Taking risks during chaos: Initial $ALEX Offering

TLDR: I’m a startup founder at heart, and best leveraged as a crypto founder in San Francisco for the rest of my 20’s. I am incentivizing your help to support my next move.

Many thanks to Cooper Turley.

For those who attended ETHCC in Paris last month, you may recall my announcement: I’m raising $20,000 with my personal token, $ALEX. You can watch the video here.

When I announced it onstage, my goal was to spark discussions to help myself navigate through this uncharted territory. This was a success in my eyes: I was lucky to get counsel from top crypto entrepreneurs, investors, legal engineers, and personal token enthusiasts. I am grateful for the support I received from the Ethereum community. Last year, I joined crypto because it changes the world in three ways. It makes finance accessible with #DeFi, governance scalable with DAOs, and ownership digital with NFTs.

In this article, I will outline my proposal for an Initial $ALEX Offering. It is a concrete plan to financially reward people & organizations willing to back myself early on in my life. I aim to move to San Francisco whenever possible.

Before we dive in, disclaimer: this offering is experimental, I think I’m the first human to raise via an Ethereum token. $ALEX is not a security. Although it’ll hurt my reputation, I could run away with the money. Great founders fail all the time.

Background

Motivation

Since my pre-teenage years, I am obsessed about having the greatest positive impact possible on the world. I have always been passionate about tech and consumer startups. My goal is thus to found a successful consumer tech startup.

Why crypto? Because it is the lowest barriers-of-entry tech industry. It is ideal for ultra-ambitious young people starting from scratch. Looking at founders I admire, most started with a similar opportunity: the Internet.

Pre-crypto (2015–2019)

Born and raised in Paris, I was never a fan of formal education. I stopped college at 20 after a Business degree at The University of Manchester, UK. I keep from these years my experience as an executive member of the entrepreneurship society & learning English. In 2017, I cofounded a 3D printing platform while in the UK. When a toxic European VC showed up for a seed round for 40% equity, and my cofounders accepted the offer, I left. This clash strengthened my character. It was a safe place for my typical first-time founder mistakes.
I proactively crafted my education and met the best people I could find. After being rejected by a prestigious French youth startup programme, I cofounded Meteor, a group of 12 ambitious people under 23. We met every Saturday, kindly hosted by comet, inviting French figures such as Xavier Niel and 10 other tech founders & VCs to share their wisdom. With Lyderic Senlecques, I briefly became #1 Wordwide on Pioneer for a one-month project around medical prescription as NFTs. I became an Interact fellow. I sneaked into a coding school, 42 Silicon Valley. It provided me free dorms in the Bay Area whilst I was learning programming basics.
Although I started diving into crypto in mid-2017, I started working 24/7 on it in 2019.

Crypto (2019-present)

  • I joined MetaCartel shortly after the DAO was deployed on mainnet, in July 2019. The DAO gives out grants to Ethereum consumer-facing applications; usually hackathon winners. It was the perfect intersection between lean startup thinking and cutting-edge tech. While discussions were still around base-layer tech, the application layer was an open field. I contributed to grantees such as Kickback, Mintbase, rDAI in operations, communications, growth, business development. I got back countless friends and opportunities.
  • I am a founding member of Marketing DAO, aiming to be the Schelling point to coordinate Ethereum outreach and communications. Marketing DAO is backed by Consensys. I immersed myself with awesome people from diverse Ethereum backgrounds.
  • I saw an opportunity to find alternatives to Maker Vaults overcollateralization. I wanted to provide loans over speculators’ exposure, so I started the Undercollaterized DeFi community. It grew to hundreds of members and I learnt a lot: here’s a thread, insights on the DeFiant, DeFiPrime.
  • It gave me the insight to launch Rocket — a for-profit DAO offering loans against digital items (NFT). NFTs include Decentraland LAND parcels, gold derivatives or crypto art. It gathered $50,000 in less than a month, 120+ loan applications, and committed to loans up to 20,000 DAI. It gained a grant from MetaCartel, great enthusiasm from the space (DeFiRate piece) and even a mention on mainstream media. I led a small open-source team carry out this experiment.
  • I’m currently co-organizing RESET Everything with Epicenter, a virtual conference with a scope broader than crypto. We aim to find novel opportunities from second-order consequences of our global crisis.

Why Raise?

This past year, I spent some time in Silicon Valley — the best place to found a tech company in the West. Shortly put, it has more capital and talents than I could ever find in Europe. My life got interesting after spending 6 months in San Francisco. It kickstarted my crypto career.

But SF is like living life in hard mode. With this $20,000 raise, I can move back to SF with a small safety net to maximize my potential. Also, this crisis could lower my living costs cheaper.

My primary goal is to find amazing cofounders. My core skills are Product and Marketing, and I’m focusing on my next move, a mainstream-focused crypto startup. It is currently at the idea/MVP stage.

Enter $ALEX

I’ve decided to conduct the token sale using my personal token, $ALEX. Think of it like a blend between a small Income Sharing Agreement and a human IPO.

There are currently 100+ holders of $ALEX, many of which have become trusted advisors.

Token Sale Offer

  1. I will be selling 1M $ALEX (10% of the total supply) relative to stakeholders’ share of the raise. For example, if someone invests $2,000, they will get 100,000 $ALEX.
  2. I will take 15% of all income I make for the next 3 years I gain and give it back to shareholders, capped at $100,000, distributed quarterly, in DAI (or equivalent stablecoin). This is proportionally to your $ALEX from the sale in your pledge address at a given time: since $ALEX is liquid, you can exit earlier by selling some on Uniswap if you believe it will make you more money than this incentive. This incentive is for this sale only: $ALEX holders outside this sale will NOT benefit, thus avoiding dilution of the upside. TLDR: not only you could get up to 5X ROI in 3 years, but you can profit from $ALEX market price too.
  3. I will share monthly updates. Goals, achievements, KPI, and more from my career. If I found a VC-backed company, this update will turn into an investors’ update.

Here’s a breakdown on the $ALEX token distribution:

  • Total Supply: 10,000,000.00
  • Circulating Supply: 3,996,823.86 (Roll delays release: your $ALEX percentage is thus higher in practice)
  • Initial $ALEX Offering Size: 1,000,000.00
  • Minimum contribution: 2 ETH or $250
  • Maximum contribution: 50 ETH or $5,000

The sale is being done via OTC over Uniswap because (a) my personal wallet will receive the money and (b) high slippage for these amounts. This sale might incentivize $ALEX liquidity providers on Uniswap, as $ALEX exits in the next 3 years could happen, especially since it also serves some utility purposes.

➡️If you want to participate, click here ⬅️

Beyond the sale: $ALEX Utility

The utility aspect extends to all $ALEX holders, and all this will cost some amount of $ALEX. This will

  • Voting on some of my life’s decision: the more $ALEX, the more you can swing the vote in your favor (5% of ALEX staked).
  • When fitting, social media signalling from my Twitter account (10,000 ALEX)
  • Exclusive sessions restricted to those who participate in the raise. $ALEXCon coming soon (15,000 ALEX).
  • 1:1 Office Hours on Ethereum, crypto, startups (20,000 ALEX).
  • When fitting, access to my network (30,000 ALEX).
  • Participation in the seed round of my future venture (to be discussed).

With $ALEX, I aim to be a trendsetter in what these tokens can be used for, largely taking feedback from my backers and the larger community on what that looks like.

Roll Partnership

Leading the round are the creator of my personal token, Roll.

Pioneering the social money movement, Roll offers an intuitive way for creators to quickly spin up a personal token in a non-technical fashion. Their waitlist is booming and they currently have over 100 creators on the platform to date. They are backed by top investors and angel investors.

Looking Forward

Regardless, I hope that this experiment can be a good case study for future generations — especially in the event that my career becomes something to be reflected on. I’ll be working closely with Roll, using the learnings from this experiment to share learning for others to raise using a personal token in the future.

➡️If you want to participate, click here ⬅️

To those who have supported me on this journey so far — I thank you for your dedication and look forward to a bright future.

Onwards!! ⚡️

— $ALEX Masmej

Disclaimer: $ALEX is not a security and should not be treated as such. This article is not financial advice. This offering outcome may fail. As always, invest at your own risk.

Founder Rocket, part of MetaCartel, founding member Marketing DAO, member Stake Capital DAO. @AlexMasmej on Twitter

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