ICO Review: Acorn Collective
Acorn Collective is a blockchain-based crowdfunding platform. Their goal is to offer a free and open marketplace for crowdfunding, giving everyone from around the world the ability to raise money via their blockchain solution. Which, with an industry that’s grown quite a bit, this could be an interesting prospect for the blockchain to take on.
The crowdfunding industry has seen quite a significant evolution over the past few years. From what started with quid-pro-quo agreements (I.E., $25 gets you the product but $50 gets you the product+a t-shirt, and so forth) from the likes of Indiegogo and Kickstarter has now transformed into practices like micro-investing for startups and becoming ‘patrons’ of content creators. And as the industry is estimated to reach $43.46 billion by 2022 (according to TechNavio), Acorn Collective is hoping their blockchain ecosystem will become the next great solution.
Acorn Collective looks to solve three problems they view in the crowdfunding world:
First, they feel there’s a high barrier to access to crowdfunding globally.
Second, given the lack of marketing resources, there’s a low chance of success for most campaigns.
And finally, there’s a lack of transparency, which they feel the blockchain’s inherent nature helps to solve.
An ETH based project, Acorn (OAK), is looking to conduct an ICO fundraise at a hard cap of 39,000,000 OAK (or $27.3 million, according to $0.70 pre-ICO rate by Cryptoslate). So far, they’ve raised $9.9 million according to their website, as they’ve definitely shown some early promise in their offerings. Here’s what we think:
What Makes It Good
Giving More Back
One impressive barrier that Acorn Collective aims to take on is by eliminating the transaction fees associated with other platforms. For example, as noted by The Balance, Kickstarter can charge an average total of 5% + the credit card processing fees of 3%+$0.20, which Acorn Collective is looking to enable fundraisers with the tools where they’re not going to need that. This would essentially make them the first free fundraising platform and are currently looking to offer a low-entry point for tools that fundraisers might need as well (more on this later).
A More Transparent Network
Another pillar of Acorn Collective’s network is how they aim to establish a network with more trust between project makers and backers. As the blockchain provides a transparent medium between parties, they hope that people will be less skeptical to genuine projects by providing user timelines, as well as other tools like an activity transparency ledger (I.E., showing where the money is going) and project backer’s insurance. These are great first steps in creating a better system for those that want to participate in campaigns and could be a perk in onboarding users.
Global Access And Success
Finally, the third objective Acorn aims to create is by offering global access and success by making crowdfunding more available as much as they are empowering campaigns with the right resources. While no specific price is listed, they hope to enable aspiring entrepreneurs with digital marketing tools to spread the word about their campaigns at a low-cost entry point. With a mission to making the overall number of crowdfunding campaigns more successful, this could be an interesting aspect to watch.
Big Picture Goals
The three main deliverables that Acorn Collective is looking to release are:
– Acorn Market: A marketplace for completed campaigns for entrepreneurs to sell their products.
– Acorn Local: An app targeted at developing nations to trade OAK tokens.
– And, Acorn Hub: A place for people to back projects
Furthermore, Acorn Collective is also looking to launch some b2b programs, including:
– Founder onboarding to acquire more entrepreneurs.
Partnering with accelerators.
– Creating digital marketing tools.
– And finally, selling advertising to individual profile users.
On paper, Acorn Collective has a lot of promise. After all, this could potentially create an ecosystem that truly empowers entrepreneurs to raise money for their projects without much pushback. However, for all the upside of the project, there are a few details you should be on the lookout for.
Items of Note
As it currently stands, Acorn Collective states that projects have to go through an approval process. This means every submission has to fall under the criteria of being legal under EU and Gibraltar laws, as well as what as what they deem as “not harmful”. Projects are subjected to be reviewed by an ethics board, which will reject any end products that includes regulated/licensed products like “alcohol, tobacco, weapons, etc.”. Finally, if the product is still undecided for entry onto the platform, it will go to a community vote.
Granted, Acorn Collective makes no real attempt at advertising themselves as a completely decentralized project, as their current model relies on a central authority to deem if a project should be approved. This leaves the initial decision making to the hands of a few individuals, which begs the question: where do they draw the line in regards to global scalability?
With a goal of being able to serve an international audience, it’ll be interesting to see how they deal with local laws as criteria versus how those products stand under the EU/Gibraltar law. Furthermore, the project still has a chance to automate these processes without a central authority and implementing an open-ended community vote. However, despite these questions, Acorn Collective still holds a tremendous upside.
Acorn Collective is a project that holds a lot of promise for the industry it’s looking to tackle. With a pretty extensive team and plenty of early backing, this looks like something that could deliver on the products and services they’re looking to help change the world of crowdfunding with. Especially considering they’ve hit a lot of important benchmarks and bases, we give Acorn Collective a generally positive company to be on the lookout for.
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