Sheesha Finance
18 min readJun 12, 2023

Welcome you all to the recap of Ask me Anything session with Nathan Cooper and Saeed Al Darmaki.

On June 1, 2023, the CEO of Sheesha Finance joined us to share insights about the Sheesha Finance.

The session was hosted by Nathan Cooper, Chief program and Innovation officer at Sheesha Finance.

Nathan: Hi @cryptoabhi1012 once again great to be here and ready to hear from the man himself who will be answering some of the community’s questions. So thanks @DeFiSheikh for joining us, we will start with the text portion of the AMA but of course feel free to send us some Audio Notes if you wish its always good to hear your voice but lets kick things off!

Its a wide and varied question but could you please highlight the current operation in Sheesha Finance?

The Crypto Sheikh: So pleasure to be here. I’ve been excited to talk to the community and answer all the questions. They have and super excited to be here.

I think it’s been important for us to really be transparent to the community and give them transparency and a view on what we’re doing in the backend and in terms of the business. So the operations of the business mainly revolves around actively supporting our portfolio projects that we’ve invested in either with capital or with human capital or with resources. And we just ensure they achieve their milestones and their roadmap and we work hand-in-hand with the founders and the team to make sure that they get to Market and they build the product or service that’s suitable in the right fit for the market and I think you know, the operations wise is the daily and weekly conversations that we have with the projects and our partners who are supporting the projects. And it’s a very kind of complicated back end, which luckily we have a great team that has great experience in actively supporting very early stage web 3 startups and that’s what we have been doing. And that’s what we continue to do. And I believe it’s going to be very important for us to keep the community updated on. Is more Milestones that we achieve hand and hand with the projects and that’s something we’ll be looking to address and hopefully have a weekly update to the community with with all of these things.

Nathan: What is the current business focus of sheesha now

The Crypto Sheikh: To in terms of the focus from the start of this year for the business what we did at the end of 2022. We did a complete restructuring of the business. And because I believe that previously we were focused on too many services and activities in-house. And it proved to be not as much value to the business as we thought it would be. So instead of offering nine different verticals or services to the business now, we are very much focused on three different areas.

  1. Investing in early stage portfolio projects
  2. Incubating or accelerating or advising portfolio projects.
  3. Supporting these existing portfolio projects that we have

Also, focusing more on the recruitment side of things and the legal structuring in the bank account opening services for our portfolio projects and actually any clients and The Wider Market that want to move to the UAE because we have the right connections and network and to be able to do that and we’re very well positioned to do that.

So now the short term Focus has been just to readjust the kind of strategy and the processes that we’re doing and to really focus more on the short term not just the long term because the long term we know as a business and as a portfolio, we have a very solid and diverse portfolio that will perform in the long term but in the short term, we felt that we needed to be doing more and actively supporting more and generating more revenues as a business so that we can become a resilient business that functioning out performing and returning and good good returns, not just in a bear Market, but also in a bull market for sure but also in the bear Market

Nathan: It was actually really really comprehensive answer and I probably like to add to that as well. So many businesses that start especially startups, they have wild dreams and imaginations and divisions and the strategy can often go a bit beyond what it was supposed to go. I think with Sheesha we as a business had many aspirations. We began as a decentralized VC kind of turned into leverage that expertise as incubators accelerators and strategic advisers. And then we saw there was many different gaps in knowledge and practices in these startups. So we thought we could then service everything but you know there is a limit to things and I think bringing things back to the core of the business which made us successful in the first place is definitely something that we’ve pulled back on. Now we want to seriously focus on what side said in terms of those three core services that really do form part of what we call or what the industry calls Adventure studio. So it’s very interesting that we’re coming back. We’re learning from our experiences which is part and parcel. Of any startup we kind of test the market see what works see what doesn’t and then we come back and we learn from those experiences so that we have a very strong business model and strong core Focus.

Society I’m glad you went over quite a lot of detail and you’ve probably skipped a few questions of mine and answer them already. But I think the next question that we want to focus on now is can you share any updates on the token merge, and and the possible possibly the chain that we’re playing to merge on some people have speculated it will be polygonomatic amongst other smaller possible chains. Obviously, we’re we’re waiting to to release some information to the community some exciting information. But what can you tell us more about where we are in terms of the token merge?

Could you please share an update on the token merge and the chain on which we are planning to merge? Is it going to be Matic?

The Crypto Sheikh: Thanks. Thanks for adding into that Nathan on the business as an overall on the token merge. I think we have a lot of things lined up on the existing tokens and such as bigger exchange listings and more kind of targeted marketing and a lot of different efforts to kind of improve things on the token side and the short term for the existing tokens nevertheless for the last month or two and the team has been going through extensive weekly conversations around around the merge token because not only do we have to kind of look at the tokenomics of the merge token, but we also have to look at liquidity of the merge token. We have to look at and the chain of the merge token. We’re keeping an option keeping our options open on the network that we will go for and because there’s a lot of really good. Layer 1 and Layer Two blockchains out there that can be leveraged.

I think ultimately what’s more important than which chain it’s going to be is the structure of the token and how it’s going to work and it’s and is it going to be the architecture is the architecture going to be structured in the right way is the order that’s going to be done on the smart contract for the new merge token in the right way, and those are much more important things to consider. but I believe what’s more important than that is to actually really improve and support and the existing tokens that we have on ethereum binance and polygon and we will slowly start to ramp up our efforts on that side and in parallel, we will be planning and structuring and arranging everything so that the merge token when it is launched is done in the right way and without any issues and and things are fundamentally strong and hopefully by then the market should be in a better position which we think for the merge tool can we’ll probably be by the end of this year and maybe three to three to six months from now and that hopeful that we will see a lot of improvements and that area.

Nathan: Just to add on to that. We are actually having regular very regular discussions and round tables with the entire team about the merge token. As I said, there’s obviously a site said sorry, there’s there’s several factors that go into that but more fundamentally what we’re concerned in in right now is the actual the tokenomics as he said and the actual structure and the the actual Tech behind it the tech development. It’s very important that we crucially get these things right from a business perspective and a tech perspective so that we can bring a very good merge token to the community because I know you guys have been asking for so long what’s going with the merge token be just want to be as meticulous as possible and wait for the right time to execute based on specific market conditions. So let’s segue into the next question. So you did allude to the ethereum and the binance portion of the tokens. What say what are our plans for the beaches your nichesha considering, you know the depreciation in the prices of tokens in general and our own token.

What are your plans for $BSHEESHA & $ESHEESHA considering the depreciation in the price of the token?

The Crypto Sheikh: I think the crypto Market in general over the last year or year and a half has been on a decline only in the last kind of few months. Have we seen things kind of slowly start to improve and like like the market in general and many other tokens in the market? We’ve seen the decline in the price and so on but I think what’s really really important not just for biches. I’m Sheesha is that we add more utilities to the token and for example, we’re planning to have and a platform or LaunchPad whereby People who have tokens and who have stake tokens can actually get direct access at a very early stage kind of at the seed stage to our portfolio projects before they go out there and go to investors and give our community the option to be the First Investors in that project and invest directly. Not that we won’t have a kind of exposure to that project from a very early stage anyways, but it gives the optionality for people to use their tokens and different ways.

I know that we’re planning due diligence as a service on our platform and whereby the $Sheesha tokens will be the utility that the token that you would need to access that service and we have a lot of other kind of utilities that are yet to be added and But not only in terms of utility. We also are aware of the decline and we have been slowly accumulating our own tokens and adding it to the treasury because we believe that in the long term the treasury will be much more valuable if we keep accumulating and we will make it a kind of a practice to and even if it’s very small amounts to actually kind of go out on the market and accumulate our tokens and we want to be more transparent with that and we want we want that to be a much more structured approach. So I’m sure in due time we will be able to structure this and formulate it in a way that the community is aware of the process and exactly how we’re doing our BuyBacks and exactly how we’re adding utilities to the tokens. But I think along the same lines will be looking at bigger exchange listings adding more utilities to the token and doing all the things that are necessary and not just focus on one of the chains for our token, but on all three chains and make it much more of an automated and structured process going forward.

Nathan: Thanks Saeed for that. So I think you not only answered that question, but you actually dropped some significant milestones and Bombshells in there for the community. So just to highlight that and you probably answered some questions of of ours later on but in terms of utilities, yes, a lot of people are asking what are the utilities of Sheesha Finance tokens. Well, there are utilities now and utilities that we are working on but fundamentally. Having more utility is not necessarily the best in in my opinion. And from what we’ve seen of multiple projects that we’ve done research on having a few good utilities is the core success of of web 3 businesses and I believe the core utilities that we currently have in terms of staking and then aside mentioned having access to those projects that we believe will be profitable and getting our community small allocations in early stage, whatever they may be precede seed or slightly after is something that’s really really going to be a game changer and massive value to the Sheesha Finance ecosystem. And those that are holding the token. So as we say with big juggling between the short-term and the long-term profitability of our portfolio, but Having those Utilities in place really supercharges the aspirations of what we look to do in the future and obviously gives hope to all of those people who actually hold our tokens in that side. Also alluded to we are doing a comprehensive buyback strategy. So I know we will deliver some of those of that information in a spreadsheet. It will be the end of today. However side. Can you just give us a brief highlight of the effects of the buyback strategy because I know we have been doing by backset strategic moments, but maybe just let’s give a bit more clarity to the community on the effects of that current by batch strategy up till now.

Can you please highlight the effects of the Buyback strategy till now?

The Crypto Sheikh: Sure. So on the BuyBacks strategy apart from the usual accumulation that we’re doing on a regular basis in terms of the effects of buyback because we’ve been accumulating and there’s not much circulating tokens in the market and there’s not really so many people that are looking to sell and most of the most of the folks that we have on the platform are staking and are in it for the long term but it’s been very positive effects from the BuyBacks, especially when we’re buying back a lot of tokens at one time. And I think that the timing of those BuyBacks has always been when we feel that the token is undervalued and and lower price and we look at the technical and indicators and the charts and our Market maker makes recommendations on a good time to buy in a good price to buy that’s when we time the BuyBacks so that it’s the most effective one. The price is lowest, then we get much more value for money and we support the price at the same time

Nathan: Thanks Saeed. So let’s switch gears here slightly. So we have had a few questions from the community around what the roadmap appears and why it’s changed and how it’s changed. So I just want to give everyone here the community kind of very high level summary of of roadmaps in general. Okay. So many of us here have worked for big corporations versus small startups corporations that are slightly have a more rigid system in place where you have a road map which has been planned the previous year and they stick to that following year and so on and so forth things work very differently within startups, especially Tech startups and especially even going further than that web 3 starts up. Okay compare very very differently to what we call Web 2, which is your traditional model. So in web 3, I’ll roadmaps really do. Fluctuate really due to the rapidly evolving technology that we are associated with there’s a number of changing regulations that we all privy to and most importantly it’s the user feedback and the market demands and the competitive landscape that would continually monitoring. And in order to do this. We have to be iterative in our product development. Okay. So what we may have in a roadmap Six months ago may not not necessarily be relevant in six months from now or it may be relevant. But we may like to push this further on so Just to let everyone know being flexible to these changes is really crucial for most startups. We do tend to want to seize the new opportunities and adapt to the regulatory developments and also respond to the the user needs. Okay. So as a Sheesha Community, let’s embrace the fact that you know, we are trying to be as transparent as possible with the road maps. However, things do change and things are flexible. But saying that we do have some significant milestones and and things plan for the roadmap. I’ll let side delve into them and I may add on my two cents afterwards.

What is the updated Roadmap now?

The Crypto Sheikh: Yeah, great always roadmaps and Milestones are always evolving and depends on the market situation depends on the product and how it’s being perceived by the market. You should always be open to kind of tweaking things as you go along. But what I’d like to see is towards the end of this year, I would like for two things to happen. This is at the high level. I would like to really have a physical Hub where we can incubate and bring in portfolio projects, especially for signing on new projects in the future where they want to either set up or relocate to the UAE or the Nina region, and we want to have a base for them to actually all get together and work together in the same place and collaborate with each other and we want to be there present with them on the ground. So I think a physical hub Towards under this year is going to be important, but also I feel that we shouldn’t only be excuse me focusing on. crypto the crypto broader crypto community in general I think I would like to have a super app, which is available on on Play Store and App Store and every day normal people can download the app and get it connected to their bank accounts. and be able to go from Fiat to staking our token to have an exposure to our portfolio without even having to know about crypto on the back and without having to know about how to use wallets and and all of these complicated steps that are pretty easy for the existing native crypto user but for a bit non-crypto user to be very difficult for them to navigate so we want to also be able to you know, offer what we have in terms of our portfolio not just to the crypto Community but also to the broader community and and make it easier for them to get educated on what we’re doing and make it easier for them to get involved and in a much more kind of structure than regulated manner too. So I think we’re going through the getting the license proper license from Vara which is the recently set up virtual assets regulatory Authority in Dubai, and we want to be much more regulated and what we do and we want to reach out to as many as many more people and communities as we can. And I think that will be the theme for the rest of this year.

Nathan: Thanks Saeed. Yep. Those are very very high level notable points on the roadmap, which I’m glad and I’m sure the whole Community was very happy to hear and just to add to that. This does hark back to the original Genesis or Sheesha Finance, which we all know was to democratize and give access back to those who may not have access to a diversified portfolio of funds that are you know, researched and due diligence has done by by the research team now having an incubation Hub is really vital to the success of any traditional incubator what we call in the web to and it’s very vital to web 3 incubators as well. We want to give access to all of our portfolio companies to come to Dubai set up their businesses set up their business accounts and Actually have a physical workspace where they can collaborate together and network with local authorities and local projects and specialists in those specific departments. And we allow them to have access to resources infrastructure facilities and most importantly just Foster an environment of learning and education, which will then only not only help the portfolio of companies that we we have but also in the wider sense in Of educating the community in crypto and making it very very easy for people to use and as say mentioned a superdap is something that we are seriously looking into and have been working on for many many months. If not over a year in the background and it’s something that we do want to release in the near future and it’s something we’re very very excited to bring to the communities and these are things that not other other businesses are not currently doing especially in the region and we feel that we are the Forefront of innovation in in this space. Now, let me just touch on a small a few smaller items which people can look forward to in terms of the roadmap. So we are revamping the website again, so this will be the third time third iteration of revamping the website. There’s going to be a lot more features not only for investors but also for the portfolio companies and for the community, I am not going to go into the detail now, but we are working on on that in the background and although we don’t have a specific date of release. I would like to see this release at least by the end of Q3 this year.

Abhishek: That was a great insight about the project and I feel we have already answered a lot of questions.

It’s time for the community round and we are opening the floor for the community.

Get ready Sheeshans. Every voice matters.



For this project, what do you consider to be the strengths? What are the inevitable drawbacks attached to this project and how would you like to minimize them? In your opinion, what opportunities does #Sheesha Finance have to run this project when compared to other projects?

What do you consider the biggest threat to this project? Thank you sir

The Crypto Sheikh: I’m gonna answer this question from the community and then I’ll hand over to Nathan and the team to kind of answered by text throughout the week the remaining questions that pop up here, but I think I think our strength is mostly in our team and in our experience and in the portfolio that we have in the projects that we are already working with and supporting them actively and giving them a higher chance of success when they launch I think we have a team that has tremendous experience not only in the traditional finance and asset management space, but also in the crypto and blockchain space and we have a great combination and a great and team that has experience in the processes that we need to kind of complete in order to support our projects. I think when we first started off, we had a long-term approach and we were looking at returns from the portfolio over a two to three to four year period because of our vesting period and lockups being a longer period so that also means that we are susceptible to the cycles and crypto and in order to minimize the risk of just relying on the portfolio to keep the business going what we’ve done over the last six months is that we’ve also focused on revenues and those revenues we have from the legal structuring service the bank accounts opening. This the incubation and advisory service for the projects that we add to the portfolio that are well funded and who have raised in the past maybe an earlier rounds and they are able to pay a retainer. Because what we’re doing is we’re putting our team into the team of the founders and working with them hand in hand. And we need to make sure that we’re paying salaries for the team and so on so the cash retainer because we also have a track record and we have a history in the market now, we can charge a retainer because that’s our premium for working with projects and we’ve substantially increased the revenue model that way. And I think what’s going to be important for us to do as well as once this Market starts picking back up and once we’ve closed our Equity raise for our own company and they’re very soon in the very near future. Then we can start even not just looking at adding new projects, but also kind of deploying Capital into existing projects and also to the diversify the risk and not just the exposed to very early stage ideas stage projects. What we are planning to do going forward is to actually invest in projects that are much further on down the line maybe in the presale stage because for me a pre-sale is similar to pre-ido or there’s lower risk and and more liquidity and more chance of getting liquidity and getting a return on your investment. To call them between that but I think also yeah having opportunities and exposure to kind of presale which is similar to the traditional markets and a pre IPO and IPO and having more liquidity and not necessarily High returns, but steady and liquid returns, then we’ll also explore those and we’ll look to implement that going forward but I appreciate everyone’s time listening in and we will be answering all of your questions that you posted and and stay tuned and we hope to continue delivering and to continue growing as a business and and I’m sure that the community will be happy and the long term as well as the short term.

About Sheesha Finance

Sheesha Finance is a Web3 Venture Studio helping web3 startups across all industries and blockchain networks build products and services that solve real-world teething problems. Based in the MENA region, Sheesha Finance is one of the first platforms to provide everyday investors with access to a diverse portfolio of early-stage projects, and its smart contract-based system is fully autonomous, making it efficient and user-friendly for both institutional and retail investors.

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