Sirin Labs Co-Founder Moshe Hogeg Buys Israeli Real Estate—in Bitcoin

Mr. Hogeg, whose company raised $157.8 million in a December ICO, paid 15% of the $19 million deal with bitcoin

Meir Orbach 13:4120.06.18
Moshe Hogeg, the Israeli entrepreneur behind blockchain-based phone company Sirin Labs, has bought $19 million worth of real estate in Israel—and paid part of that sum in bitcoin, according to his legal representation.


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Mr. Hogeg paid $19 million for around 1.2 acres (5 dunams) in Kfar Shmaryahu, an affluent area on the outskirts of Tel Aviv. Mr. Hogeg's legal representation, Israel-based law firm Herzog Fox & Neeman, confirmed the deal. The seller, Israeli businessman and investor Ilan Ben Dov, was represented by Caspi & Co., who told Calcalist that 15% of the sum was paid in bitcoin.


Moshe Hogeg. Photo: PR Moshe Hogeg. Photo: PR



Mr. Hogeg, who previously founded messaging app Yo! and photo-sharing website Mobli, founded Sirin Labs in 2013 in partnership with Kazakhstan-born businessman Kenges Rakishev. In 2016, the company launched what it called the world's most secure phone, pricing it at $14,000. In March 2017 the company let go a third of its employees, and Mr. Hogeg told Calcalist that sales reached less than $10 million at the time.


Sirin Labs announced a pivot to blockchain in September, and opened its initial coin offering in October, announcing it will use the proceeds from its token sale to develop and produce FINNEY, a new blockchain technology-based phone. The company raised $157.8 million in its December ICO.


In March, Bloomberg reported that Sirin Labs was holding talks with Huawei Technologies Ltd., the China-based mobile phone maker, about the option of developing a device that supports blockchain-based applications.
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