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February deadline for Bermuda SailGP team to raise $35 million

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Clock ticking: the 1,900 equity investors required to raise around $35 million have just two months to make their commitment if the new fan-owned SailGP team is to make the start line of Season 4 in June (Photograph by Simon Bruty for SailGP)

The clock is ticking on whether the ambitious plan to launch a fan-owned SailGP Bermuda team will become a reality.

If the team is to make the start line for season four in June, the 1,900 ‘supporters’ or equity investors required to raise around $35 million have just two months to make their commitment.

That huge initial outlay is needed to cover the first two years of operating expenses and meet the requirements of the SailGP League Participation agreement to activate the licence for a team.

Clock ticking: the 1,900 equity investors required to raise around $35 million have just two months to make their commitment if the new fan-owned SailGP team is to make the start line of Season 4 in June(Photograph by Akil Simmons)

In an attempt to raise the funds, team founders Bernoulli Locke, an investment and experiences company headed up by David Palmer and Jerry Stone, are offering 1,900 accredited investors the opportunity to form a Decentralised Autonomous Organisation (DAO) with individuals able to acquire from one to 40 equity tokens priced at $5,000 each.

The plan also includes a proposal for further fundraising through a “FanPass NFT Holder” scheme which will offer thousands of non-owner fans the opportunity to purchase non-fungible tokens – a unique digital identifier that cannot be copied – with prices ranging from $100 to $500.

“Is our solution final and perfect? We would love to think so,” said Bernoulli Locke within a white paper sent out to possible investors. “However, the next step in this journey is to bring in outside opinion and most importantly the community of interested and potential investors/DAO members. We are doing this for all of us and require the community to be involved as an active participant in this process.

“We believe this DAO, through its community of members, can be a powerful catalyst for the SailGP league’s continued growth and success, stimulate deeper penetration across global audiences, support the SAILGP team and the league in ways that a traditional single owner could not do.

“As a DAO, the community of token holders has governance and decision-making benefits regarding efforts to be competitive, commercially successful, and a global leader and innovator in fan experience. Every DAO member will be a part of the adrenalin, exhilaration, excitement, and competition of this new race series at the very pinnacle of global racing.”

While it sounds an exciting opportunity to be fully immersed in the decision making of the newly formed team, the reality does not quite match the sales pitch.

Those select 1,900 individuals and institutions or “owners” who will have voting power in the main DAO and can make proposals must meet financial and other applicable requirements, such as having an income exceeding $200,000, joint with a spouse of $300,000 or a net worth exceeding $1million.

However, smaller committees including marketing, technology and security decide on which proposals go to a full vote and, if passed, they will be executed by the appropriate owner of this decision, which is typically the management team.

Voting power in the DAO is also tied to equity with some considerations to balance voting.

The FanPass NFT Holders will have votes delegated to the NFT Sub-DAO. They can make proposals and all NFT holders may vote to pass or reject proposals. Passed proposals will go to main-DAO for a full vote and final decision.

Bernoulli Locke, who will receive founders tokens, are set to run the day-to-day operations and manage the money, with the DAO to vote to empower a sporting director to hire the sailors.

With the aggressive deadline looming, the process for equity token holders has already begun with the sale of FanPass NFTs set to begin in early January. Equity token investment will close at the end of February or when the total raised reaches $35million in order to compete in season 4.

Assuming the ambitious target is met, team selection will be completed by the end of February, with training and initial team operations in Bermuda beginning in March ahead of the season 4 opener in the United States three months later.

Despite the optimism, Bernoulli Locke have conceded that plans have already been put in place should the funding deadline not be met.

“Should the requested funds not be raised within this timeline, the DAO may choose to continue to raise funds to launch in Season 5,” the white paper added. “Once this decision is made, if requested within 30 days, individuals who have committed to purchase tokens can withdraw their commitment.”

It remains to be seen whether the ambitious aspirations of a new fan-owned team will come to fruition.

• Bernoulli Locke did not respond to numerous requests for comment from The Royal Gazette.

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Published December 17, 2022 at 9:18 pm (Updated December 17, 2022 at 9:18 pm)

February deadline for Bermuda SailGP team to raise $35 million

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