The Keza app, an IOS app which allowed users to invest in bitcoin stocks and fixed incomes, has closed down shortly after launching, according to its website. The project had received $357,000 in funding backed by Digital Currency Group and Jason Calacanis of HOF Capital.
The closing marks a setback for bitcoin investing in stocks since the app offered a way to use bitcoin to invest in the stock market. Keza also promised an application for the growing remittance market since it offered a tool for cross-border payments and remittances.
A notice on the Keza website states: “The Keza project is no longer moving forward, we appreciate the feedback we have received from the beta users.”
While the website does not offer any more information about the concept, an archived version of the original website exists: https://web.archive.org/web/20160323054535/https://getkeza.com/
Bitcoin Uncensored interviewed Keza co-founder Simon Burns on March 31.
Why Did The Project Fail?
Reddit posts offer various theories as to why the project ended at such an early stage. Many of the posts lamented the loss of what they considered a promising concept.
One Reddit poster suggested the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission played a role. The poster faulted the company for not reading the SEC rules carefully.
Another Reddit poster was more sympathetic to Keza and said it is more likely the beta test feedback did not generate enough interest in Keza.
Founders Saw A Need
Burns and Stefan Britton, company founders, came up with the idea after looking for options to invest bitcoin, CCN reported earlier this month. The pair decided to launch the app after beta tests and conversations with mobile phone users in emerging markets indicated a lack of access to modern financial services and investment options. The app was available for users outside the U.S. only.
Burns expected most users to be from emerging markets. Investors in emerging markets lack access to high caliber investments and have moved into bitcoin to use banking services like cross-border payments and remittance services.
Keza planned to provide moderate, conservative and aggressive portfolios. The riskier the portfolio, the greater the exposure to volatile assets like foreign stocks. Once a user picked a portfolio, they would be able to deposit bitcoin and track investments over time.
The company noted the portfolios were to be invested across global markets and different assets to ensure long-term returns across all market conditions.
There were no deposit minimums. The app was designed to allow investment in emerging markets that are currently restricted to investors who can reach a $1 million minimum.
The Keza investments were to be made in bitcoin-denominated indices.
Featured image from Shutterstock.