ICO Analysis: Joint Ventures

When it comes to unique content, the internet is an ever-expanding medium. It has been estimated that 90% of all online content has been generated in the last two years alone. Although this presents tremendous monetary value, benefactors are limited to a few major players such as Google and Facebook. These powerful platforms act as middlemen, where they generate significant revenue from content publishers and advertisers.

Joint Ventures is a blockchain project designed to weed out the middleman in the digital content industry. As the website states, the project’s aim is to “create an economy for online publishers that rewards every participant of the network, including authors, commenters and advertisers alike, and minimize third-party commissions.”

According to the company whitepaper, Joint Ventures is developing a platform that operates very much like Google and Facebook in that ads are displayed on a publisher’s website. The key difference is in the revenue structure, data protection guidelines and transparency of the network.

Facebook has gotten into a lot of trouble for inflating its ad reach metrics, making blockchain projects like Joint Ventures very timely. Given that the project is based in Turkey, it perhaps hasn’t received the attention it deserves. Rest assured, Joint Ventures is a highly ambitious project backed by a strong team and compelling business model.

Token

Joint Ventures will launch an ERC-20 compatible token that will facilitate every transaction on the content economy platform. The JOINT token will be utilized by publishers and advertisers to launch ad campaigns, increase visibility and acquire new visitors. Active participation is also incentivized, making it easier for publishers to build a community on the platform.

In terms of specific use cases, advertisers will use JOINT tokens to run advertising campaigns and bid on placements. Publishers are paid in JOINT tokens when their content is consumed by platform members.

The token sale is scheduled for Apr. 7 and will last for 30 days or until the hard cap of 12,500 ETH is reached.

In terms of token distribution, 616 million JOINT units will be issued with 100 million available via crowdsale.

Team

The Turkey-based Joint Ventures employs a local team well versed in the ad-tech industry. The founder, Ahmet Arslan, has been involved in the industry for seven years. Co-founders Latif Cakiroglu and Zeki Kavrazli have backgrounds in software and digital media, respectively.

Eleven team members ranging from full stack developers to marketing specialists are listed in the whitepaper. They will be supported by a triad of advisers specializing in venture capitalism and online marketing.

In the unlikely event you are familiar with the Turkish media industry, none of the names presented in the whitepaper stick out. That being said, Joint Ventures has put together a well-rounded team of professionals in two key areas: digital advertising and software development. We also appreciate the LinkedIn profiles provided for each team member on the homepage. In the author’s view, this is a transparent company.

Verdict

Joint Ventures has a noble vision and plenty of growth potential. It is also entering the market at a time of heightened sensitivity toward ad reach and viewership metrics, making online advertising primed for blockchain disruption. The key question investors need to ask is whether the project has enough stamina to compete with the massive competitors it has identified in its whitepaper.

Risks

  • As the whitepaper rightly notes, the online content economy is massive. This is both an opportunity and a risk for Joint Ventures because it hasn’t identified a niche segment of the online publisher community in which to pilot the platform. At the same time, the company is going up against huge competition from the likes of Google, which has essentially become a gatekeeper to the world of online advertising. -2
  • We like the roadmap. It is clear, precise and reasonable from the perspective of expectations. However, investors will have to wait until Q3 2019 for the platform to become fully functional. Given that the affiliate program will launch at the end of 2019, this project appears to have a long sales cycle. We imagine that building out the network – attracting advertisers and publishers – will take considerable time. The only success markers in the meantime are WordPress plugin testing, a beta version of the platform and block explorer/mobile apps. -1
  • The whitepaper has identified a subscription model as one of its core objectives moving forward. If that is the case, it will be competing for subscription revenue from more established websites. This is merely speculation on our part, given that the whitepaper didn’t really explain how subscriptions will work, except that they will provide access to exclusive content. -1

Growth Potential

  • The whitepaper does a great job of linking content development to digital advertising, giving Joint Ventures a clear revenue stream and room for growth. It has also prioritized mobile viewership given the widescale adoption of smart devices. The company is therefore operating in a highly lucrative industry and has prioritized the right technologies. In fact, mobile app development is cited as one of the company’s first major deliverables. +2
  • Developing a content economy has a strong network effect; adoption begets more adoption. For Joint, this multiplier effect can come from content consumers (i.e., commenters) and content developers themselves. As these two segments grow, advertisers will flock for eyeballs. +3.5
  • If you are a content developer, one of the major motivations for joining Joint Ventures is the promise of shared revenue. As the whitepaper states, “The content economy created by Joint splits revenue with every participant who adds value to the network.” In doing so, the ecosystem promises to end the “monopoly of the middlemen,” i.e., Google and Facebook. +3.5
  • The team driving Joint Ventures appears well rounded and committed to the project. In the ICO world, full commitment is not to be taken for granted since many token raises appear to be launched a side projects or run by leaders with commitments elsewhere. Although you may have limited experience investing in Turkish companies, everything about the team checks out. +2

Disposition

Joint Ventures has the potential to make a transformative impact on the online advertising business and fundamentally change the relationship between advertisers and content producers. After weighing the benefits and the risks, we arrive at a score of 6.5 out of 10 for the upcoming project.

Investment Details

  • Type: Utility
  • Symbol: JOINT
  • Platform: Ethereum
  • Presale: None planned
  • Crowdraise: Apr. 7, 2018 – May 7, 2018
  • Hard Cap: 12,500 ETH (fixed)
  • Tokens Available: 100 million
  • Token Price: 1 ETH = 8,000 JOINT
  • Payments Accepted: ETH
  • Jurisdictions Barred from Participating: None specified

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Author:
Chief Editor to Hacked.com and Contributor to CCN.com, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi