We have rated BoatPilot as "Stable".
In general, the product developed by the project team has a rationale and will potentially be in demand in the market for which it is designed. The team members are closely involved in the project’s industry and well-versed in various aspects of it. The functionality has already been successfully implemented for one proposed coverage region. The roadmap looks realistic and it is likely that scaling of the product will cover expected market size, provided risks are not realized and the hard cap is reached. We see potential in using mobile applications for yacht navigation and in using related services and improving them.
Positive aspects of the project include a number of original solutions for existing problems in the market. Moreover, the product has already passed the stage of being just an idea and has been implemented as a workable version. We consider the monetization method, based on providing a platform for potential advertisers, convincing. The product is also unique and has no direct analogues in the market.
However, with all these advantages, the project is purely a niche one, not designed to capture a wide audience outside yachting communities.
Investment risks for the token are connected primarily with prospects for its price dynamics and future liquidity.
One of the weakest aspects of the project is the use of tokens within the BoatPilot ecosystem. Use of the token is a consequence of the crowdsale but not its cause. It becomes clear from the description that the main goal is to attract financing through a token sale rather than creating an operating ecosystem. The idea of rewarding with tokens for data provided is not a bad one, but if the token is used only for this or for financing the development of the product in the future, investors may incur additional investment risk. The token is not necessary in the ecosystem and it is not a utility in the full sense. We considered this aspect critically important when we assigned the project its rating.
We see that the project has a chance to succeed in creating and developing products and services using traditional (private and venture) fundraising, where investors not only share the risks for the project’s development but also receive potential compensation in the form of dividends and participation in its management. Current investors do not have obvious advantages when holding the project’s tokens: they risk their money while they finance the development of the product but do not receive anything in return, except for growth of the token rate, the probability of which is not high in our opinion
General Information about the Project and ICO
The BoatPilot project involves the development of a free navigation service for private and commercial yachting. In addition to the navigation application, the service created also offers users a set of related services including a device with an augmented reality mode for travel convenience.
The BoatPilot project combines solutions in two directions: Engineering and information technology. On the one hand, we are talking about a new software product and on the other hand, about physical devices working in conjunction with it.
In addition to navigation solutions, it is also assumed that participants of the BoatPilot ecosystem will contribute to the updating and specification of information contained in the application. Thus, the more people use this product, the better and more accurate the data provided.
An important feature is that the developed product already covers one of the major market regions and is successfully used by yachtsmen. An Android application was created, demonstrating the basic potential of the product; it has been downloaded several tens of thousands of times. The current application's functionality covers the Mediterranean yachting market. According to the founders, testing of the BoatPilot prototype has shown a significant results: a large number of key geo-references are presented more accurately in the BoatPilot system than in systems existing on the market.
The project has already attracted capital from private investors. The project needs an ICO to accelerate the completion of its planned services, increase audience coverage and cover additional markets.
If the Hard Cap is achieved, the team expects to enter not only the European market but also to completely cover America and Asia within three years. In this case, the project is planning to occupy 2.5% of the marine cartography market by 2019 via the licensing of charts and 1.5% of the advertising market through the sale of geo-targeted advertising.
Problems the project solves
In general, it is possible to characterize the problems that the project aims to solve in the marine cartography market, as the maladaptation of available navigation systems to the needs of private users. The following common features are typical in the navigation systems market:
Since navigation applications are processed from navigation systems for large-tonnage ships, their functionality does not meet the requirements of the yachting community. They have an abundance of redundant information and significant problems with fundamental data. Private or charter yachts and vessels need information (about bays, refueling, services, restaurants, hotels, etc.) that these systems cannot provide.
The actualization of information in existing systems is also slow and inefficient due to the principles of content updating laid down in them. Often there is a discrepancy between information contained in their databases and the actual state of affairs in the yachting infrastructure.
The expensiveness of these navigation systems is combined with their mutual incompatibility, which restricts users to use only one application, preventing reconciliation of data from different services.
Assessing the novelty of the commercial solution implemented by the BoatPilot project, it is worth noting that it offers interesting opportunities for advertising to the yachting market.
The peculiarity of the product is that it solves a number of difficulties that participants of this market face: Both yachtsmen and potential advertisers.
Currently, sources of relatively useful advertising in this market include profile magazines, forums and exhibitions as well as paper directories. Most of these sources are designed either for technical experts or for large producers, so they are not interesting or not informative for yachtsmen. Other sources of useful information (such as paper directories or leaflets) are inconvenient or ineffective. Thus, yachtsmen actually experience the problem of a deficit of useful information and advertisers cannot successfully provide it.
The problem in many respects is that the potential advertiser in this market is a small or medium player. As a rule, this is a particular local service (for servicing ships or entertainment industry) that lacks the technical or financial ability to maintain a high level of information to potential customers on a regular basis, even though it fully meets their needs. Another important factor regarding information and advertising support for yachtsmen is that their requests often arise due to unplanned circumstances, such as a sudden breakdown or a need for maintenance, which also feeds the need for situational advertising with appropriate geo-referencing.
In this context, linking the task of providing yachtsmen with up-to-date advertising information with the project’s navigation and cartographic solution looks very advantageous. An advertising platform has been created within the BoatPilot navigation service, the maintenance and servicing of which is carried out by the yachting community themselves and by hardware and technical components developed within the project. The idea to involve members of the community make sense and seems to be effective in all respects. As for hardware components, this function is assigned to the BoatGod module, which collects and analyzes navigation information, as well as data from ships’ onboard systems. This not only provides data on users’ location (and enables advertising based on this), but also to display advertising to the user, guided by the technical parameters and operational performance of his vessel. Thus, advertising information will be replenished fully and quickly and users will have necessary and relevant information even offline.
In our opinion, it is an interesting and promising idea to make advertising the main source of monetization. Being free for users and available to a potential advertiser, the advertising service will solve tasks similar to TripAdvisor’s service, but for a specialized target audience.
In general, characterizing the potential of BoatPilot, the fact that it was designed to meet the needs of private yachting is an advantage. Moreover, the BoatPilot navigation system assumes cooperation with and receiving feedback from users, enabling constant updating and supplementation of the application’s database.
Information on the ICO:
ICO start date: 01 April 2018
ICO end date: 30 April 2018
Token name: NAVI
Soft cap: 3,920,000 USD
Hard cap: 9,850,000 USD
ICO price: 1 NAVI = $0,07
Minimum Buying Transaction: $7
Maximum Buying Transaction: -
Accepted currencies: ETH, BTC, LTC, BCH
Unsold tokens will be burned.
Total emission: 270,256,886 NAVI:
61.25% - Free float
20% - Team
12.25% - Bonuses
3.5% - Advisers
1.5% - Project ecosystem
1.5% - Bounty, PR and referral.
Allocation of funds:
Description of the Services and Scope of the Project
BoatPilot contains a number of developments, each of which works as part of the system and as a separate ready-made solution. These product elements can be offered to other manufacturers of marine cartography systems or manufacturers of navigation equipment as ready-made solutions.
The main technical solutions involved in the product and ensuring its operation are listed below:
A module for optimization of vector geo-navigation information (geo-spatial structures) for use on mobile devices with limited processing power and memory capacity.
A cloud platform for collaborating on geo-references with an arbitrary data structure, and ranking and indexing the stored geo-data.
A cloud platform for real-time collection and visualization of the main indicators (coordinates, speeds and rates) for sea-going ships equipped with GPS and GLONASS, as well as a server for storage and cloud synchronization of these data.
BoatGod wireless hardware module for iOS and Android platforms, designed to work with onboard ship systems according to NMEA standard, which enables receiving information from all ships’ devices and managing it if necessary, as well as aggregating geo-information from various ship systems, for example sonar for compiling updated charts.
In total, from a user's point of view, the product offered by the BoatPilot team can be described as a system comprising several software and hardware services:
Pocket Skipper application
BoatGod – Hardware module for data collection from onboard systems
Augmented reality mode
1. The service’s navigation functions are focused on the BoatPilot application. BoatPilot enables yachtsmen to create routes and use up-to-date information (charts, navigation signs, reference data, regional navigation rules, etc.) about onshore facilities. Due to the cloud infrastructure, BoatPilot users can add to and update the navigation database. Thus, users generate content independently, the reliability of which is checked and confirmed by other members of the community. As a result of this cross-validation of data, a relatively complete and accurate database of navigational information is generated and maintained. This database can also contain professional skipper comments, photos and diagrams, in addition to general information.
2. In the Pocket Skipper application, additional services are provided: yacht brokering (i.e. offering boats for sale or rent according to parameters set, marine rent, searching for fellow travelers and offering tours as well as other functions).
Judging by the description, the system for monetization will also be implemented in this module. In addition to a free navigation application, the project acts as a marketplace, providing businesses of any scale - from the largest brand companies to small coastal restaurants - efficient and convenient access to the global yacht market. Such a solution seems both interesting and justified from a commercial point of view. According to the founders, advertising on the BoatPilot service will work even when a user does not have online access.
3. In addition to BoatPilot and Pocket Skipper a hardware module, BoatGod, is also planned. This module connects to the on-board network, collects and transmits data on the ship's onboard systems via a Wi-Fi network. Ultimately, the most accurate and relevant navigational charts are created with its help. This project component is quite important, as its operation is largely based on the functioning of the token in the BoatPilot system: users' work on processing, updating and replenishment of navigation data is supposed to be monetized with NAVI tokens.
4. BoatPilot also provides an Augmented Reality (AR) mode. This mode will enable the skipper to manage the vessel wearing special AR-assisted glasses, not being distracted by instrument reading during vessel management, since all necessary data (channel, approach trajectories, danger signs, radio channels) will be displayed on the glasses. This option is especially useful for conditions of reduced visibility or bad weather.
We see a lot of technical difficulties in the development of the product and a long period of testing and debugging for the hardware module, which could delay its introduction to the market.
4.1 Market analysis
Europe is the primary market for the BoatPilot project. According to research by MarketsandMarkets, the European charter market is estimated at $13 billion, and will reach $13.6 billion by 2020. Total volume for the European yacht market is estimated at $20 billion. Commercial cartographic systems occupied a share of about $154 million in 2015, with projected growth to $166 million by 2020. The share of advertising in the European yachting market was about $100 million in 2014.
Apart from Europe, the Americas and the Asia-Pacific region are major yachting regions. In general, the global yachting market is an aggregate of these three regions.
The market shows average annual growth of 1.46%. The markets for Asia and Latin America are growing more intensively (CAGR of 3.36% and 3.30% respectively). The market for electronic cartography also shows moderate but stable growth for the period 2013-2016. According to MarketsandMarkets, this will continue to grow and will reach about $717 million by 2020, which corresponds to CAGR of 1.84% between 2014 and 2020.
The European cartography market (the primary market for the project) is expected to grow from $150 million in 2014 to $166 million in 2020 (CAGR is 1.64%).
4.2 Competitive analysis
The marine cartography market is divided among a relatively small number of large players. The main participants are Jeppesen, Transas Marine and Navionics.
Jeppesen is an American company owned by Boeing. Their activity is focused on cartography for navigators and mobile devices. Jeppesen also produces many programs, navigational databases and products for sea and river vessels. The company was founded in 1934 and is one of the world leaders in the industry.
Transas Marine (UK) Ltd. – a company that supplies a wide range of software products, integrated solutions and hardware technologies for the aviation and marine transport industries, including both on-board and on-shore applications. The company was founded in 2002 and is based in Portsmouth, United Kingdom. Transas Marine (UK) Ltd. works as a subsidiary of Transas Ltd.
Navionics - one of the largest players in the cartography market, absorbed by the industry giant Garmin Ltd. It has the most complete marine mapping databases and clients, and produces chartplotters with its own software. It regularly updates its cartographic database; users can download this at an additional cost.
Navionics’ high-precision maps offer new standards of navigation for serious yachtsmen and fishermen, providing maximum coverage areas. Maps show the exact water cut, point depth measurements, navigational course lines and all navigational signs on the reservoir.
Key features of Navionics’ Gold navigational GPS cards include tinted depth contours, debris, tides and currents base, port plans, real contours and colors of buoys and other auxiliary equipment to provide clear paths to harbors. There is also a choice of security contours.
This company is one of the strongest competitors for BoatPilot.
We assess the prospects of the project in the yachting market as moderately positive. In our opinion, despite the relative narrowness and privilege of the market, the product is not entering into direct competition with existing market players. Large market players are more focused on servicing the larger marine navigation sector and commercial traffic than BoatPilot’s product. Further, BoatPilot is compatible with other navigation systems, which makes its use attractive regardless, especially taking into account the project’s innovative solutions and given the fact that it is completely free for the end user.
Special mention must be made of the advertising market for yachting. In 2014, the volume of this market in Europe was $100 million and, according to one of the founders, doubled by 2018. It should be understood that the BoatPilot project, originally developed for the private yachting industry and solving problems in this sphere, is successfully adapted to work with potential advertisers in this market due to its innovative solutions, amongst other factors. This is a tangible advantage for the project, in addition to the absence of direct competitors, and will contribute to its strengthening in the market.
We conside the usual problems associated with launching, maintaining and developing the product as the main difficulties that the product will face. In fact, product marketing in this case is less complex than the technical implementation. The creation of independent cartography with sufficient coverage (albeit with the support of the yachting community) is seen as an ambitious objective towards which the project team will have to work hard.
Let us consider the BoatPilot project team members, their positions and competencies.
From our point of view, the project team is not fully established. The description of some of the team members’ skills is too generalized. It seems that they are successful entrepreneurs but not specialists. There are no advertising specialists; at least it is not specified who will be engaged in the main efforts for commercialization. There is also a lack of economists involved with the project. An advantage is that many of the founders are directly involved in yachting and sea voyages. However, there are not enough technical specialists or programmers. The team lacks participants in its economic profile, which adversely affects the development of both the project and the token economy.
The project advisors are experienced specialists with various orientations. We assume that the role of advisors in the project is significant, and its success will largely depend on the degree of their involvement. The presence of a legal advisor is a particular advantage.
In addition to the team and advisors, the project has established partnerships with a number of yacht manufacturers and charter organizers. The partners include well-known companies such as Contest Yachts Zeeland, Hanse, North Sails, Sunreef Yachts and others.
As in many blockchain projects, product development is also linked to the user community. In the case of BoatPilot, we find the idea of cooperation and feedback from users interesting and promising.
The project involves the use its own "utility" token, NAVI, which will play a role in the incentives system for participants.
Since correct cartographic information is the core of the entire platform, the problem of obtaining this information arises, as well as the need for its constant updating. The project uses NAVI tokens for this purpose.
A reward program for topical geodata provided is available to all participants whose vessels are equipped with the BoatGod module. This geodata is transmitted in passive mode, so users do not need to do anything in addition; it is enough to use the module while sailing a yacht. Geodata is collected in a special Geopool, which aggregates the information received from participants. For all geodata received, users will receive a reward in NAVI tokens and special algorithms prevent the platform using the obtained geodata without sending a reward to the yachtsman who provided it.
Tokens enable the platform to constantly update cartographic and navigation information and have access to more up-to-date data than competitors; the yachtsmen to be able to take advantage of BoatPilot’s services and earn NAVI tokens simply using the module and transferring geodata to the Geopool; and for ordinary users to have access to the most up-to-date map data.
The platform provides a bonus pool of 1.5% to encourage users transmitting data using BoatGod. Notwithstanding the depletion of the bonus pool, it is assumed that the buyback program will constantly be maintained to buy tokens back from exchanges, which will increase token demand in the short term.
Token buyback will occur to a greater extent than necessary for encouragement. This is done for the gradual burning of a portion of the tokens and, as a consequence, a gradual decrease in the total NAVI emission.
We see a certain utility in the incentive systems for updating cartographic data; they will enable users to constantly receive up-to-date information. The malfunctioning of yacht systems, which cannot always be tracked, could lead to verification issues. Ranking is a problem for the reward mechanism, regarding duplicate or unnecessary information. In areas where a large number of participants are concentrated, providing incentives will not be justified.
The documentation specifies that remuneration amounts will be specified in the future and it is not currently possible to estimate the amount that a yachtsman may receive, nor what costs the project will incur with this system. Yachts tend to be used by people with incomes at least above the average. In this regard, their motivation will be more in regard to the development of the industry and their assistance in actualizing maps, not in the possibility of additional earnings if this amount is insignificant.
The use of the token is required only for a small segment of the entire project. Since no further use is indicated except for a system of interaction between users-providers of geodata and the platform, there may be significant risks for investors at an early stage.
The token economy is more or less dependent on three important factors:
The BoatGod module: On success with its development and popularization.
Launch of the BoatGod module for corporate clients (charter flights) in Q3 2018.
Launch of the BoatGod module intended for private clients in Q2 2019 in accordance with the road map; this may not appear at all if the hard cap is not reached.
This justifies us stating that there is no need for tokens before the release and distribution of the BoatGod module, except for the TGE. The token seems to us to be redundant; its functions can be easily replaced by existing cryptocurrencies which can also be used to reward participants without complex listing systems for exchange, reverse buyback, burning, etc. The token, although it is declared as utility, is in fact a by-product of the crowdsale and does not have a stand-alone value in the system.
We consider this to be one of the most important elements of any project that offers tokens to investors. Potential investors in BoatPilot do not receive anything in return for their investment: neither special functions available only to token holders nor any other privileges, apart from the theoretical possibility of tokens’ buyback and fulfillment of the obligations.
Analysis of Factors Affecting the Future Value of the Token
We conditionally divided the factors that affect the value of token into two stages:
The stage before launch and distribution of the BoatGod module. (Here we mean a full-fledged operating system of incentives using BoatGod, not minor aspects of the module)
The success factor of the project and its compliance with the roadmap. This can be both positive and negative. Important milestones will be the launch of applications on iOS (BoatPilot and Pocket Skipper), as well as successes in the distribution of the BoatGod module.
Sales in the market made by the team and advisors. The team and advisors are given 23.5% of the total emission, which is a large amount able to have a significant effect on the token rate. Since it is impossible to estimate the volume of the program for token buyback at any moment, we estimate this factor as negative.
The pre-sale stage has a risk of sales by investors who will want to fix their high bonuses.
Lack of natural demand for tokens in the market. Utility tokens are usually characterized by an increase in demand when using the service i.e. users need to buy tokens on exchanges or the over-the-counter market to use the product or service. In the case of NAVI, we see no such need; applications are available without tokens like all other potential services.
After the launch and distribution of the BoatGod module.
Impact on the buyback rate for NAVI tokens of funding the Geomining promotion program. This enables us to factor in the demand side of the market at the expense of purchase commitments. It is positive for the token’s potential price.
Gradual burning of a portion of tokens after their buyback from exchanges. The project provides not only gradual buyback from exchanges but also burning of tokens, which potentially reduces emission and the supply side, affecting the token price positively.
Sale of tokens by participants arising from the promotion program. Since the token has no other mode of application, participants will strive to sell all tokens received under the promotion program, which will cause pressure on the price. There could be a situation in which the platform buys tokens back from exchanges, sends them to participants and they sell it back in the same market. This negates the positive role for buyback in the long term (but leaves the positive effect of burning tokens).
Reducing the compensation for geodata. The project can greatly reduce the number of tokens for promotion due to a reduced need for new data. After some coverage of a region, it is advisable to reduce rewards, since there will be a proportionate decrease in efficiency for each yacht within any single region.
Lack of a large number of "geominers" for a long time and, as a result, insufficient volume for the buyback program.
Lack of a transparent pricing system for incentives for yachtsmen. The project states that it will independently determine the remuneration amount, so participants will be dependent on the founders’ decision.
Unfortunately, we do not see any strong motivation for investors to take risks at the crowdsale stage.
We also note strong asymmetry of supply and demand for 6-12 months. We think that the supply will naturally exceed demand, and this will put pressure on the token price at the first stage of project development. We do not see benefits for investors at the crowdsale stage except for bonuses which are often a strong incentive to sell after tokens are listed on exchanges.
The buyback program is designed to increase token demand; however, it is necessary to take into account an opposite effect of participants receiving rewards, namely, selling tokens on the exchanges where they were recently purchased. Only burning is really able to affect the situation positively with an increase in number of participants in the ecosystem.
The team, advisors and the pre-Sale participants have a large share of the tokens; price decreases will certainly occur if these project participants sell their share.
We think that the token price could fall after listing on exchanges due to the aforementioned factors, which puts into question the necessity of investing during the crowdsale.
Investment Risks Analysis
1. The product is highly niche in nature.
We think that the target investor audience is mainly concentrated at the intersection of people associated with yachting and those who have an idea about cryptocurrency. In our opinion, this is an extremely small audience, which will not be easy to involve in the crowdsale. This creates risks for investors of failing to reach the hard cap and the lack of an active community (yachting + crypto) around the project.
2. Unpopularity of the token and lack of liquidity.
In the absence of liquidity, due to a small number of investors, there is a serious risk of being unable to sell a sufficient volume of tokens on the market. It also leads to increased volatility and a strong risk of token prices being able to be manipulated by any holder of large amounts.
3. Risk of termination of buyback due to lack of financing.
Some cryptocurrency or fiat is needed for token buyback, which is required for the development and scaling of the project. In fact, investors’ tokens will be bought back only given the availability of the company’s profits.
4. Lack of natural demand for the token
As already noted, the token lacks fundamental domestic demand in the ecosystem. There is no need to buy it for the use of services or products; token holders do not have special advantages over those who do not hold them. This limits the "utility" function of the NAVI token.
5. The lack of dependence of the token price on success of the project.
Even if the project successfully develops and receives revenue from advertising or other activities, low potential of the token in use will interfere with the positive correlation of price and the growth in project revenues.
6. Non-transparent token status for the investor
Perhaps traditional investors who buy company shares would be interested in the project, however, ICO investors do not receive any incentives, apart for bonus tokens, for sharing risks with the founders by investing funds. We understand that this is typical of the security tokens. However, if we combine the main points of paragraphs 5 and 6 of this section, we can conclude that the token is mostly of the security nature.
7. Business risks for development
The impossibility of scaling to other regions, technical difficulties in developing AR systems and support for the BoatGod module, risks of increasing time spent on development, lack of success of the monetization program and other parameters should be important when an investor evaluates the project.
Do not underestimate the competitors. The belief that the BoatPilot product has a strong competitive advantage should be shared by other industry participants. Competitors’ products are not free, but price is not a major issue for yachtsmen in our opinion; however, their solutions have been on the market for a long time and it will be difficult to surpass them.