BMJ Score: 2.8
Quick Summary16 Investors read this
CommentaryToday, many consumers view ads as an ineffective and unwanted nuisance. VANM reimagines a world where the local economy is strengthened by ads and increased consumer awareness. The platform strives to provide local advertising below market average cost and reward customers for ad consumption while keeping their information private and protected. The platform itself will come in the form of a search engine that features products and services by category and will match supply and demand of local ads with nearby users in real time. It will also provide a content creation hub for self-employed brand ambassadors. While we think that a decentralized marketplace could help increase customer awareness and further local economies, there are several competing platforms in this space. VANM aims to differentiate by its ability to incentivize recipients of ad content with a percentage of ad revenue consumed. The project is also piloting a wearable ad miner in the form of smart-glasses. These glasses will provide users with on-demand information about great deals and rewards for VANM token holders. The most impressive aspect of the VANM platform is the token itself, specifically, allowing active users to receive a proportionately calculated deposit to their VANM wallet based on user level. This is something that will likely spur demand and incentivize token holders. While the token model is compelling, VANM does not yet have any advisors, partnerships, or users. The MVP will not be ready until late 2019, and there is very little information about the project roadmap. For us to feel more confident on its transparency and user adoption, we would need to see more details on the team’s progress in developing the platform. Furthermore, there is very little press on this project, which does not bode well for the project to differentiate from its competitors. If the whitepaper comes to fruition, VANM can redefine how users consume advertisements, but until the team works on product development, marketing, and transparency, we see their vision as a lofty idea.
- How to invest: To register for the token sale, you must enter your information at following link and join the white list.
- Discount: No indication of a discount.
- Eligibility: Eligibility: Residents of the U.S., Canada, and China may not participate.
- Token Price: 1 VANM = 0.0005 ETH
- Jurisdiction: Germany.
- Accepted currencies: ETH, BTC, BCH, LTC
- Problem addressed/solved: Traditional digital advertising has lost its edge as pop-up ads are typically ignored or blocked by consumers. Effective digital advertising is unaffordable and ineffective for small businesses to reach local focus groups, and ecommerce is already driving local mom and pop shops out of business.
- Target customers/customer/ segments/verticals: The users of the platform will be anyone looking for local restaurants, events, or activities that fit their interest. The real target market for VANM (revenue drivers) will be advertisers in the local scene who want to showcase their restaurant, event, activity, or experience on the platform. They’ll pay a fee and essentially enter themselves into the search engine so when people go looking for things they can appear if they match the specifications of the user.
- Value creation: Local advertising will increase awareness of small businesses in the community, thus strengthening the local economy through increased customer awareness. VANM services enable reasonable spending on local advertising to help small businesses establish contact with potential customers. The overall goal of VANM is to preserve the small economies in the cities in which we all live.
- Competition: Hundreds of blockchain startups are targeting marketing (affiliate, local, B2B, etc) as an industry to disrupt with new technology. VANM’s differentiating factor is its focus on local economies and helping those small businesses reach their clientele that lives in the area. It’s definitely a great niche market and something that many people would find useful, but it’s just a matter of acquiring the small business advertisers and putting their companies on the platform.
- Market size/potential: VANM’s platform will be available on mobile devices for ease of use and access. Digital advertising on mobile phones accounted for 59% of overall ad spending in 2018, which is a massive portion of a multi-billion dollar industry. VANM will also be entering a market where small businesses are continually overlooked on the web as they don’t have the website structure or well-known name to put their businesses on the front page of Google. It’s time for the mom and pop shop comeback, and VANM plans to lead the charge.
- Regulatory risks: The main risk here is safeguarding and protecting consumer information. The project will have to ensure it abides by GDPR and other data security regulations.
- Investor value: VANM operates as a utility token, but users also earn 50% of the ad revenue that their participation on the site actually generates. It’s a way of incentivizing users to take action on the platform, and it helps decrease the supply of the token while increasing the demand. Other than the profit sharing, investors of VANM could achieve a higher value in their investment as more advertisers and users join the platform.
- Disclosures: Although VANM has a solid group of documents (whitepaper, lite paper, token sale guide, and token sale terms), the quality of the information is subpar. The documents are, for the most part, unorganized and written in massive chunks that users simply won’t spend time reading. VANM has yet to release any sort of beta or UI/UX screenshots to display the future look of the platform.
- Token distribution: 60% ICO, 10% incentives, 10% platform, and 10% team.
- Use of proceeds: As per the Vanm whitepaper: “Collected funds are meant to provide liquidity to the VANM company and will be vested exclusively into product development and human resources. Another share will be held for the additional liquidity reserves to allow direct sales to advertisers.”
- Caps: Soft cap: No indication of soft cap; Hard cap: $13,382,518 USD
- Track record: VANM has a small team of nine core members and no advisory board. Vanm doesn’t provide employee biographies, but each member has email, LinkedIn, and telegram messenger links attached to his or her profile, making it extremely easy for anyone to reach out and ask questions or inquire about potential partnerships. Having said that, none of the team members have meaningful LinkedIn accounts; most actually have less than 250 connections. The structure of the team comes into question as three members have the same title listed on the site. Ilia Sakowski, a founder and managing director, has a background in engineering and previously worked at General Motors for three years along with fellow associate, Daniel Reuter. VANM has a small, inexperienced team that will have to jump through a lot of hoops to gain investor confidence as the project crowdfunds and eventually grows.
- Integrity: VANM’s overall transparency isn’t at the level of its peers, and the team just doesn’t have the experience nor the qualifications to instill investor confidence.On the plus side, the project has provided individual contact info for each team member, which is a step in the right direction as it tries to build its reputation within the crypto community.
- Ilia Sakowski, Founder/Managing Director (LinkedIn)
- Daniel Reuter, Founder/Director (LinkedIn)
- Florian Heller, Founder / Director (LinkedIn)
- Christian Gräfenstein, Senior Graphics Designer (LinkedIn)
- MVP: VANM states that beta tests of the VANM mobile app and wallet will be incentivized through its bounty program. It’s unclear exactly when the beta will be released as the roadmap simply has it listed under “2019 plans”. VANM plans to go through a process of collecting community votes on app prototype design, releasing the beta and then gathering further feedback from the early adopters.
- Token use case: VANM is primarily a utility token that will be used for the transfer of value and payments within and outside of the VANM ecosystem.
- Value-added: The VANM token will be used to facilitate in-app purchases of advertising contracts or traded directly for goods/services with businesses who are on the platform. Blockchain technology will enable instant transactions and near feeless operation within the platform. The token and blockchain certainly add value to the project, but it’s not differentiating enough to add significant benefits that overtake the established competition.
- Decentralization: VANM will utilize the Ethereum decentralized protocol as the blockchain for the platform.
- Token Supply: A total of 240 million VANM tokens were generated.
- Technical difficulty/investment expertise needed: VANM is creating a local search engine that will yield results for nearby restaurants, activities, events, etc. The search engine matches results with local advertisements in real time, and VANM will take a portion of the advertising costs from the companies. VANM likes to use a lot of buzz words and common jargon in its explanatory video, but it still helps to give an idea about the direction of the project.
- Halo effect: Vanm has a “Team and Partners” section in their whitepaper, but there’s not an actual section for partners, only quick descriptions for each team member.
- Buzz: VANM has been listed on some lower-tier rating sites like ICO Buffer and CoinRating, but have yet to receive a feature from a widely recognized news outlet. They have limited social media channels with a further limited audience. Their Facebook (35) and Twitter (465) posts receive 1-5 likes on average, and their LinkedIn has a grand total of 8 followers.