ICO Analysis: TripAlly

TripAlly is an ambitious project that aims to rid travelers of international data roaming charges. As the world’s first global connectivity platform, it seeks to streamline mobile internet by reducing our dependence on SIM cards, high roaming fees and the need for extra devices.

Mobile computing has become an essential aspect of our daily lives, but telecommunications regulations have made it difficult to stay connected across borders (at least, at affordable rates). TripAlly’s value proposition is simple: for a fixed price similar to local internet rates, travelers can access unlimited data in each country they visit.

Data roaming has seen some of the highest mark-ups in the history of commerce. As ZDNet explains, over the past five years it wasn’t uncommon for operators to mark-up their data roaming rates by 80,000%. By comparison, the mark-up for cocaine from grower to consumer usually reaches a maximum of 32,000%. (Perhaps operators realize that mobile data is more addictive?)

The basic mechanism for arriving at data roaming charges is quite simple. Operators in different countries have negotiated wholesale prices for international data roaming. If Operator A’s customer travelers abroad and uses their smartphone on Operator B’s network, Operator A can add whatever mark-up it wants to arrive at the retail price. In general, the higher the wholesale price agreed, the more the customers from both networks will pay.

Now, the first question prospective investors should ask is: Why would mobile operators work with TripAlly? The TripAlly whitepaper explains:

Mobile operators will receive significant revenue from TripAlly. Under a Service License Agreement (SLA) between TripAlly and mobile operators, they will keep portion of revenue from TripAlly Internet services. This means that without any extra work or expenses, mobile operators will increase their customer base and profits.

It goes on to offer a rationale for the alternative revenue stream:

Why would mobile operators consider this alternative revenue stream? Because mobile operators are facing a big challenge competing with new distributive OTT services, such as Skype, WhatsApp, and Viber. Between 2012 to 2018, mobile operators will account for $386 billion USD in lost revenue to OTT services. International roaming revenue is decreasing and becoming less significant for operators to count it as a major revenue stream. This trend can be verified in any major mobile operator’s annual report.

TripAlly will deliver cheap internet services through a mobile application on your existing network SIM card using networks in destination countries. Of course, this will require strong business development on the part of TripAlly. The faster these partnerships are forged, the more likely that investors will back the project.

Within the first two years of operation, TripAlly forecasts an acceptance rate of 20% among travelers in the countries it services. The company plans to launch TripAlly internet in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia in summer 2018 before expanding throughout Asia in 2019.

TripAlly Token

The company is issuing an Ethereum-based token named ALLY, or AllyCoin, which will provide additional payment options for existing clients. Furthermore, ALLY can be resold for profit to users who do not have the token.

Interestingly enough, ALLY is already accepted at more than 200 venues across Bangkok, Thailand. Broader implementation is expected in late 2018.

In addition to facilitating hassle-free internet connection, the ALLY token can also be converted into fiat currency through a network of ATM machines in Southeast Asia. The whitepaper provides a detailed workflow of how this is supposed to work.

For non-ALLY holders, one day of unlimited internet usage will cost $3 USD.

The ICO pre-sale was launched Sept. 17, and will run until Oct. 15. During this period, the ALLY token is available at a 60% discount. The pr-ICO goal is to reach 1,500 ETH by selling 750,000 ALLY tokens. The ICO stage will run from Oct. 15 through Nov. 30.

The Team

The Singapore-based company is ramping up quickly in pursuit of full-scale product development. TripAlly is headed by co-founders Aleksey Gordienko, Sergey Goreev and Sergey Zubkov , who have a long and established track record in the Asia market.

Founded in 2016, the company has already developed its proprietary solution and negotiated with mobile operators in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar and Vietnam. Over the next year, it plans to roll out its services in select countries.

The team has a combined 75 years of experience in the telecommunications industry. It has also put together a strong advisory team of legal counsel and cryptocurrency experts. The company has already established an impressive list of partners and collaborators, a strong signal that the ICO has legs.

TripAlly Verdict

TripAlly fills a large void in the data roaming market, which makes it an attractive play for investors who understand the telecommunications industry. TripAlly also boasts a strong management team that is extremely well connected to the Asian market. As a big idea, it will need big funding to come to fruition.

Although the company has laid the groundwork for operators, investors should bear in mind that telecom is highly regulated and faces plenty of bottlenecks. After all, there’s a reason why operators have been able to mark-up data roaming charges so severely. Additionally, TripAlly has been in existence for a very short period, so it’s difficult to gauge its long-term prospects when no real business has been generated. At this stage, investors are buying this token because they believe in the business model.

Nonetheless, TripAlly appears confident that it can roll out its services by Q4 2018, with Mynanmar, Vietnam and Malaysia the first markets to begin accepting ALLY internet services. The company is virtually guaranteeing 500% ROI post-ICO, although the metrics behind this figure aren’t provided in the whitepaper.

From a token perspective, the company has confirmed that ALLY will be priced at $3 after the ICO. In other words, one ALLY token is equivalent to one day of mobile internet connection. Tokens will also be liquid and tradeable on the exchanges.

Investors with a long-term time horizon may find TripAlly a good opportunity. Developments over the next 12 months will be crucial in determining the success of early adoption. TripAlly expects to roll out its services in the top-100 travel destination countries by 2024.

Risks

  • Telecom is a highly regulated market that may prove difficult to navigate across international borders. -1
  • TripAlly is still in its very early stages, so investors should be cautious. -1.5
  • Mobile data consumption patterns may differ in lower income emerging markets. -1

Growth Potential

  • There is huge demand for affordable data roaming services that is expected to grow as tourism, travel and mobile penetration increase. +2
  • TripAlly has the first-mover advantage in this industry. +2.5
  • The company has moved swiftly to lock in partners and networks, and is looking to scale up quickly in the coming years. +3
  • The team is about as good as it gets for the Southeast Asia market. +2

Disposition

At this stage in the game, we believe a score of 6 out of 10 for TripAlly is justified. The positive outlook is largely tied to the growing demand for data roaming. In 2016 alone, there were 1.2 billion travelers worldwide. Mobile device penetration is also in the several billions. Given the outrageous fees paid for roaming, TripAlly has the opportunity to make a huge splash.

At the same time, investors need to be aware that the company is rolling out its services in developing countries where mobile penetration may be lower and data roaming charges less severe.

Investment Details

The ICO pre-sale can be accessed here.

Token info:

  • Token: ALLY
  • Platform: Ethereum
  • Amount of initial token to be issued: 100,000,00 ALLY
  • Initial fixed price: 0.005 ETH per 1 ALLY or 1 ETH for 200 ALLY
  • Pre-ICO Price: 0.002 ETH per 1 ALLY or 1 ETH for 500 ALLY

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

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