Morning Report: Welcome to “Stupid But Real Friday,” a new series here at Crunchbase News.
There is a lot going on today that we could talk about. SV Angel’s management changes and smaller checks, Binance’s enormous new fund to dump more money into crypto projects, Box bought something, the fact that Hello Alfred is not only not dead but also now has a pile of new money, new App Annie data, and so on.
But all of that is whatever compared to what Monster Products is cooking up. Bloomberg is the first source that we saw talking about what is surely one of the
best stupidest things we’ve seen in 2018: Monster Products wants to launch a $300 million ICO.
Hell yeah, 2018. Some background is in order. Monster, Inc, formerly known as “Monster Cable Products, Inc.,” was founded in 1978 and currently sells “over 5,000 different products in over 160 countries worldwide,” according to its S-1. That’s pretty cool; however, what I had forgotten was the firm’s temporary union with Beats:
Monster’s sales of its products grew steadily in the past 25 years and exponentially with the introduction of Beats headphones from 2007 to 2012. In 2012, Monster and Beats terminated their relationship, which dramatically interrupted Monster’s product lines and strategies.
After that bit is where things get super odd. First, the company notes that it is “shifting focus away from simply building its product range” to what it calls “alternative retail platforms and implementing new marketing campaigns.” That sounds like bilge, but the company follows up the claim by saying that it is “developing relationships with a number of world renowned fortune [sic] 500 companies.”
So we have some typos in the bit about working with big companies. That’s not great. But then things get super nuts:
We plan to integrate the Ethereum blockchain technology to our E-commerce website to create the new ecosystem, namely Monster Money Network where consumers may use either MMNY Tokens or fiat currencies to purchase Monster products and services. As we develop Monster Money Network and our backend systems, we intend to utilize the blockchain technology to our marketing, accounting and audit, internal control and shipping management functions. We believe the blockchain innovation will bring disruptive advancement to our E-commerce and business operation systems.
Friends that is wild. Why in the flying hell would a company best-known for once working with a company that sold to Apple, and will now sell you a surge protector or speaker cable, need an initial coin offering?
Spoiler: It doesn’t. But what every CEO at a tech(ish) company has had to ask themselves is can I get the crypto world to give me quite a lot of money for essentially nothing at all? And Monster has decided that the answer is maybe. $300 million worth of maybe.
I am not going to bang on for much longer, as this S-1 is nuts, but here’s another riff on how the company will use its token, which, I suppose, is built for internal use?
As Monster further develops Monster Money Network and its blockchain technology, it contemplates to utilizing the blockchain technology for payment processing, market analysis, accounting, audit & payroll services, inventory management and shipping operation.
And I’m contemplating that this entire affair is stupid.
From The Crunchbase Daily:
Cryptocurrency exchange Binance plans to create a $1 billion fund to invest in startups and investors focused on blockchain and crypto. Investments will be made using its BNB coin.
Many of the most valuable venture-backed companies are venturing outside their high-cost headquarters and setting up secondary hubs in smaller cities. Crunchbase News takes a look at which cities are most attractive to the unicorn crowd.
SV Angel, a veteran angel investor known for writing early checks to several companies that went on to multi-billion-dollar valuations, won’t be raising another fund. Instead, founder Ron Conway and his son, Topher, plan to make smaller investments with their own money.
Startups developing software and technology for adding efficiencies to the construction process have secured a sizable number of acquisitions over the years, as industry heavyweights determine it’s better in this case to buy than build from the ground up.
The growth of high-valuation China-based startups has been happening at a breakneck pace. We’ve assembled a list of eight top funding recipients to help keep track of the exploding unicorn population.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias
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