On September 14, 2018
Since my last update a month ago, we’ve made fantastic progress in every aspect of our adventure.
- We are now a team of 35 colleagues, spanning 17 nationalities, with the latest addition to the chiliZ family being Saelomi, our Korean Content & Communications Executive in Malta, who started this week.
- At the end of September, we are moving into our new offices, after more or less two months of delays due to workers, permits and Malta’s summer shutdown. This has been particularly challenging for us, as we have grown very rapidly within a limited space. The team is excited to move into our new home, that will become the heart of company culture. Our own floor can accommodate 50 people, that at the current rate of expansion is likely to reach capacity by early Q1. The chiliZ Blockchain Campus, also gives us more than 200 hot desks, together with the chiliZ auditorium and several meeting rooms.
- Product wise, the foundation of the voting platform is now ready and connected to ETH blockchain testnet. As promised it was presented at Gamescom a few weeks ago. We are now entering the most exciting phase as we add all the features and innovations.
We are also on track for our soft launch in Q1, with all the teams that we will have onboarded. Once the office move is complete, we will also invite most of our advisors to Malta to work with us to design the product, especially those who have experience in B2C products.
We are focusing mainly on our multilingual mobile application that will allow users to acquire/trade/sell Fan Tokens and most importantly to vote and engage with the teams.
- Of course, having a platform is fantastic, but the key to our success will be our ability to engage and onboard sports/esports teams and their huge fan bases. First and foremost, we connect the teams to their fans. If you recall, in my August update, I teased you all about an announcement of the first team to join our platform — now public, the deal with Paris Saint-Germain received masses of positive feedback from media and fans to football clubs. There were more than 300 articles all over the world, in dozens of languages all talking about our platform. This first move put us on the map, made a clear statement about our ambitions and proved the skeptics wrong. While signing deals is far from easy, the hardest part will be to launch the product and make it work in the long term. However, we are very lucky because, through our partner clubs, we are integrating a lot of talented individuals that will help shape the future of our platform.
- We will soon announce other teams and other sports that are joining our platform; at this stage we are focusing on ‘top level’ teams in order to create a “total addressable market” of around one billion fans that we will focus on exclusively over the next five years. Of course, our announcement has given us legitimacy and the authority to work with dozens of other clubs, if not hundreds. We are engaged in discussions with most of them in over 10 countries, to ensure the potential of our vision.
- To distribute or not to distribute tokens now? Now that’s the big question. We have been questioned — sometimes pressured — by some contributors to distribute the tokens as soon as possible, even though they don’t yet have utility. This is a very challenging question for us. The market conditions are obviously challenging to say the least, and we are getting advice from many influential blockchain experts and CEO’s of crypto exchanges about what is the best strategy for the users’ ecosystem, the company, and the contributors. This is not an easy move nor an easy decision, with MANY conflicted interests. There is NO perfect scenarioor answer, especially due to recent regulatory changes in Malta, where we are incorporated and will be regulated. For example, just two days ago, we learned that the Maltese legal crypto framework will be enforced on 1st November and not 1st October. This is actually a BIG relief for us, because it gives us more flexibility in terms of our decision over distributing/listing. We also wanted to move into our new offices, before having our tokens distributed and potentially getting listed on secondary markets, in order to ensure that our team can support the marketing and communicationrelated to it.
- In the cold bear market which exists right now, we also believe that we need to ensure — for the sake of the whole ecosystem — that there is a real appetite for our venture that is not speculative, unlike a lot of other projects, hence why we announced our first club PSG. Since the announcement, we have received a lot of messages from fans who want to buy chiliZ tokens for their UTILITY. I believe this is the right strategy for now. In parallel, we have asked all our contributors to send us their ERC20 Wallet, so we can begin to ‘test send’ $CHZ tokens. Once we have all this information, and we receive feedback from contributors, advisors and key influencers, we will decide on the exact date of distribution. We are likely to announce another major partnership (football, esports or other) before the distribution to ensure that our project is not just a project, but a real business, supported by the regulatory framework in which we work.
- In the coming months we will be redoubling our communication efforts and be more aggressive in the football/soccer & traditional sports landscape, because we believe we can bring a lot of innovation from prestigious partners who have enormous fan bases. We also believe it is our duty, and I like to think our skill set, to create bridges and gateways between crypto/blockchain & mainstream adoption. We are going to build our partnerships and our products to complement this long-term vision, despite short-term painful market conditions.
- Thanks to all the marketing and business development partnerships we are setting up, we are going to be creating a lot of events in Europe, LatAm & Asia to promote chiliZ & Socios.com, inviting media, Fortune500 companies, influencers and politicians.
- Next update will be around Malta’s Delta Summit in Malta, after we move into our new offices (at the beginning of October). If you have any questions, please reach out to me: [email protected]