Startup Introduces Blockchain-Based Property Transaction Platform
A Philadelphia-based startup company aims to bring the decentralized, secure benefits of blockchain to the property market.
Kognition announced the upcoming launch of its new platform Tuesday at the Dreamit x Bisnow Innovation Summit in Tampa, and it has high aspirations for the opportunities it presents.
“We believe this is a new way of doing business,” Kognition CEO Matias Klein said at the event. “This is a tidal wave. It’s coming, and it’s going to be huge.”
The platform centers around smart property, which Klein defines as any property whose ownership is controlled through blockchain on a decentralized ledger using smart contracts. It can be physical property like land and buildings, he said, but it can also be nonphysical property like shares in a company.
One benefit of controlling property ownership in this way, Klein said, is the security offered by the blockchain, allowing ownership data to live on an unalterable ledger with no central authority. It also creates "interoperability," so the property can seamlessly integrate with other systems.
Kognition’s platform, Koin, is a blockchain system that allows users to create, control and exchange smart property. Users can buy Koin tokens that can be exchanged for smart property, software, hardware and services. With an open governance system, the platform will be controlled by its users with each token offering one vote. Kognition is also releasing its open-sourced product for free so software developers can embed it into other products.
The Koin platform can facilitate multiple types of commercial real estate transactions, Klein said. It can make it easier to fractionalize property ownership among multiple parties. It can also facilitate digital title transfers and create unalterable mortgage documents.
The company is beginning the private presale of tokens this quarter, and it will open to the public in April. Klein said the opportunity is so large because there is over $230 trillion in property around the world that could become smart property.
“Property is transforming from analog to digital,” Klein said. “It’s moving from physical to virtual. We believe that autonomous smart property is the future. We think it’s going to transform industries across the board.”
Before co-founding Kognition in July 2017, Klein was vice president of product management at McKesson, a $200B medical supplies company. Prior to that, he was senior vice president of technology at Portico Systems, which McKesson acquired in 2011 for $90M.
Kognition’s other co-founder is Eric Smith, who was previously chief financial officer at Coldsight Solutions, an artificial intelligence startup that was acquired by PTC for $105M. Kognition also has a chief technology officer and chief marketing officer with backgrounds in the startup world, and a nine-member advisory board composed of technology executives.