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Varanida Rating Review

Risky+

Investment Rating

Expiry date : Expired 26 Dec 2018

Rating report

We have reviewed the project's progress as of February 2019 and would like to note that the the team does not share detailed updates currently, however, the extension has been released. Therefore, the project's rating has been decreased to Risky+. 

 

The project has the following notable strengths:

  • It is aimed at a significant, fast-growing market (Digital Advertising).
  • It has an interesting idea.
  • Based on an existing business, DOZ.com.                                                                                    
  • Importance of blockchain in the project’s realization.
  • An existing working product.

 

However, there are also a number of risks associated with this ICO project:

Technical description

Only the already-existing services are described in a full and clear manner. Future services to be added to the platform are generally covered with no technical or detailed description.

 

Commercial risks

There is significant competition for Varanida. In addition, traditional market players may also switch to blockchain if needed.

 

Decrease in token price

Because of the discounts provided during the ICO, there is a chance that the token price will face pressure after its listing. There is no information about funds (if any) attracted through seed rounds. Moreover, a tolerant reward system will increase the amount of tokens a participant may use for speculative purposes.

 

Non-comprehensive roadmap

The roadmap covers only general aspects of the project, without details of the operational process or the team’s plans for market coverage. There is no forecasting of the potential market share.

Based on the analysis performed and taking into consideration all of the risks associated with the Varanida project as of September 2018, we assign the Varanida project a “Stable” rating. The rating may need to be reassessed once a renewed whitepaper and additional technical documentation are issued.

Project & ICO information

Varanida operates in the digital advertising market, with an embedded ad blocker mechanism. Surveying the whole digital advertising market, there are several problems that are evident: Intense competitiveness among advertisers, inefficient ad blockers and ad fraud (divergence from initial contracts and falsifying of statistics collected result in losses for advertisers).

The first online banner ad appeared in 1994, so this is a young sector of the digital advertising market which offers a huge audience for product promotion. However, there are drawbacks affecting the growth of this sphere:

  1. Targeting scripts slow down pages and congest bandwidth
  2. The collection and distribution of users’ private data
  3. A large number of invasive ads, strong competitiveness among advertisers and enormous maintenance costs
  4. Inefficient ad blockers, which don’t differentiate between good and bad advertising.

 

The process of globalization is speeding up and increasing the movement of capital because of the rise in total covered audience, more game studios offering their services, advertisers promoting their products, and a more powerful infrastructure connecting all parties together. Following the largest companies, other brands see an opportunity for additional capital inflows through ad blocker and advertisement management; more and more companies are beginning to intersect with the digital advertising control market.

Varanida is a blockchain-based project that enables participants to deliver only quality content, create more effective advertising campaigns, respond and choose only necessary information, give full control of private data to its owners, whilst saving all statistics within the blockchain, making it secure and open to everyone. By using blockchain and smart contract technology, the project aims to establish itself in the global digital advertising market by organizing an easy, fast, and secure decentralized system.

 

Website

https://www.varanida.com

Whitepaper

https://www.varanida.com/whitepaper.pdf

Medium

https://medium.com/varanida

Github

https://github.com/Varanida

MVP (testnet)                                                                                                                             

https://www.varanida.com/download/

Telegram

https://t.me/varanida

Twitter                                                                                                                                       

https://twitter.com/Varanida_VAD

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/varanidaVAD

Bitcointalk

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=3899791.msg38036376#msg38036376

LinkedIn

https://www.linkedin.com/company/varanida/

Reddit

https://www.reddit.com/r/Varanida/

YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb27p6kUaMhJBGvskRqed6Q

Discord

https://discordapp.com/invite/7CjdaXC

 

 

It is worth noting that the project has already issued their MVP product in line with the company’s roadmap.  The functioning project, its logic and processes are described in the whitepaper. However, many aspects from the product phase are poorly described, and many mechanisms are only covered within the Varanida WP in a general manner. A technical paper is not offered at the time of writing; no aspects of the operational mechanisms are fully described in the official resources.

 

Round 0 & 1 (Presale)

ICO-SALE

Round 3

 

Start date

June, 2018

September, 2018

October, 2018

 

End date

August, 2018 (finished)

September 30th, 2018

TBA after community vote

 

Stage token supply(1)

VAD 20,000,000

VAD 160,000,000

VAD 350,000,000

 

Stage cap(2)

EUR 600,000

EUR 8,000,000

EUR 15,000,000

 

 

Collected cap

EUR 600,000

No data

No data

 

Ticker

VAD                                                                

 

 

Token

ERC20

 

 

Token supply (for sale/total)

530,000,000/1,000,000,000

 

 

Soft cap

EUR 8,000,000

 

 

Hard cap

No data (Community vote in round 3)

 

 

Estimated capitalization

EUR 50,000,000 => circulating after round 2 will be +/- 220M VAD at 0.05€, thus making a marketcap of 11M€. Other tokens are locked in the smart contract, awaiting either vesting or round 3; this is community-driven.  

 

 

Token price

[0.025 EUR; 0.035 EUR]

0.05 EUR

No data

 

Discount

50% and 30%

10%

Round 3A: 30%

Round 3B: 20%

Round 3C: 10%

 

Holding Bonus

N/A

N/A

Round 3A: 12%

Round 3B: 10%

Round 3C: 6%

 

Lock-ups

No data

 

Minimum Investment

3 BTC

No data

No data

 

Maximum Investment

20 BTC

 

 

 

Currencies accepted

BTC, ETH

 

 

Restricted list

USA, China, N. Korea, Australia, New Zealand

 

 

KYC procedures

Yes

 

 

Country of legislation

France

 

 

 

There is no information in the official resources about lock-up periods during different phases, minimum investment per contributor, final token price, or the amount of funds already collected during each sale stage. All unsold tokens will be burned.

There is a problem regarding refunds. According to official resources, only participants buying tokens during round 3 can get money back over a period of 18 months if the project fails to reach its softcap.

The public sale will be held as follows:

June, 2018 – August, 2018 — Phase 1 token sale

No low limit, with 20,000,000 VAD as high limit. Discounts vary from 50% to 30%.

September, 2018 – September 30, 2018 – Phase 2 token sale

No low limit, with 160,000,000 VAD the high limit. Discounts equal to 10%.

October, 2018 – TBA after community vote — Phase 3 token sale

No low limit, with 350,000,000 VAD the high limit. Discounts vary from 10% to 30%. Holding bonuses vary from 6% to 12%.

 

The team also ran an airdrop booster for VAD tokens from July 30th, 2018 to August 5th, 2018. During this airdrop week, all system participants earned additional tokens equal to 40 VAD per referral with up to 80 referrals limit per user.

All further details of the terms and conditions of the bounty campaign are available at this link: https://medium.com/varanida/varanida-airdrop-booster-91493752f3d3

According to the whitepaper there will be another airdrop that will add 50% to all spending on advertising campaigns.

The team has specified the following vesting terms:

There are general vesting terms written for different types of project contributor. The Varanida team, with 15% of the total tokens, will have a 24 month lock-up period and a 1-year cliff. Varanida company reserves consisting of 12% of all tokens, get a 48 month vesting period with 25% of tokens unlocked each year. Advisors will receive 3% of total token supply with a 6 months vesting period. Considering that the final product is set to enter the market in Q2 2019 according to the road map, Varanida’s team hasn’t increased the risk of fraud. Company reserves are divided between tech & products (54%), sales & marketing (33%), administrative (7%), hidden costs (5%), and bonuses (1%).

There is no information about early investors in the project. If the company did collect funds during seed rounds there are no mentions of this on the official website or other resources. If they collected funds as a legal investment (not in exchange for tokens), then legal proofs have to be given. If initial fund collection from institutional investors took place in the form of a crowdsale, then information about numbers of tokens given to early contributors (institutional investors) has to be outlined and vesting periods have to be stated in the official resources. If there was no seed round, then information about any other type of project financing should be stated. No tokens sold during the public sale will have a lock-up period. In the context of volatile crypto coin market and investor uncertainty, a minimum of 20% will be sold within a week of the ICO, which will depreciate VAD prices on exchanges. During public sales, there will be a discount program (the amount of discount within each round is written above) with no lock-up period implemented. Cheaper tokens sold with the discount during all rounds create a risk of VAD devaluing, due to the possibility of selling these discounted tokens.

The team envisages the use of proceeds from the ICO as follows:

Details of the allocation are as follows:

  • Research & Development — 30%
  • Varanida Ecosystem — 25%
  • Business Development — 20%
  • Communication – 10%
  • Post-Token Sale Costs – 5%
  • Legal & Compliance – 5%
  • Hidden Costs – 5%

Due to the fast issuance of the Varanida protocol and blockchain, the project has more than 80% allocated for the project’s system. Here, research & development takes 30% of all spending, the ecosystem 25% of available funds, and business development takes 20% of all token allocation.

There is no hardcap for the project; with the described main spending and earning mechanism in the event of softcap achievement, there are no other tiers describing technologies or additional products that could be issued if the hardcap is reached.

We believe that the whitepaper has the following issues:

  • There is only a general mention of what the Varanida blockchain will consist of, with no technical description, list of services, or how their functions will be implemented within the final product. Though there is compliance with EU law, there is no information about future development or extension phases of the product. How the product will enter other markets and what the forecasts for numbers of users or publishers that will use the system are, is not detailed.

The project has an unclear road map that doesn’t cover any stages after the launch of the blockchain. As a result, it might be thought that after the blockchain launch, the project will slow down its engineering processes to mainly operational activities.

Technical overview

Varanida aims to create a new solution for the advertising industry, connecting all its aspects together within a single mechanism and providing a special plugin that can easily be built into web browsers. The initial token sale will be conducted via the Ethereum network (ERC20), which is one of the best platforms for ICOs. However, the final blockchain on which the platform will operate is unknown at the time of writing; the company is creating its own blockchain featuring new tokens, VADu and VADm, which will be implemented after the launch of the blockchain. The final protocol used for the project is still unknown (it could be PoW, PoS, DPoS, DAG, BFT or PBFT).

The source code for the extension will be released under an open GPL3 license, available for auditing to each ecosystem member.

The project will use a decentralized real-time bidding (RTB) system:

RTB applications will match their decisions within a Service Level Agreement (SLA). This mechanism requires sending requests at a rate of millions of transactions per second, as it needs a high uptime and low latency. To make a decision in less than 100ms, this application will have to increase its data usage over time and increase the quality of its decisions. The more data that can be accessed in a fixed amount of time, the more pertinent the decision. For this system, a hybrid approach with centralized computing will be used, while ordered hash storage will be decentralized. Here, Varanida’s users maintain control over their own private keys. All data will be encrypted and stored on decentralized services, whilst metadata and transactions will be stored on the blockchain. Initially, all transactions are made to be visible only to direct participants involved in the operation. However, external auditors will also be able to see anonymized results on the blockchain to check for fraud or manipulation.

By using such a system, users will be able to store specific information about themselves and associate it with their profiles. Users will be able to provide their private data to any advertiser they wish. Private data includes gender, age, hobbies, education, experience, geo-location, device types, and others. It will be possible to link to external resources such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Google, to improve user profiles. From the information gained, Varanida can collect statistics about preferred pages, likes, or tweets. An API will be released to help developers building connections to the Varanida system that will allow Varanida users to retrieve their data from other platforms.

The Varanida project will take on the main online advertising fraud types including: Ad-blocking fraud, impression fraud, conversion fraud, click hijacking and sybil attacks, by machine-learning algorithms and in-house development. All clicks and impressions will be analyzed by the Varanida Network in real-time. Verification goes through a series of batch requests, occurring multiple times per day, preventing invalid requests or traffic.

To service the RTB process a system of service nodes (masternodes) will handle bidding in quasi-real time, which will be rewarded for their work. All calculations will be run off-chain through an open-source algorithm. All results of the provided calculations will be written on-chain to enable all users to check the data. To make sure masternode verification is taking place, another layer of nodes (staking nodes) will be created to verify service node results. To create a service node, a user has to lock a fixed number of tokens. Stacking nodes don’t need to be sybil-proof, and they can stake as much as they want. The distribution between service nodes and stacking nodes will be regulated.

Within nodes, a price oracle system will be implemented, which decreases costs and increases efficiency for the protocol. All price sources will be controlled by node maintainers to avoid risk of manipulation. Some node maintainers will be chosen by default to ensure a certain level of price uniformity and representativeness.

Problems are due to an incomplete technical clarification of many services such as the stacking node checking process for a masternode, reward distribution, the machine-learning mechanisms utilized, and the masternode calculation process.

Description of services & their applicability

The main aim of Varanida is to make it easier for those browsing online to avoid annoying and poorly designed advertising whilst at the same time making it easier for publishers and advertising companies to deliver better-created content to the final consumer. With the implementation of a decentralized system with a built-in managed ad blocker, the project solves the two major problems for digital advertising: Nasty advertising and ad fraud. By offering full control of personal data and user statistics whilst creating an open and auditable system, Varanida intend to use a decentralized, transparent and secure network to solve assigned tasks and avoid impinging on user experience, whilst helping users avoid undesired content online.

Varanida platform will act as a neutral intermediate in the advertising marketplace, with a smaller commission than traditional advertising services charge: 1% for network fee and a 10% fee for ad campaigns. Via the use of its token, uniting the network by decreasing overall commissions and fees will be possible, opening access to all content within the network, creating an easier reward system, and bringing transparency to the whole ecosystem.

Transactions are carried out via agents of the system’s participants. There are 3 different types of participant within the system:

  • Advertisers wishing to promote their products and services in a more effective way, avoiding fraud
  • Publishers who provide new content to the platform and wish to monetize their work without offending their audience
  • Users wishing to control what advertising they are exposed to and how their personal data is used, whilst being rewarded for their participation.

In employing the Varanida network, a user’s personal data won’t be saved if not requested to be. In other cases, all collected information will encrypted and shared with advertisers the user chooses, and no data will be sold to third parties.

Each time a user interacts with an ad from one of Varanida’s verified advertisers by liking, disliking, validating or signaling ads, they will be rewarded. There will be several metrics to measure the quality of user attention, including time spent and actions taken, within the system.

The whole system will be built around project tokens. At the initial prototype phase this role will be carried out by holders of VAD tokens. Varanida users receive tokens each time they block an ad from a centralized network, which could be done through a multi-browser compatible extension.

With the release of the Varanida Mainnet, additional applications will be launched to make it possible for participants to spend their VAD tokens on accessing premium content on publisher sites, unlocking discounts and promotions from advertisers, directly buying products and services from selected partners, and rewarding content creators.

All advertising will be verified by the network, thus motivating publishers to display high quality products. Publishers will be able to encourage audiences to interact with their content by offering VAD for commenting, sharing or contributing in their final product. This could be done through different channels, such as monthly/year subscriptions, payment for views, payment for reads or payment for downloads.

During the prototype phase, Varanida are implementing an ad blocker that provides extensive address blocking via common ad filter syntax such as EasyList. All filters will be auditable and viewable by anyone, and users are able to add or remove custom filters if they wish. A crypto wallet will also be available for storing and facilitating transactions with the project’s tokens.

After launch of the project’s main protocol, each participant will have a reputation score – VADkarma- associated with their identity. This score cannot be purchased or transferred between users and is created through executing a specified smart contract. The accumulation of VADkarma varies for different types of participant:

Users gain reputation by voting on ads and rating the quality of publishers’ websites.

Advertisers can increase their reputation through offering high quality ads compatible with the system’s policies and values.

Publishers gain VADtokens through ads published on their websites that follow Varanida’s quality guidelines.

In general, reputation is gained through a crowdsourcing task with Boolean choices. It consists of two phases, a Validation and a Consensus phase. Whilst performing the task, participants rate an ad as “relevant” or “irrelevant” or can rate an option to provide a credit rating from 1 to 5 stars. The final decision then takes place and is delivered using a smart contract which aggregates all votes. If the final decision is consistent with a participant’s vote, he gains VADkarma in proportion to the amount he already has. Otherwise, he is penalized via a reduction of VADkarma. The same principle works for the valuation of publisher websites.

The platform will be made available for audit by advertisers and publishers. Auditors can review real-time bidding processes and transaction streams in order to check for fraud within the system.

After the protocol and blockchain launch, partners will be able to implement Varanida into their existing products, as well as integrating and developing applications on top of the project’s platform.

A scalable and secure identity management system will be used in the Varanida platform. The team will use external services such as Civic to obtain information on platform participants.

The main problem at the time of writing is the poor description of services available after the protocol and blockchain launches. In the white paper, there are only general mentions about integrating and creating applications within the platform, end-user accounts, ad transactions, data logging, analytics, and payment processing. However, due to a very good description of the available services and the issuance of an upgraded white paper we are confident of a more accurate description of all services to be provided by the platform will be available in the near future.

Features

Varanida plans to have the following features, aimed at solving existing problems in the advertising market economy:

  • Lower transaction fees when using internal tokens
  • Easy personal authentication and recognition
  • A managed ad-blocker system
  • Easy connection and cooperation between advertisers, publishers, and users
  • Security of advertising campaign statistics and personal data

MVP (testnet)

A testnet already exists within the Varanida ecosystem. An Internet Explorer extension is available in the official resources, which has the facility to block any undesirable ads and features an inbuilt wallet for providing transactions outside the platform. There are also statistics available for ads blocked per hour, a filter management system and other mechanism of controlling web ads including a whitelist, disclaimer, profile, and general settings.

Roadmap

The team provides the following project roadmap on the official site:

According to the road map, the project is the next phase of DOZ.com, created by Faouzi El Yagoubi and Anji Ismaïl, a digital marketing resource for providing and managing marketing campaigns. Varanida was created in mid 2017 with existing business activities as the initial resource. In Q2 2018 a prototype was presented which is available on the official Varanida site at the time of writing. By the end of 2018 the project plans to release its main protocol, and will move to its own blockchain in Q2 2019.

As the testnet is available at the time of review and the main system will be presented in Q4 of 2018, these factors diminish the risk for potential investors due to the availability of an initial version of their product. However, there is a problem in the lack of information about future development of their service after the launch of the blockchain. There is also no information about services that will be included in each of the products to be released mentioned in the project’s roadmap. Information about additional functions included in each step is mentioned in the Varanida white paper.

The project has a technical roadmap available in their official documentation:

This roadmap shows the main token phases of development during each stage. According to this, during the token generation event the project will provide an airdrop to inspire the first customers to use their platform. At the second stage, the main distribution will take place including team tokens. At the final stage VADu and VADm tokens are to be created, while participants’ and team tokens will be separated.

The team has also forecasted potential future development in the event of achieving the softcap of $10m.

By collecting this sum, the project can already be maintained with $1.8 mln after tax revenue. It is worth repeating here that the project has a legal entity registered in France, Varanida SAS.

The project has plans from 2018 to 2022. The forecast presented is written in a general manner, with main income flows from their token sale. There is no information about potential regulation of token prices (buy back costs). At the same time, income from the main activities is quite low with no additional information about future funds from new partnerships and investments/donations.

This forecast covers only the worst potential case; there is no illustration of a situation where the project reaches its hardcap.

The road map’s structure is well presented and includes all general stages. However, it doesn’t cover the period after Q2 2019. It doesn’t contain information about services and features to be implemented at each step.

Market outlook

The digital advertising market has a volume equal to $266.2 bn, the largest segment of which is search advertising with a market volume of $96.7 bn. According to eMarketer, March 2018, by 2022 the overall market will achieve a total volume of $427 bn with a CAGR of 11%. This market is still in its early development stages, and its future profits could rise substantially if more responses from participants are achieved, meaning everybody with a device connected to the net. The ad blocker market is also growing with a 30% rise in 2016; in 2015 only 11% of global internet users were blocking ads. However, this market is divided between 4 main competitors (AdBlock Plus, AdBlock, AdGuard, uBlock Origin) leaving only 8% to others. This creates a space for a high-quality ad blocking product to take a decent share of it. The same can be said about the overall advertising market, which is controlled by a small number of 10 leading ad networks that receive 75% of the total revenue. The most powerful of these are Google Ad Network, Facebook Audience Network, and Yahoo Audience Network.

The biggest advertising markets are in the U.S., China, Great Britain, Germany, and Japan which are forecasted to retain their positions up to 2019.  In terms of blockchain projects, there are close competitors to Varanida project including Basic Attention (BAT), Papyrus (PPR/PRP) and QChain (EQC/XQC)

Industry rivalry:

 

Varanida

Basic Attention

Papyrus

QChain

Ticker

VAD

BAT

PPR/PRP

EQC/XQC

Key functions/features

Decentralized advertising network with a built-in ad blocker and reward system.

An open source, privacy-focused browser that blocks ads and trackers and a reward system.

Decentralized advertising ecosystem where users control what ads they see and what data they share.

Decentralized platform for branded content, influencer marketing,

and sponsorship purchasing.

Key users

Consumers, advertisers, publishers.

Consumers, advertisers, publishers.

Advertisers, publishers.

Advertisers, publishers, hosts.

Key products

Managed ad blocker, in-built wallet, premium content, managing of advertising campaigns, and a reward system.

The Brave Browser that enables creation of an ecosystem for rewards for publishers and consumers, collection of data and statistics, and to run advertising campaigns.

Decentralized monitoring and money flow management tools, privacy management, execution of smart contracts based on large volume of data.

Accessible direct-buy ad marketplace, with a focus on native advertising and integrated personal data management features.

Development stage

Testnet launched.

Testnet launched.

Testnet launched.

Testnet launched.

ICO status

Crowdsale stage

Ended

White list process

Ended

Funds collected as of ICO date/Hard cap

USD 0.7m/ USD 30m

USD 15m / USD 24m

N/A / USD 17.5m

USD 0.7m / USD 28.3m

Percentage of tokens for sale

53%

66.7%

45%

60%

Valuation on date of ICO(8)

USD 50m

USD 36m

USD 38.8m

USD 47,7m

Market capitalization(9)

N/A

USD 174,9m

N/A

N/A

The closest competing blockchain project to Varanida is Basic Attention. BAT finished their ICO in May, 2018 and were a participant of the digital advertising market from 2016 and have already reached 2 million monthly active users. However, a large part of their system is working to reward participants, while there is no individually managed ad-blocker implemented within the system, leaving a space for Varanida to enter the market.

It is worth noting that all the above competitors have valued themselves lower than Varanida whilst already having testnets, offering real features or being in an earlier stage of development. The only risk could arise through traditional financial organizations’ relatively enormous funding that could be used for quickly building blockchain infrastructures and entering this market. Having satisfied legislation and using the proven effectiveness of blockchain technology, IT giants could easily compete with such projects as Varanida or Basic Attention.

Team

Varanida is a blockchain-based project that brings a new vision to online advertising. Creating a mechanism of controlling and managing browsing the net, it creates a new monetize structures for publishers, users, and advertisers. With the working MVP and a community, consisting of more than 120 000 users, the project has ambitious plans with small period separating the launch of the Varanida protocol and its transition to the new blockchain. We would like to draw attention to the ability of the team to deliver such a complex project while looking at their past experience, as is illustrated in the table below:

Anji Ismail

Position

Co-founder & CEO

Total experience

12 years

Relevant experience

Yes

Relevant education

Yes

Professional achievements

Co-Founder at DOZ

LinkedIn

Yes

Connections

500+

Endorsements / Recommendations

Yes

 

Faouzi Elyagoubi

Position

Cofounder & CTO

Total experience

12+ years

Relevant experience

Yes

Relevant education

Yes

Professional achievements

CTO at DOZ                                                                                                                      

LinkedIn

Yes

Connections

500+

Endorsements / Recommendations

Yes

 

Thomas Schmider

Position

Co-founder & COO

Total experience

35+ years

Relevant experience

Yes

Relevant education

Yes

Professional achievements

-

LinkedIn

Yes

Connections

208

Endorsements / Recommendations

Yes

 

Mickael Crozes

Position

System & Software

Total experience

6+ years

Relevant experience

Yes

Relevant education

Yes

Professional achievements

-

LinkedIn

Yes

Connections

500+

Endorsements / Recommendations

Yes

 

Pierre Antoine Meley

Position

Blockchain & Software

Total experience

-

Relevant experience

-

Relevant education

-

Professional achievements

-

LinkedIn

-

Connections

-

Endorsements / Recommendations

-

 

 

Marc Vincenti

Position

Blockchain & Software

Total experience

3+ years

Relevant experience

Yes

Relevant education

No

Professional achievements

-

LinkedIn

Yes

Connections

422

Endorsements / Recommendations

Yes

 

Jon Lord

Position

Strategy & Business Development

Total experience

22+ years

Relevant experience

Yes

Relevant education

No

Professional achievements

VP, EMEA Business Development at Connexity, Inc.

LinkedIn

Yes

Connections

500+

Endorsements / Recommendations

Yes

     

 

 

Steve Amani

Position

Strategy & Finance

Total experience

12+ years

Relevant experience

Yes

Relevant education

No

Professional achievements

-

LinkedIn

Yes

Connections

186

Endorsements / Recommendations

No

 

Kevin De Silva

Position

Finance & Compliance

Total experience

12+

Relevant experience

Yes

Relevant education

Yes

Professional achievements

-

LinkedIn

Yes

Connections

438

Endorsements / Recommendations

No

 

Cory O'Brien

Position

Content

Total experience

11+ years

Relevant experience

Yes

Relevant education

No

Professional achievements

-

LinkedIn

Yes

Connections

500+

Endorsements / Recommendations

Yes

 

Carine Esteves

Position

Operations

Total experience

11+ years

Relevant experience

Yes

Relevant education

Yes

Professional achievements

-

LinkedIn

Yes

Connections

500+

Endorsements / Recommendations

Yes

 

Thibault Lemaitre

Position

Social Media & Community

Total experience

2+ years

Relevant experience

Yes

Relevant education

Yes

Professional achievements

-

LinkedIn

Yes

Connections

500+

Endorsements / Recommendations

Yes

 

Lina Albin-Azar

Position

Social Media & Community

Total experience

3+ years

Relevant experience

Yes

Relevant education

No

Professional achievements

-

LinkedIn

Yes

Connections

254

Endorsements / Recommendations

No

 

The team consists of 13 members most of whom have working experience with the Doz marketing platform. All employees of the project we found have relevant experience whilst only one, Pierre Antoine Meley, has any external links to back up his professionalism. Overall this increased confidence in the team’s ability to create the project described in the whitepaper. The problem is that there are no professional achievements by any regular member of the Varanida project except the CEO, CTO and Jon Lord, who was formerly in the position of VP for EMEA Business Development at Connexity, Inc.. The project has hired associates for all its main business operations that also increase the chances for the project’s future.

The project has 14 advisors, most of whom are angel investors and marketing chiefs in such companies as AppNexus, Yahoo, Zanox, Google, Rakuten, Linkshare, Arianee, Adthink Media and others. 

Varanida has created ties with many launch partners including law firms (fieldfisher, Mags,), sales companies (Odiceo) and news resources (Thomson Reuters).

According to the team, Varanida has established partnerships with Doz.com and Adthink Media. There are  investment or venture funds and crypto exchanges mentioned on the official resource and/or white paper though the Varanida team has stated that full information cannot be disclosed at this point.

CrunchBase and AngelList contain information about investments in the Varanida project. However, sums obtained from the seed round are not stated in the project’s official resources.

Varanida has appeared in many popular news resources such as EuroNext, Forbes, *Bankless Times, and others. It also gained an award for the most innovative use of Blockchain in Consumer Rewards Schemes from The Blocks in 2018.

Token analytics

The Varanida project has created a special wallet for VAD utility tokens to enable users to see their balance, historical statistics (average reward per ad, number of ads seen, VADkarma, and others), and allow project members to reward content creators, pay for services, and view premium content paid for with VAD tokens. Security and transparency requirements have brought the project to the blockchain field, however all participants need a unique coin to act as a means of exchange to enable all participants to certain about prices within the platform. Later on, after the launch of the Varanida blockchain, two new tokens will replace the current Ethereum based token: VADu and VADm.

  1. VADm will be a master token with fixed supply serving mainly for speculative purposes. Its main function will be a store of value.
  2. VADu will be a utility stabletoken that will serve as the medium of exchange for all transactions on the Varanida network.

In the prototype phase, VAD (Verified Ad) tokens are issued, which are ERC-20 tokens based on the Ethereum blockchain. The main function of VAD is as a reward, however it will be also listed and traded on crypto exchanges. After the launch of the blockchain, advertisers will use VAD to promote their DApps while consumers and publishers may support these DApps using VAD tokens or via created content.

After switching to the Varanida blockchain, 2 new digital assets, VADm and VADu, will be issued:

VADm tokens will serve as rewards for ICO participants to be exchanged 1:1 with VAD tokens. With a fixed supply, they will have the following functions:

  • To serve the master nodes which in turn will run the RTB and verification nodes, incentivizing for expected behavior.
  • They will act as collateral to create a utility token, VADu.

In both cases token immobilization will be rewarded by fees in VADu from their use in the advertisement services or for the use of VADu from collecting transaction fees after VADm collateralization.

VADu will issue a stablecoin under VADm collateralization, with each user participating in this collateralization rewarded in VADu. This makes an easy transitioning platform enabling participants to easily manage and control their funds.

Varanida will use a stabilization protocol. It will reward those who have issued VADu. These rewards are derived from transaction fees, and are distributed in proportion with how well each issuer maintains the correct VADu supply. The system monitors VADu’s price through oracles, and responds by adjusting its targeted global supply, which individual issuers are incentivized to move towards. Another mechanism is the implementation of an on-chain DEX to enable easy exchange of VADu for VADm and, as a result, it is automatically limit-sold at creation. Moreover, the project will maintain an internal market for attention and information, which will set an endogenous price feed acting as a stabiliser without the need of an oracle-based mechanism.

 

Widespread token distribution

Recently, the platform has been adopted for browsers and will implement similar extensions to mobile devices later. In the prototype and product phases, commission will be taken in the form of network fees and for provision of ad campaigns. The amounts of commission will be 1% and 10% respectively. Such commissions are lower than in the traditional online advertising sector which takes up to 60% of an advertising budget for value-added services and intermediate fees.

Payment method

When two parties connect within the ecosystem, there will be several ways in which advertisers and publishers can pay for user development of their products. Using VADs, publishers will be able to encourage platform users to comment, share, and contribute content by offering tokens for any participating activities. At the same time, user payments for premium content can be performed using several mechanisms: A monthly/year subscription, payments per view, per read or per download. From the advertiser side, their main benefit is lower costs for providing marketing campaigns and engagement with their targeted audience directly. There is little information on how exactly system commission fees are collected or on offering users access to exclusive deals, promotions, discounts, or even the ability to buy products and services directly by using VAD tokens. There is a lack of information on how exactly commission fees are collected within the platform.

Token details

Varanida will utilize the VAD utility token during its prototype phase. It is an ERC-20 token to be distributed between project participants during the TGE stage, and which will be distributed until Q3 2018. The main function of this token is to facilitate transactions between users, advertisers, and publishers; to build and promote applications on the Varanida network, and to unlock premium features and use of applications.

During the product phase, two different currencies for the project will be issued: VADu and VADm. After a transition period, VAD owners will receive VADm, airdropped on a 1:1 ratio. VADm master tokens will have a fixed supply and the system protocol will incentivize VADm owners to hold the token over a longer period of time. VADm tokens will serve as collateral for VADu tokens. VADu tokens will pay for transaction fees. VADu can also be sold in the open market.  

VAD economics

Currently, VAD is the main token used on the platform, without which it is not possible to make use of the provided services, transactions, payment facilities and other features of the Varanida ecosystem.

STAGE

DETAILS

Purchasing VAD

All activities within the system require VAD. Users can purchase VAD through the marketplace in exchange for fiat or other cryptocurrencies. VAD tokens will be sold during the ICO and with this token the Varanida system will reward its members for participation.

Enabling Simple and Complex Access Structures

VAD tokens will grant access to the Varanida marketplace. They will act as a reward system. All payments within the network will be performed using VAD tokens.

Reporting

No private data will be stored if a user chooses not to permit this. All information about transactions will be saved within the blockchain. To ensure quality of services provided to customers and results for advertisement companies, this information can be accessed and distributed among related parties. Moreover, a rating system will be used to categorize all participants.

In relation to economics, we believe that the project’s whitepaper has the following problem:

Token and project economics could be clearer; details of accountancy and an audit/accounting partnership should also be provided.

Token price factor analysis

FACTOR

DESCRIPTION

Effect on Price

Development and release of new products according to the roadmap

The Varanida ICO is expected to take place in Q3 2018. The MVP was launched in Q2 2018, which is a positive factor. The blockchain is planned to be issued in Q2 2019. This is a quite long interim period to collect all the necessary funds. Whether or not the team meets its milestones and the degree of product development at each stage will affect the token price positively or negatively.

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Financial forecast

Within the financial forecast there is no market forecast - what portion of the market Varanida aims to take. Moreover, there is a forecast for only softcap funding, while there is no detail of project development if the hardcap is reached.

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Demand for the platform

Varanida is a blockchain-based project that enables the control of the quality of digital ads browsing the net, collecting data about users’ responses to these ads, and providing other services for publishers and advertisers. However, there are many similar products entering the market. Although the market needs such services, even more projects will appear. So, there is a problem arising due to huge competition, which can be addressed by quickly entering the market that is accessible with the issued MVP.

 

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Sales of tokens by the team, advisors, etc.

There are discounts of between 50% - 10% within the different token sale phases, however the total amount able to be contributed by one member is restricted to 20 BTC. There are also no lock-up periods during the token sale. If the softcap is not reached all participants will be reimbursed.


The team’s tokens are locked for 3 years with a 1 year cliff and are intended as an incentive for continuation of the team’s work. An additional disadvantage is that the road map ends in 2019.

 

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Sales of tokens by private sale investors

The team told us that total tokens sold so far amount to 2% of all tokens to be issued for sale. All sales were made during rounds 0 & 1. No additional funding rounds were carried out.

 

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Limited token supply

Assuming that the company develops as intended and the demand for the solution is sufficient, a limited token supply could result in a long-term deflation of the token price.

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Volatility of cryptomarket

The Varanida team assumes volatility for the VAD token, so it can have a speculative purpose from one side - the high volatility of cryptomarkets may cause traders and speculative investors to trade it, which may lead to price fluctuations for the token or even speculative activities (pump & dump, etc.). There is no information about control of supply and demand of VAD control before the launch of the blockchain.

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Investment risk analysis

RISK

DESCRIPTION

LEVEL

Technical description

Only existing services are described in a full and clear manner. Future services intended to be added to the platform are generally covered with no technical or detailed description.

High

Commercial risks

 

There is significant competition present for Varanida. In addition to that, traditional market players may also switch to blockchain if need be.

 

 

Medium

Decrease in token price

Because of the discounts provided during the ICO, there is a chance that the token price will face pressure after listing. There is no information about funds (if any) attracted through seed rounds. Moreover, a tolerant reward system will increase amount of tokens participants will want to use for speculative purposes.

Medium

Incomprehensive roadmap

The roadmap covers only general aspects of the project, without operational process and the team’s plans regarding market coverage. There is no forecasting of potential market share.

Medium

Development risk

There is a year-long gap between release of the Varanida blockchain (final product) and its first browser extension which is enough for the research and development process. The application, adoption and beta-testing/performance improvement of a product for enterprise use all require significant time and effort from the team.

Low

 

MVP

There is already a prototype version available on the official site.

Low

Team composition and expertise

 

The team has ambitious plans in terms of product sophistication. It is hard to claim the team members have a sufficient level of experience other than the founder, and they lack extensive working history in blockchain projects or digital advertising. Due to lack of information about the sole coder for the project and since they don’t have a testnet (MVP) available, we have to increase the risk to high.

High

Legal risks

Though digital advertisement lacks strict regulation in many countries, the project is using funds towards legal compliance. Being registered under EU law, there is no information about measures to be taken to comply with regulation in different jurisdictions. Nevertheless, blockchain is a solution designed for reliability and security.

Low

 

 

 

The information contained in the document is for informational purposes only. ICORating received monetary compensation in the amount of $14986 from the entity rated in this report for completing the ratings report. However, the entity rated in this report did not have the opportunity to approve this rating report before the report was published, nor did the rated entity have the opportunity to edit or remove this report once it was published. The views expressed in this document are solely those of the ICORating Team, based on data obtained from open access and information that developers provided to the team through Skype, email or other means of communication. Our goal is to increase the transparency and reliability of the young ICO market and to minimize the risk of fraud. We appreciate feedback with constructive comments, suggestions and ideas on how to make the analysis more comprehensive and informative.