Blockchain Social Marketplace SOMA Gets Finnish Government Financing

A Finnish government agency has stepped in to support financially blockchain-powered social trading platform SOMA.

Finnish blockchain-based social trading service SOMA said on Wednesday it had secured 50,000 euro in an initial capital injection from Business Finland, a public funding agency within the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. As per the funding agreement, SOMA is potentially eligible for a second infusion of up to 1 million euro and up to 20 million euro in a third round.

Within the first funding round, which lasts for two months, Helsinki-based SOMA will use the money to develop its social marketplace and to onboard retail and manufacturing partners for its pilot program. The latter is due to start in the first quarter of 2019.

Provided that the startup attains certain benchmarks, it could get additional financing of 500,000  euro to 1 million euro in round two and 3 million euro to 20 million euro in round three.

“Business Finland has examined SOMA’s business model and has seen potential. This is an amazing milestone as it is, to the best of my knowledge, the first time a world government has given resources to a private-sector blockchain company,” SOMA co-founder CEO Jukka Hilmola told news outlet Bitsonline.

However, the start-up noted in a Medium post: “If we’re not the first, we’re one of the first.”

Regardless of whether SOMA is a true pioneer in getting a grant from a government entity, its potential success is expected to have a positive effect on Finland as the country will strengthen its position in the emerging technologies sector, Hilmola claimed before Bitsonline.

Currently in preview on Android’s app store, the SOMA platform enables peer-to-peer trading and social interactions, thus combining marketplace and social media features. An integrated AI-based logistics solution takes care of transporting the goods.

SOMA incentivizes trading on the platform with SOMA Community Tokens (SCT).