ICO Analysis: ARAW

London-based ARAW is hoping that its project is going to be the next decentralized e-commerce and payments platform to capture the loyalty of consumers and businesses alike. The blockchain startup, which is built on the Ethereum network, is off to a running start, as it has already inked industry partnerships, most recently the decentralized application and smart contract-fueled Credits startup. Credits is designed to pick up where the Ethereum and Bitcoin networks fall short as it boasts 1 million transactions per second, which is conducive to the micro-payments on the blockchain that ARAW is targeting.

The thing to note about ARAW is that while it’s a startup, it’s more mature than most new companies. It’s been operating off-chain for two years already and has a mobile app that’s available on the UK Apple App Store and Google Play as well as an integration with PayPal and Stripe. The ICO is designed to fund ARAW’s expansion to the blockchain, which can be considered less risky than the alternative, which is to rely on the ICO funds to develop a platform that remains in the conceptual stage. ARAW has a robust ecosystem, one that’s comprised of the ARAW Payment Gateway, a Touch & Pay Card and more.

Source: ARAW White Paper

Token

ARAW is an ERC20 token that fuels the ARAW ecosystem across the e-commerce and payments industry. The token will be issued in an upcoming ICO, and the number of tokens that will ever be created is capped at 5 billion. The token can also be used as a rewards mechanism by retailers for their customers. ARAW boasts a token-fueled rewards platform for which there is an open API. The rewards program is unique in that rewards aren’t points and don’t expire, making them more attractive to customers and ultimately bolstering the value of the coin. The company already has customers using its rewards system off-chain, and the plan is to migrate them to the token-fueled decentralized platform. ARAW also plans a bounty program airdrop for which 150 million tokens are earmarked. Token distribution is as follows:

Source: ARAW White Paper

Team

ARAW boasts a deep bench of seasoned banking professionals who are alumni of firms like Barclays, JPMorgan, Capital One and more.

Krutesh Shah is at the helm as co-founder and CEO. He’s a banking industry alum at major investment banks including BNP Paribas and Barclays. This experience should serve him well with the company’s migration to the blockchain. He brings the financial tools while ARAW CTO Carlo Pascoli brings the technical experience, having been part of engineering teams at “Shazam, IG and Thomson Reuters.” Pascoli boasts experience with developing mobile apps and distributed systems and is a believer in decentralization.

ARAW’s management team extends to an experienced advisory team comprised of more than half-a-dozen e-commerce and blockchain professionals whose guidance is likely to result in a successful move to the Ethereum network.

Verdict

ARAW is a professional project that has two years of operating history that sets it apart from most blockchain startups. We like that the use of ICO proceeds is diversified across various categories ranging from sales and support and legal to sales and marketing and R&D. This is an indication of a project that is more mature than others that remain in the conceptual stage, which diminishes the risk. That’s not to say that there are no risks, as ARAW is debuting into a market where competing payment and e-commerce tokens have a headstart. The rewards feature is a nice touch and could help to incentivize consumers and businesses alike to climb onboard.

Risks

  • While ARAW is developing a comprehensive ecosystem for the e-commerce market that aims to deliver seamless blockchain transactions to the masses, it’s not the only company doing this. In fact, it sounds a lot like Dash, whose instant pay feature is similarly designed to usher in micro-payments to the blockchain and which offers consumers a privacy feature. Meanwhile, DASH coin has been under pressure of late, which provides a more challenging environment for an e-commerce play like ARAW to make its debut. (-2)

Growth Opportunity

  • Investors who are interested in the ARAW token sale must go through the know-your-customer process. This involves white-list registration and providing any required information to prove your identity. The fact that ARAW is pursuing regulatory compliance in the jurisdictions in which it plans to operate is a positive in an environment that is moving closer toward global regulation. (+2)
  • ARAW is in discussions with exchanges to list its ARAW token. While the startup declines to identify these trading platforms until it’s a done deal, the fact that the discussions are under way is a positive sign for traders who are interested in the project, as it will provide liquidity. Plus there is a bounty program and airdrop on the roadmap. (+2)
  • ARAW has the benefit of experience with two years of operations under its belt. The ICO is designed to fund an expansion, one that involves a move to a decentralized platform on the Ethereum network as well as a 2020 push into the U.S. and Asia. (+3)
  • Despite the competition, ARAW is a participant in a robust payment and e-commerce space, the latter of which is projected to reach $4.5 trillion in sales in the next three years, according to the ARAW white paper. ARAW also cites another statistic, which is that “10% of the world’s GDP will be created on the blockchain by 20205.” All of these market statistics help to make the case for another e-commerce and payment platform. (+2.5)

Disposition

We arrive at a score of 7.5 out of a possible 10 for the ARAW ICO.

Investment Details

  • Websitehttps://arawtoken.io/
  • Token Type: ERC20
  • Platform: Ethereum
  • Symbol: ARAW
  • Pre-ICO: July 1
  • Public Crowdsale: TBD
  • Token Supply: 5,000,000,000
  • Tokens Available for Sale: 3,500,000,000
  • Soft Cap: $2,000,000
  • Hard Cap: $25,000,000
  • Price: 1 ARAW = $0.01
  • Minimum Purchase: 0.1 ETH
  • Payment Methods: ETH
  • Contact: [email protected]

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

 

Author:
Gerelyn has been covering ICOs and the cryptocurrency market since mid-2017. She's also reported on fintech more broadly in addition to asset management, having previously specialized in institutional investing. She owns some BTC and ETH.