Startups

We Found An ICO That Makes Sense

Morning Report: After all the fluff and nonsense, here’s an ICO that actually seems a bit reasonable.

This week the Unikrn ICO came to a close, raising over 120,000 ether in the process, a sum worth, at current prices, $34.9 million.

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That makes the ICO smaller than some others, like Filecoin or Bancor, which raised hundreds of millions each. But Unikrn’s ICO’s smaller scale is likely fine, as the token corresponds to a yet-nascent market.

Unikrn itself is an esports betting platform — prior coverage of the company here — that in 2018 will accept regular-currency in Europe, something that it announced earlier in October after securing its Malta gambling license.

(If you need a primer on esports, and if it’s actually a thing, please go back in time a few years and start reading then. We’ll wait.)

But not all betting on Unikrn will use a regular currency, which is why an esports gambling shop launching a token on the Ethereum to facilitate wagering on its service makes sense. This is how CoinDesk puts it:

The idea is that Unikoin Gold, the token that was up for sale, will act as a common medium of exchange for bettors to use on the platform, which allows for placing wages on games like League of Legends, Defense Against the Ancients (Dota) and CounterStrike, among others.

Bingo. And all the above makes this ICO different than the usual slop that makes headlines:

  • The coin is proffered by a company that actually exists, and it has managed to raise capital from traditional venture sources.
  • The value of the token seems well-correlated to an obvious use of the coin itself.

Perhaps our standards have slipped a bit low, but the Unikoin Gold ICO seems like a reasonable use of both the funding mechanism and crypto-technology.

From the Crunchbase Daily:

Delphi buys NuTonomy for up to $450M

  • Automotive technology supplier Delphi announced that it is purchasing self-driving car startup NuTonomy for $400 million up front and up to $50 million in performance-based payments. Boston-based NuTonomy, founded in 2013, previously raised about $20 million in venture funding.

SoftBank vision exceeds all unicorns

  • Less than a year after revealing plans for its $100 billion SoftBank Vision Fund, the world’s biggest late stage spender is eyeing another massive fund. But are there enough deals available? A Crunchbase News analysis finds that all of today’s private unicorns have collectively raised just over $176 million from all their investors – which is less than two Vision Funds.

Amazon gets HQ bids from 238 cities

  • Amazon said it received 238 proposals from cities and regions across North America seeking to be selected as the location for the company’s second headquarters. The online retailer has said it will invest more than $5 billion in the project, which would create up to 50,000 jobs

Marketer iAdvize raises $38M

  • Conversational marketing startup iAdvize raised $38 million in a Series C round that included Idinvest Partners, Large Venture and Quadrille Capital. The Nantes, France-based company also announced that it is opening its first U.S. office in Boston.
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