2017 was a banner year for ICOs. The money was flowing. Startups with nothing more than a whitepaper were raising millions of dollars. The events around ICO’s were extravagant affairs at high-end hotels and on cruise ships. Then it came crashing down by the end of Q1 2018 when it came out that 42% of all ICOs in 2017 were already dead.
The party was over. Even today, two years later, it’s still over.
I see those who raised funding during 2017 come back around for their next raise. They now appear as ICO Refugees. They have the mindset of 2017 in which the ‘sky is the limit’ and the investment dollars infinite. Their pitch starts with the promise of blockchain and the new market they are going to create. They’re going to tokenize an application and create a market. They have big-name partners lined up to work with them. The only need $5M dollars to build out the system and another $10M to launch it.
For some reason, I never seem to recognize any of the partner names and I can never see a working version of the software.
The reality is that 2017 is over and standard startup metrics apply. Blockchain is another enabling technology. You must have a product with users engaging it and line of sight to revenue. No one is going to invest $5M to develop something that will launch 3 years from now.
Hall T. Martin is the founder of TEN Capital and a builder of entrepreneur ecosystems by startup funding through angel networks, funding portals, syndicates, and more. Connect with him about fundraising, business growth, and emerging technologies