This article was originally published on 2017-09-13.
Updates on 2017-10-05: In response to the last minute change in the AirToken ICO structure (from whitelist-only to having a public crowdsale and offering only a 3-hour window for refunds), we have downgraded our recommendation from positive to neutral for short-term potential prior to the AirToken ICO. Please see our updated Conclusion section.
- Project name: AirFox / AirToken
- Token symbol: AIR
- Website: https://airtoken.com/
- Whitepaper: https://airtoken.com/paper/AirFoxICO_WhitePaper_v3.0.pdf
- Hard cap: US$21 million (ICO contributors own 70% of total token supply if hard cap is reached)
- Conversion rate: Total supply of AIR is 1.5 billion
- Maximum market cap at ICO on a fully diluted basis: US$30 million
- Bonus structure: First $0 - $2m – 30% / $2m - $4m – 20% / $4m - $8m – 10%
- Presale or white list: White list available at Airtoken website. If you want to purchase in the public crowdsale you need to participate in the whitelist. For more details, please refer to this blog post.
- ERC20 token: Yes
- Crowdsale date: There is no public crowdsale, participants need to be whitelisted which starts on September 14, 2017. The whitelist is open until September 22, 2017 and the ICO will begin October 5, 2017. Please refer to AirFox’s website for the most up-to-date information.
- Token distribution date: October 5, 2017
Video summary (video is 8:49 long):
What does the company/project do?
AirFox was founded in 2015 as part of Harvard University’s Innovation Lab with the goal of providing mobile affordability to the underserved, low-income consumer who is restrained by the cost of mobile data.
AirFox currently has two free Android apps that integrate with AIR tokens. The AirTokens used in the current apps are worth 1/100 of the AirToken purchased from the ICO and will be included in the 30% tokens in the AirFox Reserve.
- AirFox Browser: A mobile browser that blocks outside ads and trackers. Users can earn AIR tokens by opting in to AirFox ads.
- AirFox Recharge: Users can opt to view ads and complete offers (e.g. complete surveys, watch videos, install apps, etc.) to earn AIR. Users can also purchase AIR directly using local currency. This app will eventually be able to grant microloans of AIR to users.
Screenshots of the AirFox Browser available for Android:
It looks like the two apps were taken off the shelf and recently added back on Google Play. As a result, we were not able to find the download and popularity statistics from third party analytics.
Benefits for users:
- More affordable and accessible mobile internet.
- Can get access to mobile capital via P2P micro-loans in the form of AIR. Lender will receive back AIR and interest.
Benefits for wireless carriers:
- Can monetize low ARPU subscribers (i.e. prepaid users which have 1/8th of the ARPU of post-paid users) and get them to use more data. This could help them maximize their revenue per user.
Benefits for advertisers:
- Improved ROI, fewer intermediaries, better data targeting and less fraud.
- Expand reach to lower income users.
- Can target and reach unbanked prepaid subscribers.
- Can directly sponsor all or a segment of users with AIR tokens for opt-in, attention, or engagement.
Benefits for publishers:
- Improved monetization, user reach, and user experience.
- Can use the AIR tokens reward, micro-loan, and advertising system for higher user output.
- Can offer in-app purchases, digital products, and physical products as a microloan.
- Users can easily buy their services using AIR tokens.
- Advertising-based publishers can reward active users with AIR tokens.
AirFox will initially focus on Brazil and the surrounding Latin American countries, and eventually expand to other countries globally.
Here is an introduction video for AirToken (video is 3:25 long):
How advanced is the project?
Incubated at Harvard’s Innovation Lab, AirFox is a TechStars Boston alum and is venture backed by venture funds and other angel investors. According to Crunchbase, AirFox has raised $1.2 million in 2 rounds.
Since inception in 2016, AirFox has generated $600,000 of revenue in the first 10 months, delivered over 1 billion impressions.
AirFox’s business-to-business platform has enabled more than 2 million unique United States prepaid wireless subscribers to reduce their mobile costs. Here is a spreadsheet showing carrier coverage (a CSV file).
Below is AirFox’s product / mobile applications roadmap. For more information, please refer to their whitepaper.
Phase I – August 1, 2017
- Users can earn free AIR via ads in the AirFox Browser and/or Recharge apps.
- Users can use the AirFox browser to access the internet faster and more data efficiently.
- Users can use tokens to redeem mobile data and send it to themselves or to other users over 500 wireless carriers (5 billion prepaid SIM cards).
Phase II – Q1 2018
- Qualified active users can redeem micro-loans of AIR by collateralizing their prepaid account (based on an internal credit scoring system).
- Use of AIR is expanded to other items outside of mobile recharges.
- Users can redeem micro-loans of AIR for physical and digital products.
Phase III – Q2 2018
- Use of AIR and advertising / microloan blockchain system is expanded to external applications and across a direct network of publishers and advertisers.
- Publishers and advertisers can reward users with AIR via advertising moments and use the micro-loans system to enable capital for in-app purchases.
What are the tokens used for and how can token holders make money?
Users will receive AIR rewards for opt-in advertising and micro-loans of AIR based on the internal AirFox user credit-score. Users can redeem AIR tokens for mobile data recharges across prepaid carriers around the world, and eventually physical and digital products, across publishers and advertisers.
Advertisers can directly sponsor all or a segment of users with AIR tokens for opt-in, attention, or engagement.
To ensure the AirFox ecosystem is actually useful, the platform needs a large number of advertisers and users. The more advertisers and users on the AirFox platform, the more valuable AIR tokens should be.
The picture below shows the flow of AIR tokens:
AirFox was founded in 2015 in Boston. The management team is currently comprised of 6 members.
Victor Santos, Co-Founder & CEO – Previously the co-founder and COO of Ciao Telecom, a platform for VoIP entrepreneurs and an advertising-based mobile virtual network operator. Prior to that role, he worked at Google for two years as a Product Marketing Manager and at iWorld Services for two years as a Business Development Manager.
Sara Choi, Co-Founder & COO – Previously the Head of Product at Ciao Telecom and worked at Google for three years (in marketing) and at YouTube for one year (in operations). She graduated with a BA degree in Biology from Harvard University.
James Seibel, CTO – James was previously a software architect at Lola Travel (founded by the co-founder of Kayak) and was the Head of Engineering at Apperian (acquired by Arxan Tech). He obtained his MS and BA degrees in Computer Science at Boston University.
AirFox is backed by various investors, including TechStars, Project 11, NXT Ventures, Launch Capital, RightSide Capital and other investors in Boston. Their advisors include Jennifer Lum, co-founder of Forge.AI and Adelphic Mobile, Semyon Dukach, Managing at One Way Ventures, and Amy Spurling, ex-COO and CFO at Jana.
- AirFox is a revenue-generating company since 2016 with VC funding, making this ICO more established and less risky than most of the other projects.
- AirFox’s services are proved to have real world demand. Over 2016, AirFox enabled more than 2 million unique prepaid wireless subscribers in the US. AirFox also delivered over 1 billion impressions to advertisers, helping them reach a lower income audience.
- The team is solid with good credentials.
- The space for microlending for the unbanked is very large and AIR token’s upside can be substantial if the project succeeds.
- We couldn’t verify the usage of the two AirFox apps on Google Play as they were re-added on the platform recently. On this page, it shows that the app only has 10-50 installs.
- AirFox’s ads are probably not going to be as relevant as those provided natively (e.g. from Google) because Google and other advertising platforms can use trackers to provide better targeting to users. Hence, advertisers may not be as keen to publish ads on AirFox and may pay a lower ad rates compared to other platforms.
- The microlending feature, which is a large part of AirFox’s vision, is not proven and it is uncertainty whether it will gain traction after the rollout.
Overall, we are neutral about the ICO’s short- and long-term potential. Our thoughts of the tokens for short term and long term are as follows:
For short-term holding
Neutral. The soft cap was not reached from the whitelisted participants and they had to do a public crowdsale, which is contrary to what they have been assuring participants. The last minute change in ICO structure (from whitelist-only to having a public crowdsale, offering only a 3-hour window for refunds) also doesn't provide a lot of comfort to potential participants.
For long-term holding
Neutral. As mentioned in the “Concerns” section, the microlending feature, which is a large part of AirFox’s vision, is not proven and it is uncertainty whether it will gain traction after the rollout.
For more information about the ICO, please visit the following links:
Technical whitepaper: https://airtoken.com/paper/MicroLoan_whitepaper_v1.pdf
AirToken blog: https://medium.com/@airfox