Round 9

HoneyCoin

"Coinbase meets Patreon": Decentralized Monetization & NFT Platform for Creators & Consumers.
$
80,000
worth of XLM on the day of pay-out*
worth of XLM on the day after voting*
Website

What: A fun way to describe our platform is sort of if Coinbase and Patreon had a baby. In a nutshell - HoneyCoin exists in two forms: Our Creator Platform & our DeFi wallet. All with the same goal to help creators get paid doing what they love and bring more utility to consumers by allowing to pay for goods and services in crypto.

How:

  • On the Creator platform, users can create payment links to receive both tokens like XLM or stablecoins like USDC or CUSD, Mint NFT’s on Stellar, Celo, Polygon and other ‘green’ & affordable chains, as well as escrow payments for services or work delivered bringing security to high or small ticket transactions.
  • Our DeFi wallet exists in a cohesive relationship with the monetization platform and with  the sole purpose of allowing consumers to pay for goods and services provided by creators and other merchants/providers. Some examples: Paying a Freelancer, Buying Coffee at Starbucks in USDC (XLM), Spending on online stores & marketplaces like Etsy or Behance, with a virtual dollar card that can be pre-funded in crypto stablecoins, Powered by Stellar.

Who:

  • We have two core demographics:
  • Consumer: Gen Z & Millennials - although our consumer experience is not limited to this demographic, we’ve seen the fastest adoption and highest adoption within users aged 18-40.
  • Creator: Any individual in the Creative & Passion economy niche, so designers, developers, artists, musicians, freelancers, etc....

We’re requesting this budget from the community fund in order to get past the finish line with all the development that needs to happen on some of the core features we’re keen on having ready before our public beta this quarter/Early Q1. Up until this point, as stated earlier, we’ve been bootstrapped and have funded the project ourselves outside of a few small checks we received from friends & family, David, our CTO, built our native & web platforms including all our blockchain infrastructure as the only full-time engineer working on HoneyCoin. Outside of engineering & design the primary use of the budget we’re requesting from the community fund will be funneled into growth and marketing. Up until this point we’ve spent zero dollars in marketing and have primarily grown organically.

In operation since

Company: January 2021 | Stellar integration: October 2021

Based In

Incorporated in Delaware, US | Based in Nairobi, Kenya.

Stage

Startup

Products & Services

As of today we’ve already built and have the consumer DeFi wallet and monetization platform in production. We’re requesting support from SCF to complete development on and beginning scaling our monetization platform. Specifically around our NFT Infrastructure and our B2B2C Payments Infrastructure for third-party creator platforms and marketplaces looking to build payout services for creators and gig economy individuals.

To date, we have artists in our community doing thousands of dollars in sales on marketplaces like OpenSea, and we’re working with music artists with millions of fans globally who are looking to get into NFT’s. There’s never been a better time to be building a platform like ours and we’re excited about the opportunity to not only build this type of platform but do it with the support of the Stellar Community Fund.

Some of the companies who we are in advanced talks with that are interested in our rails include both Jumia & Paystack.

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Goal & Budget

In 6 Months, We want to achieve the following goals:

  1. Grow our creator platform to 9,000+ creators
  2. Gain 100,000 new users for our DeFi wallet(Hive) and Peer-to-Peer Wallet (HoneyCoin)


Broken down; These are the quantitative growth goals:

We are currently at 3,400 users on our apps.


Creator goals ~ currently(320 creators in our beta):

  1. 50 - 75 % month-over-month growth
  2. Creator acquisition target after 6 months - 8,201 - 16,084 new creators


User goals ~ currently at 3,080 users

  1. 50-75% month-over-month growth
  2. User acquisition target after 6 months - 52,624 - 154,816 new users


We’ll do this by prioritizing a mix of organic and paid acquisition strategies.

As stated earlier we currently have our Peer-to-Peer wallet & DeFi wallet live in production, our public launch is set for this quarter with our Monetization & NFT platform coming out of private beta at the same time. The following buckets highlight the need we have to achieve our goals:

Product:

  • We plan on hiring a full time design and development team to complement the team on staff(Core founding team of two - 1 product designer and 1 engineer).
  • 1 Product Designer (UI/UX)
  • 2 Engineers(1 Front-end dev and 1 Back-end dev)
  • All on 6-12 Month Long-Term Contracts.


Growth:

  • We’ll need to put together a core marketing team on contract for continuous content production that comprises of:
  • 1 Graphic Designer for Marketing Content.
  • A Social Media & Content Manager.


A mix of different marketing strategies within the apps:

  • Referral offers and giveaways from the apps
  • Paid google and Facebook ads
  • Creator events and partnerships


Operations:

  • We need to hire a full-time Financial Controller to help manage and allocate liquidity for our platforms and accounting needs.


Licensing:

  • Our beachhead market is Africa, in most countries we don’t need to acquire an EMI to operate but our regulatory strategy is in securing key partnerships, like Stellar anchors, in all the markets we’re in, in order to avoid the tedious processes of acquiring our own licenses. Although - by Q2 of next year we plan to apply for our own license.

Our Request

$80,000 - This will give us the ability to hire a full-time design & development team dedicated to the project and with 12-14 months of runway, with enough funds to allocate into marketing  and operations outside of the Stellar community. Here’s how we’re looking to allocate capital for a 12-month runway:


Product:

  • 2 Engineers at $ 1,100 per month per engineer - $ 26,400
  • 1 Product Designer at $ 800 per month - $ 9,600  
  • Total - $ 36,000


Growth:

  • Contractual Team for 6 Months - $ 6,000
  • Referral Offers and In-app giveaways(6 Months) - $ 15,000
  • Paid Ads - Google, Facebook - $ 6,000
  • Creator/Influencer Partnerships - $ 6,200
  • Total - $ 33,200


Operations:

  • Full Time Financial Controller at $ 900 per month - $ 10,800


Total - $ 80,000

Progress so far

Traction: - We’ve been in private beta since January of this year. - Since Launch our monthly Transaction Volume has grown by over 600%, last month (October 2021) we processed over $50,000 in Transaction Volume across HoneyCoin Payment Links & Infrastructure. - We've grown to 3,800 users on our platform, all acquired whilst spending zero dollars on paid marketing. - We’re already live in and have users in Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, and the UK. With plans to scale quickly into new markets like the US & Europe by Q1 of next year as we gear up for our public launch. - We raised $100k in March.

Problem & Solution

The problems that we have identified that exist with our users and creators are:

  1. It’s incredibly difficult to transfer value from on-chain networks to the FIAT world seamlessly in Africa - With HoneyCoin, we are significantly blurring the on/off ramp friction and escrow function by providing a non-custodial wallet adapter and infrastructure to allow consumers to send, receive and make payments for goods and services, and creators to receive payments directly and through third-party marketplaces like Upwork, Fiverr, and the like. We allow users to into over 7 Mobile Money networks in Africa instantly. We are also productizing our API’s for businesses who want to use our rails to support their in-app crypto<>FIAT experience.
  2. Users typically lose up to 20% of value on FX spreads with existing rails or providers, making P2P and Cross-border Social Commerce in Africa expensive - We are building on Stellar in order to allow us to significantly lower our cross-border transaction fees and focus on easing our on-ramp/off-ramp costs in turn incentivizing cross-border monetization and more on-chain activity across the continent and beyond.
  3. For creators; there’s significant difficulty to monetize globally due to a lack of support of local payout methods and significant fragmentation on payment rails. We have built an escrow engine that allows freelancers to get paid for their work seamlessly and a cross-chain NFT minting service that makes uploading NFT’s on Stellar and affordable L2 chains like Celo & Polygon as simple as uploading an image to Instagram. By Q1 we plan to deploy our fractionalization protocol on Stellar and a few other chains solving for the most significant problem with current non-fungible tokens: illiquidity.



REVENUE MODEL & PRICING STRATEGY

Our Pricing Strategy is as follows:

A payout fee of 3.5% for the creator payouts and 1.5% for our remittance product. This rate actually competes effectively with our peers (See competition section) as we charge 0% on transaction fees.

REVENUE & SALES FORECAST

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/11-LEEaEMrNOlWtgiQXiGRB5CG_OMneFLssYaALh8iAU/edit?usp=sharing


MARKETING AND  SALES

Our Marketing Strategy covers all the relevant phases of our customers life-cycle from Leads > Prospects > Users > Fans and referees. This is how we’ve broken it down:


A. Marketing System

This is the part of our marketing that acquires leads to our platform. Our target users are creators and gen Z and Millennial users. We’ll employ various channels to reach our messages to them including:

Social Media: Twitter and Facebook

Creator/Influencer Partnerships

Hosting events and meet-ups


B. Sales System

This is the part of our marketing that nurtures the leads we have gotten from our marketing system. We plan on nurturing our leads in the following ways:

Emails: We are planning to engage converted leads through email automated lists. We have a 12-point email strategy that we are building to help turn

Creator communities: We are building a creator community ecosystem and positioning ourselves to hire full-time for the role of a community manager. We’ll be investing in our creator communities in both organic and paid capacities; looking for opportunities to partner on content production, distribution or promotions.

C. Fulfilment System

This is the part of our strategy that focuses on the product and engineering. Our goal is to deliver wow apps for our creators and users. This is how we’ll do it:

Support: All our engineers and product managers will handle support for the next six months; Triaging issues realised by our users as well as walking them through the product.

Bi-Weekly Feature releases: We are building a team that is going to optimize ruthlessly for bi-weekly feature releases for every sprint cycle, Constantly prioritizing user requests and feedback.

User Interviews and Consistent research: Speaking to our users daily is a core tenet in HoneyCoin. We conduct calls on a daily basis to understand our users' world as well as optimising on our product analytics.


D. Retention and Referrals

This is the part of our system that optimizes for our users’ Lifetime value and organic growth. We aim to do this by doubling down on:

Giveaways and Referral Offers: As part of our acquisition spend, we aim to reach our existing users with offers to qualify and help us acquire new users

As a function of engineering and product: We aim to provide rapid feature releases to meet the growing use cases that provide utility for our users(2 - week cycles)

RESOURCES AND RELATIONSHIPS

We’ve already secured contractual and/or integration partnerships with exciting companies all over the world like Ramp, Onramper (MoonPay, Mercuryio), Coinprofile, KotaniPay, Stabiliti, Flutterwave (Stellar Anchor), DusuPay, VertoFX, Pariti, and more. All playing a strategic role in helping us succeed on our mission and goals.

Some currently in the pipeline include Circle & ClickPesa, two Stellar anchors.

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Problem & Solution

The problems that we have identified that exist with our users and creators are:

  1. It’s incredibly difficult to transfer value from on-chain networks to the FIAT world seamlessly in Africa - With HoneyCoin, we are significantly blurring the on/off ramp friction and escrow function by providing a non-custodial wallet adapter and infrastructure to allow consumers to send, receive and make payments for goods and services, and creators to receive payments directly and through third-party marketplaces like Upwork, Fiverr, and the like. We allow users to into over 7 Mobile Money networks in Africa instantly. We are also productizing our API’s for businesses who want to use our rails to support their in-app crypto<>FIAT experience.
  2. Users typically lose up to 20% of value on FX spreads with existing rails or providers, making P2P and Cross-border Social Commerce in Africa expensive - We are building on Stellar in order to allow us to significantly lower our cross-border transaction fees and focus on easing our on-ramp/off-ramp costs in turn incentivizing cross-border monetization and more on-chain activity across the continent and beyond.
  3. For creators; there’s significant difficulty to monetize globally due to a lack of support of local payout methods and significant fragmentation on payment rails. We have built an escrow engine that allows freelancers to get paid for their work seamlessly and a cross-chain NFT minting service that makes uploading NFT’s on Stellar and affordable L2 chains like Celo & Polygon as simple as uploading an image to Instagram. By Q1 we plan to deploy our fractionalization protocol on Stellar and a few other chains solving for the most significant problem with current non-fungible tokens: illiquidity.



REVENUE MODEL & PRICING STRATEGY

Our Pricing Strategy is as follows:

A payout fee of 3.5% for the creator payouts and 1.5% for our remittance product. This rate actually competes effectively with our peers (See competition section) as we charge 0% on transaction fees.

REVENUE & SALES FORECAST

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/11-LEEaEMrNOlWtgiQXiGRB5CG_OMneFLssYaALh8iAU/edit?usp=sharing


MARKETING AND  SALES

Our Marketing Strategy covers all the relevant phases of our customers life-cycle from Leads > Prospects > Users > Fans and referees. This is how we’ve broken it down:


A. Marketing System

This is the part of our marketing that acquires leads to our platform. Our target users are creators and gen Z and Millennial users. We’ll employ various channels to reach our messages to them including:

Social Media: Twitter and Facebook

Creator/Influencer Partnerships

Hosting events and meet-ups


B. Sales System

This is the part of our marketing that nurtures the leads we have gotten from our marketing system. We plan on nurturing our leads in the following ways:

Emails: We are planning to engage converted leads through email automated lists. We have a 12-point email strategy that we are building to help turn

Creator communities: We are building a creator community ecosystem and positioning ourselves to hire full-time for the role of a community manager. We’ll be investing in our creator communities in both organic and paid capacities; looking for opportunities to partner on content production, distribution or promotions.

C. Fulfilment System

This is the part of our strategy that focuses on the product and engineering. Our goal is to deliver wow apps for our creators and users. This is how we’ll do it:

Support: All our engineers and product managers will handle support for the next six months; Triaging issues realised by our users as well as walking them through the product.

Bi-Weekly Feature releases: We are building a team that is going to optimize ruthlessly for bi-weekly feature releases for every sprint cycle, Constantly prioritizing user requests and feedback.

User Interviews and Consistent research: Speaking to our users daily is a core tenet in HoneyCoin. We conduct calls on a daily basis to understand our users' world as well as optimising on our product analytics.


D. Retention and Referrals

This is the part of our system that optimizes for our users’ Lifetime value and organic growth. We aim to do this by doubling down on:

Giveaways and Referral Offers: As part of our acquisition spend, we aim to reach our existing users with offers to qualify and help us acquire new users

As a function of engineering and product: We aim to provide rapid feature releases to meet the growing use cases that provide utility for our users(2 - week cycles)

RESOURCES AND RELATIONSHIPS

We’ve already secured contractual and/or integration partnerships with exciting companies all over the world like Ramp, Onramper (MoonPay, Mercuryio), Coinprofile, KotaniPay, Stabiliti, Flutterwave (Stellar Anchor), DusuPay, VertoFX, Pariti, and more. All playing a strategic role in helping us succeed on our mission and goals.

Some currently in the pipeline include Circle & ClickPesa, two Stellar anchors.

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About the Team

Name: David M. Nandwa

Position: CTO & Founder

Bio: David is a serial technical founder with over 10+ Software Engineering experience and 4 years of web3 experience. He’s worked at a number of startups outside of founding his own, some include Flutterwave, Andela, & Google Africa. Outside of that, he’s had two small exits before founding HoneyCoin. He’s also an active web3 developer & contributor having worked with and been awarded by protocols like Celo.

LinkedIn or other Social Channel: Twitter

Name: Dominic Mulinda

Position: Head of Product

Bio: Dominic is a serial founder with over 5+ years in Software Engineering. He’s previously co-founded a software development agency that has built and scaled over 12 products to hundreds of thousands of users across different continents. He brings his wealth of experience to scale and grow the Honeycoin ecosystem to millions of users.

LinkedIn or other Social Channel: Twitter, LinkedIn

*The USD valuation of the award in XLM is calculated using the CF Stellar Lumens-Dollar Settlement Price on September 27, 2021 as administered, maintained, and reported by the cryptocurrency index provider CF Benchmarks Ltd. (using the ticker “XLMUSD_RR”) (available at https://www.cfbenchmarks.com/indices/XLMUSD_RR)
* The USD valuation of the award in XLM is calculated using the CF Stellar Lumens-Dollar Settlement Price on the date of transfer as administered, maintained, and reported by the cryptocurrency index provider CF Benchmarks Ltd. (using the ticker “XLMUSD_RR”) (available at https://www.cfbenchmarks.com/indices/XLMUSD_RR)
*The USD valuation of the award in XLM is calculated using the CF Stellar Lumens-Dollar Settlement Price on December 16, 2021 as administered, maintained, and reported by the cryptocurrency index provider CF Benchmarks Ltd. (using the ticker “XLMUSD_RR”) (available at https://www.cfbenchmarks.com/indices/XLMUSD_RR)