ICO in a Box: How to Bring a Blockchain Startup to an ICO in 2018

ICOBox makes ICO marketing simple and easy, especially in the changing landscape of token sales where marketing is more crucial than ever.

ICOBox, ArgonGroup, OfficialStartups, AmaZix, PalmBeachMarketing, FoxTail Marketing, Panony, and Element Group have been named the best ICO marketing companies according to the rating of two websites – Hackernoon and Free Software Advice. Cryptocurrency market professionals note that more and more startups today prefer to engage major agencies and platforms to assist in holding their ICOs, in order to organize the work required in the shortest possible timeframe, on a turnkey basis, and involving well-known advisors, thereby greatly improving their chances for success in the crypto industry. We have tried to find out why ICO marketing is playing an ever more important role on the market and whether it’s possible today to create a successful project without outside help.

According to information from the IBRC blockchain research center, even if you do not count the $5 billion amassed by the Venezuelan state project El Petro, crypto startups collected nearly $11 billion during the first half of 2018. These figures already dwarf the $6.9 billion collected by companies via ICOs in all of 2017. The number of startups themselves has also grown: IBRC experts counted 564 completed ICOs that disclosed information on the funds they collected during H1 2018, against only 517 during all of 2017. It is clear that, despite the emerging downward trend in the amounts collected through initial coin offerings in the second half of the year, 2018 will still be a record-setting year in terms of funds collected via ICOs.

Experience shows, however, that today it is not enough to collect funds through an ICO; it is also important to continue and develop the project after the ICO. This is often when the problems start. For example, pursuant to research conducted by GreySpark Partners, nearly half of all ICOs in 2018 were unable to collect the declared minimum amount. The figures published by Bloomberg look even worse: nearly 60% of ICO projects effectively cease to exist within the first quarter following the completion of the token sale. For its part, the TechCrunch[6] portal analyzed the data from the Coinopsy and DeadCoins websites, which keep statistics on failed crypto projects, and concluded that during the current year alone the market has lost more than 1,000 startups.

In this context, taking the correct approach to preparing and holding ICO projects becomes very important. These days it is no longer enough to simply write a nice White Paper and wait for the bitcoins to come raining down, believes Dima Zaitsev, Director of the Market Analytics Department at IBRC. The project must have a clear development strategy both before and after the ICO and follow it to the letter.

“There are several mistakes that many projects repeat, which lead to the failure of the initial coin offering,” says Zaitsev. “One of the most common mistakes is to stop putting out information on the project after the ICO. The crypto community and backers will certainly not appreciate this approach, and will forget about you before you have a chance to get your act together. The second mistake lies in overestimating your own abilities, especially after a successful ICO. The project paradigm changes after its completion. While the run up to the ICO involves more marketing and PR, after its completion the project becomes a fully-fledged IT startup, and this requires new people. It is also a bad idea to cut corners on project security and good lawyers, both of which can save you from unexpected problems with con men and regulators. Lastly, you should decide beforehand how the project tokens will work, so that the question of what to do with the tokens does not arise after the ICO. They should not just lie around like ballast that could sink your startup.”

A software as a service (SaaS) solution, technological and legal support, marketing, consulting, and PR are all part of the essential set of services that will allow startups to remain afloat during the launch and performance of the ICO. These are precisely the services usually provided by the world’s leading ICO marketing companies. One such company is ICOBox, a platform that managed to take a quantum leap in just over a year, becoming the largest supplier of services for the preparation and conduct of ICOs and post-ICO services in the world. It is also one of the largest companies in terms of staff numbers, with more than 150 employees from around the globe. It is no coincidence that the websites Hackernoon and Free Software Advice placed it first in their rankings. ICOBox was also included in the top 20 of a different rating of the world’s best platforms specializing in preparation and performance of ICOs published by the Colabug website.

“It’s no secret that the blockchain market is experiencing tremendous growth. This technology will change our lives and the lives of our children forever, so we have set ourselves an ambitious goal: to become the world’s leading startup accelerator in this sector by leveraging all our experience and innovative developments. We are moving systematically toward our goal, and will soon launch our blockchain university to help our clients and others to get to know the crypto industry better,” noted ICOBox CEO Andriy Zinchuk.

The company has already opened its own blockchain research center, the ICOBox Blockchain Research Center (IBRC). Its experts publish a weekly fundamental analysis of the ICO market and regularly prepare expert reports on the most important topics in the global blockchain and cryptocurrency industry.

“We are very pleased with the results of our cooperation with ICOBox. Its specialists provided us with comprehensive support throughout the entire ICO. ICOBox’s book-building platform, technical and legal recommendations, and adept marketing strategy allowed us to reach our fund collection goals,” said Dmitry Shyshov, President and Co-Founder of the SocialMedia.Market platform, a decentralized marketplace for bloggers and advertisers.

In light of the sagging cryptocurrency market in 2018, blockchain startups now turn almost exclusively to large, tried and tested agencies and platforms for assistance in launching their ICOs. The top five companies from the global ICO marketing ratings usually conduct 40 or more projects a year, helping their clients to collect no less than $300-$400 million in total via initial coin offerings.