Walimai / WaBi Q2 Roadmap Recap
Highlighting progress and priorities for the second half of 2018
As we pass the half-way point for 2018, we’re moving faster than ever before.
Right now, Walimai / WaBi is seeing major sales team developments, upgraded label technology, a selection of highly advantageous partnerships, an upcoming rebranding, and expansion into a new industry.
Today we’re taking a look at our 2018 roadmap and providing an overview of our achievements while keeping our supporters abreast of developments.
Q2 Goals (Ends 30th of June)
- Start sales of alcohol products protected by Walimai labels
At the end of 2017, Walimai’s main targets were (in order) infant care products, alcohol products, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and supplements. In fact, creating a label tailor made for alcohol bottles was one of the first steps we took in anticipation of product portfolio expansion. After hiring Vadim Mishin, we began to tap into the Australian/New Zealand product market and appreciate how China’s demand for Australian infant care, cosmetics, and supplements outweighed that of alcohol products. We had accessed a goldmine of possibilities, and reprioritized to make the most out of this opportunity.
In order to prioritize the on-boarding of these in-demand ANZ products, we’ve shifted our goal of adding alcohol products into our retail channel from Q2 of 2018 to Q1 of 2019 so we can focus on pinpoint marketing the premium quality supplement products from upcoming partnership brands. Products include Omega 3 fish oil, Squalene, and a variety of other SKUs with daily usage.
- Launch Walimai Masternodes
- Launch mobile APPs v3
- Finalize Walimai label v4 (new feature: proof of consumption)
- The Walimai blockchain, dedicated to recording all transactions on the Walimai supply chain, went live and operational on May 18th. On June 6th, we detailed the mechanics and application procedure of the Walimai masternodes. On June 30th we selected 30 entrants to run masternodes. Our first public masternodes were up and running soon after!
The launch of our blockchain has been a milestone for us, and we’re proud to have our blockchain fully operational with active masternodes.
The blockchain itself is based on Hyperledger software. As we’ve said before, in the interest of transparency, we’ve decided against utilizing a private blockchain. We believe that ‘private blockchain’ is an oxymoron, and hold the openness of the blockchain as an essential feature. Therefore, masternodes of the blockchain will function as auditors for transactions on the supply chain. We’re currently working on an explorer and hope to share more news regarding its release in the near future.
Those interested in running a node of their own can follow the instructions below to join the queue for the next batch of masternodes:
Please note before participating: the Walimai masternode queue publicly shows all participant wallet addresses.medium.com
- The latest version of our WeChat integrated consumer app adds a new look, new features, and increases overall usability from our initial, rudimentary version. Consumers will be able to browse products, use their Wajifen/WaBi, make purchases, and personalize their experience. All of these features are available directly through WeChat (China’s most popular app with over 900 million monthly active users), and require no seperate download.
Wajifen/WaBi is still accumulated through the dedicated Walimai app, which will see an additional makeover in Q3/Q4 of 2018, following the rebranding. The WeChat integrated app is currently in testing phase but will go live well before the rebranding later this year.
- Initially, our RFID/NFC labels were scannable with Android phones, and iPhone phones utilizing a custom, dedicated dongle. We’ve now solved this obstacle, allowing all iPhones from iPhone 7 onward to scan our labels and accrue Wajifen/WaBi seamlessly.
This month will see the start of production for the latest iteration of our anti-counterfeit label. This label will sport a new look, shape, and (more importantly) new features including Proof of Consumption.
The new label will consist of an NTAG 213 TT chip that can detect changes in tamper loop resistance while still allowing the antenna to respond to interrogation. What this means is that the new label will not simply render itself inert when tampered with: it will be able to transmit its status when scanned with an NFC capable smart phone, simply by changing a single bit upon label tampering.
Thanks to the new flexibility of the label from a design standpoint, we’ll be able to more easily adapt labels to individual products and compensate for any irregular shapes through bespoke designs, while still retaining the label’s features.
- Partner with at least 1 influencer with 1 million followers in China
- Expand the baby store Walimai shelves to 3 additional provinces
- During Q1 of 2018, we teamed up with a China-based KOL with over 60.000 followers. While the response resulting from this exposure was promising, we decided to (for the moment) not pursue individual influencers, but instead enlist the services of an established marketing firm to help get our message across to the wider public.
The Edelman PR agency is currently handling our PR in both the China region and internationally, and will increase the overall marketing efforts significantly following the rebranding in Q3/Q4 of 2018. With former managing director of Edelman, Jackie Xu Rui, as our head of marketing, we’re certain to get the most out of our working collaboration with Edelman going forward.
- While our goal was to expand our presence to three additional provinces by mid-2018, we’ve actually surpassed this goal and expanded to 5 more provinces in China:
Gansu, Guangdong, Zhejiang, Chongqing, and Sichuan.
These provinces were chosen as prime areas for our retail channel, both for their geographical position and susceptibility to counterfeit goods. Combined, their total population is over 300 million strong. These are early, yet promising steps towards a much larger expansion. We’re now moving at an accelerated speed to cover more territory over the coming months.
To ensure these locations are in good hands, we’ve hired sales directors and sales leads with a proven track record at innovative and established companies such as ofo, Meituan, Baidu, Yili, and Wanglaoji to operate as sales managers within these areas. You can find their profiles in the August Update.
We’ve also gotten follow-up requests from three of China’s top 5 retail chains. These publicly listed companies encompass hundreds of off-line stores in China. While we cannot share the names, you can expect an official announcement from us, should negotiations pan out. Furthermore, expansion of our retail channel to additional individual stores will be included in future updates.
- Digital touch shelves are production-ready
The Q4 rebranding will see Walimai re-launch with a different name, look, and outward image. We aim to be approachable and trustworthy, but technically advanced and authoritative.
In keeping with this image, we’ve decided to forego the digital touch shelves and instead focus on a more individual approach: dedicated sales people carrying tablets filled to the brim with the possibilities provided by our retail channel.
Highly trained sales people will be able to introduce the concept of our safe product retail channel and its loyalty system far more expediently than the previously proposed shelves. They will be equipped with dedicated tablets that we believe will be a far more effective and versatile alternative.
When we wrote our 2018 roadmap at the end of 2017, we established a list of goals and achievements we assessed would accelerate our success. Hitting those goals was important for as long as those goals were the ideal way of moving forward. As you can see, some of our goals have been adapted, replaced, or otherwise reprioritized due to changes and opportunities presenting themselves in the first half of 2018. When you’re running a technology company intent on introducing a new concept to a massive audience, you will run into priority shifts, industry changes, or you will simply discover a more advantageous route for the company to take. To ignore them would be fatal.
We hope that our supporters will see any timeline discrepancies for what they are: necessary changes made to make the most of the possibilities provided to us and to take the company & the WaBi token to new heights.
We’ll be publishing a revised Roadmap at the beginning of Q3, taking into account our rebranding, our entry into a new industry, our focus on sales expansion, our enhanced marketing focus, and the label & blockchain technology that’s advancing in leaps and bounds.