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WorldEscrow N.V./S.A.
Your Business Continuity, our Service.

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Contact us

Worldescrow N.V.
Graaf van Egmontstraat 15 bus 1
2800 Mechelen
Belgium
Tel +32 (0)15 20 44 50

Flanders Bio

Startup Escrow

Dear sir/madam,

As any good entrepreneur knows, you are in the business of bearing uncertainty and risk. As a start-up with a brilliant idea, you want to be the best company out there – and with good reason – which means you gladly accept the risks that that brings. You can, however, mitigate the risks of an uncertain future by considering escrow-services as a business continuity assurance accompanying your entrepreneurial project.

An escrow arrangement set up to accompany your business project is a solid answer to many of the inherent risks of entrepreneurship, making sure a vast part of your development effort is being preserved, independent of what issues affect the development of your company. Essentially, we guarantee transferability of everything that has been developed, built, invented, described, designed throughout your project, ensuring the investment done is always to be recovered. As all relevant documentation is being safeguarded in a structured way, the thread can be picked up at any time by any party, being able to qualify the material on its merits in order to continue, redefine and allow you to eventually turn your project into a success.

An escrow arrangement is indeed an excellent exercise in knowledge management, in favour of all parties. At reception of every deposit, a verification on the quality of the deposit is executed. Completeness, content overview, presence of passwords, encryption keys, trace-ability and recovery of third party software are among the elements that are always checked. But it doesn’t end there. Escrow can secure your designs and blueprints, your formulae, thought processes and anything else your entrepreneurial mind can come up with. On top of that, it is a great reassurance to your investors to know your project is at least in a core format – safe.This last aspect makes an escrow exercise particularly valuable also for internal, own-made development, simply because most continuity-critical issues are investigated, documented and safeguarded in a structured and transferable way. The moment a team dissolves and the knowledge is distributed/starts dissipating, there’s still an escrow deposit with all key documentation on the process and resulting software.  

We don’t have to list all possible risks of starting up a business, to support the argument of risk and continuity management. Budgets, all kinds of targets, deadlines, people and their teams, technical challenges, all kinds of internal and external influences can have an invaluable impact on the course and the success of the startup company, making escrow more a necessity than a luxury.

Technology Escrow, an additional safeguard for the developper

Escrow is the most useful way of offering a complete support to customers and investors without having to fear for intellectual property infringements. The Intellectual property of the deposit remains with the developer, even after an eventual release of the deposit. Moreover, Escrow is an additional safeguard for the supplier as a knowledge deposit. Should – for any reason – knowledge of the product be lost at the supplier, this knowledge can be recuperated from the deposits at the escrow agent. The deposit may be useful in conflicts regarding intellectual property – even within the supplier’s organization. Depositing the software at an escrow agent may serve as a quality check of the product by an external party, allowing the supplier to improve the product itself in later iterations.

ICT Escrow: Goal and Purpose

To offer continuity in the development and use of technology where this would be impossible without escrow provisions.

To secure and affirm the underlying business processes

To protect investment (in the startup company as a whole)

To facilitate trust between parties

As a part of the Corporate Governance Policy, e.g. Business Continuity Management, Risk Management and Knowledge Management

ICT and Software Escrow and the professional Escrow caretaker

Two inseparable elements are of vital importance for a solid software Escrow settlement: the technical aspect and the legal aspect. A professional Escrow agent has to be capable of providing an ironclad cover for both with an in-house (and thus entirely independent) legal and technical staff. The technical staff needs to be capable of, on top of the standard coverage, delivering additional verifications and disaster tests on the deposit, which requires very specific expertise. The technical aspect entails the quality of the deposit, which is assessed by these factors:

The data on delivered media can be read

The material, referred to in the contract, is present and complete

The deposit is free of viruses

The deposit is well documented

The deposit is up to date – which causes us to request at least an annual update

The legal aspect concerns the escrow agreement itself: a solid and well balanced contract has to offer a proper protection for all parties. For the developer, the main focus is the protection of the intellectual property and knowledge recovery. For the beneficiary, the primary focus is business continuity and recovery of invested funds. Release requirements of the deposit are very strictly defined in any escrow agreement. 

WorldEscrow is continental Market leader in qualitative software escrow services. Since 1994 WorldEscrow has been executing high level escrow services, our solutions make sense. WorldEscrow believes in a tailor made escrow service. As such, each WorldEscrow contract is custom made, fitting it exactly around the needs of our clients.

The Escrow Agency, which needs to be entirely independent, is not to be seen as an IT company nor as a Legal Office, but as a tech-assurance partner providing added value to organizations dealing with important ICT investments, including their Legal Counselors and ICT staff.