ICO Platform Cointopia Helps Startups Swim With Sharksbr>
Charles Michael Yim was the first person on popular business TV show Shark Tank to have all five sharks invest in his company, which offered a smartphone solution to check your blood alcohol levels after drinking.
That vision – called Breathometer – ultimately failed in its initial mission, and had to settle with the US Federal Trade Commission because its claims on the accuracy of the device weren’t met. It then pivoted to become an oral health monitor and is still in business.
But the man who survived the Shark Tank and the FTC is now back with a new product. Cointopia is an ICO management platform, envisioned as a marketplace connecting entrepreneurs with the resources they need to launch an initial coin offering (ICO) and flourish in the post-ICO marketplace. The solution is supported by investors including Jed McCaleb (Stellar, Ripple), Brock Pierce (EOS, Blockchain Capital), Gil Penchina (super angel on AngelList, Wikia, eBay, Paypal) and others.
“As with any new growth industry, the companies selling the ‘picks and shovels’ always win,” said Penchina, one of Cointopia’s advisors and investors. “Cointopia is building the tools that every cryptocurrency company needs for not only a token sale, but for ongoing community building that is essential to long-term success.”
Charles Michael Yim talked with Block Tribune about the project.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: This service, it’s designed for people who have an ICO that’s ready to pop? Or is it for startups without even a white paper, or both, or none? Tell me a little bit about how this works.
CHARLES MICHAEL YIM: So, in a nutshell, what Cointopia is, is it’s a token platform and it really focuses on three things. So, one, yes we do the token sale, but B. the main differential for us is that we focus on the post ICO management solution. So, what does that mean?
After you’ve conducted a successful ICO, then from there, what’s important is to 1. (A) manage your tokens, right? You’ve gotta track your tokens, figure out where the distribution is. A lot of people are operating off of spreadsheets right now so it’s very manual, while we intend to digitize that entire experience.
2. Investor relate, or for token purchaser or token buyer relations, a lot of these ICO companies they ICO and then the token purchasers/buyers, they don’t hear from this company ever again. So, just like an ICO, you need to communicate to your investors. The same goes for the token holders.
3. We also help drive token value through the actual community that we’re building so we’re onboarding 25,000 credit investors. We have a multi-billion dollar actual pipeline and we have these service providers, which I’ll touch upon in just a minute. But, essentially, we drive value to the token through the community, right? So, we have the community involved. They’re engaged. We’re constantly giving feedback, and so the company in question … They constantly continue to build the value and keep the community engaged.
Fourthly, we provide insight/analytics … So, in terms of performance of the token, is it going up, is it going down? Why is it trending that way? Right? Is it every time there’s a news pop? Is it every time there’s a new development? And, so, there’s not … No one is really actually providing this type of solution in the current market. So, it’s a complete white space.
And, then three, … The third piece of the platform, which addresses your question … Whether you’re a fully baked ICO, or whether you’re just a guy with an idea and need to do your white paper or maybe you’re a Fortune 100 company … We take them all. Right? As long as the quality is there, and we’ve proved that all our ICOs that we list on our platform. We’ve gotta make sure (A) they’re compliant, meaning that they’re essentially, the space is about to be regulated, but their utility token or security token, they’re abiding by the guidelines. But, imagine [inaudible 00:03:58] case is, if you’re a guy with an idea, well, you can come to our platform. We have a service provider marketplace, so Sync, Yelp, Sync, Elance or oDesk, you can go ahead and put in or put out a bid, essentially an offer, right, a request and say, “Hey, I need a whitepaper author”.
Our service provider marketplace ranges from whitepaper author to financial firms to PR marketing firms, even some of the institutional banks, right? … Outside of our investor community.
So, whether it’s legal, PR, token strategy, token whitepaper authoring, we have the entire gamut covered. So, you can go out and say, “Hey, I need a whitepaper author.” Essentially, you’ll get multiple bids. No different than when you draw up a contract to build a house. You’ll probably get four or five bids, hypothetically. One may be $20,000, one may be $40,000. Each one will have a review. So it’s a peer to peer review system similar to a review system like Yelp. So, we’re driving transparency to the services within this industry. So imagine you need a whitepaper, boom you have a whitepaper. We could potentially get into the hiring space. We’re not there yet, so I don’t want to speak out of turn.
The idea, vision wise, for this platform is that we want to make it global. We want it to be where someone with an ior someone that has a fully baked idea or your Fortune 100 company, you could list your ICO with us. We bring a credit investor to the table. We are fully compliant. We have a broker dealer license here in the United States so we comply with the FCC. The dollars we bring we charge a success fee for it ranging anywhere from as low as 2% to as high as 10%. It really depends on the profile of the ICO, how much we’re raising, how much money we brought, is it brand capital versus just capital, very different. We charge, so if it’s $100,000,000 we charge 10%, we take $1,000,000 as our revenue or as our fee. That’s how we generate majority of our revenue. Ultimately, when we actually implement the post ICO management solution, it could be a monthly billing or an annual billing cycle, more like a license or subscription fee model.
But to answer your question, yes, you could be a guy with an idea or you could also be a Fortune 100 company or someone in between. It doesn’t matter. Right now we’re optimizing for teams that are pretty high profile. You know, we have an allocation from Kodak. We’re actually coming to market with Bee Token, which is an Airbnb crypto blockchain. They are going to be our first to market to launch, which is actually underway right now as we speak.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Should every company have a token?
CHARLES MICHAEL YIM: No. I do not believe every company should have a token. I believe there’s certain companies and businesses that are more relevant than others. So having said that, I think it’s a case by case basis. Companies are jumping into this space because there’s a lot of money that’s moving around and they’re completely irrelevant to blockchain let alone the crypto play. And then there’s some that are very, very valid, right? Like a B-token, right? I would say no to that question and really is a case by case basis.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: How many companies do you have currently on-boarded?
CHARLES MICHAEL YIM: We have just started to onboard our first three, but we have a $2,000,000,000 pipeline, so that three is going to turn into 20 very quickly.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: The climate that’s going on right now where the market crashed and we have various countries cracking down on ICOs and cryptocurrency. In general, how does that affect you?
CHARLES MICHAEL YIM: Yeah, so, what you’re seeing is basically what happened really in Q3 Q4 last year which is last year, as I’m sure you recall, Q1 Q2 was really hot. Q3 Q4 as the market softened then in Q1 at the beginning of this year it just went right back to where we were in Q1 Q2. [inaudible 00:07:53] was hot. For us, I can’t search the specific number, but we basically closed on our pre-sale relatively quickly in like five days. Everyone was really getting excited that the market was picking up again. Of course, Korea started cracking down on the regulation and kind of banned trading. It’s going to be similar to China. You can’t stop a great thing happening, and so I envision that in the next month or so you’re going to hear Korea peel back just like how China did and you’re going to see the markets pop right back up. It goes down a little bit, sure. It’ll go back up. It’s basically here to stay. It’s similar to the stock market. It’ll go up. It’ll go down. Maybe there’s a crash underway similar to the dot com boom, but it will stabilize. This is a revolution that’s here to stay.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Which investor gave you the hardest time on Shark Tank?
CHARLES MICHAEL YIM: To be honest with you, not really any of them. They grilled me for about two hours and a bunch of other stuff. But quite frankly, they were fascinated by my background, by me, by the idea, by my execution, by the prototype. I did a live demo on stage, and they condensed that two hour grilling session into eight minutes which you saw on TV. They were all very fond hence why I got all five to invest. I still work with them to this day. They’re investors and partners of mine. I can’t say exactly what the next stage is, but I’ll be a very critical part of the show moving forward but I can’t make that announcement on this call.