345: How AirFox Are Banking the Unbanked Through A $15 Million AirToken ICO
AirFox is leveraging blockchain technology to make mobile data more affordable and accessible to millions of people around the world. To do this, AirFox created a new cryptocurrency called AirTokens that will be redeemable for mobile data on pre-paid plans. Users earn these AirTokens by opting to view advertisements in AirFox’s free Android apps.
The company making mobile data and internet more affordable for millions of people, recently announced it closed its $6.5 million ICO pre-sale weeks earlier than scheduled (now at $15M). The pre-sale attracted a very diverse audience, including sophisticated crypto investors, angel investors and other early backers of the project. AirFox wants to build a broad community of supporters, not just large early investors. The platform also capped the amount a single person could purchase in the pre-sale to maximize individual contributions while creating a diversified pool of AirToken holders to benefit the long-term success of the project.
AirFox eliminates the overhead involved with traditional lending caused by inefficient intermediaries and government regulation by using the blockchain to match lenders with borrowers at transparent terms, and reduces the transfer fees involved. By analyzing thousands of data points on mobile behavior, device data, payments and browsing history, AirFox will use proprietary algorithms to assign credit rankings to users. Using these credit scores, AirFox will segment users into tranches, allowing lenders to provide microloans in AirTokens through an Ethereum smart-contract.
The latest version of the AirToken whitepaper (version 3.0) contains numerous updates, additions, and tweaks that answer questions raised by pre-sale purchase inquiries, clarify any ambiguities and reflect advice provided by legal counsel. Founded by ex-Googlers Victor Santos and Sara Choi in January 2016, AirFox has quickly established itself as the leader in affordable data plans for US-based prepaid wireless carriers.
Incubated at Harvard’s Innovation Lab, AirFox is a TechStars Boston alumni and is venture backed by Project 11, Launch Capital, and NXT Ventures, among others. With the launch of its ICO and new blockchain consumer platform, the company is on a mission to enable unrestricted access to the internet for anyone with a prepaid smartphone. I invited co-founder and CEO, Victor Santos, onto to the tech podcast to find out more about their $15M in a token sale and if China’s move to ban initial coin offerings (ICO) has affected them.
The technology entrepreneur with deep operational experience in telecom, mobile and AdTech across Google and three different start-ups tells me about his crypto startup story and his vision for the future.