Aussie-founded blockchain email startup Sendy, which rewards people for engaging with marketing emails, has raised $500,000 in its initial coin offering (ICO) pre-sale.

The pre-sale has been led by two crypto funds, New Zealand based Techemy Capital and Australian Apollo Capital, in the lead up to Sendy’s public ICO, planned to open later this year.

Headquartered in Singapore, Sendy was founded last year by Aussies Josh Reyes and George Hartley — a pair familiar with the startup journey.

Hartley previously co-founded Bluethumb, an online art marketplace, alongside his brother Ed Hartley. He also co-founded SmartrMail, a personalised email marketing tool for e-commerce and graduate of the Startmate accelerator backed by Blackbird Ventures. At the latter, Reyes served as marketing coordinator.

According to Hartley, Sendy is designed to solve a “twofold problem” in the way emails are used.

Because emails are free, there’s a lot of scope for spam — according to Hartley more than 50% of all emails are junk — and very little incentive for readers to click on content. This means interaction with legitimate marketing content is also reduced.

Sendy provides a decentralised email API, meaning companies can attach value, in the form of Sendy tokens, to their emails. It works on the concept that “your attention is valued”, Hartley says, and rewards customers for engaging with marketing content.

As well as the pre-ICO funding, the co-founders have also got some high-profile advisors on board in Horizon State founder Jamie Skella and, Dave Bean, head of sales at Earn.com, which was recently acquired by Coinbase for $US100 million.

“They’re two lovely guys, we’re lucky to have them,” Hartley says.

Blockchain and cryptocurrency is “such a new space,” he adds, so “having people who have done it before is really important”.

The Sendy platform is in beta-stages now, but Hartley says when it’s fully launched it will be platform-agnostic, able to plug into any browser and multiple email service providers, in a bid to help marketers get better engagement from their email campaigns and to reward email subscribers for their attention.

Even for people who are not crypto-savvy the system will be “super low-friction,” Hartley says, with users’ Sendy balance appearing at the bottom of the email.

As users read emails, their Sendy balance will “naturally go up”, he adds.

“All you need to do to redeem Sendy and start using it is click the link, and set up your wallet”, he says, stressing that setting up the wallet is far from an onerous process.

Email subscribers don’t have to be “across” cryptocurrency in order to use Sendy tokens.

“We’re hopeful that this could be a product that puts crypto more into the mainstream,” says Hartley.

Once users have acquired Sendy tokens, they can either trade it for other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum, or for fiat currencies; use it to donate to charity; or simply use it to pay for things.

The token will have “real value”, Hartley says.

Sendy’s pre-sale funding will be directed primarily into marketing, and into further development of the platform. The team is working on creating a fully decentralised inbox, whereby users will have full control of their own data, although Hartley doesn’t reveal many details around this.

“We’ve done a couple of startups before and understand that development and marketing both need to be a really strong focus in getting out there,” he says.

The founders are also prioritising bringing more service partners on board.

“They’re the ones who are really going to spread Sendy to their networks,” Hartley says.

“Interaction rates are really important for our email service providers, and this helps that improve.”

For blockchain startups thinking of launching an ICO, Hartley advises getting “the best advisors you can” on board, and “don’t rush it,” he says.

“There’s a perception that it’s easy money,” he adds, “but you only have one reputation, and I think you really need to treat [the ICO process] the same as if you were raising from angels or VCs.”

When people back you, they’re investing money into your project, he says. And, there are more and more choices becoming available for crypto investment.

“Be serious about it,” Hartley concludes.

 

*This post is credited to Smart Company

It looks like the next big trend in cryptos could be security tokens.

Security tokens are digitized securities that are representing shares in a traditional financial asset.

In fact, Security Token Academy recently held its first ever Security Token Summit this past June 11 in NYC. You can find some notes on the conference here.

I’ve been reading about it from Lou Kerner, a crypto VC. His latest here. He predicts in 2019 we’ll see more issuance of Security Tokens than Utility Tokens.

So naturally I’m checking out projects affiliated with the Security Token sector.

The first project on the list is Polymath (POLY). This is one I actually wrote about in August 2017 when the token symbol was PLY and they were planning to launch the platform in October of 2017. Well much has changed since then.

Polymath is a platform for security tokens. They plan on advancing securities on the blockchain the way Ethereum helped advanced tokens.

That means getting things like stocks, bonds, private equity, and venture into security tokens and onto the blockchain.

There’s many advantages to security tokens. They can trade 24/7/365, you can have fractional ownership, there’s increased transparency, increased liquidity, and it gives easier access to investors around the world.

Polymath aims to bridge the gap between traditional securities and the blockchain with its security token platform.

The platform is powered by Polymath’s native token, POLY. There’s 1 billion total with about 276 million in circulation now.

Polymath is also creating its ST20 token standard. It’s kind of like ERC20 for Ethereum. Polymath’s ST20 token standard simplifies the process of creating and investing in security tokens. The ST20 token standard is open-source and has KYC (Know Your Customer) built-in.

To learn more about Polymath check out the website.

Soon, we’ll go from talking about ICOs – initial coin offerings, to STOs – security token offerings.

What do you think of Security Tokens and Polymath?

Atomic Capital, a security token issuance platform and blockchain capital solutions provider with over $ 250MM in projects in the pipeline, has entered into an agreement to list the tokenized securities of its clients on the OpenFinance Network (OFN), a trading platform for alternative assets.

OFN works with leading brokerage houses, custodians, transfer agents, and banks serving alternative markets. Made up of a team of securities lawyers and trading veterans, OFN works with both U.S. and international investors across various securities offerings types, including Reg D, S, A, A+, and CF.

Alexander S. Blum, CEO of Atomic Capital, stated: “We launched Atomic Capital to bring professionalism and a people-first approach to the tokenized security industry. Collaborating with an innovative company like OFN completely supports that mission. OFN provides access to liquidity on a proven platform for this new, burgeoning, asset class. We’re excited to offer our clients this clear pathway to a compliant secondary trading platform that’s not just first to market, but backed by a team of individuals that lead with action. These assets won’t be ‘alternative’ for long.”

Founder and CEO of OpenFinance Network, Juan Hernandez said: “Atomic Capital’s commitment to integrity, professionalism, and execution aligns with OFN’s approach as well. We are very excited to write this security token future together. We’ll be doing more with Atomic in the weeks and months to come.”