BMJ Score: 3.4
Quick Summary9 Investors read this
CommentaryToday, everyone is all about that side hustle. People want to make money providing their skills to others, and the evolution of the internet has transformed how people both search for services and market themselves. Unfortunately, the process to find, book, leverage, and pay a consultant is often time-consuming, relies on multiple platforms, has insecure payment methods, and involves risky data sharing. Maester Protocol wants to help; their blockchain protocol aims to create an on-demand consulting platform to help individuals search for skilled professionals, talk with them globally, and pay automatically. While this is a saturated market for ICOs, Maester wants to be the first blockchain protocol devoted to on-demand consulting. We think it is a good use case, and the on-demand economy is in need of enhancement. The Maester Protocol will be comprised of both on-chain technology for payments and security and off-chain protocol for back-end communication. New blockchains always make us hesitant because they have not yet had the opportunity to be tested for scalability and they may face many R&D cost and hurdles. This being said, we like the information presented in Maester’s whitepaper. The project currently has a working MVP, and the large team is made up of experienced executives as well as numerous advisors from firms like Visa and EY. Our biggest concern with Maester Protocol is that it does not list any partnerships or customers, which is concerning considering the platform is live. Given that Maester Protocol is the first blockchain protocol dedicated to on-demand consulting, the project will need to beef up its partnerships and user base to compete with some of the bigger blockchain players out there with similar dApps in this space.
- How to invest: Interested investors can register for the presale at the following link.
- Discount: 30% bonus throughout presale
- Eligibility: Restricted areas include Algeria, Bangladesh, Bolivia, China, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Nepal, North Korea, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Vanuatu, Yemen, and the United States.
- Token Price: 1 MAP = $0.01
- Jurisdiction: Estonia
- Payment Accepted:BTC, ETH, LTC, BCH, and XRP
- Minimum purchase: 15,000 MAP
- Problem addressed/solved: Maester Protocol wants to solve problems on both sides of the research spectrum. Due to the open nature of the internet, people can end up spending hours searching for the right information and still not be sure of its authenticity. On the other hand, professionals invest a lot of time and energy to showcase their skills, manage their reputation, and build followers on multiple social platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and others to attract clients. However, very few of them are able to monetize their following because of the tedious fulfillment process followed by the consulting industry.
- Target customers/customer/ segments/verticals: Maester Protocol targets typical industries which have high demand and need for digital consultations. The end users will be the companies seeking consultation and the consultants who use the platform as an additional revenue stream for their work.
- Value creation: Maester Protocol wants to create the world's first blockchain-based protocol for on-demand consulting. It will allow for the search of skilled professionals, and then companies can talk to the consultants instantly and pay automatically based on their consultation time at virtually zero cost.
- Competition: Maester Protocol will compete in a rat race for the first established project in this space. It’s got plenty of other blockchain projects on its heels and also has to worry about competing with sites like LinkedIn and Freelancer.com.
- Market size/potential: According to the National Technology Readiness Survey 2017 conducted in the US, on-demand economy in the US grew at more than 57% over 2016. The era of freelancing has just begun and video conference technology has helped increase the overall number of freelance consultants. Since the industry is still in its infancy, Maester Protocol has the opportunity to establish itself as a major player before typical companies (i.e not blockchain) enter the market as well.
- Regulatory risks: Maester Protocol will have to comply with the legal and financial frameworks of each country in which it does business. It will also have to adhere to security mandates around protecting personal data like GDPR.
- Investor value: MAP functions as a basic utility token, so Maester Protocol plans to solely accept MAP as an acceptable form of payment. Accepting only MAP tokens in the app will lead to a higher demand of MAP since demand = GMV (Total $ value of all transactions).
- Disclosures: Maester Protocol hits the mark with a stellar whitepaper and concise lite paper. It’s refreshing to see the effort the team put into the roadmap considering some projects reveal little to no information on the future steps for the project. Lastly, the project gives solid details on the experience and qualifications of the team.
- Token distribution: 50% company held tokens for retail sale in application, 30% tokens for ICO, 10% team (locked for 18 months), 7% advisors, and 3% bounty and referrals.
- Use of proceeds: 36% sales & promotions, 23% brand marketing, 14% technology, 12% strategy & research, 7% operations & overhead, 5% security, and 3% legal/compliance/accounting.
- Caps: Soft cap: 10 million MAP; Hard cap: 300 million MAP
- Maester Protocol has a massive team with 16 core members and an additional 24 advisors. It’s interesting how many people are working on the project at this stage of the venture. A huge number of advisors could drive costs way up. The core team has worked in relevant industries such as on-demand economy, enhancing employability and skill development, data analytics and building strategic partnerships. The CEO, Rohit Chadda, previously worked as an investment banker at Merrill Lynch before becoming a serial entrepreneur and starting numerous ventures.
- Rhoit Chadda, CEO/Co-Founder (LinkedIn)
- ishi Shukla, Co-Founder (LinkedIn)
- Venkat Rami Reddy, CTO (LinkedIn)
- MVP: The MVP of Maestor Protocol is complete and UI/UX screenshots can be found on page 15 of the whitepaper. It appears that users cannot individually test the MVP, but rather there’s an interactive portion of the site that runs through the features of the minimum viable product.
- Token use case: Maester coin (MAP) is an Ethereum-based ERC223 token introduced by the Maester Protocol. It is the fuel for Maester Protocol and thus will be used as the only method of payment for digital consultations through the protocol.
- Value-added: The MAP token allows Maester Protocol to operate on the blockchain so that payments and security have the added benefit of a seamless token payment and decentralized ledger to handle security concerns.
- Decentralization: The Maester Protocol is broken into two parts, On-chain (payments and security) and Off-chain (communication protocols & search engine backend). On-chain indicates decentralization for those business processes.
- Token Supply: Max supply of 1 billion MAP
- Technical difficulty/investment expertise needed: Maester wants to create a platform dedicated to on-demand consulting and all aspects that come with it. The platform will have a variety of features and sub-features within the project, so it becomes a bit tedious. Luckily, the intro video clears up a lot of clogged information in a short three minutes.
- Halo effect: Maester Protocol has six partners listed but most of them are relatively unknown companies. Most of the firms appear to provide technological help and advisory for certain aspects of the project like API and blockchain implementation.
- Buzz: Maester Protocol sits low on the totem pole in terms of overall buzz as its social media accounts only yield approx 4,500 followers in aggregate. The team does not often update the accounts or provide interested parties with new content from the blog. Hopefully, the team plans to use a portion of the ICO funds to kick off a serious marketing effort.