ICO Review: CookUp
CookUp is a blockchain based food ordering and knowledge sharing platform. Their goal is to provide an alternative to the current food ordering marketing, while also fighting world hunger.
CookUp plans to create a marketplace for people who want food to match with chefs willing to cook it. They hope that this gives people more access to healthier, better foods. Overall, their idea is looking to take on a peer-to-peer cooking system, and with a hard cap of approximately $12,050,550 (22,500 ETH), here’s what we think of their whitepaper:
The Market Opportunity
CookUp aims to follow the multi-sided marketplace trend we’ve seen with the likes of Uber or Airbnb and apply it to the food industry. Users would hop on and either order food or have chefs share knowledge, using CHEF tokens as their intermediary.
The most significant need CookUp aims to solve is that there’s a growing number of people who want home cooked meals without having the time to cook, which is right now being replaced with ready-made meals and going out to eat. Furthermore, CookUp also sees value in chefs teaching people how to cook when considering the popularity of food blogs. A big driving point of their mission is that people are becoming increasingly used to intermediaries handling our foods (I.E., UberEats, GrubHub, etc.), which CookUp looks to fill the home-prepped food gap.
How CookUp Works
CookUp is a social network for cooking on which people connect, share advice, experiences, recipes, and order food from other members of the community. All users have profiles, and those who offer cooking services (chefs) have their own CookUp Shops where they present the dishes that can be ordered from them. It’s also possible to hire a chef to cook at your home, their home, or to have other custom orders.
The process for CookUp seems relatively straightforward:
- The customer orders the food, where the funds become locked.
- The chef confirms the order and cooks the food.
- The user confirms the traction and is completed upon the smart contract.
For hiring a chef, a user would:
- Start communication with a chef.
- The chef would confirm the request.
- The chef comes to the user’s place and cooks.
- The user confirms successfully finish service and the transaction is automatically completed through smart contracts.
Furthermore, chefs can throw events, where they create an event, users reserve seats, and the users confirm successfully finished the event.
CookUp notes that smart contract will automate all transactions, and there is no need for a trusted third party to finalize payments. This makes it possible for everyone to use the application, including unbanked communities.
Review And Trust
CookUp notes that as food is a delicate category, they how to implement as much transparency and confidence as possible. They aim to achieve this by applying a mutual review system, where both chefs and users can review one another on the blockchain.
To help combat world hunger, CookUp hopes to sign an exclusive contract with an organization they deem as the best partner to donate funds to through their smart contacts.
CookUp will be developed on the Cordova framework, combined with the Ionic3 framework on top of it.
The server of CookUp will be implementing Node.js, which enables communication on mobile apps, a well tested and documented Node.js library to communicate with the Ethereum blockchain, and its ability to excel in event-driven programming.
The features CookUp aims to offer includes:
- Food ordering network
- Instant payment
- Paying via credit cards
- Ethereum wallet
- Video calls and messages
- Social Network
CookUp also aims to be available as a mobile and web app, covering all devices to make the application accessible to everyone.
The main reasoning for CookUp using the blockchain include:
- Automatic payments for food ordering, video calls, and charity organization transactions.
- Compatibility with laws and regulations, which provides chefs a payment in areas where crypto is forbidden.
CookUp lists the following users as use cases:
- Famous/Professional chefs have the opportunity to throw events, sell directly to their customers, and share experiences.
- Bloggers/Vloggers can share their skills and traits with the rest of the cooking community, giving them a chance to earn by sharing advice.
- Amateur Chefs/Housewives can earn extra by offering their experience for some extra earnings.
- Over Occupied People, Single People, and Travelers can receive food for purchase.
- People who want to learn how to cook can have an educational lesson.
- Catering services can hire for various events.
What We Think
On the surface, CookUp seems to compile a simple recipe for success. However, there are still some pretty big holes that are missing with their model. Their Whitepaper makes little mention on a few critical components for their platform to be successful, including how they’re going to tackle local health regulations, as well as their onboarding process for scaling. Even though the project aims to be completely decentralized, the peer-to-peer rating system (as it’s written) brings on a worry of fraud with users having the incentive of giving bad ratings for free food as much as chefs ranking customers poorly because they did a bad job cooking. Finally, with charity being a significant part of their mission, a little bit more elaboration on their nonprofit goals beyond just saying they were going to pick someone would be useful as well.
Overall, while a multi-sided marketplace for the home/professionally cooked market seems like a nice idea, there are still a lot of questions to be answered for this project to be a success.
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