Hello all, it’s Cryptounicorn here. After a long pretty painful bear market, it’s exciting to finally see the signs of positive sentiment in the crypto communities finally starting permeate the space. It seems that most of the puzzle pieces are finally started to fall into their place for how this asset class is going to become more recognized and
2018 marks the year that government regulation has come into the space and Crypto finally is gaining recognition as a unique asset class unlike anything that has ever existed.
The crypto market in 2017 and prior was a completely unregulated global economy separate from every country’s financial system. Anyone who took the time to learn could make immense fortune. The space was a wild wild west in which exploitation and lack of security also caused people immense losses. Ponzi schemes existed freely, fake ICO’s were carried out, and hacking has become more lucrative than ever before. Without regulation, exploitation in the space was running rampant. Regulation was necessary for the crypto space in order for it to mature into something that is safer and better suited for use by the public as we get closer to mass adoption.
We are amidst a technological boom that majority of the public does not really recognize yet. Many experts in the space are claiming Crypto will have a much greater impact on society than the internet did in the late 90s and early 2000s. Crypto has the technological capability to rewrite everything we have dislike about how our modern society functions. Blockchain technology has been brought to the world and its here to stay. The use-cases of this new tech will rewrite the rules to every industry in the coming days. The tech has the ability to make information far more secure and private, decentralization fosters trust and serves to eliminate vulnerabilities that exist in every industry. I believe that we are going to see those who don’t embrace this new technology be left behind and eventually out-competed by those who do choose to embrace it.
During the first and second quarter, it has been a tough time for most who invested new money into the market as most projects have bled out their majority of their value. However not all investors in the crypto community have lost money in the last 2 quarters.
Investors’ appetites for token sales have remained intact with Initial Coin Offerings (ICO’s) funding in the first quarter alone surpassing the total raised in all of 2017 ($5.33 billion vs $6.33 billion).
ICO’s are a big part of the driving force in this current technological boom that’s funding the development of numerous projects in new applications for blockchain technology. One currently running ICO; I believe has a unique and well developed use-case for a blockchain solution that could penetrate into an industry currently untapped by any other crypto project.
Introduction to Profede
Profede is a project that is creating a decentralized protocol that aims to modernize the market for how professional’s that are job searching, influencer’s, recruiter’s, business entities, and providers of professional services find and make connections with each other. Monster, Glassdoor, ZipRecruiter, CareerBuilder, Indeed, Craigslist, Linked In, and beBee are major names in the job recruiting space that many would recognize.
In the current model, professionals looking for jobs, businesses/corporate entities, and recruiters have to deal with these centralized entities that charge large sums of money to attempt to connect each the right parties together to meet talent needs. Recruitment managers have to deal with posting jobs on multiple different websites to find the proper candidates in a timely manner. The process of trying to find skilled professionals can waste a significant amount of time and resources for both parties. Positions often go unfilled as there is a shortage of professionals with the skill sets that businesses need. Individuals cite job searching as being one of the higher stress tasks in life to deal with.
In essence, there is a need for professional’s data to be made accessible only those who’d be the best match for that data while also maintaining individual’s privacy. This data includes working professionals’ resume, qualifications & certifications, and personal contact information. This data is extremely valuable and the value of that data isn’t fully recognized by current system. It is important that individual’s professional personal data also stay out of the wrong hands, but also be verifiable. Profede has a decentralized solution planned using blockchain technology that puts the working professional at the center of benefit equation while also putting the professional back in control of their own privacy.
Scope of the Problem & Market Potential
In the current professional marketplaces, middle men (job websites & apps) collect the personal information of professional job seekers and sell this data to businesses and recruiters for large sums of money, and the middle men reap all of the profits. Job seekers receive nothing but the service itself. There’s immense competition for both professional job seekers and recruiters which serves to create a lose-lose scenario in regards to time being wasted.
This means that over 41 million Americans search for new jobs each year. After the expenses of job postings, it additionally costs employers over $4,000 per employee on interviewing, scheduling, assessing to determine if the employee is a good fit for the job. Having unqualified candidates applying for jobs comes with additional costs per hire. The below info-graphic details what it costs companies to recruit a single software developer. The amount of money lost by having much needed positions going unfilled also stifles growth. There has to be a better way to make this system more efficient both financially and in time. The current system wastes a large amount of time for businesses, and professional job seekers alike.
In the last decade, a new means of marketing was born. This space equally has changed our world and companies that do not take advantage of the opportunities that exist within social media quickly get out-competed. This area has reached mass adoption and matured in the last 5 years to become a part of most peoples lives especially young adults.
According to The Pew Research Center, nearly two-thirds of all Americans use at least one social media platform. 90% of Millennial’s use at least one social media platform. The below graph was compiled from the results of 27 surveys and 62,000 in person interviews over a decade.
Millennial’s are now becoming a bigger driving force of the overall economy as in the last 5 years as most millennial’s are now entering the workforce whereas baby boomers are retiring. These facts cannot be ignored and it easily demonstrates that having a marketing strategy involving social media is now a minimum requirement to find success.
A Social Media Influencer is a social media user who has established credibility in a specific industry. They have the means influence others significantly due to virtue of their authenticity, and their large audiences. Influencers are found across all the social media platforms, and their marketing power should not be underestimated.
According to Emarketer, Some 70% of US agency and brand marketers said they “agree” or “strongly agree” that influencer marketing budgets will increase in 2018.
A large share of respondents (89%) believe this form of marketing can positively impact how people feel about a brand. And almost as many consider influencers to be a genuine form of media with an impact that can be measured.
One issue facing the influencer marketing space is that influencers have a large demand from companies and organizations for their time, but it can be difficult for influencers to determine who is actually worth their time. They may receive excessive spam from people wanting access to their influence, and many opportunities that would have been mutually beneficial for both company/organization and the influencer themselves can be missed.
Business to Business Marketing (B2B)
Another sector that Profede plans to penetrate is the Business to Business (B2B) sector. This sector covers all businesses which sell products or provide services to other businesses. Not many people realize this but B2B sales are actually a substantially larger market and Business to Consumer sales. In 2020, it is anticipated that just B2B e-commerce sales will be >$1.1 USD Trillion dollars. This sector is experiencing massive growth at the moment.
“US business-to-business (B2B) retail sold more than $8 trillion in goods in 2014, accounting for roughly half of the US economy’s gross domestic product… By 2020, we expect the US B2B eCommerce market to be worth $1 trillion — twice the size of the US business-to-consumer (B2C) eCommerce market.” — Forrester
For businesses trying to generate leads to make sales to other businesses, the trend is that the formation of these business relationships to occur online. Profede has plans to provide a solution to help facilitate the formation of B2B relationships with their decentralized solution.
Another area Profede plans to modernize with its protocol is the professional services sector. This sector encompasses occupations which provide tertiary support and often require professional licensure; these occupations include: Lawyers, architects, accountants, engineers, and doctors. Other professional services that provide specialist business support to businesses include IT services, consulting firms, accounting, and tax specialist firms.
In 2017 (the latest data available), the U.S. professional services industry comprised about 1.18 million firms, up from 1.16 million in 2016. The industry employed 9 million Americans in 2017, up from 8.9 million in 2016. The industry achieved combined annual revenues of $1.76 trillion in 2017, a 2.1 percent increase from 2016. — U.S. Department of Commerce
Similar in nature to the Business to Business sector, the Profede platform will be able to cater to providers of professional services and help foster these connections.
The Profede Solution
The Profede protocol is a decentralized ecosystem that will exist on top of the Ethereum blockchain. The use of this protocol will enable interactions to occur between professionals-professionals, businesses-professionals, and businesses-businesses without the need of an intermediary to facilitate the communications between the two parties. The interaction with the Profede solution becomes purely peer to peer with use of a smart contract.
This peer-peer interaction will be enabled by use of Professional Activity Tokens (PATO) which will serve as the incentive mechanism that drives the whole platform. The PATO token is a utility token whose function will allow professionals to be paid every time they agree to give access to their data. Professionals will have the power to selectively choose exactly how much data they are wanting to make public, and which data they are potentially open to share in exchange for PATO tokens.
Professionals will be paid every time a business wants access to their data for possible job opportunities. In the current system, third-party job portals reap all the reward leaving nothing for professionals except for the service provided. The Profede protocol will cut out the intermediary and the professionals & businesses will reap the rewards instead. Businesses will save an immense of money as they will have bypassed the third party intermediary completely, whereas the professionals themselves are directly compensated.
Third party websites are centralized databanks that store valuable personal details of all the job seekers using their job portals. Many centralized companies in recent times have experienced massive data breaches by outside hackers and had all their personal information of all their users leaked to people on the darknet who exploit the use of this personal data leading to vast consequences as individuals identities are stolen.
Profede has a partnership with beBee which is a collaborative platform boasting 12 millions professionals. With this partnership, all these users will be onboarded to the Profede protocol which enables an quick adoption of the platform.
The Profede solution is considered a protocol due to the fact that third parties will be able to have their apps implement the Protocol to reap the benefits from Profede’s userbase. Apps and platforms can conveniently offer services using the modernized solution without the need to rebuild from scratch. Apps will be incentivized by PATO tokens everytime a business contacts users in the 3rd party app’s system.
In terms of the Profede team, the website states that there are ten experts and engineers. Six of these team members are listed along with five advisors. The majority of the team members (4/6 team members, 1/5 advisors) have come from the beBee platform, beBee is a collaborative platform boasting 12 million professionals. beBee was founded by the current CEO of Profede. All of the team members do have profiles on either Linkedin or beBee, and have Profede listed as their current employer. The fact that the key players have come from the same prior company likely means that they have solid working relationships already and already work well as a team. beBee was formed in 2015, and appears to be a successful platform that works as intended. I see at least 4 all-stars on the core team, and the advisers have some impressive experience that should help guide Profede through a successful ICO launch.
It makes sense that Profede has become planned revamp of beBee that serves to become the first decentralized peer-peer professionals and businesses network. The Profede team has been very active in traveling through-out Asia to secure funding for the ICO during a time in which the crypto markets have been feeling the pain of a prolonged bear market.
Juan Imaz* — CEO and founder of Profede, Juan is a prior founder of 5 other companies since 1993 and thus could be considered a serial entrepreneur, he is a very experienced CEO and likely could be considered the all-star team member. He was the former Chairman of beBee. His background is in media/online marketing startups. On the Profede Youtube channel, Juan appears very comfortable presenting in front of an audience to pitch Profede to potential investors. He is likely the driving force that the success of the project will be most dependent on.
Rafael Garcia Romano* — CMO. Rafael was the prior CMO of beBee, his Linked in states that his specialty area’s are in SEO, SEM, E-commerce, web analytics and digital marketing strategy. He has 12 years of experience in this specialty since 2006. It’s started that he has been in charge of large marketing budgets in the past. My only concern is that he is still listed as presently working as the Head of SEO & SEM of Valor De Ley and as Partner Director of I-Vida SL. However if his full time is devoted to Profede, he is likely an expert at internet marketing and his experience would make him fit for the role.
Alana Zangieva — Business Development Manager. Alana has prior experience in project manager roles and in social media management for Out4free.com for 2.5 years. She graduated with a BA in Business & Management this year. In looking at Out4free’s social media presence, I do not see much of a presence on Twitter or Facebook. It is unknown how strong she would be for Profede, but Profede does boast over 37k Twitter followers, and 41k users on Telegram.
Alberto Landeras Rivas *— Senior Developer. Alberto is a developer with 18 years of experience. He has worked on back-end development for beBee for the last year. He worked almost 13 years as an analyst developer for a nuclear power plant and was a full stack developer for a solar protection factory for 4.5 years. His role in Profede is likely pivotal to the projects success, but he has a lot of experience to bring to the table.
Pedro J. Estébanez* — Senior Developer. Pedro is a developer that has experience dating back to 2002. He work on front-end development for beBee in the last year. He is an independent video game developer focused on mobile applications with at least 6 years of experience in the mobile app specialty. He was a systems administrator, and also has been responsible for webdesign and website server management. He brings over ten years of experience to the table for Profede.
Ron Beckkerman is a ex-LinkedIn Data Expert with a PhD in Computer Science with a focus on machine learning. Has over 20 professional publications and is a professor of Data Science. He has been an advisor to other machine learning startups.
Christel Quek was an ex-Twitter Head of Content, and is an adviser to Zilliqa and Switcheo, both of which are well known Blockchain projects. She founded Bolt which is a mobile streaming service that focuses on live TV.
Javier Cámara is the CEO of beBee and is also a serial entrepreneur. He is an expert at software engineering, been involved with complex project management, and he is also a blockchain enthusiast.
Gabriel Zanko is a Blockchain Investor and Advisor with 12+ years of experience in Finance. He advises numerous Blockchain projects, and guides institutional investors. He is the founder of Mobileyourlife which is a Crypto investment banking firm.
Bonnie Normile is an analyst at ICO Bench, a board member of the Israel Blockchain Association among other notable organizations. She is an advisor to a number of Blockchain projects contributing her branding, strategy, and services with listings.
I believe that the advisor’s have an immense wealth of experience to bring to the table from various backgrounds and that collectively these individuals should definitely aid Profede in accomplishing a successful ICO.
*Asterisks mark team members or advisors that I’d designate as having an all-star status.
ICO Token Economics
The token economics for Profede in my opinion are pretty solid. The whitepaper states there will be fixed total supply of 6,000,000,000 Professional Activity Tokens (PATO). These tokens will be hosted on the Ethereum blockchain with the ERC-20 token format. These tokens will be sold at $0.01 each during the ICO, and there is a 15% bonus for pre-sale investors. There will also be a lockup period for pre-sale investors, team members, and advisors tokens that will be handled via a smart contract that will be publically audited.
The team’s hardcap goal is $20 Million USD, and a softcap of $1.5 Million. A $20 million hardcap is a very reasonable hardcap as many ICO’s are greedy and ask for substantially more money than they should need to develop and market their platforms. This hardcap should provide some ample opportunity for some good multipliers as roadmap goals are accomplished, especially considering the agreement for the adoption of the Profede platform by beBee which is a professional’s platform that boasts 12 million users. The team states this should allow for a quick market entry. As of this writing, the project has raised $12.6 Million and the project is still in its pre-sale phase. I anticipate that the ICO will accomplish its hardcap funding goal ahead of schedule.
· 50% of tokens will be available for purchase in the pre-sale and ICO period.
· 40% of tokens are reserved as a long-term budget for stimulating use and growth of the platform, marketing, development, and legal costs. (Tokens locked for 1 year)
· 10% of tokens are reserved for project’s team and advisors.
ICO Proceeds Budget:
· 40% of funds raised will be used to develop the platform.
· 5% of funds are reserved for administrative costs.
· 44% of funds will be used for promoting platform use and community growth which includes public relations, affiliates programs, partnerships, and marketing.
· 5% of funds are reserved for legal costs
· 6% of funds are allocated for unforeseen costs.
Token Lockup Period:
· Token sale participants lockup: No lockup on these tokens
· Presale investors lockup: 3 months.
· Advisor’s lockup: 3 months
· Core team lockup: 2 year lockup with 25% of tokens being unlocked every 6 months.
Now for the big question… Is Profede worth adding to your portfolio?
I think that Profede has a brilliant idea in theory. The market they are targeting is incredibly large, and the use-case for the PATO token is very well thought out. Professionals and businesses alike would have huge incentive to use the platform as long as the team can deliver a finished product that works as promised. A utility token will grow in value as adoption of the platform occurs as their is only a fixed number of tokens in circulation. The hardcap of the project is very reasonable at $20 Million USD, and leaves plenty of room for future returns of investors. The token lockup period for presale investors, advisors, and the core team helps to protect investors interests. The onboarding of all the 13 million beBee users allows for an early adoption boost of the platform.
The team has incredible degree of transparency, and I have gone through the project with a fine-toothed comb to try and find red flags…but I haven’t been able to find anything significant. The project has a link to their Github directly on the first page, in the Github they have their smart contract for the PATO token. The law firm that the team has hired is directly stated on the last page of the whitepaper. I went to the law firm’s website (Attela) and directly on the front page it’s stated that the firm works directly with ICO’s for local and global companies.
I looked at the beBee website, and it was founded in 2015 by serial-entrepreneurs Javier Cámara and Juan Imaz. Juan Imaz is listed as the CEO of Profede and was the former Chairman of beBee so I have no doubts about the partnership being legitimate. The beBee website looks well developed and there is are 100,000s of job postings posted meaning the website does have active use. I see the vision of the of Profede becoming essentially beBee or LinkedIn 2.0.
ICO Rating gave Profede a Stable+ (low risk) rating. I would agree with this rating that Profede is of lower risk. The team has raised enough money to build the platform, and has a planned roll-out that includes substantial initial adoption. A decentralized peer-peer service connecting businesses and professionals I can see as having the potential for being very unique and disruptive idea for the space. I confidently believe that as long as the team delivers on the roadmap to create the protocol and can execute a well-planned marketing strategy that the project has a high chance of being quite successful.
Author’s Disclaimer & Remarks
Investing in ICO’s carries a high degree of risk as you are investing into a startup. Many startups can and do fail, but the rewards for those that do take the risk and find successful start-ups to invest into can have lucrative results. As with all speculative investments, people should never invest more than they can afford to lose. Anyone considering making making any investments should do their own due diligence by doing their own extensive research.
I myself do have a financial stake in this project. Keep in mind that this article is not investment advice and I am not a financial adviser. This article is simply information I have compiled about the Profede project for the readers benefit combined with some of my own opinions after significant research into the project.
I am an avid cryptocurrency investor very familiar with ICO processes, and focus my writing on covering crypto related topics such as: market news, project evaluations, chart analysis on market trends, fundamentals, tech discussion.
I welcome any and all feedback. If any of you wish to subscribe to further content, feel free to follow me on Twitter, and subscribe to me here on Medium.
Thank you for your time,
Tiffany Gyles ‘Cryptounicorn’