- August 10, 2017
- Posted by: sweisbrot
- Category: Business
In my last article, I discussed how I evaluate a Blockchain startup’s ICO to determine whether or not it’s a worthwhile investment for me.
In this article, I will break down each part of my criterion to show you how it works, and why I ended up investing in PreSearch.
MY EVALUATION PROCESS
- Who is the founder, what is his/her background? (Have they built and sold a company before, or a new entrepreneur?)
- Why did they start this company?
- Does it seem like a novel idea?
- Do they have a professional website?
- Do they have a professional whitepaper? Does it have proper structure and language use, does it explain the problem, solution, team info, allocation of funds, development roadmap, etc.?
- Where is the team in their development? Is there something you can interact with now, or how long until the beta is ready for users to test?
- How much money are they looking to raise?
- How do you send them the money? Is there Escrow or direct to a company wallet?
- Why is the coin necessary? What is it used for? Can it be traded for other coins? When will it be listed on an exchange and become tradeable?
- Do they have social media accounts? (FB, Twitter, Steemit, Medium, Slack, Bitcoin Talk Forums, etc.)
- How is their customer service and tech support doing on those media accounts?
- Have they posted their committed code to GitHub?
- Is the code solid?
- This is something we won’t be able to verify until the code is allowed to go public.
- Are there any industry experts backing them financially or as advisors?
- Have they raised private investment capital before their ICO? (does a professional, career investor back them?)
The Founder/Project Lead of Presearch is Colin Pape, a Canadian man who also owns a company called ShopCity. He founded ShopCity 9 years ago and still actively runs this company, which means he knows how to stick to an idea and see it come to fruition (this tells us he won’t run away with our money).
His LinkedIn has plenty of professional recommendations and comments showing him to be a good person (we can trust these endorsements because people won’t endorse someone if it’s not true, especially because it gets tied back to their name and reputation!).
I’ve been lucky enough to have Skype conversations and phone conversations with Colin, so I found out from him that there was a Manual reviewer from Google who often went onto the website. They mistook this human reviewer for a spam bot (because the IP was always the same), but didn’t realize it originated from Google. They banned the IP, and Google hammered their rankings to get revenge. They tried to reach out to Google to resolve the issue, only to find Google didn’t seem to care about them.
That’s when Colin realized how powerful Google was, and decided to fight back against Google by creating a Blockchain-based decentralized search engine. (This is important because it tells us he is doing this for the right reason, as he didn’t want others to suffer the same damage that ShopCity experienced).
His goal is to make this into a non-profit, which means he won’t become the next evil Google.
The idea of creating a search engine isn’t novel in itself, but the idea of decentralizing it, and providing financial incentives to users of the search engine (and by clicking on the ads) is novel and interesting.
After thoroughly checking every page of the website, it feels smooth, sleek, professional, and unified. I like the theme, I like the layout, and I love the message. In addition, they have a very clear video explaining the project, a clear timeline and ICO token offering, and a video from CNBC of a Wall Street manager talking about he is looking seriously at this project, which gives me faith in the project.
I found the whitepaper to be simple enough for everyone to understand, and professional enough to make me feel comfortable with their idea. Click here to read their Whitepaper.
Unfortunately, there is nothing you can interact with at the moment. Colin told me they are shooting for the search tool to come out in September, and based on the roadmap they will slowly create the engine and decentralize search information over the next few years.
They have already closed 2 rounds of their token sale. The first round sold 20M coins at $0.075 (that’s 7.5 cents) per coin, for a total of $1.5M USD. The second round sold 30M coins at $0.10 (that’s 10 cents) per coin, for a total of $3M USD, all in a matter of 13 hours! (I personally invested into the second round).
The third to fifth rounds will sell increasingly higher numbers of coins at increasingly higher prices, with the eventual goal of $1.5M + $3M + $6M + $10M + $15M = $35.5M USD, but since they are taking ETH coins, if the value of ETH goes up or down, so will the actual amount of money they are holding (if converted back into USD).
They have built a portal inside their website that allows you to send BTC or ETH from your own wallet with a private key to a wallet that exists only for you (so it can confirm your transaction is real and how much you sent), then later it will all get merged into 1 BTC wallet as well as 1 ETH wallet. If you choose to use the wire transfer method, the money will go directly to their Canadian company’s bank account.
The PST token was created to manage the community they are building. It will be used for searching and paying for ads, as well users can receive up to 80% of the money paid to the platform by advertisers simply by clicking on the ads. It will be freely tradeable with other coins. I believe they are working on a few exchanges like Bittrex, and expect the PST token to be listed by mid-October the latest.
If you look at the bottom of their website, they have links to FB, Twitter, Slack, and YouTube, and they are very active on them. They also have good engagement and plenty of likes. On the social media accounts, they share what’s going on inside the company/community, like mentioning the advisors that are joining them.
After checking their Slack and Bitcointalk Forums, there is definitely something more to be desired. I know from talking with Colin that they outsourced their PR to a PR firm, as well as hired a lawyer. For me personally, I felt like PreSearch’s PR communication was lacking and robotic, which I assume comes from the fact that they aren’t speaking from their hearts, but rather from a script prepared by other people outside their company. I told Colin how I felt, and he appreciated my advice, but the damage has already been done. In the end, they have still raised $6M successfully and quickly, so surely other people feel the same way I do.
They have posted their code, but it’s set to private until after the ICO is done in order to protect everyone’s investment into the project.
The three advisors that they’ve taken on are specialized in Search, Open Source, and Blockchain Law, which says they are on the right path with these guys.
If you watch the Full Interview Video with Terry Grainger, you’ll learn he was the former VP of Engineering at CareerBuilder, and his focus has been scaling, relevance, and has written research papers and books on these topics.
Colin told me that they incubated the project via profit derived from his other company ShopCity so that they wouldn’t have to deal with investors, which shows how serious he is about making the project work long-term since he put his own money into it’s development.
Despite the lack of something tangible to work with (platform + code), everything else surrounding this company feels positive, including the fact that they raised so much money in such a short time.
I have invested, and am happy to have done so, and I know if you invest with them, you will be satisfied as time goes on.
If you liked this article, why not read my last one titled HOW TO EVALUATE A BLOCKCHAIN ICO.
I have invested tremendous effort and capital over the past 18 months researching and experiencing different aspects of the Industry.
I have been hired by clients to provide services such as Blockchain industry analysis, consulting, advising, public speaking, and fundraising for Pre-ICO and ICO stages.
If you want to learn more, click here.