German startup repay.me plans to launch a Blockchain-powered marketplace which will share revenues from personal data with its community. The platform will offer users up to 100% cashback on their purchases. Retailers will be able to sell and advertise their products. Think Amazon ads.
In 2014, Dutch student Shawn Buckles auctioned off what he called his “digital soul.” The highest bid paid him $480. The deal included his emails, calendars, geolocation health records, etc. The news was a reminder of how we manage our personal data online.
Companies collect all footprints from interacting with their products, from cookies to interests and likes, selling them to advertisers and marketers. When it comes to profiting, however, the individual consumer is largely left out of the equation.
Repay.me wants to change this. It believes that profits from user data should go back to the community. It will launch a utility token, called REME-Coin, to be used as the main currency on the platform. Its ICO is set for Feb. 15, 2018. Customers will be able to use the coins also on partner sites, offline retailers, restaurants etc. Advertising on the marketplace and access to consumer data will sell for coins as well. Every token will provide holders with a certain number of ads on the repay.me platform.
The coin issue price is expected to be “significantly lower” than that of ads on comparable marketplaces. Coins will be backed by user data which the company refers to as the “gold of the 21st century.” The goal is to create what is considered one of the first tokens with intrinsic value and real growth potential.
The platform growth and the increased amount of consumer data are expected to influence the token value. While the coin supply is limited, the number of users, data, ads and ad formats will grow, the company explains in its whitepaper.
The appeal of rewards
The idea of rewarding consumers for their personal data has been around for a while. Different startups have started addressing the problem with the help of the Blockchain.
A study by the Harvard Business Review (HBR) found that the Blockchain has the power to keep data safe for consumers and businesses alike.
In addition to the coin, repay.me is adding cashbacks as another layer to the platform. The model will hopefully make the marketplace attractive to buyers and sellers.
Repay.me CEO Mario Peter cites a research by coupon site RetailMeNot according to which cashbacks can boost average order value on online stores by as much as 46 percent.
A separate report by marketing and advertising company Valassis showed that almost 80 percent of consumers describe themselves as “price-oriented” and interested in cashback-related products. A total 90 percent of them, including high-income households, use discount coupons.
Depending on different actions on the repay.me platform, users may receive up to 100 percent cashbacks. They will be able to refer friends, recommend products or write reviews, all of which will result in a higher cashback.
Customers, who join during the ICO pre-sale, will receive a 20 percent boost on their daily cashback disbursal within the first year.
Repay.me will launch a mobile app based on the Ethereum protocol. It will act as a crypto-wallet and payment solution across the platform and its partner network.
The managing directors have founded another company in Liechtenstein which manages the ICO and the monetary side of the project. The launch is awaiting approval from the Liechtenstein Financial Market Authority. Subject to the approval, its model may undergo “changes and/or additions [which] may affect all areas of the White Paper, such as the possible start date of the ICO, the related bonus system” and others.
Repay.me was founded in 2015 in Berlin by Mario Peter and Sascha Jonas who act as its managing directors. In 2017, it received an 88,000 euro ($108,000) grant by the Investment Bank Berlin (IBB) to support the further development of its platform.