Friendz ICO Overview
The Friendz ICO (FDZ Token) is raising money for a decentralized digital advertising platform that harnesses the power of user generated content to launch brand campaigns for enterprise clients. Friendz is an existing company, boasting over 200 clients, including Disney, Pringles and Huawei, along with 40k monthly active users.
Advertising campaigns are conducted through the participation of Friendz users, who upload branded content to Facebook via the Friendz mobile app. Friendz aim to use the funds raised from the ICO to decentralize their existing platform and expand their reach beyond Italy to the global market.
Friendz ICO Value Proposition
Friendz offer enterprise clients a way to harness the power of user generated content for brand awareness and advertising campaigns. For enterprise clients, Friendz currently offers a dashboard solution to access details on the efficacy of each campaign. For users, the offchain app is currently available via the App Store and Google Play.
Incorporation of blockchain allows for a number of advantages to the offchain system. For enterprise clients and users alike, a new level of transparency assures a fair and open ecosystem, making results of campaigns and their rewards immutable. The advertising flow from the beginning of each campaign until its completion will become more transparent for enterprise clients and is streamlined through the incorporation of a decentralized validation system.
Users will also gain access to a wider array of opportunities to redeem their rewards as the ecosystem scales through blockchain implementation.
The Friendz Token (FDZ) and Credits system comprises the value transaction and rewards mechanism underlying the platform. FDZ is an ERC-20 token.
From the enterprise angle, brands can purchase Friendz advertising campaigns in either FDZ or fiat. The FDZ received for each campaign is stored in a designated internal wallet and brands are given an equivalent amount of Credits in exchange. The number of Credits is determined by the campaign scale and used to reward users and content approvers. If the payment is made in fiat, Friendz will use a portion (15% to 30%) to buy FDZ from the market through a buyback mechanism.
From the user perspective, Credits are used within the ecosystem in the following ways:
Campaign setup: a group of approvers validate the campaign parameters and ensure that it is consistent with community policy. They are rewarded with Credits for this activity.
Content creation: users create advertising content in accordance with the rules provided by the campaign and are rewarded with Credits.
Content validation: a group of approvers validates the quality of submitted content, ensuring it adheres to all guidelines before publication. They are also rewarded with Credits for their contribution.
Diagram of User Mobile App Functions
Users and approvers save their Credits in their Credits Wallet inside the platform. In order to buy products and services online, users convert a sufficient number of Credits into FDZ according to the daily trading rate. FDZ will be used to buy in-app features, gift cards, vouchers and products from Friendz partner services or traded on an external exchange.
The value transaction system of the Friendz ICO is a combination of hybrid onchain/offchain solutions. The Credits offer a fixed-value system for enterprise clients to launch campaigns, while the FDZ offers the advantages of decentralized currency for users.
Since the Credits equivalent value in fiat money is fixed, campaign dimensions are pre-set and do not change depending on the market price of FDZ. This aspect is essential for enterprise clients when establishing a campaign size and reward.
According to the whitepaper, only when users accumulate a minimum threshold of Credits will it then be possible to exchange them for FDZ. Because the transaction load of the Friendz ecosystem is too high to support complete onchain functionality, Credits will remain offchain for the time being. Once blockchain tech is able to process a greater throughput of transactions per second, Friendz plans to replace the Credits system with FDZ, though the details of how this will be carried out are as of yet unannounced.
Diagram of the Friendz Ecosystem
Friendz ICO Team
The Friendz ICO Team have quite an interesting story behind the conception of their startup and product launch. A colorful account of the background on how the company got started is available on their Medium. The team has grown to 35 members in the past two years. Below is some background information on the Founders and Advisors.
Alessandro Cadoni is one of the three Co-founders of Friendz and serves as the Head of the Community Division. He holds an MSc in Engineering Management from Università Carlo Cattaneo and got his first entrepreneurial experience founding an e-commerce site for women’s clothing. He also spent a year as a software developer before attending a course on entrepreneurial development with InnovAction Lab, an Italian startup training institute. Thereafter, we went on to found Friendz along with Ceclia Nostro and Daniele Scaglia.
Cecilia Nostro is the second Co-founder of Friendz and serves as Head of the Marketing and Sales Division. Her previous experiences listed on her LinkedIn show she spent 8 months with a brand loyalty company before founding Friendz. She holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Università della Svizzera Italiana.
Daniele Scaglia is the third Co-founder and Head of the Operations Division. Daniele holds a degree in Industrial Process Engineering and has worked in this field previously as a Business Safety Consultant and Production Controller. After two years in his previous field he went on to co-found Friendz.
On the advising end, the team have Simon Cocking and David Drake, both influencers in the crypto space. Simon Cocking is Editor in Chief at Cryptocoin.news and holds several advisory positions with ICOs. David Drake actively manages cryptocurrency investments and acts as a public voice for wider adoption and acceptance of cryptocurrency.
Friendz ICO Strengths and Opportunities
A platform with an existing product, clients and user base instills a much higher level of confidence in the ICO. To this accord, Friendz has been actively present in the digital advertising market since 2016. During this period, they have offered services to more than 200 multinational brands and acquired 40k monthly active users.
They also claim to have generated a revenue of 1.2 million Euros in 2017 and closed the year with a profit. The Friendz ICO frame their pivot to the blockchain essentially as a road to scalability. A more transparent, user-oriented ecosystem could attract more users for the promise of rewards and, in turn, more brands for access to a larger audience.
The redeemability of the FDZ token represents a tangible value based on something beyond pure speculation. Value will therefore be built into the token once there are concrete channels for users to redeem their FDZ.
An existing user base of 200k participants offers the prospect of a ready market with enough players to help drive up that value. Moreover, the buyback token economics further reinforces this proposition. Between 15% to 30% of revenues are reserved for buying back tokens from the market. Those tokens will then be rewarded to users as they engage with the ecosystem, creating a mechanism of buyback that follows the growth of the ecosystem.
As the community expands, the quantity of Credits issued will increase proportionately, creating a cycle in the token demand. The reduction of available tokens combined with the potential for increased demand through the growth of the ecosystem could theoretically lead to a higher value of the FDZ token. In this manner, the token economics of the Friendz ICO are designed to be both sustainable in the long term and offer the potential for increasing value.
Friendz ICO Weaknesses and Threats
The roadmap and product development at this stage are opaque. In terms of product development, there is little evidence of progress made on the blockchain development front. While the team has quite the track record to quell doubts, it would certainly further reinforce the project’s prospects to shed light on any onchain product progress made thus far.
The Friendz ICO certainly has grand plans for expansion. According to the roadmap, they’ve set sights on scaling their European user base before crossing over to North and South America (and beyond). While a $10 billion valuation for influencer marketing may sound like a big number, there is both on and offchain competition that Friendz will face in their new target markets. That market will be quickly become overtaken as more and more companies follow the growing trend toward leveraging influencers for advertising campaigns.
While influencer marketing currently focuses on social media users with much higher followers than the demographic Friendz intend to target, there is little doubt competition is set to heat up.
The Verdict on Friendz ICO
The team behind Friendz have managed to pull off an impressive feat in the two years their company has been in existence. Having built a venture from the ground up speaks to the caliber of people behind this project. Decentralization of the Friendz ecosystem represents a huge opportunity to scale the business, but the path ahead remains uncharted territory and, therefore, a significant challenge.
Today’s Date: 2/21/18
Project Name: Friendz
Token Symbol: FDZ
White Paper: Click Here
Crowdsale Hard Cap: $36 million
Total Supply: 1.5 billion
Token Distribution: 50% to crowdsale, 20% to reserve fund, 11% to partners, 7% to advisors, 5% to liquidity fund, 5% to team, 2% to bounty program
Price per Token: First hour (March 1st [exact time TBA]): 1 FDZ = 0.048 USD (40% Bonus and tokens progressively unlocked over 12 months)
ICO Day 1 (March 1st): 1 FDZ = 0.056 USD (20% Bonus and tokens not locked)
ICO Week 1 (March 1-7): 1 FDZ = 0.061 USD (10% Bonus and tokens not locked)
ICO Week 2-3 (March 9-21): 1 FDZ = 0.067 USD (No Bonus no lock-up)
Maximum Market Cap (at crowdsale price): $72 million
Accepted Payments: ETH
Bonus Structure: See price per token
Presale Terms: N/A
Whitelist: February 28th by 12am UTC
Important Dates: Crowdsale- March 1st
Expected Token Release: TBA