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“Fantastic” — that is how Gron Digital CEO Tebogo Makamo describes the performance of his startup’s pre-initial coin offering (pre-ICO), in which the company was able to raise $1.2-million from 1768 contributors. The first round of the ICO kicked off yesterday (15 March).
Gron Digital, through its blockchain platform, aims to become an industry standard in making the gambling sector more transparent. The startup launched its pre-ICO in January and was able to reach its soft cap of 1200 Ethereum coins.
The startup plans to run four ICO rounds, with the first to run from 15 to 29 March. The second round will kick off on 29 March.
Gron Digital aims to raise $8.5-million through four ICO rounds, with the first round having started yesterday
In January Makamo claimed the platform will use blockchain (and smart contracts specifically) to, among other things, improve transparency around gambling winnings and ensure that South Africans stick to the law and use only licensed operators to gamble online. The ICO will help to initially fund a smart digital wallet.
Gron Digital COO Dimitri Oberzhitzky told Ventureburn on Wednesday in a call that the startup aims to raise a total of $8.5-million through four ICO rounds.
In January, however, the startup said it planned to launch the ICO proper on 6 February and raise the equivalent of 57 000 Ethereum coins (valued at $57.4-million on 24 January 2018) to develop the platform.
More rounds to allow for bonuses
Oberzhitzky said four ICO rounds, rather than one big one, has allowed the startup to put in place a special bonus scheme structure.
Those that invest in the first round will get a bonus allocation of 30% of whatever tokens they purchase. This is stepped down to 20% and 10% in the two respective rounds, with the fourth and final round set to have no bonus allocation.
Oberzhitzky said he didn’t expect a lot of contributors to come from South Africa.
Turning to the pre-sale ICO, he said contributions came from investors around the world, mainly from Asia and Europe and a large number of Brazilian investors.
While ICOs don’t currently enjoy a good reputation, he stressed that Gron Digital’s offering will be different in that the startup has already signed up clients and a product developed in the form of the digital wallet.
These clients include Yes Play as well as a license holder in Malta. Gron Digital is also in talks with a number of other operators, said Oberzhitzky.
Wallet to solve key headaches
He said the startup’s digital wallet will help solve two key headaches experienced by both punters and bookmakers.
Firstly, the product will help lower the amount of paperwork for both parties when a punter wants to begin betting for the first time with a bookmaker. This is because for clients that use the wallet, Gron Digital will complete all regulatory compliance paperwork necessary on their behalf.
Secondly, the wallet also allows punters more control over betting money. In the past punters would have had amounts advanced from their credit card even before they have placed any bet.
At present punters who want to remove their money before having placed a bet, need to lodge an application with the respective bookmaker to do so.
Oberzhitzky argued that the token is “not an investment (or security) per se”, but rather a utility, likening them to chips that punters utilise in gambling casinos.
Featured image: pcdazero via Pixabay