The inception of crowdfunding saw a massive growth of initial coin offerings (ICOs) globally. The hype surrounding ICOs as a method of raising funds further fueled their popularity. While ICOs may be perceived as well-marketed pieces of vaporware for highly motivated individuals, startups and small businesses can utilize them to expand their operations. According to a report carried out by CoinDesk and TokenData, ICOs raised approximately $7.2 billion in Q2 2018.
An ICO is a mechanism which raises funds on the blockchain network. It enables entrepreneurs to fund new projects through the presale of coins or tokens to interested investors. It entails preparing a detailed white paper describing the project’s model, the project’s duration and the target budget.
Successful startups that utilized ICOs
EOS raised $180,000 through their token sale carried out in June and July 2017, with the initial token price being $0.925. Just like Ethereum, it is a smart contract platform for decentralized applications. Funds raised from the ICO assisted EOS in developing its ‘proof of work’ through the execution of smart contracts. Still experiencing incremental progress with its developer portal, EOS is also available at exchanges such as Bitfinex, Huobi, Binance, and OKEx.
FOAM, a proof of location protocol raised approximately $16.5m (38k Ether) from its ICO token sale. The funds raised have enabled its protocol to empower an autonomous and permissionless network of radio beacons. It offers geospatial blockchain technology which is designed to build a fraud-proof web3 economy that offers advanced privacy.
Sirin Labs raised approximately $158m form its ICO token sale in December 2017, drastically enabling the organization to expand its operations. Sirin Labs’ core business is to simplify payments via blockchain smartphones. These phones aim to lessen volatility by acting as transfer and storage device for Bitcoin and other altcoins.
Status, a mobile Ethereum client platform raised approximately $108m from its ICO token sale carried out in June 2017. The platform enables users to receive, send, store and transfer Ether and other ERC-20 tokens. Users can also access decentralized applications through its browser. The start-up is still making progress in its development work.
How ICOs benefit start-ups
Running a successful ICO is the easiest way to raise funds for further development of a start-up’s activities. Convincing interested investors to participate in an ICO is not only beneficial but also prestigious since it means the investors are ready to support the organization in all its developmental phases.
The regulatory environment in the crypto sphere is quickly augmenting. This is compounded by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) tightening its grip on regulations. Start-ups benefit in gaining from organizations that have expertise in regulatory matters; for instance, Börse Stuttgart recently unveiled a new ICO Platform to help Blockchain start-ups with their regulatory affairs through its integrated service provision.
Additionally, ICOs aid in incentivizing and increasing an organization’s performance. A successful launch minimizes the intense pressure that a start-up undergoes in realizing its core objectives. It also ensures that the start-up carries out its activities as mandated in its records and white paper.
Tempson True is COO and PM at ICOHolder.com (https://icoholder.com/) and has an extensive background in internet marketing and product management, managing over 50 web products. He holds a Masters in Management, and a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Communication.