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Evedo: The First Bulgarian Blockchain Startup to Launch an IEO, and it’s in Asia. Here’s Why

Evedo's team is currently going through an acceleration program in Thailand and preparing for the IEO launch ©Evedo
Evedo's team is currently going through an acceleration program in Thailand and preparing for the IEO launch ©Evedo

Evedo, the Bulgarian platform in development that aims to put the event industry on blockchain and remove middlemen from the game, is launching an Initial Exchange Offering (IEO) in Asia in the middle of April. The company hopes to raise approximately $2M to further develop its product and has already signed a contract with cryptocurrency exchange BitForex.

“Our IEO will tackle the Asian market primarily as we are now working on closing a deal with two of the biggest exchanges, both of them focused on China, Singapore, Japan, Russia, and  Korea, ” told us Elena Kalpakchieva, Chief Marketing Officer of Evedo, right before signing the contract with BitForex. The platform itself, however, is targeted also at the European and the US event market.

Events on the Blockchain

Stoyan Angelov, currently founder and CEO of Evedo, comes from the event industry- he is the co-founder of the event agency Flyevents and shareholder in the music club Gramophone. While working in the field he discovered an issue – event organizers find it hard to connect and coordinate with all the participants, find fair prices, book artists, venues etc. So, last April Evedo was born.

“Our aim is to build a true ecosystem that will help the $850B+ event industry grow by connecting all parties without unnecessary middlemen”, says Angelov. The team, which has meanwhile grown to eight people, wants to put all that on blockchain and regulate the relations between stakeholders through smart contracts.

Evedo indeed consists of B2B and B2C marketplaces that unify all businesses and participants involved in organizing and conducting events.   While venues, artists, catering firms, technique rental companies, sponsors etc. are part of the B2B marketplace, the main players in the B2C area will be organizers, promoters and attendees. The main functions in the consumer space will be to buy and sell tickets and market events to new audiences. The alpha version of the B2C platform will be launched a week before the IEO, says the team.

The company has already attracted advisors like Jonathan Yunger, the director of Millennium Films and Jimmie Jeremedjev, managing partner of Lemon Bush.

Between Asia and Europe

Currently, Evedo is residing in Thailand and is participating in the Master Venture accelerator. “Master Venture’s accelerator and our VC are both based in Asia – Hong Kong and Thailand. The reason for our journey in Thailand is to gain further connections and reputation in the blockchain community in Asia,” says Kalpakchieva. According to her, the blockchain community there is huge which helps Evedo polish the product. Last, but not least, the IEO is targeted at the Asian market (see the Q&A).

The platform, however, is designed for the global industry and will try to enter the European, the US and also the Asian market, once they’ve raised the money needed for further product development, so the team.

ICO > IEO

Last year, the company was planning to fundraise through an Initial Coin Offering. However, after the wave of ICOs passed, Angelov and the team have decided on a new alternative. “When we think of the ICO wave from 2017 and 2018 we normally recall all the projects that were somehow fraudulent which led to a certain disappointment in the blockchain field in general,” says the founder.

IEOs, on the contrary, are perceived as much more credible as the exchanges do extensive due diligence on the projects before they consider their application. “We waited more than three weeks just for the internal teams of BitForex to do due diligence on our papers, company incorporation, team, token, token economics, business model etc.,” says Kalpakchieva. The IEO is scheduled for April 15. The plan is to list 30% of the token sale, which equals 32M EVED tokens, in the hope to raise 16K ETH (around $2M)

“Raising a certain capital is not as important as the chance to grow a significant community in South Korea, China, and Asia,” states Kalpakchieva.

Pros and Cons

IEO basically means that token sales are happening through cryptocurrency exchange platforms. The exchange acts as a guarantor and conducts a project due diligence check on the project. “Having IEO to streamline the process, developers are no longer required to perform KYC verifications. Indeed, it can bring about widespread publicity, and a quicker listing process,” stated the exchange OKEx that is headquartered in Malta.

While many startups, which used to collect money from ICOs, have struggled to get their tokens listed on exchanges, Binance, Bittrex, or OKEx could make sure IEO’s tokens are quickly tradable.

There are already projects like Tron’s BitTorrent Token (BTT) that raised more than $7M in less than 15 minutes, and the Fetch.AI project also raised $6M in a short time by selling FET tokens. In the middle of March, however, one planned IEO on Bittrex exchange was canceled in the last minute due to “significant changes in the business status of the company,” Bittrex stated in a tweet (Trending Topics reported).

In addition, it’s argued that IEOs are too expensive for small companies and startups. In addition, the new hype could lead to centralization within the blockchain ecosystem, that should have been decentralized by design.

It’s a matter of time to see whether Evedo will manage to successfully launch and raise capital to put the event industry on the  blockchain and decentralize it.

Q&A

Trending Topics: Why is an IEO an interesting opportunity?

Elena Kalpakchieva: For Evedo, it is an interesting opportunity in two separate ways. First , it is a way to raise funding for further product development without the traditional VC investment model. Secondly, it is also a fruitful opportunity as a Marketing strategy and spreading the word about what we are trying to build in markets, networks and communities who are quite different.

It’s argued that IEOs are not the best option for startups. What do you think?

Stoyan Angelov: Some people argue that it is easy for big investors to manipulate the price of the token during an IEO. This is not exactly the case. The exchanges that we plan to use actually have set a hard cap for every participant. This way they prevent bigger wales to manipulate the market and dump the price

Some people argue this is against the decentralization philosophy of blockchain and might reduce the relevance of Ethereum. What’s your opinion?

We don’t agree here. Decentralization is the bigger picture and projects such as ours can only help the massive adoption of the concept.

Why, besides the acceleration program, are you in Thailand?

The reason for our journey in Thailand was actually to work from here with no distractions, to shift our project and gain further connections and reputation in the blockchain community in Asia. The Blockchain community in Thailand is actually amazingly big. On the one hand, the government is heavily supporting it and it is pretty open about it. Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission gave a green light to the country’s first portal for initial coin offerings (ICOs). Last month Thailand’s National Legislative Assembly approved an amendment to the Securities and Exchange Act legalizing the issuance of tokenized securities such as stocks and bonds from entities other than the Thailand Securities Depository.

Another benefit is the huge group of projects currently based and being executed from Thailand. It’s easy to sit in a coffee shop in Koh Phangan and meet the teams of projects such as Cardano, Satoshi Pay, Bitcoin Cash, Sentimental and many others.

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