train new staff, which could materially disrupt Diginex’s business and growth.
Force majeure events may materially and adversely affect the business continuity of Diginex.
Diginex may be affected by events beyond its control, including acts of nature, fires, floods, earthquakes, outbreaks of an infectious disease, pandemic or any other serious public health concern, war, terrorism, civil unrest, change in overall legal framework and labor strikes. Some such events may adversely affect the ability of Diginex or a counterparty to Diginex to perform its obligations. In addition, the cost to Diginex of repairing or replacing its damaged reputation or assets as a result of such an event could be considerable. Certain events such as war or an outbreak of an infectious disease could have a broader negative impact on the world economy and international business activity generally, or in any location in which Diginex may invest or conduct its business specifically.
Diginex is susceptible to general economic conditions, natural catastrophic events and public health crises, that could adversely affect Diginex’s operating results in the near future.
Diginex is subject to the impact of natural catastrophic events, such as earthquakes, floods, public health crisis, such as disease outbreaks, epidemics, or pandemics, and all these could result in a decrease or sharp downturn of economies, including the markets and business locations in the current and future periods of Diginex.
In December 2019, a novel strain of coronavirus was reported to have surfaced in Wuhan, China, which has and is continuing to spread throughout China and the world. On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern”. On March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization characterized the outbreak as a “pandemic”. During 2020, Hong Kong, Singapore and governments around the world took a number of actions, including prohibiting residents from free travel, encouraging employees of enterprises to work from home, cancelling public activities, and closing corporate offices. In addition, as the outbreak continues to threaten global economies, it may continue to cause significant market volatility and declines in general economic activities.
Diginex has taken a series of measures in response to the outbreak to protect its employees, including, among others, temporary closure of some offices, remote working arrangements for its employees and travel restrictions or suspension. The extent to which COVID-19 impacts Diginex’s results of operations during 2021 will depend on the future developments of the outbreak, including new information concerning the impact of various strains and mutations as well as actions taken to contain the outbreak and conduct vaccination campaigns, which are highly uncertain and remain unpredictable.
Any further potential impact to Diginex’s results will depend on, to a large extent, future developments and new information that may emerge regarding the duration and severity of COVID-19 and the actions taken by government authorities and other entities to contain COVID-19 or treat its impact, almost all of which are beyond Diginex’s control. Diginex may experience impact from quarantines, market downturns and changes in customer behavior related to the pandemic and impact on its workforce if the virus continues to spread. One or more of Diginex customers, partners, service providers or suppliers may experience financial distress, delayed or defaults on payment, file for bankruptcy protection, sharp diminishing of business, or suffer disruptions in their business due to the outbreak. Currently, there is no vaccine or specific anti-viral treatment for COVID-19. Relaxation of restrictions on economic and social life may lead to new cases which may lead to the re-imposition of restrictions. Given the general slowdown in economic conditions, volatility in the capital markets as well as the general negative impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the financial services industry, Diginex can provide no assurance that it can launch new products and services or that it will reach its anticipated growth rate. Because of the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak, the financial impact related to the outbreak of and response to the coronavirus cannot be reasonably estimated at this time, but Diginex’s financial condition and operating results for 2020 and 2021 have been and may continue to be impacted and those beyond may also be adversely affected.
Risks Related to the Asset Management Business
Changes in the value of Diginex’s assets under management (“AUM”) may cause revenue and earnings to decline.
The asset management business (the “Asset Management Business”) is expected to be primarily comprised of fees based on a percentage of the value of AUM and, in some cases, performance fees which are normally expressed as a percentage of returns to the client. Numerous factors, including price movements in the assets in the markets in which Diginex manages assets, could cause:
|●||the value of assets AUM, or the returns that Diginex realizes on AUM, to decrease;|
|●||the withdrawal of funds from any products offered by Diginex in favor of products offered by competitors; or|
|●||a decrease in the value of seed or co-investment capital or a decrease in the amount of such capital available to invest.|
The occurrence of any of these events may cause Diginex’s AUM, revenue and earnings, if any, to decline and may negatively impact the success of the Asset Management Business.
The Asset Management Business is highly regulated and regulators may apply or interpret these regulations with respect to Digital Assets in novel and unexpected ways.
Asset management is a highly regulated business subject to numerous legal and regulatory requirements. These regulations are intended to protect customers whose assets are under management and, as such, may limit Diginex’s ability to develop, expand or carry out its asset management business in the intended manner. Furthermore, the funds in which Diginex invests will be subject to regulatory regimes that are not clear or are not yet developed. To the extent that there is any ambiguity as to whether an asset under the management of a fund in which Diginex invests is deemed a security, the applicability of many regulations to such fund, will not be clear and could indirectly adversely affect the Asset Management Business. Furthermore, Diginex must address conflicts of interest, as well as the perception of conflicts of interest, between itself (including the other business lines of Diginex) and its clients and funds. In particular, Diginex will be required to act in the best interest of its clients and funds, which may include allocating opportunities to its clients and funds rather than to its own principal business lines. In addition, regulators have substantial discretion in determining what is in the best interest of a client of a fund and have increased their scrutiny of potential conflicts. Appropriately dealing with conflicts of interest is complex and if Diginex fails, or appears to fail, to deal appropriately with any of these conflicts of interest, it may face reputational damage, litigation, regulatory proceedings, or penalties, fines or sanctions, any of which may have a material and negative impact on Diginex’s business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, to the extent that Diginex is required to obtain client or investor consent in connection with any potential conflict, any failure or delay in obtaining such consent may have a material and negative impact on Diginex’s ability to take advantage of certain business opportunities.
Diginex’s investments in other investment vehicles may be subject to substantial risk.
On behalf of itself and its managed funds, Diginex may make direct or indirect investments in pooled investment vehicles, which may expose Diginex to all of the risks of those vehicles’ investments. The values of pooled investment vehicles are subject to change as the values of their respective assets fluctuate. To the extent that Diginex invests in managed pooled investment vehicles, the performance of Diginex’s investments in such vehicles will be dependent on the investment and research abilities of persons other than Diginex. The securities offered by such vehicles typically are not registered under applicable securities laws and are offered in transactions that are exempt from registration.
The Digital Assets funds in which Diginex invests are by their nature small and unproven.
Given that Diginex may invest in funds with little or no track record, there is a risk that such funds may not generate the returns anticipated by Diginex and may even result in the complete loss of the investment allocated to such funds.
Risks Related to the Trading Business
Short sales of Digital Assets may be especially risky.
Diginex may make short sales of Digital Assets. In such a short sale, Diginex would sell Digital Assets that it does not own, typically borrowed from a third party. Borrowing and lending markets for Digital Assets are currently in an early stage and may take time to become as developed and stable as those for securities or other established assets, which exposes Diginex to risks.
Because Diginex would remain liable to return any Digital Assets that it borrowed, Diginex would be required to purchase an equivalent amount of Digital Assets prior to the date on which delivery to the third party is required. Diginex will incur a loss as a result of a short sale if the price of the Digital Assets increases between the date of the short sale and the date on which Diginex replaces the borrowed Digital Assets. The amount of any loss will be increased by the amount of the premium or interest that Diginex may be required to pay in connection with a short sale. Short selling exposes Diginex to unlimited risk with respect to the borrowed Digital Assets because of the lack of an upper limit on the prices to which those Digital Assets can rise. Purchasing Digital Assets to close out a short position can itself cause the price of the Digital Assets to rise further, thereby exacerbating any losses. Under adverse market conditions, Diginex may have difficulty purchasing Digital Assets to meet its short sale delivery obligations, and may have to sell other Digital Assets to raise the necessary capital at a time when it would be unfavorable to do so. If a request for return of borrowed assets occurs at a time when other short sellers are receiving similar requests, a “short squeeze” can occur, and Diginex may be compelled to replace borrowed Digital Assets previously sold short with purchases on the open market at the most disadvantageous time, possibly at prices significantly in excess of the proceeds received in originally selling the assets short. In addition, Diginex may have difficulty purchasing assets to meet its delivery obligations if the assets sold short by Diginex have a limited daily trading volume or limited market capitalization. Short sales by Diginex and “short” derivative positions are forms of investment leverage, and the amount of Diginex’s potential loss is theoretically unlimited.
Diginex’s trades in options may be subject to substantial risk.
Diginex may trade in options on Digital or non-Digital Assets. Purchasing and writing put and call options are highly specialized activities that entail greater-than-ordinary investment risks. An investment in an option may be subject to greater fluctuation than an investment in the underlying asset. An uncovered call writer’s loss is theoretically unlimited. The ability to trade in or exercise options may be restricted in the event that trading in the underlying asset becomes restricted. Unlike exchange-traded options, which are standardized with respect to the underlying instrument, expiration date, contract size and strike price, the terms of over-the-counter options (options not traded on exchanges) are generally established through negotiation with the other party to the option contract. While this type of arrangement allows greater flexibility to tailor an option, over-the-counter options generally involve greater credit risk than exchange-traded options, which are guaranteed by the clearing organization of the exchanges where they are traded. As of this writing, the availability of exchange-traded and over-the-counter options on Digital Assets is limited, so terms may be unfavorable in comparison to those available for more firmly established types of options.
Diginex’s trades in derivatives may be subject to substantial risk.
Derivatives are financial instruments, the value of which is based on the value of one or more reference assets or indicators, such as a security, currency, interest rate or index. Diginex’s use of derivatives may involve risks different from, and possibly greater than, the risks associated with investing directly in securities and other more traditional investments. Moreover, although the value of a derivative is based on an underlying asset or indicator, a derivative typically does not carry the same rights as would be the case if Diginex invested directly in the underlying asset.
Derivatives are subject to a number of risks, such as potential changes in value in response to market developments, and the risk that a derivative transaction may not have the effect that Diginex anticipated. Derivatives also involve the risk of mispricing or improper valuation and the risk that changes in the value of a derivative may not achieve the desired correlation with the underlying asset or indicator. Derivative transactions may be highly volatile, and Diginex could lose more than the amount it invests. Moreover, derivative transactions permit Diginex to create investment leverage, which may exacerbate any losses on these positions. A liquid secondary market may not always exist for Diginex’s derivative positions at any time, and Diginex may not be able to initiate or liquidate a derivative position at an advantageous time or price, which may result in significant losses.
In addition, derivative products are specialized instruments that require investment techniques and risk analyses that differ from those associated with direct investments. The use of a derivative requires an understanding not only of the underlying instrument but also of the derivative itself. In particular, the complexity of derivatives requires the maintenance of adequate controls to monitor the transactions entered into and the ability to assess the risk that a derivative adds to Diginex’s portfolio.
Diginex’s trades in currencies may be subject to substantial risk.
Diginex may trade currencies in the interbank market, a global network of commercial banking institutions that make markets in foreign currencies. There is no limitation on daily price moves of contracts traded through banks and dealers. Banks and dealers may require Diginex to deposit margin with respect to such trading. Banks and dealers are not required to continue to make markets in currencies.
There have been periods during which certain banks have refused to quote prices for currency contracts or have quoted prices with an unusually wide bid-ask spread. Arrangements to trade currency contracts may be made with only one or a few banks, and liquidity problems might therefore be greater than if such arrangements were made with numerous banks. The imposition of credit controls by government authorities might limit such trading to less than that which Diginex would otherwise undertake. In respect of such trading, Diginex is subject to the risk of bank failure or the inability of, or refusal by, a bank to perform with respect to such contracts. Most, if not all, of these contracts are directly affected by changes in interest rates. The effects of governmental intervention may also be particularly significant at certain times in the interbank market.
Diginex’s trading transactions may be subject to credit risk.
Credit risk is the risk that an issuer of a security or a counterparty will be unable or unwilling to satisfy payment or delivery obligations when due and the related risk that the value of a trade may decline because of concerns about the issuer’s or the counterparty’s ability to make such payments. In addition to the risk of an issuer of a security in which Diginex trades failing or declining to perform on an obligation under the security, Diginex is exposed to the risk that third parties, including trading counterparties, exchanges, custodians, administrators and other financial intermediaries that may owe Diginex money, securities or other assets will not perform their obligations. Any of these parties might default on their obligations to Diginex because of bankruptcy, lack of liquidity, dispute, operational failure or other reasons, in which event Diginex may lose all or substantially all of the value of any such trading transaction. To the extent Diginex trades on exchanges that specialize in Digital Asset futures and derivatives, it is exposed to the credit risk of that exchange.
Diginex is not obligated to hedge its exposures, and, if it does, hedging transactions may be ineffective or reduce Diginex’s overall performance.
Diginex is not obligated to, and often times may not, hedge its exposures. However, from time to time, it may use a variety of financial instruments and derivatives, such as options, swaps and forward contracts, for risk management purposes, including to: protect against possible changes in the market value of Diginex’s investment or trading assets resulting from fluctuations in the securities markets and changes in interest rates; protect Diginex’s unrealized gains in the value of its investments or trading assets; facilitate the sale of any such assets; enhance or preserve returns, spreads or gains on any trade or investment; hedge the interest-rate or currency-exchange risk on any of Diginex’s liabilities or assets; protect against any increase in the price of any assets that Diginex anticipates purchasing at a later date; or to any other end that Diginex deems appropriate. The success of any hedging activities by Diginex will depend, in part, on its ability to correctly assess the degree of correlation between the performance of the instruments used in the hedging strategy and the performance of the assets being hedged. Since the characteristics of many assets change as markets change or time passes, the success of Diginex’s hedging strategy will also be subject to its ability to continually recalculate, readjust and execute hedges in an efficient and timely manner. In addition, while Diginex may enter into hedging transactions to seek to reduce risk, such transactions may actually increase risk or result in a poorer overall performance for Diginex than if it had not engaged in such hedging transactions.
Diginex may make, or otherwise be subject to, trade errors.
Errors may occur with respect to trades executed by Diginex Access or by or on behalf of Diginex. Trade errors can result from a variety of situations, including, for example, when the wrong asset is purchased or sold or when the wrong quantity is purchased or sold. Trade errors frequently result in losses, which could be material. To the extent that an error is caused by a third party, Diginex may seek to recover any losses associated with the error, although there may be contractual or other limitations on any third party’s liability with respect to such error.
Diginex’s trading orders may not be executed in a timely matter.
Diginex’s trading strategies depend on the ability to establish and maintain an overall market position in a combination of financial instruments. Diginex’s trading orders may not be executed in a timely and efficient manner because of various circumstances, including, for example, trading volume surges or systems failures attributable to Diginex or its counterparties, brokers, dealers, agents or other service providers. In such an event, Diginex might only be able to acquire or dispose of some, but not all, of the components of its positions, or if the overall positions were to need adjustments, Diginex might not be able to make such adjustments. As a result, Diginex would not be able to achieve its desired market position, which may result in a loss. In addition, Diginex can be expected to rely heavily on electronic execution systems (and may rely on new systems and technology in the future), which may be subject to certain systemic limitations or mistakes, causing the interruption of trading orders made by Diginex.
Diginex is exposed to losses due to lack of perfect information.
As a facilitation trader in Digital Assets, Diginex will trade in a variety of assets with a number of different counterparties. Diginex may at times trade with others who have information that is more accurate or complete than Diginex’s, and as a result Diginex may accumulate unfavorable positions at unfavorable prices preceding large price movements in a given instrument. If the frequency or magnitude of these events increases, Diginex’s losses would likely increase correspondingly, which could have a material and adverse effect on Diginex.
Diginex Access is exposed to failure of technology partners.
Diginex Access relies on other technology providers, namely FIS and Itiviti (defined below), to provide certain services as part of the product. Should these services no longer be available, for whatever reason, Diginex Access may no longer be able to service those customers under contract.
Risks Related to the Investment Products Business
Regulatory authorities may never permit, or severely limit the ability of, Diginex to issue investment products.
Numerous regulatory authorities may need to permit Diginex to issue investment products. If any regulatory authority, or other authority whose permission is required, such as a stock exchange listing authority, objected to the investment products or to certain aspects of them, such regulatory authority could prevent the investment products from ever becoming issued, or if permitted to rescind such permission, in that jurisdiction. The regulatory landscape that Diginex needs to navigate in order to provide investment products is complex, extensive and changing, and Diginex may never be able to do so successfully.
Furthermore, laws and regulations may change over time. Therefore, even if Diginex were to acquire necessary approvals or licenses, an ongoing threat to Diginex’s business would remain that such permission to operate could be subsequently revoked or materially altered over time, which could have a material adverse effect on the Investment Products Business and its customers.
Competition will likely increase in investment products referencing Digital Assets.
While the Digital Asset industry is at an early stage, there are examples in several countries of securitized products or collective investment schemes being created in order to provide exposure to Digital Assets. These, as well as those companies who provide access to Digital Asset exchanges, including several significant exchanges, present competition to the Investment Products Business. Such competition is likely to grow as new entrants emerge, including large financial institutions such as investment banks, which have greater resources, technology and distribution channels than Diginex. Such increased competition could result in, among other things, the Investment Products Business losing market share, the emergence of superior products and to compression of margins, any of which could have a material and adverse effect on the Investment Products Business’ business, financial condition and results of operations.
Diginex may be unable to establish distributor networks necessary to successfully grow the business.
A material component of the sales strategy of the Investment Products Business involves reaching agreements with distributors. There can be no guarantee that such distribution agreements will be executed and there is a risk that distributors reject Diginex’s proposals and/or do not wish to engage in the distribution of products linked to Digital Assets.
The failure to accurately describe investment products may lead to financial and regulatory exposure.
The business plan of the Investment Products Business will seek clients of varying expertise, including retail clients, to whom the greatest duty of care may be owed and to whom the greatest regulatory protection may be given. If an investment product is not described accurately or completely, either in print or orally, investors may not be able to make an informed decision as to the risk profile of the investment product, which may result in litigation, regulatory fines, investigations and restitution. Even if such inaccurate disclosure is alleged but not proven, the Investment Products Business and Diginex may face significant reputational damage as a result. Any of the above may have a material adverse effect on the business, financial condition and operations results of Diginex.
The Investment Products Business is subject to technology failure.
The Investment Products Business will utilize and rely on technology, and such technology is potentially subject to failure and errors. Applications are expected to be used to price products and if pricing models were inaccurate, products could be issued at prices considerably different to fair value, resulting in a loss to Diginex and/or potential harm to investors which could cause financial restitution to clients and potential regulatory sanctions and fines. There is also a risk for subsequent valuations of products being potentially inaccurate and/or a mis-estimation of the way in which such products should be risk managed and hedged. Furthermore, the Investment Products Business intends to list products on various exchanges and some exchanges may require market making to ensure there is liquidity available to investors. Diginex would therefore require market making systems with a very high degree of automation, and, if such systems were to malfunction, Diginex could be in breach of various regulations and face fines as well as potentially having to compensate investors who may have suffered as a result. Such ‘market making’ activities would also include the issuance of new securities which requires automation and cohesive technology required to create the product and to automatically execute the underlying exposure in the correct way, which, if erroneous, could cause Diginex to be either under or over hedged in such a product and to potentially face resulting losses.
Risks Related to the Borrowing and Lending (B&L) Business
Regulatory authorities may not permit, or may limit the ability of, Diginex to facilitate borrowing or lending
Diginex may need the approval of various regulatory authorities to permit Diginex to engage in borrowing and / or lending activities. If any regulatory authority refuses approval to Diginex to engage in such activities then, such authority could prevent the B&L business from ever becoming active or could limit the business to operating within a narrow scope and thereby not reach its full potential. The regulatory landscape that Diginex needs to navigate in order to facilitate the B&L business is extensive and changing, and Diginex may not be able to successfully activate this business without required approvals.
Furthermore, laws and regulations may change over time. Therefore, even if Diginex were to acquire necessary approvals or licenses, an ongoing threat to Diginex’s business would remain that such permission to operate could be subsequently revoked or materially altered over time, which could have a material adverse effect on the B&L business.
Competition will likely increase in B&L for Digital Assets.
While the digital asset industry is at an early stage, there are already a number of providers of B&L for digital assets. These providers create competition which is likely to create downward pressure on margins and / or worsen the risk profile of trades. Further competition could also arise as traditional investment banks, who may be active in B&L for stocks and other securities presently, may seek to expand their business into digital assets. Large financial institutions such as investment banks, have considerable resources, technology and distribution channels to access clients which could threaten Diginex’s success in this area.
Diginex may be unable to establish significant demand or supply for B&L in order to make the business viable.
A material component of the viability of the B&L business will be the willingness of clients to engage in B&L activity with Diginex. In addition to the competitive threats mentioned, this could be impacted by a general inability to attract a sufficient number of customers seeking to engage in this activity. Furthermore, this activity may require not just sufficient borrowers or lenders, but a sufficient balance of borrowers and lenders to sustain a viable business model.
Failure to accurately document transactions, terms and covenants may give risk to significant legal risks.
Clients of the B&L business may deal with Diginex acting, potentially, as either principal or agent. In either case Diginex is likely to have a material role in designing and executing the legal terms of transactions. Transactions will need to specify terms and conditions and may be relatively standardized or bespoke, which can lead to even higher litigation risk. Additionally, B&L business can involve the offering of leverage. Providing leverage for traded products can lead to losses (as well as gains) being magnified. Clients with magnified losses may be more likely than other clients to resort to litigation.
Digital assets are extremely volatile and where the B&L business involves the provision of leverage for the purposes of trading, clients’ market risk may be magnified; this can in turn result in credit risk for Diginex where a client’s market risk losses exceed the collateral provided by the client. Also, where Diginex performs a role as agent, seeking to effectively match borrowers and lenders on the same terms, it may act as principal holding positions for short periods in the course of matching lenders and borrowers. In any of these cases, Diginex could be exposed to market risks and this would be especially likely in cases of extreme market turbulence and large sudden moves in digital asset prices.
Counterparty and collateral risks
Even where B&L is collateralized to manage credit risk, the business involves collateral flows and margins. Borrowers of digital assets are often required to provide collateral and lenders of digital assets often need their loaned assets to be effectively safeguarded and managed. Collateral flows are not limited to initial collateral, but collateral requirements are likely to change over time. Initial collateral may prove to be insufficient and could lead to losses for Diginex. Variations in collateral may need to occur during the life of a transaction. To ensure this operates effectively to mitigate risk, appropriate technology and systems will need to be utilized. Such technology could fail and / or borrowers may seek to obstruct Diginex in accessing the required collateral. Any shortfall in collateral, whether the fault of the client or the fault of Diginex, could lead to material losses and detrimental client outcomes. If collateral posted is of a different nature to the asset underlying the transaction, then this could further give rise to potential mismatches and shortfalls in collateral value.
B&L transactions flows involve multiple process steps, systems and counterparties and are subject to operational risks throughout their lifecycle. These may include human error, failures in process or systems and other unforeseen external events. Whilst operational controls are built into all elements of the business it is not possible to completely eliminate the possibility of such events leading to significant operational losses.
Risks Related to the Capital Markets Business
Diginex may be unable to establish issuer and investor networks necessary to successfully execute offerings.
The Capital Markets Business is being developed to assist issuers seeking to access global capital markets through issuing digital securities. To this end, the Capital Markets business will advise, issue and distribute offerings of digital securities from its clients to investors.
To be successful, Diginex will have to source offerings from clients and there can be no assurance that it will be able to do so. Thus far, there have been limited issuers willing to explore the possibility of making use of distributed ledger technology for their securities offerings. Furthermore, it will be important that the offerings Diginex assists on offer attractive terms and trustworthy clients, both to be able to execute the transactions and receive payments and to demonstrate the ability to use digital securities on high quality offerings that will be attractive to larger market participants.
Furthermore, Diginex will have to source investors to participate in offerings. There is still significant education required for investors on the potential of digital securities. There can be no assurance that, even if Diginex sources high quality offerings from issuers, it can source investors, particularly institutional investors, many of which have investment mandates that do not include digital securities, to purchase the digital securities offered.
If Diginex is not able to source either attractive offerings and/or investors to participate in them, it could have a material adverse effect on its business, results of operation and financial condition.
The Capital Markets Business is highly dependent on the closing of offerings to produce revenue.
Placement agents, brokers, underwriters and other participants and advisors to issuers in the capital markets industry generally receive payment as a percentage of the total capital raised in an offering. Such fees are where the Capital Markets Business expects to make the majority of its revenue. As a result, successfully hitting revenue targets is highly dependent on a very small number of transactions closing, particularly in the near term as the Capital Markets Business is in its early stages. Failure to close offerings and receive fees could have a material adverse effect on Diginex’s business, results of operation and financial condition.
The development of digital securities poses technological and regulatory challenges and Diginex may not be able to successfully develop, market and launch such tokens.
The development of digital securities requires significant technical expertise on the part of Diginex or its sub-contractors in order to be operational and secure. Diginex may not have or may not be able to obtain the technical skills, expertise, or regulatory approvals needed to successfully create or market digital securities. Even if successfully developed and created, digital securities may not meet investor expectations. Furthermore, digital securities may experience technical failures or fail to fulfil their primary goal.
Digital securities may not be widely adopted and may have limited users.
It is possible that digital securities will not be used by a large number of issuers, broker-dealers or holders or that there will be limited public interest in the continued creation and development of digital securities. Such a lack of use or interest could negatively impact the Capital Markets Business.
Specific legal and regulatory risks exist in the provision of advice and assistance in regard to the issuance and distribution of digital securities that may give rise to claims against Diginex.
Providing advice and assistance in regard to the issuance and distribution of digital securities raises legal and regulatory risk in each of the jurisdictions that Diginex seeks to do business. The legal and regulatory landscape relating to offerings of digital securities is uncertain and subject to both change and inconsistencies. Such a challenging landscape could result in Diginex providing advice and service in jurisdictions where it has no regulatory coverage to do so. Furthermore, digital securities may be distributed in jurisdictions or to investors that are not permitted to receive such digital securities pursuant to local laws.
Diginex expects the key markets for its Capital Markets Business will include the following (with the related license that will be required to operate):
|●||Hong Kong (Type 1 Dealing in Securities License);|
|●||Singapore (Capital Markets Services License); and|
|●||Dubai (DFSA Category 4 Investment Advisor).|
If licenses are not obtained for the Capital Markets Business to provide its services in these jurisdictions, Diginex will seek to partner with local firms.
Diginex does not intend to effect any transactions in, nor induce or attempt to induce the purchase or sale of any security with any U.S. persons without ensuring that it is acting in compliance with U.S. laws relating to the offer and sale of securities. To the extent that in the future Diginex seeks to effect any transactions in, or induce or attempt to induce the purchase or sale of any security with any U.S. person, Diginex will either seek to register as a U.S. broker-dealer as required by Section 15(b) of the Exchange Act, or partner with a U.S. broker-dealer.
Risks Related to the Exchange Business
The development of the Exchanges (defined below) poses financial, technological and regulatory challenges and Diginex may not be able to successfully develop, market and launch the Exchanges.
The Exchange Business will cover two distinct regulatory profiles, Virtual Currency Exchange (“VCE”) and Digital Securities Exchange (“DSE”) (VCE and DSE, together, the “Exchanges”), with the VCE recently launched. The development of the Exchanges requires significant capital funding, expertise on the part of Diginex’s management and time and effort in order to be successful. Diginex may have to make changes to the specifications for any number of reasons or it may be unable to develop the Exchanges in a way that realizes those specifications or any form of a functioning network. The Exchanges, even if successfully developed and maintained, may not meet investor expectations. For example, there can be no assurance that the Exchanges will provide less expensive or more efficient trading than is possible on currently available trading platforms for traditional assets (or even other Digital Asset exchanges). Furthermore, the Exchanges may experience malfunctions or otherwise fail to be adequately developed or maintained, which may negatively impact the Exchanges and the assets being traded on the Exchanges.
There can be no guarantee that the Exchange Business by itself or together with Diginex’s other business lines will be able to produce sufficient cash flows to fund the capital requirements and expenditures necessary to run the Exchanges. Furthermore, Diginex may not have or may not be able to obtain the technical skills, expertise, or regulatory approvals needed to successfully develop the Exchanges. While Diginex has sought to retain and continues to competitively recruit experts, there may, from time to time, be a scarcity of management, technical, scientific, research and marketing personnel with appropriate training to develop and maintain development of the Exchanges. In addition, there are significant legal and regulatory considerations that will need to be addressed in order to develop and maintain the Exchanges and addressing such considerations will require significant time and resources. For example, the Exchanges will need systems in place to ensure the necessary KYC and AML checks are performed on both clients and digital wallets. There can be no assurance that Diginex will be able to develop the Exchanges in a way that fully achieves its goals and satisfies the complex regulatory requirements that will be applicable to it. If Diginex is not successful in its efforts to develop the Exchanges in a way that is compliant with all regulatory and legal requirements, and demonstrate to users the utility and value of such an exchange, or there is not sufficient demand for the Digital Assets required for the Exchanges to be commercially viable, the Exchange Business may not be viable, which could have an adverse effect on the Diginex’s business, financial condition and results of operations.
Regulatory authorities may never permit the Exchanges to become operational.
Numerous regulatory authorities may need to permit the Exchanges to become operational. If any regulatory authority objected to the Exchanges or to certain aspects of them, such regulatory authority could prevent the Exchanges from ever becoming operational, or continuing to operate, in that jurisdiction. The regulatory landscape that Diginex needs to navigate is complex, extensive and changing, and Diginex may never be able to do so successfully.
Regulatory authorities may not permit the Exchanges to list certain products.
Diginex intends to develop multiple products and to make such products available on the Exchanges. Regulatory authorities may not permit the Exchanges to list certain products or may restrict the markets or demographics to which products can be offered (e.g. to restrict retail customer involvement). Such restrictions may adversely impact projected revenues. Additionally, should products be inadvertently offered in jurisdictions where regulatory approval is required and where no such approval has been received, regulatory action may be taken against Diginex.
Diginex’s offer of products other than spot on its exchange may be subject to substantial risk.
Digital Assets futures and derivatives are or may be deemed regulated financial instruments or fall under other regulatory frameworks in many jurisdictions. Diginex may not have applied for appropriate license and may not be able to offer, or continue offering, such products.
Due to their novel and specialized nature, Digital Assets futures and derivatives substantially increase the risk of losses for Diginex and for Diginex’s clients and customers which in turn increases the risk of litigation against Diginex. Diginex’s risk mitigation strategies, if any, may not be adequate or sufficient.
Diginex’s exchange operations may be subject to credit risk.
Credit risk is the risk that a borrower or a counterparty will be unable or unwilling to satisfy payment or delivery obligations when due and the related risk that the transaction may not happen or the value of a transaction may decline because of concerns about the borrower’s or the counterparty’s ability to make such payments. In addition to the risk of a borrower declining to perform on an obligation under the loan, Diginex is exposed to the risk that third parties, including transaction counterparties, exchanges, custodians, administrators and other financial intermediaries that may owe Diginex money or other assets will not perform their obligations. Any of these parties might default on their obligations to Diginex because of bankruptcy, lack of liquidity, dispute, operational failure or other reasons, in which event Diginex may suffer unexpected losses. In addition to the credit risk on its own exchange, to the extent Diginex relies on third parties that specialize in Digital Asset futures and derivatives, it is exposed to the credit risk of those third parties.
The Exchanges may not be widely adopted and may have limited users.
It is possible that the Exchanges will not be used by a large number of issuers, broker-dealers or holders of Digital Assets or that there will be limited public interest in the continued creation and development of Digital Asset exchanges. Such a lack of use or interest could negatively impact the volumes of the Exchanges.
Alternative Digital Asset exchanges may be established that compete with or are more widely used than the Exchanges.
It is possible that Digital Asset exchanges exist or could be established that utilize the same or similar protocols as those underlying the Exchanges or that facilitate services that are materially similar to the services provided by the Exchanges. The Exchanges may face competition from any such alternative networks, which could negatively impact the Exchanges and have a material adverse effect on Diginex’s business, financial condition and results of operations.
There are already several Digital Asset exchanges that the VCE will compete with. If the VCE is unable to offer features that differentiate it from such competitors, or such competitors create pricing pressure that results in lower-than-anticipated revenues, the VCE may not be viable, which could have a material adverse effect on Diginex’s business, financial condition and results of operations.
The Exchanges, and any distributed ledger technology on which they rely, may be the target of cyber-attacks or may contain exploitable flaws in its underlying code, which may result in security breaches and the loss or theft of Digital Assets that trade on the Exchanges. If such attacks occur or security is compromised, this could expose Diginex to liability and reputational harm, could seriously curtail the utilization of Digital Assets, cause a decline in the market price of the affected Digital Assets and result in claims against Diginex.
The Exchanges, their structural foundation, and the software applications and other interfaces or applications upon which they rely or will rely (including distributed ledger technology), are unproven, and there can be no assurances that the Exchanges and the creation, transfer or storage of Digital Assets on those system will be uninterrupted or fully secure, which may result in impermissible transfers, a complete loss of investors’ Digital Assets on those systems or an unwillingness of market participants to access, adopt and utilize Digital Assets or the Exchanges. Further, the Exchanges and any technology, including distributed ledger technology, on which they rely may also be the target of cyber-attacks seeking to identify and exploit weaknesses, which may result in the loss or theft of Digital Assets, which, in turn, may materially and adversely affect the adoption and success of the Exchanges and Diginex. Any of these risks could have a material adverse effect on Diginex’s business, financial condition and results of operations.
The unregulated nature and lack of transparency surrounding the operations of some Digital Asset exchanges may cause the marketplace to lose confidence in such exchanges.
Digital Asset exchanges are relatively new and, in some cases, unregulated. Furthermore, while some exchanges provide information regarding their ownership structure, management teams, corporate practices and regulatory compliance, many other exchanges do not. As a result, the marketplace may lose confidence in the less transparent or unregulated exchanges, including prominent exchanges that handle a significant volume of trading in Digital Assets. In recent years, there have been a number of Digital Asset exchanges that have closed because of fraud, business failure or security breaches. Additionally, larger Digital Asset exchanges have been targets for hackers and malware and may be targets of regulatory enforcement actions. A lack of stability in these exchange markets and the temporary or permanent closure of such exchanges may reduce confidence in the Digital Asset marketplace in general and result in greater volatility in the price of Digital Assets. These potential consequences could materially and adversely affect the adoption and success of the Exchanges.
Risks Related to Digivault (the “Custody Business” or “Digivault”)
Development of the Custody Business poses financial, technological and regulatory challenges and Diginex may not be able to successfully develop and market the custody solutions.
The continued development of the custody solutions, known as Kelvin and Helios, which have now launched, requires significant capital funding, expertise on the part of Diginex’s management and time and effort in order to be successful. Digivault may have to make changes to the specifications of the custody solutions for any number of reasons and it may be unable to further develop the service in a way that realizes those specifications. The custody solutions, even if successfully developed and maintained, may not meet investor expectations. For example, there can be no assurance that the custody solutions will provide less expensive or more efficient services than are currently available for traditional assets (or even other Digital Assets). Furthermore, the custody solutions may experience malfunctions or otherwise fail to be adequately developed or maintained, which may negatively impact the Digital Assets being held.
There can be no assurance that Digivault by itself or together with Diginex’s other business lines will be able to produce sufficient cash flows to fund the ongoing capital requirements and expenditures necessary to run the custody solutions. Digivault may not have or may not be able to obtain the technical skills, expertise, or regulatory approvals needed to successfully further develop the custody solutions. While Diginex has sought to retain and continues to competitively recruit experts, there may, from time to time, be a scarcity of management, technical, scientific, research and marketing personnel with appropriate training to develop and maintain the custody solutions. In addition, there are significant legal and regulatory considerations that will need to be addressed in order to develop and maintain the custody solutions, and addressing such considerations will require significant time and resources. Despite launching both Kelvin and Helios, there can be no assurance that Digivault will be able to develop the custody solutions in such a way as to fully achieves its goals and satisfy the complex regulatory requirements that are applicable to them and acquire the necessary licenses to operate. If Diginex is not successful in its efforts to develop and maintain the custody solutions in ways that are compliant with all regulatory and legal requirements, and demonstrate to users the utility and value of such a service, or if there is not sufficient demand for the custody solutions for them to be commercially viable, Digivault may not be feasible, which could have a material adverse effect on Diginex’s business, financial condition and results of operations.
Numerous regulatory authorities may never permit the custody solutions to become operational.
Numerous regulatory authorities may need to permit the custody solutions to operate in different jurisdictions. If any regulatory authority objected to the custody solutions or to certain aspects of them, such regulatory authority could prevent them from ever becoming operational, or continuing to operate, in that jurisdiction. The regulatory landscape that Diginex needs to navigate in order to run a viable Custody Business is complex, extensive and changing and Digivault may never be able to do so successfully. Any such regulatory issues including fines or injunctions from regulators, could have a material adverse impact on Diginex’s business, financial condition and results of operations.
The custody solutions may not be widely adopted and may have limited users.
It is possible that the custody solutions will not be used by a large number of holders of Digital Assets or that there will be limited public interest in the continued creation and development of Digital Asset custody services. Such a lack of use or interest may result in insufficient demand for the custody solutions to be commercially viable, which could have an adverse effect on Diginex’s business, financial condition and results of operation.
The custody solutions, and any distributed ledger technology on which they rely, may be the target of cyber-attacks or may contain exploitable flaws in their underlying code, which may result in security breaches and the loss or theft of Digital Assets that are held or deposited. If such attacks occur or Digivault’s security is compromised, Digivault could be exposed to liability and reputational harm, and such attacks could seriously curtail the utilization of Digital Assets and cause a decline in the market price of the affected Digital Assets which could result in claims against Digivault.
The custody solutions, their structural foundation, and the software applications and other interfaces or applications upon which they rely (including distributed ledger technology), are unproven, and there can be no assurances that the custody solutions are or will be fully secure, which may result in a complete loss of investors’ Digital Assets and an unwillingness of market participants to access, adopt and utilize Digital Assets or the custody solutions. Examples of the above include, but are not limited to:
|●||a cyber-attack causing a client withdrawal instruction, or a withdrawal address being altered;|
|●||a client receiving an incorrect deposit address;|
|●||hardware failures delaying or preventing deposits and withdrawals;|
|●||the tampering or spoofing of client instructions and materials;|
|●||deposit addresses being incorrectly stored;|
|●||the hacking or unavailability of client portals rendering clients unable to access their account;|
|●||vulnerabilities within the applicable distributed ledger code arising or the distributed ledger being manipulated by a malicious actor;|
|●||a cyber-attack causing the individual to lose otherwise valid credentials;|
|●||the tampering with of laptop codes to cause withdrawals to incorrect withdrawal addresses; and|
|●||bad acts by employees, third-party service providers and others.|
While Digivault has taken, and will continue to take, steps to ensure that the custody solutions are secure and protected against such incidents, no assurance can be given that the custody solutions are or will be fully secure and protected from attack, and any failure in this regard could materially and adversely affect Diginex’s business, financial condition and results of operations.
There can be no guarantee that Digivault will be able to acquire necessary insurance coverage or that it will be able to offer insurance to its clients.
The failure of Digivault to secure insurance cover may have an adverse effect on its ability to attract clients and hence reduce its revenue generating abilities.
Risks Related to Taxation
The tax treatment of Digital Assets is unclear.
The treatment of Digital Assets under the tax laws of the jurisdictions in which Diginex does business is unclear. The operations and dealings of Diginex, in or in connection with Digital Assets, could be subject to adverse tax consequences in one or more jurisdictions, including as a result of development of the legal regimes surrounding Digital Assets, and Diginex’s operating results could be adversely affected thereby.
Risks Related to Being a Public Company
Diginex has limited experience operating as a public company and fulfilling its obligations as a U.S. reporting company may be expensive and time consuming.
The Company’s executive officers have no experience in operating a U.S. public company, which makes their ability to comply with applicable laws, rules and regulations uncertain. The Company’s failure to comply with all laws, rules and regulations applicable to U.S. public companies could subject us or our management to regulatory scrutiny or sanction, which could harm the Company’s reputation and share price.
As a U.S. reporting company, the Company incurs significant legal, accounting and other expenses. Prior to becoming a U.S. reporting company, the Company had not previously been required to prepare or file periodic and other reports with the SEC or to comply with the other requirements of U.S. federal securities laws applicable to public companies. The Company has not previously been required to establish and maintain disclosure controls and procedures such as Section 404 of the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002, or Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and internal controls over financial reporting applicable to a public company with securities registered in the United States. Compliance with reporting and corporate governance obligations from which foreign private issuers are not exempt may require members of the Company’s management and its finance and accounting staff to divert time and resources from other responsibilities to ensuring these additional regulatory requirements are fulfilled and may increase our legal, insurance and financial compliance costs. The Company cannot predict or estimate the amount of additional costs it may incur or the timing of such costs. If it fails to comply with any significant rule or requirement associated with being a public company, such failure could result in the loss of investor confidence and could harm the Company’s reputation and cause the market price of the Company’s securities to decline.
As a foreign private issuer (“FPI”), Diginex is exempt from a number of rules under U.S. securities laws and is permitted to file less information with the SEC than U.S. public companies.
Diginex is an FPI, as defined in the SEC rules and regulations, and, consequently, it is not subject to all the disclosure requirements applicable to companies organized within the United States, including certain rules under the Exchange Act that regulate disclosure obligations and procedural requirements related to the solicitation of proxies, consents or authorizations applicable to a security registered under the Exchange Act. In addition, Diginex’s officers and directors are exempt from the reporting and “short-swing” profit recovery provisions of Section 16 of the Exchange Act and related rules with respect to their purchases and sales of the Company’s securities. Moreover, Diginex is not required to file periodic reports and financial statements with the SEC as frequently or promptly as U.S. public companies. Accordingly, there may be less publicly available information concerning Diginex than there is for U.S. public companies.
Diginex is not subject to certain Nasdaq corporate governance rules applicable to U.S. listed companies.
Diginex is entitled to rely on a provision in Nasdaq’s corporate governance rules that allows the Company to follow Singapore corporate law with regards to certain aspects of corporate governance. This allows the Company to follow certain corporate governance practices that differ in significant respects from the corporate governance requirements applicable to U.S. companies listed on Nasdaq.
In addition, Diginex’s Audit Committee is not subject to additional Nasdaq requirements applicable to listed U.S. companies, including an affirmative determination that all members of the audit committee are “independent,” using more stringent criteria than those applicable to the Company as an FPI. Nasdaq’s corporate governance rules require listed U.S. companies to, among other things, seek shareholder approval for the implementation of certain equity compensation plans and issuances of ordinary shares, which the Company is not required to follow as an FPI.
The following table sets forth the capitalization and indebtedness of Diginex using the unaudited balance sheet as at September 30, 2020.
at September |
|Total shareholders’ equity|
All of the Registrable Securities offered by the Selling Securityholders pursuant to this prospectus will be sold by the Selling Securityholders for their respective accounts. We will not receive any of the proceeds from these sales.
We may receive up to an aggregate of approximately $48,218,793.75 from the exercise of the private placement warrants. We expect to use the net proceeds from the exercise of the warrants for general corporate purposes, which may include acquisitions and other business opportunities. Our management will have broad discretion over the use of proceeds from the exercise of the warrants.
On September 30, 2020, the Company completed a share swap transaction (“Transaction”) with 8i Enterprises Acquisition Corp (“8i Enterprises”), a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, and Diginex Limited (“Diginex HK”), a company incorporated in Hong Kong. 8i Enterprises was a blank check company listed on Nasdaq, also referred to as a special purpose acquisition company (“SPAC”). The SPAC was formed for the sole purpose of entering into a share exchange, asset acquisition, share purchase, recapitalization, reorganization or other similar business combination with one or more businesses or entities. The Transaction resulted in the Company becoming the ultimate parent holding company of 8i Enterprises and Diginex HK (together with its subsidiaries) and listed on Nasdaq under the ticker code EQOS. Diginex HK became a subsidiary of 8i Enterprises.
The Transaction is fully reflected in the interim condensed consolidated financial statements for the six months ended September 30, 2020 and as a result a pro forma statement of financial position is not required. A pro forma combined statement of profit or loss has been prepared on the assumption the Transaction completed at the start of the prior fiscal year, which would be a deemed Transaction date of April 1, 2019.
PRO FORMA UNAUDITED COMBINED STATEMENT OF PROFIT OR LOSS
YEAR ENDED MARCH 31, 2020
|(A)||(B)||Reflecting Actual Redemptions on September 30, 2020|
|Diginex||8i Enterprises||Pro Forma Adjustments||Pro Forma Income Statement|
|Formation and operating costs||-||(1,215,612||)||908,777||(2)||(306,835||)|
|General and administrative expenses||(42,984,644||)||-||(29,794,669||)||(3)||(72,779,313||)|
|Other gains (losses), net||(382,808||)||-||-||(382,808||)|
|Impairment losses on financial assets, net||(12,553,919||)||-||-||(12,553,919||)|
|(LOSS) BEFORE TAX||(57,278,276||)||(620,601||)||(29,480,858||)||(87,379,735||)|
|Income tax expense||-||-||-||-|
|(LOSS) FOR THE YEAR||$||(57,278,276||)||$||(620,601||)||$||(29,480,858||)||$||(87,379,735||)|
|Weighted average shares outstanding|
|Net income (loss) per share|
Pro Forma Adjustments to the Unaudited Combined Statement of Profit or Loss
|(A)||Derived from the audited combined consolidated statement of profit or loss of Diginex for the twelve months ended March 31, 2020.|
|(B)||Derived from the unaudited statement of operations of 8i Enterprises for the twelve months ended April 30, 2020.|
|(1)||Represents an adjustment to eliminate interest income held in the trust account as of the beginning of the period.|
|(2)||Represents an adjustment to eliminate direct costs related to the Transaction.|
|(3)||To reflect the revised value of share options held by employees of Diginex. The accumulated cost of existing Diginex share options at March 31, 2020 was $10,356,664. On the assumption that the replacement of 5,600,000 options, with a fair value of $47,600,000, were issued on April 1, 2019 and vest after 15 months, the incremental compensation costs would be $37,243,336, of which $29,794,669 was recorded in the pro forma combined statement of profit or loss for the year ended March 31, 2020. The fair value of the replacement of 5,600,000 options is computed using the quoted EQOS share price of $8.50 on the date of the Transaction.|
Material non-recurring charges incurred as a result of the Transaction have not been reflected in the proforma unaudited combined statement of profit or loss. Such non -recurring charges relate to the fair value of shares and warrants issued to former share and warrant holders of 8i Enterprises, less the net assets of 8i Enterprises, amounting to $44.0 million and the fair value of the potential issuance of shares via the earnout provision of $32.1 million.
PRO FORMA UNAUDITED COMBINED STATEMENT OF PROFIT OR LOSS
SIX MONTHS ENDED SEPTEMBER 30, 2020
|(A)||(B)||Reflecting Actual Redemptions on September 30, 2020|
|Diginex||8i Enterprises||Pro Forma Adjustments||Pro Forma Income Statement|
|Formation and operating costs||-||(835,808||)||690,495||(2)||(145,313||)|
|General and administrative expenses||(36,049,081||)||-||14,023,535||(3)||(22,025,547||)|
|Other gains (losses), net||215,293||-||-||215,293|
|Impairment losses on financial assets, net||-||-||-||-|
|(LOSS) BEFORE TAX||(36,758,211||)||(754,519||)||14,632,744||(22,879,987||)|
|Income tax expense||-||-||-||-|
|(LOSS) FOR THE YEAR||$||(36,758,211||)||$||(754,519||)||$||14,632,744||$||(22,879,987||)|
|Weighted average shares outstanding|
|Net income (loss) per share|
Pro Forma Adjustments to the Unaudited Combined Statement of Profit or Loss
|(A)||Derived from the unaudited interim condensed consolidated statement of profit or loss of Diginex for the six months ended September 30, 2020.|
|(B)||Derived from the unaudited statement of operations of 8i Enterprises for the six months ended July 31, 2020.|
|(1)||Represents an adjustment to eliminate interest income held in the trust account as of the beginning of the period.|
|(2)||Represents an adjustment to eliminate direct costs related to the Transaction.|
|(3)||To reflect the revised value of share options held by employees. The adjusted accumulated cost of existing Diginex share options at March 31, 2020 was $40,151,333, which consisted of the initial cost, $10,356,664, plus the incremental compensation cost adjustment, $29,794,669 in the twelve months ended March 31, 2020. On the assumption that the replacement of 5,600,000 options, with a fair value of $47,600,000, were issued on April 1, 2019 and vest after 15 months, this implies a residual cost of $7,488,667 to be recognized for the six months ended September 30, 2020. However, the actual costs incurred during the six months ended September 30, 2020 was $21,472,202. Therefore, a credit adjustment of $14,023,535 is recorded in the pro forma combined statement of profit or loss for the six months ended September 30, 2020. The fair value of the replacement of 5,600,000 options is computed using the quoted EQOS share price of $8.50 on the date of the Transaction.|
Weighted average shares outstanding-basic and diluted are calculated as follows:
For the year ended March 31, 2020 and six months ended September 30, 2020 based on actual redemptions
|Weighted average shares calculation, basic and diluted|
|Shares issued to former 8i shareholders||4,827,130|
|Shares issued to service providers||1,841,262|
|Shares issued to former Diginex Hong Kong shareholders||25,000,000|
|Weighted average shares outstanding||31,688,392|
|Percent of shares owned by former Diginex shareholders||78.9||%|
|Percent of shares owned by former 8i shareholders||15.3||%|
|Percent of shares owned by service providers||5.8||%|
|Weighted average shares calculation, basic and diluted|
|Former Diginex shareholders||25,000,000|
|Former 8i shareholders||4,847,130|
|Weighted average shares outstanding||31,688,392|
MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF
FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS FOR THE YEAR ENDED MARCH 31, 2020
You should read the following discussion of our financial condition and results of operations in conjunction with its consolidated financial statements and the related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus. The discussion in this prospectus contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, such as statements of our plans, objectives, expectations and intentions. The cautionary statements made in this prospectus should be read as applying to all related forward-looking statements wherever they appear in this prospectus. Our actual results could differ materially from those discussed in these forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to these differences include those discussed below and elsewhere in this prospectus, particularly those set forth in the section entitled “Risk Factors.”
Results of Operations
|For the year ended March 31,|
|in USD millions||2020||2019|
|General and administrative expenses||(42.9||)||(18.9||)|
|Other (losses) gains||(0.3||)||30.6|
|Impairment losses on financial assets||(12.6||)||(39.1||)|
|Impairment of goodwill||0.0||(0.5||)|
|Share of loss of an associate||0.0||(12.3||)|
|Loss before tax||(57.2||)||(40.3||)|
|Loss from continuing operations||(57.2||)||(40.3||)|
|(Loss) profit from discontinued operations||(0.9||)||57.0|
|(Loss) profit for the year||(58.1||)||16.7|
|(Loss) profit attributable to owners||(57.7||)||16.8|
Revenue from continuing operations for the year ended March 31, 2020 decreased to $0.5 million from $1.0 million for the year ended March 31, 2019. The revenue was primarily driven by fee income from the Capital Markets Business, albeit from less mandates than the prior year, and management fees from the Asset Management Business in 2020. For the year ended March 31, 2019, the majority of revenue was generated from the Capital Markets Business.
General and Administrative Expenses from Continuing Operations
|For the year ended March 31,|
|in USD millions||2020||2019|
|Legal and professional fees||6.4||3.9|
|Depreciation of right of use assets||2.0||1.4|
|Depreciation of plant, property, plant and equipment||0.8||0.6|
|Expensed software development||3.3||0.0|
|Operating lease expenses||0.2||0.4|
General and administrative expenses increased by $24 million to $42.9 million for the year ended March 31, 2020. This increase was due to the continued development of Diginex’s various business lines, including an increase in employee and consulting support coupled with an increase in the value of the employee share option plan, costs associated with the build of the Exchange, legal fees associated with the Business Combination, and others such as seeking legal/regulatory advice related to product launches.
Employee related expenses increased by $17.6 million to $26.1 million for the year ended March 31, 2020. The increase was driven by the increase of headcount from 92 at March 31, 2019 to 137 as at March 31, 2020. In addition, there were two modification events that resulted in an increase in the share option valuation booked to the profit and loss statement of $9.7 million during the year ended March 31, 2020. The modification events being the share option pool increased from 15% to 20% of outstanding Diginex Hong Kong shares and the exercise price was reduced from $0.10 to zero. The Company also implemented a salary deferral program during the year which resulted in an incremental charge of $1.5 million in relation to Diginex Hong Kong shares awarded to employees as part of the program.
Post year end Diginex sold the Solutions Business and actioned a cost saving initiative which saw a reduction in headcount. Diginex’s current headcount is approximately 120 employees.
Diginex engages with long term contractors to assist with its day-to-day operations, and incurred expenses of $2.0 million for the year ended March 31, 2020 and $1.9 million for the year ended March 31, 2019, an increase of $0.1 million from the previous year. The long-term contractors work alongside employees to deliver Diginex’s strategy. During the year ended March 31, 2019 these costs were classified under legal and professional fees.
Legal and Professional Fees
Diginex incurred legal and professional fees of $6.4 million which was an increase of $2.5 million from the $3.9 million expensed in the year ended March 31, 2019. Legal and professional fees include costs associated with the Business Combination as well as the engagement of consultants for strategic/business development activities on a short term basis.
Depreciation of Right of Use Assets
In the year ended March 31, 2020, leases under IFRS 16 are categorized as right of use assets and relate to the office leases in Hong Kong and Jersey. The depreciation expense for right of use assets increased by $0.6 million to $2.0 million in 2020 from $1.4 million in 2019. The increase is primarily driven by a full year of depreciation for the Hong Kong lease in 2020.
In the year ended March 31, 2019, offices in Tokyo, London and Berlin were also capitalized under IFRS 16 but in the year ended March 31, 2020 Diginex elected a simplified approach for short term leases and recognize the rental expense of the remaining lease period on a straight-line basis. This approach was also adopted for the office in Boston, Singapore and Ho Chi Minh.
The offices in Tokyo and Berlin have been closed, the Boston office was part of the Solutions Business sale and the office in London has been temporarily closed for the duration of applicable COVID-19 restrictions.
Depreciation of Property, Plant and Equipment
Depreciation on property, plant and equipment increased by $0.2 million to $0.8 million for the year ended March 31, 2020 from $0.6 million for the year ended March 31, 2019. This was driven by a full year of depreciation on the capital expenditure on leasehold improvements related to the Hong Kong headquarters, which are depreciated over 36 months. The lease was entered into in November 2018.
Expensed Software Development
Expensed software development costs totaled $3.3 million for the year ended March 31, 2020. These costs are associated with the build of Exchange which have been expensed due to there being no related identifiable future economic benefit to support the capitalization. There were no such costs in the year ended March 31, 2019.
Other expenses remained flat at $4.1 million. These costs include expenses associated with activities such as marketing, advertising, travel and entertainment and recruitment.
Other (Losses) Gains
Other (losses) gains moved year-on-year by $30.9 million with a loss of $0.3 million being reported in the year ended March 31, 2020 compared to a gain of $30.6 million for year ended March 31, 2019. The 2020 loss is mainly driven by fair value losses on investments and loss on a sale of the remaining Madison (defined below) stock which was delivered as part consideration for the sale of Diginex High Performance Computing Limited (“DHPC”). In July 2018, following the divestment of 51% of DHPC, the remaining 49% investment was revalued under the guidance of IFRS 10 to $43.8 million of which $42.6 million was booked to the profit and loss as a gain. In October 2018, Diginex sold a significant portion of the Madison (defined below) stock received as part consideration for the divestment in DHPC which realized a loss on sale of a financial assets of $11.7 million. When taking into account the gain on revaluation and the loss on sale of Madison (defined below) stock, a net gain of $30.9 million was booked to the profit and loss. The balance of the 2019 loss was driven by fair value losses on investments.
Impairment Losses on Financial Assets
Impairment losses of $12.6 million were recognized in the year ended March 31, 2020 compared to $39.1 million in the year ended March 31, 2019.
During the year ended March 31, 2019, Diginex advanced a loan of $15.0 million for the purchase of high-performance computing equipment for DHPC and $2 million for working capital purposes of which $2 million was repaid. The net loan receivable was repayable from the cash profits of DHPC. In accordance with IFRS 9, a detailed expected credit loss model based on various scenarios of the future success of DHPC was carried out and the results analyzed. The outcome of the modelling lead to an impairment of $4.8 million on the outstanding loan receivable at the year ended March 31, 2019 and a further $10.6 million in the year ended March 31, 2020 following an additional loan advance of $2 million, working capital advance of $0.2 million and a repayment of $0.8 million during the year ended March 31, 2020. As at March 31, 2020 there was an unimpaired balance outstanding of $1 million of which $0.7 million has been collected post year end.
During 2019 and 2020, Diginex invested in a collection of startups at various stages of maturity. As at March 31, 2020 and March 31, 2019, these investments were impaired by $1.3 million and $2.0 million, respectively.
Following the sale of 51% of DHPC during the year ended March 31, 2019, Diginex revalued its remaining investment in DHPC at fair value totaling $43.8 million. However, during the period from the divestment of DHPC to March 31, 2019, Diginex’s share of losses from the retained 49% investment amounted to $12.3 million. Furthermore, DHPC had net liabilities as at March 31, 2019. Together, these factors caused Diginex to impair the value of the investment to zero. This resulted in a profit and loss charge for impairment of $31.5 million, after deducting Diginex’s share of losses from the fair value.
Other impairments to loans, advances and trade receivables during the years ending March 31, 2020 and March 31, 2019 resulted in additional impairment charges of $0.7 million and $0.8 million, respectively.
Impairment of Goodwill
Diginex recognized goodwill of $0.5 million on the acquisition of Altairian Capital Holdings Limited (“Altairian”) in December 2018. As at March 31, 2019, Diginex reviewed the cash generating ability of the business and based on economic factors, management determined that there was no measurable future cash generation from this business and the goodwill was impaired in full. At March 31, 2020, management reassessed the impairment and noted no changes.
Diginex incurred finance costs for the year ended March 31, 2020 of $1.9 million and for the year ended March 31, 2019 of $1.1 million.
Diginex has a $20 million credit facility in place with Pelham Limited and had an outstanding balance of $10.6 million with outstanding interest of $0.1 million as at March 31, 2020. The facility charges interest at 12.5% per annum which resulted in a $1.3 million cost for the year ended March 31, 2020 and $0.3 million for the year ended March 31, 2019.
In the year ended March 31, 2019, Diginex took out two short-term loans from shareholders to manage near term liquidity needs. The finance costs related to these loans plus drawn down fees amounted to $0.2 million. Diginex also entered into a short-term bank loan in 2019 that cost $0.2 million in finance charges.
Interest arising from operating lease liabilities is also booked to the profit and loss statement in line with IFRS 16 reporting. The resulting finance charge from IFRS 16 amounted to $0.5 million in 2020 and $0.4 million in 2019.
Diginex also issued a loan note in September 2019, the loan note had a 12-month maturity and a 15% interest charge. A notional amount of $0.7 million was raised and was fully redeemed early on June 1, 2020. At March 31, 2020 $0.1 million finance cost had been charged to the profit and loss.
Share of Loss of an Associate
Diginex recognized a share of loss of an associate of $12.3 million in 2019. As previously discussed, this was Diginex’s share of the reported losses of DHPC following the sale of 51% of the business. During the year ended March 31, 2020, DHPC’s business became non-operational and as the investment has been fully impaired in the prior year, there have been no further losses booked in the year ended March 31, 2020 under the guidance of IAS 28.
Despite Diginex reporting a profit in the year ended March 31, 2019 following sale of DHPC there was no tax payable as there is no capital gains tax in Hong Kong. The operating losses (excluding the sale of DHPC) did not generate a taxable charge in the years ended March 31, 2020 and March 31, 2019.
Although Diginex had active operations in United Kingdom, Jersey, Japan, Switzerland, Dubai, USA, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh and Germany during the reporting periods, the majority of its operations have been in Hong Kong. Diginex’s entities in Hong Kong are subject to Hong Kong profits tax at 16.5%.
(Loss) profit from Discontinued Operations
|For the year ended March 31,|
|in USD millions||2020||2019|
|General and Administrative Expenses||(1.1||)||(3.4||)|
|(Loss) before tax||(0.9||)||(2.1||)|
|Gain on sale of subsidiary||0.0||59.1|
|(Loss) profit from discontinued operations||(0.9||)||57.0|
Diginex sold the Solutions Business in May 2020 to Rhino Ventures Limited, a company controlled by Miles Pelham. While the transaction was completed post the March 31, 2020 year end it was considered material and hence the results of the business line have been reported as discontinued in both the years ended March 31, 2020 and March 31, 2019. The business was sold for $6 million with the consideration value being offset against the Pelham Limited loan.
The Solutions Business produced revenues of $0.2 million and $0.4 million during the years ended March 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively. The Solutions Business incurred general and administrative expenses of $1.1 million and $0.7 million during the years ended March 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively. These costs relate, primarily, to employee salaries and benefits.
In the year ended March 31, 2019, discontinued operations relate to the Solutions Business as well as the results of DHPC up to the date of divestment, following which the subsidiary was deconsolidated.
DHPC produced revenue of $1.1 million in the year ended March 31, 2019 and incurred general and administrative expenses of $2.7 million. A material component of the expenses related to a cost of $1.1 million to ship mining equipment to Sweden. In addition, other incremental expenses include professional fees incurred for maintenance of data centers of $0.6 million.
Diginex divested 51% of DHPC for consideration of $60 million. The net assets at the time of sale amounted to $2.5 million, of which 51%, or $1.3 million, was disposed of. Additionally, at the time of divestment a shareholder loan to DHPC of $0.4 million was waived. This resulted in a reported gain on sale of $59.1 million.
Since incorporation, Diginex has not been materially impacted by changes in inflation with the inflation rate in Hong Kong ranging between 2-3%.
Impact of Foreign Currency Fluctuations on Results
Currently, Diginex’s main operating currencies are the US Dollar and Hong Kong Dollar. As the Hong Kong Dollar is pegged to the US Dollar, Diginex is not overly exposed to foreign currency fluctuations.
Critical Accounting Policies, Judgments and Estimates
An accounting policy is considered critical if it requires an accounting estimate to be made based on assumptions about matters that are highly uncertain at the time such estimate is made, and if different accounting estimates that reasonably could have been used, or changes in the accounting estimates that are reasonably likely to occur periodically, could materially impact the consolidated financial statements.
Diginex prepares its financial statements in conformity with IFRS, which requires it to make judgments, estimates and assumptions. Diginex continually evaluates these estimates and assumptions based on the most recently available information, its own historical experiences and various other assumptions that Diginex believes to be reasonable under the circumstances. Since the use of estimates is an integral component of the financial reporting process, actual results could differ from Diginex’s expectations as a result of changes in its estimates. Some of Diginex’s accounting policies require a higher degree of judgment than others in their application and require it to make significant accounting estimates.
The following descriptions of critical accounting policies, judgments and estimates should be read in conjunction with Diginex’s financial statements and the notes related thereto, and other disclosures included in this document. When reviewing Diginex’s financial statements, you should consider (i) Diginex’s selection of critical accounting policies, (ii) the judgments and other uncertainties affecting the application of such policies and (iii) the sensitivity of reported results to changes in conditions and assumptions.
In November 2018, Diginex acquired a 75% interest in Bletchley Park Asset Management (Jersey) (“BPAMJ”). BPAMJ acts as the investment manager to Bletchley Park Asset Management Master Fund, Bletchley Park Asset Management Feeder 1 and Bletchley Park Asset Management US Feeder 1. The consolidation of the business into Diginex’s financial statements resulted in a small gain on bargain purchase during the year ended March 31, 2019.
On March 2, 2020, Diginex acquired the remaining 25% interest in BPAMJ for consideration of $0.1 million. As a result, the non-controlling interest was fully reversed.
In December 2018, Diginex acquired a 100% interest in Altairian Capital Holdings Limited, together with its two subsidiaries. The consolidation of this acquisition resulted in the recognition of goodwill amounting to $0.5 million. However, post completion of the acquisition, there was a change in business direction with management deciding, due to market conditions, not to pursue the original opportunities that the business presented. As a result, the value initially recognized was no longer apparent and the goodwill was fully impaired.
Revenue is recognized to depict the transfer of promised goods or services to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration to which the entity expects to be entitled in exchange for those goods or services.
Diginex recognizes revenue from contracts with customers based on a five-step model as set out in IFRS 15:
Step 1. Identify contract(s) with a customer: A contract is defined as an agreement between two or more parties that creates enforceable rights and obligations and sets out the criteria for every contract that must be met.
Step 2. Identify performance obligations in the contract: A performance obligation is a promise in a contract with a customer to transfer a good or service to the customer.
Step 3. Determine the transaction price: The transaction price is the amount of consideration to which the Company expects to be entitled in exchange for transferring promised goods or services to a customer, excluding amounts collected on behalf of third parties.
Step 4. Allocate the transaction price to the performance obligations in the contract: For a contract that has more than one performance obligation, Diginex allocates the transaction price to each performance obligation in an amount that depicts the amount of consideration to which the Company expects to be entitled in exchange for satisfying each performance obligation.
Step 5. Recognize revenue when (or as) Diginex satisfies a performance obligation.
Diginex recognized revenue when (or as) a performance obligation is satisfied, i.e. when “control” of the goods or services underlying the particular performance obligation is transferred to customers.
Diginex satisfies a performance obligation and recognizes revenue over time, if one of the following criteria is met:
|a)||Diginex’s performance does not create an asset with an alternate use to Diginex and Diginex has as an enforceable right to payment for performance completed to date.|
|b)||Diginex’s performance creates or enhances an asset that the customer controls as the asset is created or enhanced.|
|c)||The customer simultaneously receives and consumes the benefits provided by Diginex’s performance as Diginex performs.|
For performance obligations where one of the above conditions are not met, revenue is recognized at the point in time at which the performance obligation is satisfied.
When Diginex satisfies a performance obligation by delivering the promised goods or services it creates and issues an invoice based on the amount of consideration earned by the performance. Where the amount of consideration received from a customer exceeds the amount of revenue recognized this gives rise to a contract liability.
Revenue is measured at the fair value of the consideration received or receivable, taking into account contractually defined terms of payment and excluding taxes and duty. Diginex assesses its revenue arrangements against specific criteria to determine if it is acting as principal or agent.
During the year ended March 31, 2020, the Capital Markets and Solutions Business (discontinued operations) income was recognized over the service period based on services provided as the customer simultaneously receives and consumes the services provided by the Company over the period.
For the Asset Management services, the Company receives management fees at agreed rates. Management fee income is recognized on a time-proportion basis at agreed percentages on the value of assets held under managements.
For OTC trades, Diginex acts as principal in a trade between counterparties looking to buy or sell digital assets. The Company earns revenue by charging a commission to execute such trades and recognizes revenue at a point in time when the trade is complete.
Revenue for the Custody Business is generated from holding clients’ assets and is recognized over the service period and recognized at a point in time in relation to withdrawal fees.
With regards to revenue generated from the discontinued operations of DHPC, DHPC received Digital Assets, namely Ether (“ETH”), as consideration for transaction verification services, also known as mining. The revenue was measured based on the fair value of the Digital Assets received and the fair value was determined using the spot price of the Digital Assets on the date of receipt.
Continuing vs. Discontinued Operations
Following the divestment of DHPC during the year ended March 31, 2019, the operating results of the business up until the date of divestment have been categorized as discontinuing operations. The gain on the divestment of $59.1 million has also been classified as discontinued.
The results relating to the remaining 49% investment in DHPC is classified as continuing operations. However, there was no net impact on the continuing profit and loss in the year ended March 31, 2019 as the gain on revaluation of the associate under IFRS 10 to fair value has been eliminated via Diginex’s share of DHPC’s operating losses under equity accounting and the impairment charge as previously discussed.
The consideration received for the divestment of DHPC consisted of $10 million cash and stock in Madison (defined below) valued at $50 million. The cash received has been classified as received from discontinued operations in the statement of cash flows, but the loss recognized from the sale of Madison (defined below) stock of $11.7 million, as previously noted, has been classified as continuing.
While Diginex sold the Solutions Business after the year ended March 31, 2020, the net operating loss associated with the Solutions Business was reclassed from continuing operations to discontinued operations for the years ended March 31, 2020 and 2019 on the basis of materiality. The statement of cash flows also reflects the sale of the business as discontinued. The Solutions Business had minimal assets and liabilities and hence have not been reclassified on the statement of financial position.
The determining of the above classifications has no impact on the overall profit and loss of Diginex.
Valuation of Investments
Diginex’s investments in securities consist of equity securities and Digital Asset token investments. Investments in equity and Digital Asset token investments with readily determinable fair values are recorded at fair value, which is determined based on quoted market prices. The changes in fair values are recognized in the profit and loss statement. Diginex measures non-marketable investments without readily determinable fair values at cost, minus impairment. The value of such investments held at amortized cost is determined by modelling expected credit losses per IFRS 9.
During the year ended March 31, 2020, a Digital Asset token investment was listed on an exchange creating a quoted market price which lead to the reclassification of the investment from a financial asset at amortized cost to a financial asset at fair value through the profit and loss account.
Provision for Credit Losses
In order to determine if a financial asset should be impaired, Diginex carried out a review of expected credit losses for each investment. The methodology adopted is detailed in Note 2.4 to the financial statements contained in this Form F-1.
An expected credit loss analysis was carried out on the loan advanced in relation to DHPC as detailed in the impairment section above.
Diginex also carried out expected credit losses via discounted cash flow calculations on non-marketable investments and held at amortized cost where possible. If information was not readily available management relied on historical data, short term projections and representations from management. The results of the calculations highlighted an impairment of $1.3 million at the year ended March 31, 2020 and $1.9 million for the year ended March 31, 2019.
Share Based Compensation Expenses
All share-based awards granted to employees, including share options, are measured at fair value on grant date. Share-based compensation expense is recognized using the straight-line method, net of estimated forfeitures, over the requisite service period, which is the vesting period. Forfeitures are estimated at the time of grant and revised in subsequent periods if actual forfeitures differ from those estimates. Diginex uses historical data to estimate pre-vesting options and record share-based compensation expenses only for those awards that are expected to vest.
Diginex has one share option plan and has granted multiple tranches of share options with tiered vesting commencement dates to employees and consultants. Options granted are subject to a service condition of 36 months. The service condition stipulates that all options vest after this period and are issued to the respective employee. However, on the event of a corporate transaction that results in a change of control or a listing, the share options vesting period will be reset to 15 months after the triggering event and will then be released to employees in equal installments over the six months upon the exercise date.
During the year ended March 31, 2020, the Company made two modifications to the structure of the share option scheme:
|●||Reduced the strike price from $0.10 to zero as at December 18, 2019; and|
|●||Increased the pool to 20% from 15% of Diginex Limited share capital as at February 13, 2020.|
The fair value of the share options as at March 31, 2020 was $46.2 million and the Company recognized a share option expense of $9.7 million. As at March 31, 2019, the fair value of the share options was $5.2 million of which the group recognized a share option expense of $0.6 million.
The fair value at grant date for options issued prior to the first modification is independently determined using a binomial model, taking into account the exercise price, the term of the option, the impact of dilution (where material), the share price at grant date and expected price volatility of the underlying share, the expected dividend yield, the risk free interest rate for the term of option and the correlations and volatilities of the peer group companies.
The model inputs for options granted prior to the first modification included:
|●||Options are granted for no consideration|
|●||Exercise price: $0.10 per share|
|●||Grant date: on the employment date|
|●||Expiry date: September 2020 to July 2022|
|●||Share price at grant dates: $9.99 to $136.41|
|●||Expected price volatility of the Company’s share: average 45.05%|
|●||Expected dividend yield: 0%|
|●||Risk-free interest rate: average 2.55%|
On December 18, 2019, the Company reduced the exercise price from $0.10 to $0. At this point in time the Company has been issuing equity at a consistent price of $153.90 and due to the removal of a strike price all options were revalued at December 18, 2020 to maturity at $153.90 with no other variables applied.
On February 13, 2020, the Company increased the percentage of share options relevant to the total share capital of Diginex Limited from 15% to 20%. The fair value of the additional options on the modification date was determined using the same models and principles as described above.
As at March 31, 2020 and March 31, 2019, no share options had vested. The company considered but did not factor any forfeited options into the valuation as at March 31, 2020 or March 31, 2019 on the expectation that those who have been granted options are likely to stay with the Company.
The ultimate realization of deferred tax assets is dependent upon the generation of sufficient future taxable income during the periods in which these losses become deductible. Diginex has incurred net losses from continuing operations since inception and while management expects Diginex to return profits in the future there is still an element of uncertainty and as such no deferred tax asset has been recognized for tax losses accumulated to date.
Discount Rate Applied to Capitalized Leases
As of March 31, 2019, leases in Hong Kong, Japan, Jersey, United Kingdom and Germany were accounted for under IFRS 16. As such, Diginex measures the lease liability at the present value of the unpaid lease payments from the commencement date of the lease. The lease payments are discounted using the interest rate implicit in the lease, if that rate can be readily determined. If that rate cannot be readily determined, on initial recognition of the lease Diginex uses the company or subsidiary’s incremental borrowing rate which is the rate of interest that Diginex would have to pay to borrow over a similar term, and with a similar security, the funds necessary to obtain an asset of a similar value to the right-of-use assets in similar economic environment. The below rates were applied:
|Hong Kong||12.5% current borrowing rate for Diginex Hong Kong|
|Japan||0.072% 3-month Libor|
|United Kingdom||0.842% 3-month Libor|
|Jersey||2.74% average rate for 10-year fixed mortgage|
|Germany||0.337% 3-month Libor|
During the year ended March 31, 2020, Diginex elected a simplified approach for short-term leases in Japan, United Kingdom and Germany and recognized a rental expense over the remaining lease period on a straight-line basis. This treatment was also adopted for leases taken out during the year in the United States, Singapore, and Ho Chi Minh City.
During the year ended March 31, 2020, Diginex capitalized intangible costs in relation to software development and the acquisition of software for the Exchange, EQUOS.
Intangible assets are capitalized in line with IAS 38 on the basis the asset is controlled by Diginex, the future economic benefits of the software are probable, and the costs of such intangible can be reliably measured.
Useful Lives of Assets
Diginex determined the estimated useful lives of its tangible and intangible assets for calculating depreciation. This estimate is determined after considering the expected usage of the asset or physical wear and tear and the impact of expected residual value. Diginex reviews the useful lives annually and the future depreciation charge would be adjusted where Diginex believes that the useful lives differ from previous estimates. Useful lives currently used are:
|Furniture and fixtures||5 years|
|Office equipment||5 years|
|Leasehold improvements||term of lease|
|Right of use assets||term of lease|
|Capitalized software development||5 years|
Recently Released Accounting Standards
See Note 2 to the financial statements included elsewhere in this Form F-1.
Liquidity and Capital Resources
Diginex’s ability to fund its operations is based on its ability to generate cash, its ability to attract investors and its ability to borrow funds on reasonable economic terms. Diginex’s business has been funded primarily from the issuance of equity to investors, the proceeds from the 51% divestment of DHPC and a $20 million credit facility offered by Pelham Limited (the “Credit Facility”), which was cancelled upon completion of the share swap with 8i. Following March 31, 2020, Diginex raised $25 million via a convertible bond which was initially issued on May 29, 2020 (the “Convertible Bonds”). The Convertible Bonds mature after 24 months, bears a 10% coupon, and is mandatorily convertible into equity upon the Company becoming a public listed company.
Going forward, Diginex’s ability to continue as a going concern is dependent on continuing to attract investors to the business and management’s ability to control or reduce cash outflows as necessary as witnessed via the sale of the Solutions Business and the rationalization of headcount and other costs to date. Taking into account the ability for the Company to raise finances, management’s ability control costs, and the availability of the Credit Facility together with the Convertible Bond raise management has alleviated the doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern.
As of March 31, 2020, and 2019, Diginex has cash and cash equivalents of $1.0 million and $0.7 million, respectively, as detailed below:
|As of March 31,||As of March 31,|
|In USD millions||Continuing Operations||Discontinued Operations||Total||Continuing Operations||Discontinued Operations||Total|
|Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities||(21.5||)||(0.8||)||(22.3||)||(17.0||)||(2.4||)||(19.4||)|
|Net cash used in investing activities||(5.4||)||-||(5.4||)||27.7||(15.6||)||12.1|
|Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities||28.0||-||28.0||(26.0||)||27.9||1.9|
|Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents||1.1||(0.8||)||0.3||(15.3||)||9.9||(5.4||)|
|Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of year||(6.0||)||6.7||0.7||9.3||(3.2||)||6.1|
|Effect of foreign exchange rate changes||0.0||-||0.0||0.0||-||0.0|
|Cash and cash equivalents, end of year||(4.9||)||5.9||1.0||(6.0||)||6.7||0.7|
Cash Flows from operating activities
Total cash outflows from operating activities was $22.3 million in the year end March 31, 2020, compared to an outflow of $19.4 million for the year ended March 31, 2019. Cash flow relates to both continued and discontinued operations:
Cash outflows from operating activities was $21.5 million in the year ended March 31, 2020 compared to an outflow of $17.0 million in the year ended March 31, 2019, The cash outflow increase relates, in part, to an increase in employees from 92 to 137. Diginex also incurred additional expenditure in legal and compliance matters in the course of growing the business and structuring the Business Combination.
The cash outflow from discontinued operations of $0.8 million for the year ended March 31, 2020 and $2.4 million for the year end March 31, 2019 relates to costs associated with the operations of the Solutions Business in both years and costs incurred to operate the DHPC business for the year ended March 31 2019.
Cash flows from investing activities
Total cash outflows from investing activities was $5.4 million in the year ended March 31, 2020, compared to inflows of $12.1 million for the year ended March 31, 2019. Cash flow relates to both continued and discontinued operations:
Cash outflow from investing activities relating to continuing operations was $5.4 million in the year ended March 31, 2020 compared to inflows of $27.7 million in the year ended March 31, 2019.
During the year ended March 31, 2020, Diginex invested $5.3 million in capitalized software development and acquired software for its Digital Asset exchange. The Company also issued equity to the value of $5.4 million to acquire software which had no cash flow impact.
During the year ended March 31, 2019, Diginex received Madison (defined below) stock valued at $50 million as part of the DHPC transaction. Diginex sold a significant portion of the stock for cash consideration of $34 million. In the year ended March 31, 2020, the balance of Madison (defined below) stock was sold for $0.2 million.
In late 2018, Diginex moved into a new office in Hong Kong and the related leasehold improvements during the year ended March 31, 2019 amounted to $2.1 million with a further $0.3 million spent on fixed assets.
Diginex also acquired two business in the year ended March 31, 2019 which resulted in a net cash outflow of $0.1 million. During the year ended March 31, 2020, Diginex acquired the remaining 25% of BPAMJ and incurred a cash outflow of $25,000.
Diginex also invested in a number of startup companies and during 2019 the cash outflow for these investments amounted to $3.8 million. During the year ended March 31, 2020, Diginex increased its stake in an existing investment by $0.3 million.
Total cash outflows from discontinued operations for the year ended March 31, 2019 of $15.6 million. There was no such outflow in 2020.
In the year ended March 31, 2019, DHPC invested $25.5 million in high performing computing equipment. As previously reported Diginex received $10 million cash as part consideration for the DHPC divestment.
Cash flows from financing activities
Total cash inflows from financing activities was $28.0 million in the year ended March 31, 2020, compared to an inflow of $1.9 million for the year ended March 31, 2019. Cash flow relates to both continued and discontinued operations:
Diginex had inflows from financing activities in the year ended March 31, 2020 of $28.0 million compared to an outflow of $26.0 million in the year ended March 31, 2019.
During the year ended March 31, 2020, Diginex raised $30.9 million from the issuance of equity. This compared to $2.4 million raised from equity issuance in the year ended March 31, 2019.
Diginex also advanced additional funds to DHPC during the year ended March 31, 2020 of $2 million of which $0.8 million has been repaid, which compares to a net advance of $13.0 million in the prior year.
During the year ended March 31, 2020, Diginex issued a 12-month loan note paying interest at 15%. The loan note raised $0.7 million and has been repaid post year end.
On February 20, 2019, Diginex signed a term sheet to set up a partnership in the United States which was subject to shareholder approval. Diginex advanced $0.5 million to the United States operation shortly after signing the term sheet during the period ending March 31, 2019. Additionally, a further $0.5 million was advanced in the year ended March 31, 2020. However, Diginex’s shareholders failed to agree to the term sheet and a definitive shareholder agreement was not signed. This loan has been fully impaired. In addition, during the year ended March 31, 2019 Diginex advanced $0.2 million to Rise Tech Ventures which was fully impaired in the same year.
In October 2018, Diginex agreed to buy back Diginex equity held by an employee. The employee held 55,727 shares of common stock. The consideration paid was a combination $3.1 million in cash and Madison (defined below) common stock. The combined costs of the share buyback were $6.6 million, and the buyback was paid out of the accumulated profits of the Company.
Additional information relating to the movement in the shareholder loan is described under “Indebtedness.”
In October 2018, Diginex paid an interim dividend of $20 million to shareholders.
Cash inflow of $27.9 million in the year ended March 31, 2019 related to cash received by DHPC via the issuance of debt prior to the sale and deconsolidation of 51% of the business. There was no such inflow in the year ended March 31, 2020.
As of March 31, 2020, Diginex had drawn $10.6 million of the $20 million Credit Facility. The Credit Facility charges interest at 12.5%. During the year ended March 31, 2020, Diginex was charged $1.3 million of interest expense of which $0.1 million was outstanding at year end. As at March 31, 2019, Diginex had drawn down $10.1 million of the Credit Facility and incurred interest expense of $0.3 million which was outstanding at year end. The Credit Facility was cancelled upon completion of the share swap with 8i.
During the year ended March 31, 2019, Diginex also entered into loans from shareholders other than Pelham Limited. These loans were repaid in full, and Diginex incurred a combined interest expense of $0.2 million. There were no such loans during the year ended March 31, 2020.
Diginex Capital Limited, a subsidiary registered in the United Kingdom and operating as an authorized representative of Starmark (defined below), issued a loan note with a value date of September 6, 2019. Starmark (defined below) is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the financial services regulatory body in the United Kingdom. The loan note was available to employees of Diginex and shareholders only due to regulatory constraints. The loan note was structured in $5,000 units and pays interest of 15% per annum and interest payments were made on a quarterly basis. As of March 31, 2020, Diginex Capital raised $0.7 million and accrued $0.1 million of interest payable. The proceeds of the loan note were advanced via an intercompany loan to Diginex Markets, a Hong Kong subsidiary. Diginex Markets used the loan advanced as capital to trade Digital Assets on a proprietary basis. The loan notes were fully redeemed on June 1, 2020.
Other payables increased to $9.7 million at March 31, 2020 from $1.8 million at March 31, 2019 which reflects liabilities incurred during the development of Diginex’s various business lines.
Details of short and long term lease commitments are detailed in the above section.
The table below illustrates the indebtedness as at March 31, 2020 and 2019:
|For the year ended March 31,|
|in USD millions||2020||2019|
|Amounts due to directors||0.4||0.4|
|Short term lease obligation||2.1||1.9|
|Long term lease obligation||1.0||3.1|
Research and Developments, Patents and Licenses, Etc.
Diginex has filed more than fifteen trademark applications for EQUOS, and Digivault in various jurisdictions. As of September 2020: (i) the EQUOS mark has been accepted and published in the UK; and (ii) the Digivault mark has been registered in the US, the EU, Hong Kong and China, and approved in Japan.
Diginex was granted two computer software certificates of copyright from the United States Copyright Office in April 2019.
Diginex is working with intellectual property counsel to determine how best to protect the works and inventions of its software engineers in creating the applications that will enable Diginex to run its business lines.
As part of the Solutions Business sale Diginex also sold all of the “Diginex” word and logo trademark rights.
Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements
During the year ended March 31, 2020, Diginex purchased software for consideration of $10.0 million of which $5.5 million has been capitalized with a balance of $4.5 million remaining. $3 million will be paid and capitalized on the completion of pre agreed future milestone and the delivery of new products that will be built on the acquired software The remaining $1.5 million will be payable based on achieving future volumes targets executed on EQUOS, the Diginex exchange. The volume metrics need to be achieved by February 2021 and February 2022.
The table below illustrates a summary of Diginex’s contractual obligations and commitments as at March 31, 2020:
|Payments due by period|
|Total||less than 1 year||1-3 years||3-5 years||more than 5 years|
|Short-term Debt Obligations||11.4||11.4||0.0||0.0||0.0|
|Operating Lease Obligations||3.1||2.1||0.7||0.2||0.1|
FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS FOR THE SIX MONTHS ENDED SEPTEMBER 30, 2020
The following discussion and analysis of Diginex’s financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with the interim condensed consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto contained elsewhere in this prospectus. This discussion contains forward-looking statements reflecting Diginex’s current expectations, estimates and assumptions concerning events and financial trends that may affect its future operating results or financial position. Actual results and the timing of events may differ materially from those contained in these forward-looking statements due to a number of factors.
Diginex is a digital asset financial services and advisory company focused on delivering innovative products, architecture, and infrastructure to foster the mainstream adoption of the digital asset class. The Company encompasses a cryptocurrency exchange, EQUOS.io, an over the counter (OTC) trading operation, a front-to-back integrated trading platform, a capital markets business, a hot and cold custody platform and an asset management business, Bletchley Park Asset Management.
On September 30, 2020, Diginex Limited completed a share swap with 8i Enterprises Acquisition Corp and Diginex Hong Kong (“Transaction”) which resulted in Diginex being listed on Nasdaq. The Transaction resulted in non-cash expenses of $76.1 million relating to both the fair value of the share swap and the incremental earnout shares to be issued if certain share price milestones are achieved.
Among Diginex’s business lines is its core offering, a digital asset exchange, EQUOS, which launched in July 2020. Since the launch, there has been a focus on client acquisition and growing trading volumes on the exchange. An ongoing strategy used to attract both clients and volume has been to offer promotional discounts and free trading to those early clients, including professional trading firms, which in part explains the minimal revenue earned during the six-month period to September 30, 2020.
Since the listing Diginex has also enhanced its product suite by announcing the launch of a perpetual futures market on EQUOS, the pending launch of borrowing and lending functionality and a strengthening of the balance sheet via a capital raise of $38.6 million in January 2021.
Results of Operations
|For the six months ended September 30,|
|in USD millions||2020||2019|
|General and administrative expenses||(36.0||)||(13.8||)|
|Other expenses and losses||(76.0||)||(0.2||)|
|Impairment losses on financial assets||0.0||(10.1||)|
|Loss before tax||(112.9||)||(24.8||)|
|Loss from continuing operations||(112.9||)||(24.8||)|
|Profit (loss) from discontinued operations||4.9||(0.3||)|
|Loss for the year/period||(108.0||)||(25.1||)|
|Loss attributable to:|
|Owners of the company||(107.8||)||(24.9||)|
Revenue from continuing operations for the six month period ended September 30, 2020 decreased by $0.2 million to $0.0 million when compared to the six months ended September 30, 2019. The revenue in the prior period was derived from Capital Markets mandates and Asset Management fees. During the six month period ended September 30, 2020, the Group launched EQUOS, the digital asset exchange, which has attracted customers and trading volumes but not material revenues due to promotional offerings in place during the initial launch of the platform. In the six month period ended September 30, 2020, Diginex liquidated the funds under Bletchley Park Asset Management Jersey to focus on the Bletchley Park multi-strategy fund operating out of Hong Kong, and now Switzerland. This fund did not charge fees to seed investors during the six months ended September 30, 2020.
General and Administrative Expenses from Continuing Operations
For the six months ended
|in USD millions||2020||2019|
|Legal and professional fees||1.3||2.1|
|Depreciation of right-of-use assets||1.0||1.0|
|Depreciation of plant, property and equipment||0.4||0.4|
|Amortization of intangible assets||0.5||0.0|
|Expensed software development||0.3||0.0|
|Operating lease expense||0.1||0.1|
General and administrative expenses increased by $22.2 million to $36.0 million for the six months ended September 30, 2020 when compared to the six months ended September 30, 2019. This increase was primarily driven by the increase in employee-related costs.
Employee related expenses increased by $20.7 million to $29.2 million for the six months ended September 30, 2020 when compared to the six months ended September 30, 2019. The increase was primarily driven by a fair value adjustment to the employee share option plan following a modification event detailed in the combined and consolidated financial statements for the year ended March 31, 2020 and a modification and replacement of the plan upon the completion of the Transaction. These events resulted in a charge for the six months ended September 30, 2020 of $21.5 million which included a one-off accelerated true up for shortened vesting periods for some employees of $1.3 million following the replacement of the original plan. This compares to $1.1 million expense related to the employee share option plan for the six months ended September 30, 2019.
As at September 30, 2020 the headcount was 120 compared to 101 as at September 30, 2019.
Technology costs increased by $1.7 million to $2.1 million for the six months ended September 30, 2020 when compared to the six months ended September 30, 2019. This increase in cost was partly driven by an increase in cloud-based hosting services related to the build out and production environments for EQUOS.
Legal and Professional Fees
Diginex incurred legal and professional fees of $1.3 million for the six months ended September 30, 2020, a decrease of $0.8 million from the six months ended September 30, 2019. During the period ended September 30, 2019, the costs incurred were driven by legal fees in relation to the Transaction. During the period ended September 30, 2020, a discount was received on previously issued invoices from a legal advisor to the Transaction which resulted in reduced legal fees during the period. Also, during the period ended September 30, 2020, Diginex continued to seek regulatory advice across all business lines whilst also continuing to engage with third party providers of compliance-related software for activities such as KYC and AML monitoring. Upon the launch of EQUOS, Diginex also engaged with strategic partners for advice and support on the platform.
Depreciation of Right-of-Use Assets
Capitalized leases under IFRS 16 are categorized as right-of-use assets and relate to the office leases in Hong Kong, Singapore and Vietnam for the six months ended September 30, 2020. The prior period also included offices in Tokyo, London, Jersey and Berlin but such offices have either been closed following restructuring, had their leases not renewed due to COVID-19 restrictions or are now treated as short term leases and do not meet the criteria to be accounted for under IFRS 16.
Depreciation of Property, Plant and Equipment
Depreciation of property, plant and equipment remained flat at $0.4 million.
Amortization of Intangible Assets
Amortization of intangible assets commenced in the six months ended September 30, 2020. Diginex has capitalized $15.0 million of intangible assets in relation to the build of the digital asset exchange, EQUOS started to amortize the intangible assets over a 5 year period following the launch of the exchange at the end of July 2020.
Auditor’s remuneration increased by $0.4 million to $0.5 million for the six months ended September 30, 2020 when compared to the six months ended September 30, 2019. The incremental cost related primarily to the audits undertaken to complete the Transaction and increased audit scope in preparation of being a listed company.
Expensed Software Development
Expensed software development costs amounted to $0.3 million for the six months ended September 30, 2020. There were no costs categorized as expensed software development for the six months ended September 30, 2019. These costs are associated with the build and design of EQUOS which do not meet the criteria to be capitalized.
Operating Lease Expenses
Operating lease expenses related to short-term leases remained flat at $0.1 million. Although some offices have been closed, temporary short-term operating leases in Singapore and Vietnam were undertaken until long-term leases were entered into on August 15, 2020 and September 1, 2020, respectively. Long-term leases have been capitalized in accordance with IFRS 16.
Other expenses for the six months ended September 30, 2020 decreased by $0.6 million from $1.2 million when compared to the six months ended September 30, 2019. Other costs include expenses such as marketing and travel and entertainment. During the six months ended September 30, 2020 there was a reduction in travel and entertainment due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Other Expenses and Losses
Other expenses and losses for the six months ended September 30, 2020 of $76.0 million consisted of two material components. Expenses related to the Transaction and expenses related to the earn-out share award. The Transaction expense amounting to $44.0 million was derived from the value of the shares and warrants issued by Diginex Limited to former shareholders of 8i Enterprises and services providers to the Transaction less the 8i Enterprises’ net assets acquired. The Transaction expense, under the guidance of IFRS 2, reflects the fair value cost to acquire 8i Enterprises. Also included is a $32.1 million expense representing the fair value of potential earn-out shares to be issued, derived under the guidance of IFRS 2. Under the terms of the Transaction, up to 12,000,000 shares will be issued via an earn-out provision should certain share price milestones be met over a 4-year period from September 30, 2020. Upon reaching the earn-out milestones, a service provider to the Transaction is also entitled to receive the equivalent of 1% of the earn-out shares issued.
For the six months ended September 30, 2019, a loss of $0.2 million was incurred on the sale of the remaining stock of Madison Holdings Group Limited (“Madison”). Diginex received Madison shares as partial consideration from a previous partial sale of a subsidiary to Madison.
Impairment Losses on Financial Assets
There were no impairment losses for the six months ended September 30, 2020. As at September 30, 2019, the impairment loss on financial assets resulted from the impairment of loan receivables amounting to $10.1 million which consisted of: (1) On February 20, 2019, the Group signed a non-binding term sheet with a third party to establish a new subsidiary in the United States. In connection with the term sheet Diginex Hong Kong advanced monies for working capital purposes prior to a definitive agreement being signed. During the six months ended September 30, 2019, the Group impaired $0.5 million of the advance, and (2) impairment totaling $9.6 million on a loan receivable from a third party ($3.9 million), and from an associate, DHPC ($5.7 million).
Diginex incurred finance costs for each of the six months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019, of $0.9 million.
In May 2020, Diginex issued a convertible bond with a mandatory conversion if the company listed. Interest associated with the convertible bond amount to $0.5 million. On September 21, 2020, the convertible bond and associated interest to date was converted into equity. In addition, the shareholder loan charged interest of $0.3 million before the underlying credit facility was terminated on September 30, 2020, which compared to $0.7 million for the six months ended September 30, 2019.
Interest was also booked to the interim condensed consolidated statement of profit or loss following the adoption of IFRS 16. The finance charge as a result of this adoption amounted to $0.1 million and $0.3 million for the six month periods ended September 30, 2020 and 2019, respectively.
Due to losses reported in the six months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019, there is no income tax charge for the Group.
Profit (Loss) from Discontinued Operations
Discontinued operations relate to the sale of the Solutions Business to Rhino Ventures Limited in May 2020. The results for the six months ended September 30, 2019 have been adjusted to reflect this sale.
|For the six months ended September 30,|
|in USD millions||2020||2019|
|Gain on sale||5.0||0.0|
|General & administrative expenses||0.1||(0.6||)|
|Profit (loss) from discontinued operations||4.9||(0.3||)|
Diginex sold the Solutions Business in May 2020 to Rhino Ventures Limited, a company controlled by Miles Pelham, the founder of Diginex. The consideration for the sale was $6.0 million which was netted against the shareholder loan outstanding to Pelham Limited, an entity also controlled by Miles Pelham. In addition, Diginex agreed to fund the business for six months post the sale, which was renegotiated at a 25% discount to projected costs.
Since incorporation, Diginex has not been materially impacted by changes in inflation with the inflation rate in Hong Kong and Singapore ranging between 0.5-3%.
Impact of Foreign Currency Fluctuations on Results
Currently, Diginex’s main operating currencies are the US Dollar and Hong Kong Dollar. As the Hong Kong Dollar is pegged to the US Dollar, Diginex is not overly exposed to foreign currency fluctuations.
Critical Accounting Policies, Judgments and Estimates
An accounting policy is considered critical if it requires an accounting estimate to be made based on assumptions about matters that are highly uncertain at the time such estimate is made, and if different accounting estimates that reasonably could have been used, or changes in the accounting estimates that are reasonably likely to occur periodically, could materially impact the consolidated financial statements.
Diginex prepares its interim condensed consolidated financial statements in conformity with IFRS, which requires it to make judgments, estimates and assumptions. Diginex continually evaluates these estimates and assumptions based on the most recently available information, its own historical experiences and various other assumptions that Diginex believes to be reasonable under the circumstances. Since the use of estimates is an integral component of the financial reporting process, actual results could differ from Diginex’s expectations as a result of changes in its estimates. Some of Diginex’s accounting policies require a higher degree of judgment than others in their application and require it to make significant accounting estimates.
The following descriptions of critical accounting policies, judgments and estimates should be read in conjunction with Diginex’s interim condensed consolidated financial statements and the notes related thereto, and other disclosures included in this document. When reviewing Diginex’s interim condensed consolidated financial statements, you should consider (i) Diginex’s selection of critical accounting policies, (ii) the judgments and other uncertainties affecting the application of such policies and (iii) the sensitivity of reported results to changes in conditions and assumptions.
The significant accounting policies, judgments and estimates are the same as those applied to the audited combined and consolidated financial statements as at and for the year ended March 31, 2020 with the exception of these additional new areas:
Significant accounting estimates and judgments
Deemed reverse acquisition
On September 30, 2020, the Company completed the Transaction. Management has made the following judgments which have the most significant effect on the amounts recognized in the interim condensed consolidated financial statements:
The Company entered into the Transaction with 8i Enterprises and Diginex Hong Kong that resulted in the issuance of shares and warrants to the shareholders of 8i Enterprises, Diginex Hong Kong and service providers to the Transaction. Following the issuance, the Company became the ultimate parent holding company of 8i Enterprises and Diginex Hong Kong (together with its subsidiaries) and listed on Nasdaq.
Under IFRS 3, neither 8i Enterprises nor the Company met the definition of a business and therefore the Transaction is not defined as a business combination. Although Diginex Hong Kong is considered a business under IFRS 3, a business combination requires the combination of businesses and hence requires more than one business in the transaction to fall within the scope of the standard. In accordance with IAS 8 paragraph 10, in the absence of an IFRS that specifically applies to such a transaction, management should apply judgment in developing and applying an accounting policy that results in interim condensed consolidated financial statements that are presented in a way that reflects the economic substance of the transaction.
Management has concluded that the Transaction would be more accurately represented as a deemed reverse acquisition of 8i Enterprises and the Company by Diginex Hong Kong, together with a recapitalization of the Group’s share capital. The outcome of such judgment being that the results of Diginex Hong Kong, subject to an adjustment to equity to reflect the issuance of shares by the Company on completion of the Transaction, have been consolidated on the basis that Diginex Hong Kong is the accounting acquirer and hence the historical results of Diginex Hong Kong continue to be consolidated on an on-going basis. The excess between the fair value of the shares and equity instruments issued and the net assets acquired is treated as an expense under IFRS 2. Details of the accounting policy applied is summarized in note 2.4 of the interim condensed and consolidated financial statements as at September 30, 2020.
Share-based payments – replacement of employee share options plan
The Group replaced the employee share options plan issued by Diginex Hong Kong with the establishment of a plan with modified terms issued by the Company upon completion of the Transaction. Under IFRS 2, the Group considered this as a replacement and modification of the Diginex Hong Kong plan, see note 22 of the interim condensed consolidated financial statements as at September 30, 2020.
Share-based payments – earn-out awards
The Transaction agreement between the Company, 8i Enterprises and Diginex Hong Kong has an earn-out provision where former Diginex Hong Kong shareholders will receive up to 12,000,000 additional shares in the Company if share price related milestones are achieved over a period of time post Transaction. Upon reaching the earn-out milestones, a service provider to the Transaction is also entitled to receive the equivalent of 1% of the earn-out shares issued. Earn-out awards are accounted for under IFRS 2 as equity-settled awards with non-vesting conditions.
The fair value of the earn-out awards is based on a Monte Carlo simulation analysis utilizing a Geometric Brownian Motion taking assumptions on share price volatility, risk-free rate and other market data to predict distribution of relative share performance.
The share price volatility assumption used in the model (as detailed below) is based on publicly listed traditional financial exchanges (i.e. non-crypto) and other related companies, and a 6-months BTC option volatility. The 6-months BTC option volatility being included to reflect the exposure to digital assets which would not be a feature of the traditional exchanges and other related companies selected as a comparable within the model.
The earn-out award share price related targets are as below:
Share price target
Number of shares to be
|1st anniversary of the Closing date||15.00||3,000,000|
|2nd anniversary of the Closing date||20.00||3,000,000|
|3rd anniversary of the Closing date||25.00||3,000,000|
|4th anniversary of the Closing date||30.00||3,000,000|
Earn-out awards are accounted for under IFRS 2. The earn-out awards are settled in a fixed number of shares with conditions based on future market prices, but do not require the former Diginex Hong Kong shareholders nor the service provider to provide on-going service to the Group until such milestone dates.
The awards are considered as equity-settled share-based payments with non-vesting conditions since there is no explicit nor implicit service requirements despite that the share price targets are set beyond September 30, 2020.
The fair value of the earn-out awards has been valued on a probability basis using a Monte Carlo simulation model with the below inputs:
|1.||Risk-free rates of 0.12%, 0.13%, 0.16% and 0.22% respectively for the 1st to the 4th anniversary of the Closing date based on daily US treasury yield curve rates on September 30, 2020.|
|2.||No dividend will be paid during the four-year period from September 30, 2020|
|3.||Reference price of $8.50 based on the closing date quoted trade price on September 30, 2020|
|4.||20,000 simulation runs per milestone|
|5.||Share price volatility of 50%, based on judgment below.|
Volatility parameter of 50% is used on the basis that on September 30, 2020:
|a)||Volatility from a sample of 52 related companies including traditional stock exchanges had an average of 37% over a three month to five year period.|
|b)||Unlike traditional exchanges, Diginex is exposed to movements in digital asset values and the most prominent digital asset being BTC. The longest dating BTC option of six months had a volatility 63%|
|c)||Diginex used volatility of 50% in the Monte Carlo simulation based on the average of the above two points.|
The outcome of the Monte Carlo simulations derived the probabilities and fair values per award (based on probability of achieving the share price target) per milestone date, totaling a fair value of $32.1 million, inclusive of the service provider’s 1% entitled shares upon reaching the earn-out milestones.
Related party transaction – sale of Solutions Business
The IFRS conceptual framework of accounting defines income as increases in assets or decreases in liabilities that result in increases in equity, other than those relating to contributions from equity holders. When a transaction is entered into with a related party, judgment is required in determining whether the accounting gain represents income or a capital contribution. The accounting treatment is determined by considering if the related party was acting in his/her capacity as a related party or a normal counterparty for the particular transaction.
During the 6 months ended September 30, 2020, the Group sold the Solutions Business to Rhino Ventures Limited, an entity controlled by Miles Pelham, the founder of Diginex Hong Kong. The transaction resulting in income recorded in the interim condensed consolidated statement of profit or loss on the basis that Rhino Ventures Limited was acting as a normal counterparty and purchased the Solutions Business at fair market value, as determined by the following:
|1)||The Solutions Business was offered to other parties to acquire, not only to Rhino Ventures Limited. A less favorable tentative offer was received from a third party to that offered by Rhino Ventures.|
|2)||Management believes the consideration paid is fair and reasonable. In making that judgment, management considered that certain inputs of the internally created valuation model were reviewed by an independent third party.|
|3)||Shareholders voted to approve the sale of the Solutions Business to Rhino Ventures Limited.|
Management believes that these attributes support that Rhino Ventures Limited purchased the Solutions Business at fair market value, therefore the gain on sal