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Victory Square Technologies Announces Agreement to Acquire Assets of Portfolio Company Aspen Technologies

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Victory Square Technologies Announces Agreement to Acquire Assets of Portfolio Company Aspen Technologies

 

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Feb. 02, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Victory Square Technologies Inc. (“Victory Square” or the “Company”) (CSE: VST) (OTC: VSQTF) (FWB: 6F6), a company that provides investors access to a diverse portfolio of next generation internet companies in key sectors including: digital health, gaming, blockchain, AR / VR, cybersecurity, and cloud computing, is pleased to announce that it has signed an Asset Purchase Agreement (the “APA”) dated February 1, 2021 to acquire certain intellectual property assets (the “Acquisition”) of Aspen Technologies Inc. (“Aspen”), a technology company focused on building Blockchain and Cybersecurity solutions.

Aspen, is best-known for its work in developing an ecosystem of hardware, software, and networking products to meet increased global consumer demand for new age technology.

Through the Acquisition, the Company has acquired certain key digital assets of Aspen, including the following six anchor products currently deployed in the marketplace and or in late-stage development:

  • VPN Network – using Patented Mining Technology to generate revenue;
  • Decentralized Database – Data Network which crowd-sources computer storage to deliver a decentralized database that is more secure, tamper-proof and scalable than traditional offerings. (Peer-to-Peer Privacy Mesh);
  • A Digital Asset Exchange – to be licensed globally as an Exchange-as-a-Service;
  • Crowd-Backed Credit Card – decentralized pools of capital, small lenders and investors (individuals), underwrite the issuance of credit card;
  • Online Virtual Currency Platform – which allows customers to buy, sell, and spend Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum & Litecoin
  • WiFi Monitor – Plug & Play Privacy that delivers faster browsing and safer, more private internet on every device in your home. (Protects every device from smartphones, kids’ Tablets, Smart TVs, Smart Fridges and other at home IoT devices)

This Acquisition furthers Victory Square’s commitment to leveraging the latest technology to deliver products and services for an open and more secure internet. Innovations that change the way the world manages information, analyzes data, purchases and consumer goods, and communicates across the globe.

“These Web 3.0 assets represent a strategic addition to our growing portfolio of next gen internet tech,” said Victory Square Chief Executive Officer Shafin Diamond Tejani. “Blockchain technology will have an overwhelming effect on the way consumers adopt and use everyday products in the future. Having already developed a suite of ground-breaking software and hardware solutions catering to consumers that will inevitably utilize blockchain products in the future, we saw an immediate opportunity to bring the team and technology in house and assist in scaling their operations to serve a growing demand . ”

Following closing of the transaction, Victory Square will launch a new division that focuses on consumer security related products, diversifying the current enterprise database and providing blockchain solutions.

“The last privacy and security wave was driven by business concerns; the next will be driven by consumers. People have become more aware of how open their data really is. With this strategic acquisition we can service those needs. Aspen has a proven track record and expertise in producing highly secure consumer products, the addition of these technologies accelerates Victory Square’s growth strategy as we equip the company to meet both the enterprise and consumer privacy and decentralization requirements today and in the future, ”concluded Tejani .

“As we continue to pursue our vision of leading the next generation of technology entrepreneurs to build world class products, we remain confident in our ability to scale our portfolio companies aggressively and maintain a healthy pipeline of acquisitions with a focus on increasing value for Victory Square shareholders, ”added Tejani.

Terms of the Acquisition

In consideration for the Acquisition, the Company will issue 4,600,048 common shares in the capital of the Company (the “Consideration Shares”) at a deemed issue price of $ 0.80 Canadian per Consideration Share as well as forgive an aggregate of $ 1,587,001 owed from Aspen to the Company for aggregate transaction consideration of $ 5,267,040. In accordance with the terms of the APA, the Consideration Shares shall be subject to a four months and one day statutory hold period from the date of issuance. Closing of the acquisition is expected to occur on or about February 15, 2021, unless otherwise agreed between the Parties. Completion of the Acquisition will be subject to compliance with applicable laws including policies of the Canadian Securities Exchange as well as satisfactory completion of due diligence by the Company and other customary conditions to closing.

The Company also announces that it has launched a 12-month online marketing campaign through AGORACOM for the purposes of targeting new potential investors and engaging current shareholders. The Company is paying $ 75,000 + HST to be paid in Shares in 5 installations. The number of shares to be issued at the end of each period will be determined after the date that the advertising services are provided to Victory Square, and will be calculated using the closing price of that day.

The Company has also launched a “CEO Verified” Discussion Forum on AGORACOM to serve as the Company’s primary social media platform to interact with both current and prospective shareholders in a fully moderated environment.

The Victory Square discussion forum can be found at:

https://agoracom.com/ir/VictorySquareTechnologies/forums/discussion

About AGORACOM

AGORACOM is a pioneer of online marketing, broadcasting, conferences and investor relations services to North American small and mid-cap public companies, with more than 300 companies served. AGORACOM is the home of more than 7.7 million investors that visited 55.2 million times and read over 600 million pages of information over the last 10 years. The average visit of 8min 43sec is more than double that of global financial sites, which can be attributed to the implementation and enforcement of the strongest moderation rules in the industry.

Check out VictorySquare.com and sign up to VST’s official newsletter www.VictorySquare.com/newsletter.

On behalf of the board,

Shafin Diamond Tejani
Chief Executive Officer
Victory Square Technologies Inc.

For further information about the Company, please contact:

Investor Relations Contact – Edge Communications Group Email:
ir@victorysquare.com
Telephone: 604 283-9166

Media Relations Contact – Howard Blank, Director Email:
howard@victorysquare.com
Telephone: 604-928-6066

ABOUT VICTORY SQUARE TECHNOLOGIES INC.

Victory Square (VST) builds, acquires and invests in promising startups, then provides the senior leadership and resources needed to fast-track growth. The result: rapid scale-up and monetization, with a solid track record of public and private exits.

VST’s sweet spot is the cutting-edge tech that’s shaping the 4th Industrial Revolution. Our portfolio consists of 20 global companies using AI, VR / AR and blockchain to disrupt sectors as diverse as fintech, insurance, health and gaming.

What we do differently for startups

VST is not just another investor. With real skin in the game, we’re committed to ensuring each company in our portfolio succeeds. Our secret sauce starts with selecting startups that have real solutions, not just ideas. We pair you with senior talent in product, engineering, customer acquisition and more. Then we let you do what you do best – build, innovate and disrupt. In 24-36 months, you’ll scale and be ready to monetize.

What we do differently for investors

VST is a publicly-traded company headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, and listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange (VST), Frankfurt Exchange (6F6) and the OTCQX (VSQTF).

For investors, we offer early-stage access to the next unicorns before they’re unicorns. Our portfolio represents a uniquely liquid and secure way for investors to get access to the latest cutting-edge technologies. Because we focus on market-ready solutions that scale quickly, we’re able to provide strong and stable returns while also tapping into emerging global trends with big upsides. For more information, please visit www.victorysquare.com.

Cautionary Disclaimers

This news release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities in any jurisdiction. Any securities referred to herein have not been, nor will they be, registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and may not be offered or sold in the United States or to a US Person absent registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements of the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and applicable state securities laws.

This news release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy the securities, nor shall there be any sale of the securities, in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful. The securities to be offered have not been and will not be registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “US Securities Act”), or under any US state securities laws, and may not be offered, sold, directly or indirectly, or delivered within the United States except in certain transactions exempt from the registration requirements of the US Securities Act and all applicable US state securities laws. This release does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy such securities in the United States, Canada or in any other jurisdiction where such offer, solicitation or sale is unlawful.

Forward Looking Statement

This news release contains “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities laws relating to the outlook of the business of Victory Square, including, without limitation, statements relating to completion of the Acquisition, Aspen and its business, execution of business strategy , future performance and future growth, business prospects and opportunities of Victory Square and other factors beyond our control. Such forward-looking statements may, without limitation, be preceded by, followed by, or include words such as “believes”, “expects”, “anticipates”, “estimates”, “intends”, “plans”, “continues”, “Project”, “potential”, “possible”, “contemplate”, “seek”, “goal”, or similar expressions, or may employ such future or conditional verbs as “may”, “might”, “will”, ” could ”,“ should ”or“ would ”, or may otherwise be indicated as forward-looking statements by grammatical construction, phrasing or context. All statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this news release are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking information is based on certain key expectations and assumptions made by the management of Victory Square, including, but not limited to, the CSE approving the Acquisition, the Company being able to capitalize on the services and business of Aspen, the ability of Aspen to maintain its business as presently contemplated, the ability of Aspen to continue to retain service providers and customers, the ability of Aspen to provide services in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, the business and future business of Aspen, and such other assumptions presented in the Company’s disclosure record. Although Victory Square believes that the expectations and assumptions on which such forward looking information is based are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on them because Victory Square can give no assurance that they will prove to be correct. Actual results and developments may differ materially from those contemplated by these statements. The statements contained in this news release are made as of the date of this news release. Victory Square disclaims any intent or obligation to update publicly any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise, other than as required by applicable securities laws. The Canadian Securities Exchange has neither approved nor disapproved the contents of this news release and accepts no responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy hereof.

The Canadian Securities Exchange has neither approved nor disapproved the contents of this news release and accepts no responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy hereof.

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Vermont Health Connect had 10 data breaches last winter

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Vermont Health Connect had 10 data breaches last winter
Vermont Health Connect has set up a special enrollment period in response to the coronavirus outbreak. VHC photo

In mid-December, a Vermont Health Connect user was logging in when the names of two strangers popped up in the newly created account.

The individual, who was trying to sign up for health insurance, deleted the information that had suddenly appeared.

“It was super unsettling to think that someone is filing in my account with my information,” the person, whose name is redacted in records, wrote in a complaint to the Department of Vermont Health Access. “Just seems like the whole thing needs a big overhaul.”

It was one of 10 instances between November and February when Vermont Health Connect users reported logging to find someone else’s information on their account.

The data breaches included names of other applicants and, in some cases, their children’s names, birth dates, citizenship information, annual income, health care plans, and once, the last four digits of a Social Security number, according to nearly 900 pages of public records obtained by VTDigger. On Dec. 22, the department’s staff shut down the site to try to diagnose the problem.

While officials say the glitches have been resolved, it’s the most recent mishap for a system that has historically been plagued by security and technical issues. The breaches could be even more widespread: Administrators of Vermont Health Connect can’t tell if other, similar breaches went unreported.

“We don’t know what we don’t know,” said Jon Rajewski, a managing director at the cybersecurity response company Stroz Friedberg. Regardless of whether there are legal ramifications for the incidents, they should be taken “very seriously,” he said.

“If my data was being stored on a website that was personal, — maybe it contains names or my Social Security number, like my status of insurance… — I would expect that website to secure it and keep it safe,” he said.

“I wouldn’t want someone else to access my personal information.”

Andrea De La Bruere, executive director of the Agency of Human Services, called the data breaches “unfortunate.” But she downplayed the severity of the issues. Between November and December, 75,000 people visited the Vermont Health Connect website for a total of 330,000 page views, she said. The 10 incidents? “It’s a very uncommon thing to have happen,” she said.

De La Bruere said the issue was fixed on Feb. 17, and users had reported no similar problems since. The information that was shared was not protected health information, she added, and the breaches didn’t violate the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA.

“No matter what the law says technically, whether it’s HIPAA-related or just one’s personal information, it’s really concerning,” said Health Care Advocate Mike Fisher.

The timing of the issue is less than ideal, he added. Thousands of Vermonters will be logging into Vermont Health Connect in the coming weeks to take advantage of discounts granted by the American Rescue Plan. “It’s super important that people can access the system, and that it’s safe and secure,” Fisher said.

A ‘major issue

The issues first arose on Nov, 12, when at least two Vermonters logged in and found information about another user, according to records obtained by VTDigger.

Department of Vermont Health Access workers flagged it as a “major issue” for their boss, Kristine Fortier, a business application support specialist for the department.

Similar incidents also occurred on Nov. 17 and 18, and later on multiple days in December.

Department of Vermont Health Access staff members appeared alarmed at the issues, and IT staff escalated the tickets to “URGENT.”

“YIKES,” wrote a staff member Brittney Richardson. While the people affected were notified, the data breaches were never made public.

State workers pressed OptumInsights, a national health care tech company that hosts and manages Vermont Health Connect, for answers. The state has contracted with the company since 2014. It has paid about $11 million a year for the past four years for maintenance and operations, with more added in “discretionary funds.”

Optum appeared unable to figure out the glitch. “It is hard to find root cause of issue,” wrote Yogi Singh, service delivery manager for Optum on Dec. 10. Optum representatives referred comments on the issues to the state.

By Dec. 14, Grant Steffens, IT manager for the department, raised the alarm. “I’m concerned on the growing number of these reports,” he wrote in an email to Optum.

The company halted the creation of new accounts on Dec, 14, and shut down the site entirely on Dec, 22 to install a temporary fix. “It’s a very complex interplay of many many pieces of software on the back end,” said Darin Prail, agency director of digital services. The complexity made it challenging to identify the problem, and to fix it without introducing any new issues, he said.

In spite of the fixes, a caller reported a similar incident on Jan. 13.

On Feb. 8, a mother logged in to find that she could see her daughter’s information. When she logged into her daughter’s account, the insurance information had been replaced by her own.

“Very weird,” the mother wrote in an emailed complaint.

Optum completed a permanent fix on Feb. 17, according to Prail. Vermont Health Connect has not had a problem since, he said.

Prail said the state had reported the issues to the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services as required, and had undergone a regular audit in February that had no findings. The state “persistently pressured Optum to determine the root cause and correct the issue expeditiously but at the same time, cautiously, so as to not introduce additional issues/problems,” he wrote in an email to VTDigger.

“We take reported issues like this very seriously,” he said.

A history of glitches

The state’s health exchange has been replete with problems, including significant security issues and privacy violations, since it was built in 2012 at a cost of $200 million.

The state fired its first contractor, CGI Technology Systems, in 2014. A subcontractor, Exeter, went out of business in 2015. Optum took over for CGI, and continued to provide maintenance and tech support for the system.

Don Turner
Don Turner, right, then the House minority leader, speaks in 2016 about the need to fix the state’s glitch-ridden Vermont Health Connect website. With him are Phil Scott, left, then the lieutenant governor, and Sen. Joe Benning. Photo by Erin Mansfield/VTDigger

In 2018, when Vermont Health Connect was less than 6 years old, a report dubbed the exchange outdated and “obsolete.”

Officials reported similar privacy breaches in 2013, when Vermonters saw other people’s information.

An auditor’s report in 2016 found a slew of cybersecurity flaws, and officials raised concerns again during a  2018 email breach.

It wasn’t the first time that Vermont Health Connect users had been able to view other people’s personal information. Three times since October 2019, individuals had logged in to see another individual’s insurance documents. Prail attributed those incidents to human error, not to system glitch; a staff member uploaded documents to the wrong site, he said.

In spite of the issues, Prail said he and other state officials have been happy with Optum. After years of technical challenges with Vermont Health Connect, “Optum has really picked up the ball and improved it and been running it pretty well,” he said.

Glitches are inevitable, he added, and Optum has addressed them quickly. “They took a really difficult-to-manage site and made it work pretty well,” he said. “Optum is generally quite responsive to any issues we have.”

“I find any privacy breach to be concerning,” said Scott Carbee, chief information security officer for the state. He noted that the state uses “hundreds of software systems.” “While the scope of the breaches can be mitigated, true prevention is a difficult task,” he wrote in an email to VTDigger.

Optum spokesperson Gwen Moore Holliday referred comments to the state, but said the company was “honored” to work with Vermont Health Connect “to support the health care needs of Vermont residents.”

Prail said the Agency of Human Services had no plans to halt its contract with the company. “I don’t have a complaint about Optum,” he said. “They took a really difficult-to-manage site and made it work pretty well.”

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Filed under:

Health Care

Tags: data breaches, Optum, Vermont Health Connect

Katie Jickling

About Katie

Katie Jickling covers health care for VTDigger. She previously reported on Burlington city politics for Seven Days. She has freelanced and interned for half a dozen news organizations, including Vermont Public Radio, the Valley News, Northern Woodlands, Eating Well magazine and the Herald of Randolph. She is a graduate of Hamilton College and a native of Brookfield.