Beenest is the first decentralized home-sharing network built on top of a set of Bee Protocols that connects hosts with guests without taking any commissions. The Beenest dApp and the Bee Protocols are powered by our ERC20 utility token called the BEE token. The Bee Protocols are open Ethereum protocols that can power other future sharing economy dApps
The BEE ICO is an interesting launch. There are two parts to it at this point, Beeprotocol and Beenest. I’ll start discussing Beenest, as it is the ‘sexier’ front end that is marketed a lot more, but as you will see, it is the Beeprotocol backend that I find more interesting.
Beenest is akin to AirBNB, but it looks to take advantage of a public ledger system (the blockchain technology). It seems like a tough sector to compete in given the dominance of AirBNB in the ‘sharing economy’ niche of this space, as well as every other hotel platform and short term rental service out there. But it is a massive industry and Beenest could make a significant dint to this sector with the power of the blockchain.
As an example, if Alice has a space to rent out and Bob is travelling and needs a place stay, these two could easily transact on a site like AirBNB and both be happy. However, even for this simple transaction, there are a number of middle men that will reduce the amount paid (or increase the cost) as they service this request.
You can see that before other costs (such as photography, regular cleaning, repairs, facilities and services) are even considered a large portion of the rental fee has been taken away already. Using Cryptocoins removes most of those fees and Beenest charges 0% commission.
In addition to this, people looking for places to stay often rely on the reviews of previous guests. Accommodation providers know this and have been previously caught changing reviews and scores to benefit their overall ranking: reviews are easily removed or altered, the provider can offer incentives for positive reviews and providers have submitted a number of false reviews themselves.
Beenest aims to solve these two concerns, by completely removing then middle man and introducing a more trustworthy system to track review scores and feedback on properties.
Beeprotocols is a set of Ethereum smart contracts that allow developers and 3rd parties to launch new decentralised applications based on this technology. It provides a flexible, mature and secure platform that will allow similar ‘sharing economy’ apps to launch on the platform. This is where I see the true value for this ICO coming from, with beenest being a demonstration of the front end concept.
Once set up and established, Beeprotocols could be the platform used by every ‘sharing economy’ niche out there. It could allow BEE, an existing 3rd party or a new 3rd party to introduce ride sharing, or finance lending, or micro-contracting, or whatever else on the platform. A demonstrably easy, flexible and secure platform could also take on any service industry which currently relies on a service being provided and feedback being used as a method to rank the quality and actual delivery of that service.
I have concentrated on two of the major benefits of this new platform. But the whitepaper goes into greater depth about other important matters in this industry (such as disagreements or arbitration processes). It is worth reading more into this if you are interested.
There are four co-founders, each with a great background in the industry and skillsets to complement each other. Jonathon Chou, the CEO, was previously lead the Security and Fraud division at Uber. Alongside him is Tony Tran as CTO who also comes from an Uber background, specialising in Machine Learning. Next up is Ali Ayyash in the Lead Engineer role. He comes from lead roles at Google and AWS and has managed large scale infrastructure deployments to support a range of large and startup sized organisations. Last, but not least, Min Kim comes in as the Business Development Lead. She has a strong background with startups and blockchain organisations. Interestingly, Min has worked on a number of recent and successful ICOs, such as Quantstamp and Civic.
I believe this represents a solid foundation of skills for a tech startup. All with relevant backgrounds and skills required to kick start this project.
They have of course surrounded themselves with very talented staff and advisers, with only a few investment backers being given access to the inner circle. The star for me is Richard Ma, Cofounder and CEO of Quantstamp, another very successful ICO based on the Ethereum platform.
Bee is already thinking ahead and getting on with the show. In the immediate future, they are looking to build the team with tech geniuses from their San Francisco area. They are expected to wrap up testing around mid 2018. By the end of 2018, they’ll be going live on mainnet, have iOS and Android apps, integrate KYC requirements with a third party, handle currency options better and integrate with 2 to 5 dApps (distributed apps) based on their Beeprotocol.
Planning to take on dApps in late 2018 is huge. It shows that it is not just about Beenest, but building an ecosystem which allows IRL-P2P (in real life - peer 2 peer) to occur securely, safely and with minimal interference by others. They confirmed that they have been in discussions with 3rd parties, with announcements expected in the future. The Bee team are already thinking ahead, adding front ends beyond Beenest.
Company valuation of $50m USD seems a little high upfront. Even though they will initially be competing against the \$30b giant AirBNB, as well as a whole swath of hotel accommodation booking groups, I see Beenest being able to carve out a large section of this sector. I do wish the company valued itself a little closer to its current size though.
Beeprotocol is where they can really excel. Providing a platform that others can launch their dApps on will hopefully turn this into the defacto standard for sharing economy apps based on blockchain technology into the future.
Bee have hit the ground running with a great ICO, and they are gaining plenty of attention from investors even at this early stage. Some of the specifics of the ICO are missing or perhaps not displayed in the usual areas. Details about early investment tranches are unclear.
Social media and chat channels have been quite active, both promoting the coin before the ICO and providing support afterwards as well. Members of the founders teams are frequently seen in the telegram channel, providing answers and assistance to the investors.
The whitepaper has been released early, to give investors plenty of time to consume the details. 30% public offering is a little low, this perhaps pushes the valuation of this startup high in my opinion. It’s good to see 15% allocated to the team and advisers, but there is a question mark over the 25% assigned to ‘Company reserve’. No further details could be found which explains what this may be used for.
Bee token has created the right team and is working with the right people to do amazing things. They are taking on a market sector with a number of established super powers already dominating it. While even just capturing a small segment of this sector would be huge, you can tell they are aligning themselves to do a lot more than that.
I expect Beenest to take their lead in their marketing of the ICO, but the queen in the hive is definitely building out the Beeprotocol platform. This allows an almost unlimited and incredible amount of reach into new markets. With only $5m USD in the regular pool of investors, expect this one to sell out extremely quickly.
The author intends to participate in this ICO. No payment or private consultation was sought for this article.
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