One of the highest profile ICO’s to date has officially ended their coin offering, raising a total of $98 million. This falls over $25 million short of their intended target of $125 million.
The exact amount is 168,732 ETH which at todays valuation is around $47.5 million, this significant, yet less then anticipated amount came from over 10,000 backers. Combined with the $50 million raised in a pre-sale for institutional investors the grand total is around $97.5 million.
Kik’s ICO(KIN) is the first existing social media platform to use an ICO to raise additional funding to expand it’s current business model. It will be interesting to see how this turns out for the investors.
Kik’s vision according to the Whitepaper is as follows:
Kik has been a leading innovator in the chat space since the first million people signed up for the chat application in 2010. Kik was the first chat app to become a platform in 2011, and the first Western chat platform to integrate bots in 2014. Throughout 2015 and 2016, Kik also experimented with a form of digital currency on its platform, called Kik Points.
As a company, Kik has been searching for a sustainable monetization model that does not compromise user experience or privacy. Rather than opt for mass display advertising or the selling of consumer data, Kik has decided to adopt a decentralized organizational model. Its goal is to encourage the development of a digital services ecosystem that is fair and open. Kik prefers to be a participant rather than a landlord in this user-first economy.
To foster an ecosystem that is not only open and decentralized but also more compelling than its traditional counterpart, Kik must create a series of new products, services, and systems. Building a decentralized system is a complex process, and the transition to it must be done in a measured and responsible way over time. The following sections of this paper outline Kik’s plan for launching an entirely new platform: the Kin Ecosystem.
Through a series of economic and technological transitions, and based on a new cryptocurrency called Kin, Kik will work toward creating the first open and sustainable alternative ecosystem of digital services for our daily lives. Economic incentives at the core of this ecosystem will ensure that all participants – users, founders, and digital service partners – will ultimately benefit from this work.
Kik will encourage a network effect for Kin by becoming its first large adopter and sponsor. It will also establish the Kin Foundation as the custodian of the Kin Ecosystem, driving the stability and growth of Kin services.
Over time, the Kin Foundation will oversee the transition of the Kin Ecosystem to a fully decentralized model that can operate with no assistance from Kik or any other entity. The decentralized Kin Ecosystem will emerge as a sustainable autonomous economy that can empower the existing suite of chat, social, and other digital services, while building a platform for the best user experiences.
The Kin Ecosystem will seek to establish a global network of digital services that constitutes a new cooperative operating model, focused on the long term. In this model, developers and service providers will enjoy the right and opportunity to innovate and compete for compensation, while users will benefit from a diverse digital experience, freedom of choice, and access to a broad range of commercial services.
Sounds rather exciting and some might say optimistic, if Kik can really achieve all that they plan to with the funds raised from this ICO then this could be an interesting evolution for social media.