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Guardian Circle: March 2020 / COVID-19 and Corporate Update

Mark Jeffrey
Mar 22 · 5 min read

Hi everyone.

I hope everyone is doing okay in this difficult time.

Guardian Circle is a crisis app and we are working hard to keep as many of you safe as we can. And we’ve been helping people prepare for emergencies for four years now.

People are suddenly (understandably) more concerned about what happens when police, medical and rescue are overwhelmed. What if officers and medical responders start to get COVID-19? Will there be increased lawlessness — and less response?

Regular 9–1–1 (or other official emergency response, depending on where you live) may start deteriorating. There are news articles about it already happening.

So ‘Community Emergency Response’ is no longer an abstract thing. It’s badly needed by everyone right now.

The good news is that we had already been preparing a much-updated app and a big marketing push before the COVID-19 crisis hit.

It contains a great number of signup process improvements (particularly handling phone number verification better worldwide) and optimizations for battery life and app speed. This helps us service a much wider range of users and ensures greater stability and speed in critical situations.

I am happy to report that Guardian Circle 3.1 is available starting immediately on iOS and Android.

This release also includes our new $GUARD Rewards referral program. We’ve seen other apps that reward coins do extremely well — SweatCoin, Pi, LYNX Wallet and others have quickly amassed tens of thousands to millions of users quickly once their Rewards programs were launched. (And many of these apps don’t even have an important core function like Guardian Circle does — they’re just ‘coin for coin’s sake’.)

Starting today, you earn $GUARD Rewards for referrals. (We will also retroactively reward you for any Guardian invites that resulted in a new signup in the past — though give us a week or so to process those.)

So Guardian Circle is now a ‘friends & family 9–1–1’ app that pays for contributing to safety.

You earn 10 $GUARD for each referral. If your referee uses your referral link OR is invited to become your Guardian and registers, they also earn 10 $GUARD.

There are two ways to refer:

  • Use the SHARE feature in the app. This will allow you to post your link with referral code to Twitter, Facebook, whatever. You can also find your referral link in your Profile.
  • Send someone a Guardian Invite in the app. (They must be a new user for you both to earn $GUARD.)

The rate of 10 $GUARD per referral will decrease over time, so you want to refer sooner rather than later.

Also: please note that there is some delay in processing $GUARD Rewards to accommodate anti-fraud measures. You should get your $GUARD within 24 hours.

So. Come for the coins. Stay for the safety.

I will now be sending out a ton of new Guardian invites myself. I strongly encourage you to download Guardian Circle, set it up, and get your neighbors, friends and family to do the same and connect to you as Guardians.

Having more Guardians is better. There is no limit to how many you can have.

I also strongly encourage you to push the Alert button. Practice creating and receiving Alerts — and using the Alert Room. There is no penalty for creating Alerts, the cops are not somehow paged or something. It’s just you and your Guardians. Tell them it’s only a drill on the chat area so they’re not worried that it’s real. And create as many Alerts as you want.

Get used to how everything functions in advance, so you’re not learning during a real emergency.

Corporate Investment, Partnerships

We have identified a significant revenue stream in an $11B market and a partner to go get it with.

The Guardian Circle app is a huge differentiator for this partner in a core existing part of their business.

The partner is large, and has a channel of distributors though which we will sell our new, combined product.

We expect this partner deal to be signed next week. Then, we will need to integrate our products (2–3 months) and finally, roll out the combined product.

Because this is a significant revenue stream, and it’s immediately highly profitable (it won’t require massive venture subsidies to prop up unit economics) it’s allowed us to attract new venture capital interest. We are now in third and fourth meetings with several parties.

Runway

As our runway has always been based in crypto, our piles of Bitcoin and NEO have depleted in value with the COVID-19 crashes. I’ve been supplementing corp expenses with my own personal money to cover costs.

Bottom line? We have about 6 months left as we are right now, barring any new curveballs thrown at us.

So we’re pushing hard on closing the investment. Interest is strong and alive, but venture capital gets funky, scared and conservative during a downturn — so there’s no way to know how that will turn out.

We are simultaneously pushing to get the revenue generation with the partner up and running quickly. That would obviate the need for investment, if we could hit the ground fast enough.

History has shown that a downturn is the BEST time to invest and create new things. The greatest companies are almost always built during the worst times, and the highest returns are realized by those who bet big when hope was the smallest. Our investment interest knows this (and has benefited from this dynamic in the past).

Chris and I are committed to staying at our posts and grinding through during this lockdown crisis period. We’re doing everything we can to stay healthy, and we’re taking extreme precautions on the now-rare occasions when we venture out of our bunkers.

We are committed to keeping Guardian Circle up and running for everyone and to keep releasing new fixes and updates during this time where Guardian Circle can be the most helpful to all.

It’s free. The core ‘peer to peer’ product will stay free.

Please download it — and keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

— Mark and Chris

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