Q1 - 2018
Our ICO lasted from the 1st to the 20th of march, 2018, and ended raising 23913 ETH
Identification of business scalability issues and new Roadmap
In the months following the ICO we took care of structuring the company. What may seem a trivial organizational process hides many pitfalls and should not be underestimated. The transformation speed of the organizational structure, thanks to the introduction of managerial roles, increasingly present and rigid procedures and processes, is one of the critical success factors for the company. The speed of change must be in line with the speed at which people within the organization adapt to the change itself, otherwise the risk of blocking the entire company becomes relevant. During the structuring phase we realized that our business model, as it had been thought, was not optimized to be scaled all over the world. It was the same as leaving for a long drive with a flat wheel. Continuing on that road would have exponentially raised scale-up costs and would not have allowed us to achieve the goals we set ourselves.
So we stopped to replace the tire.
The first problem we encountered was the difficulty and the time needed to integrate with a B2B market strongly based on relationships, as in advertising worldwide. Replicating what we have been able to create in Italy abroad involves much more effort and time, which, extended to many countries, made the business not very scalable in the short term.
In order to increase the scalability of the model, we tested different sales channels, concluding that it was necessary to build a Saas that would allow all potential customers, agencies or intermediaries to purchase our services independently, without the need to have a direct sales force in each country, as we have in Italy.
The second problem we encountered was the total dependence on Facebook and Instagram. These days having a business completely dependent on another company is a risk that is becoming too high. In July 2018, as a result of the events of Cambridge Analytica, Facebook has reviewed several integration policies with third-party apps and in particular has taken away the possibility of publishing posts on behalf of our users on social media, worsening the User Experience of the our system.
We therefore needed to widen the typology of sold products and to have another environment in order not to find ourselves cut off from the market in case of problems deriving from these social networks.
The third problem was the technology used to write the application, now almost obsolete after four years and not suitable for global scale-up. We have therefore rewritten the code of the entire application from scratch with one of the most modern programming languages, called React Native.
The fourth problem that limited our growth concerned the community of the application. The products we sell involve activating and remunerating a community of people for activities that serve companies' purposes. These activities, however, are frequently addressed by two different kinds of users.
At the moment the app mainly sees the coexistence of two user targets that are difficult to satisfy in the same way.
On the one hand we have the "artistic" users, engaged thanks to creativity and gamification, who enjoy creating quality content and see the app as a source of challenges and fun. This target is much less affected by the economic component of the platform but ironically they are the most profitable target for our company, as these are the users that participate in branded campaigns.
On the other hand, we have a target passionate about savings, for whom the economic component is highly motivating. This target of users is on average less skilled in terms of content quality, but interested in all the other types of campaigns present in our app.
This structure makes the model less scalable and does not provide a perfect environment for neither one of these two targets and their characteristics.
Therefore, it became necessary to understand and sort each of these aspects, before returning to international expansion.
Q2 - 2018
What might look like a simple restructuring hides a lot of challenges, and must not be underestimated. Thanks to the introduction of management, procedures and processes more and more structured, make the velocity of the transformation one of the key success factors of our company.
Change must adhere as much as possible to the people's ability to adapt to it, otherwise risking to cause severe stalls in the overall company processes.
Q3 - 2018
App re-write in React Native
Q4 - 2018
New business and launch of new products
TokenBooster: Friendz for the Crypto-Community
Q1 - 2019
The Friendz Fork: introducing the App Revolution
Since two different targets currently coexist in the app, we needed to create two different environments and automatize the purchase of our services through SaaS. That's why we decided to create the Friendz Fork.
The idea is to split the app, the community and the business model in order to create two different environments in which the two targets can grow in a more efficient way.
After the Fork, Friendz app will be related only to creative photo content, aiming to become a real social network in competition with Instagram. The introduction of the photo wall within the campaigns, and the possibility to publish contents exclusive to the app, generates a further use of the app compared to only being an intermediary between other social networks, giving more visibility and audience to the content of our users.
For our users, the main advantage over Instagram will be the increase in organic interactions with their own content and the visibility obtainable within the community. This is due to the fact that the contents published in Friendz are shown not only to their followers, but also to the target group of users interested in the same topic, a basic feature of the campaign system.
Finally, the introduction of the possibility of designing, creating and launching their own creative campaigns within the app, it will be possible to open multiple possibilities for the scale-up of the community, reducing user acquisition costs that slowed the growth down.
The use of the app as a true social network allows also to introduce a vast line of paid upgrades (in FDZ) related to the visibility of one’s own content and the management of one’s campaign, increasing the use of FDZ within the application and the resulting demand of FDZ on the exchanges.
After the Fork, all of the non photo-related activities currently found in app will be launched from a new web platform which replicates the Friendz mechanics: Atlantix.
During the Fork, a part of the Friendz community will move to Atlantix.
Q2 - 2019
The "non-creative" Friendz users need a different environment where they can grow, have fun and make money. An environment where the savings component is fundamental.
The web version of Friendz, called Atlantix, allows us to solve several problems, first of which the B2B scalability and the business’ further expansion.
In Atlantix companies can register their own public profile and create and launch activities on our communities through a dashboard, paying in fiat currency or FDZ. In case of payment in fiat currency, an automated FDZ purchase system will be applied, as already happens for the campaigns launched through the app.
The community will have more possibilities to earn in addition to the already existing remunerated actions, thanks to the introduction of gift cards purchase. This will be possible not only by changing credits, but also by paying with credit card to profit from the consequent cashback in credits made available by partner companies. This functionality is not only an advantage for the community but a fundamental help in opening a new market. In fact, it allows us to create and grow a community in a new country before having the need to have customers, reducing part of the expansion costs.
Friendz services paid in FDZ
Today, Friendz is a fast growing company that allows companies users to buy services and new features in FDZ credit. However, adoption of cryptocurrencies is still slow, and at this point the market itself is discouraging companies from using tokens. To speed up the use and adoption of tokens, we built a system that connects each activity in app to an automated purchase or sale of FDZ in Exchange, allowing us to link our business to the circulation of our token even in case of fiat payments.
To be clear, the credits are gained by our users in our circuits, whereas the FDZ are the currency that users and clients spend, in our circuits, to unlock services and features.
By completing activities, our users gain credits to be accumulated and spent in various ways: to convert in FDZ to buy features in app or to convert in gift cards by partner companies.
In order to link the token to the business even in the case of purchases through fiat currency, we structured a list of in-app activities which will trigger a purchase or a sale of a certain amount of FDZ on exchange.
The triggering activities are the following:
Each time a user gains credits in app, a purchase order of FDZ equal to the amount of the campaign's credits will be sent out (considering the ETH realtime value on coinmarketcap).
Each time a user spends FDZ in features/upgrades in the app, a sale order of FDZ equal to a percentage between 1% and 50% of the amount in € of the upgrade value will be sent out. The unsold amount of FDZ will be sent to our reserve.
Each time a user converts his credits in gift cards, a sale order of FDZ of the same amount in € of the gift card value will be sent out.
This automation will allow us to increase the volumes on the market in proportion to the turnover rise, and decrease the offer as the services bought by our community increase.
The objective is therefore twofold: on the one hand the expansion of products and services for companies, on the other hand towards end users.
Q3 - 2019
Atlantix Beta & Friendz App Beta
The common goal for both platforms is to achieve a sustainable cost of acquisition of a new user, which will allow us to quickly expand the business in a new country.
For Atlantix, in addition to the user acquisition cost, it will be important to reach an adequate customer acquisition cost.
Following are the technological development necessary for this phase:
Introduction of the campaign wall
Introduction of "like" function
Introduction of the possibility to launch campaigns in app
Introduction of the possibility to send credits to Atlantix
Introduction of new upgrades purchasable in FDZ
Algorithm optimization for the organization of the contents in the feed
Atlantix (Public Beta):
Company profile improvement
Introduction of a gamification system based on groups
Dashboard for launching cross-platform activities and monitoring performance
Q4 - 2019
Introducing: Atlantix new revenue models
At this point, we will abilitate agencies to open an manage autonomously the business accounts, in order to implement their marketing strategies on the platform, and push their sales.
Atlantix becomes here the business manager from where to acquire all services offered by Friendz.
Q1 - 2020
Scaling up: starting a new International expansion scalable model
Q2 - 2020
Expansion in Central Europe
Q3 - 2020
Expansion in UK
Q4 - 2020
Expansion in Nordics