Round 10
Winner
Vitreous
$50,000
*

Transparent fundraising platform

Website

Project Stage

Development

Category

Tools

Based in

Paris, France

Active since

2021
Products & Services

In Slovakia, to limit corruption and unclear political funding schemes, banks provide transparent accounts (transparentneucty.sk) as it is required by the law for every political campaign to be funded through such an account. In order to prove that money is not being misused, people have started using the transparent accounts in different ways:

  • Charity cases (e.g. poor families with disabled children receiving donations for basic necessities, churches in many villages and towns raising funds independently to help local homeless people, more recently specific accounts to help Ukrainians in various towns across Slovakia)
  • Amateur sport clubs (e.g. people use transparent accounts to pay for sport facilities and shared equipment)
  • Schools, Hospitals
  • Public activism (protests, ecology etc.)

Our goal is to research transparency, make transparent data easy to understand and introduce these solutions to Stellar. By extension of Stellar’s mission to bank the unbanked, we want to provide transparent accounts in countries supported by anchors, most of which are in emerging economies, and bring money where it’s needed, while building trust that the funds are spent effectively.

While the transparent account product is quite popular, we believe there are ways to improve it as some of the shared information is enigmatic without further explanation. The first step is to make transparent accounts available for everyone in the reach of Stellar anchors, and then we go even further by improving on what exists today.

More specifically, the current iteration of our vision includes providing discussion and other social network features in addition to basic bank account data such as balance and incoming/outgoing payments. Much like there are communities where research papers and other complex topics are discussed, Vitreous can build communities to discuss money.

What's new?

  • Updated vision on what it means to be transparent.
  • Updated the product roadmap.
  • Created a UI design.
  • Created hashbrownies.io as a deep dive into Stellar.
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Current Progress
  • We’ve managed to get integrated into the Stellar community through seemingly unrelated projects (hashbrownies.io), in addition to which we’ve gained valuable knowledge on using the Stellar network effectively.
  • Worked with a UI designer to mock-up a full MVP
  • Proof-of-concept by adding a discussion on top of payments on Stellar.
Previous Project
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What's new?
Goals & Budget
  1. Create an MVP.
  2. Onboard at least 1 project.
  3. Find a business oriented co-founder ideally with finance/fundraising experience and advisors.
  4. Start fundraising.
To get there, we  will use our requested budget to:
  1. Consult a lawyer to learn about how using cryptocurrencies and specifically Stellar would influence releasing Vitreous.
  2. Apply for other grants.
  3. More networking and talking to potential users.
  4. In order to provide frictionless user experience from day 1 and not burden us with recurring costs, we want to work with an established web development agency or experienced freelancer to create the frontend for the MVP. We can handle the backend and everything Stellar related.
  5. After the MVP is created, we will share it with the Stellar community to gain the first set of feedback and start integrating anchors, so that Vitreous will get connected to the traditional financial system.
  6. We believe that a good candidate for the first project funded through a transparent account is a school. In Slovakia, schools collect yearly parental donations. Some incentive would have to be offered to the school to do this, but if we succeed, it would be a great way to research initial behaviour patterns on Vitreous. Assuming we manage to provide a transparent account for a school, that would onboard roughly 1000 users given that all the parents contribute their yearly parental donations through Vitreous.
  7. With our pilot projects, we would need to provide close support for on/off ramps as initially this would have to be handled through exchanges unless we manage to get a quick anchor integration and onboard a project within its reach.
  8. Later steps should include onboarding at least 1 project from each use case, to gain information for which use cases it works and at what scales.
Overview

Problem & Solution

Transparency is all about knowing who, why, what, how and how much. However, transparency is not only about making information available, but ensuring it can be easily accessed, understood and used by everyone.

Our goal is to research transparency, make transparent data easy to understand and introduce these solutions to Stellar. By extension to Stellar’s mission to bank the unbanked, we want to provide transparent accounts in countries supported by anchors, most of which are operating in emerging economies, and bring money where it’s needed, while building trust that the donated funds are spent effectively.

Lack of transparency leads to corruption and fraud. While it would require direct government involvement to solve these issues at the highest levels, Vitreous can take it one step at a time and provide easy tools for people to identify and warn about fraud or prove that they’re trustworthy.

The upcoming Stellar smart contracts and bridges will make it possible to connect to the booming DeFi ecosystem and provide a yield on top of transparent accounts.

Online giving has been consistently on the rise even during the pandemic. More than 20% increase in 2020, with only 20% donations coming from corporations. Only 3% charities rate their leadership as digitally savvy and 66% charities are worried they will miss out on opportunities for digital fundraising. This is an opportunity for Vitreous to bring a new simple online fundraising channel resembling bank accounts with lower fees and extra features.

Crowdfunding statistics clearly point out that engagement with donors leads to more successful campaigns and higher donations. Crowdfunding campaigns with videos earn 105% more and with regular updates 126% more. Sharing less than 2 times resulted in 97% failure. By providing social network features, it will be easy and intuitive for users to share what they were able to achieve with the donations and progressively build trust with their donors by answering their questions.


Who benefits from transparent accounts?

  1. Charities and nonprofits
  2. Political campaigns
  3. Important underfunded government institutions (e.g. schools, hospitals)
  4. Groups of people (e.g. sport clubs, art collectives, research labs)
  5. Streamers, Content Creators and Influencers (Responsible/green/social spending, prove that money is spent on green/responsible products)


Possible monetization for Vitreous

  1. Provide saving accounts using DeFi and charge a small fee on the generated yield.
  2. Monthly subscription for pro-accounts with additional vanity features.
  3. Transparent-banking-as-a-service platform to provide mobile and web apps with our features but custom styling.
  4. B2B deals with banks. Banks might be interested in providing transparent bank accounts with our UI either by replacing Stellar as the financial backend or, ideally, integrating into Stellar.


SWOT

Strengths

  • Building on Stellar brings technological advantage to provide more feature rich and complex product with less fees compared to the competition.

Weaknesses

  • People are still skeptical about using cryptocurrencies and this might discourage them from using Vitreous.
  • Maybe people don’t care about transparency or how their donations are used as much as we would like.
  • Content moderation is difficult.
  • Possible target for troll farms (https://blog.gerulata.com/russian-propaganda-network-in-slovakia/)

Opportunities

  • Online giving has been consistently increasing.
  • Great timing to build a fintech on Stellar, as it’s perfectly positioned as the bridge between traditional finance and cryptocurrencies.
  • With the arrival of smart contracts and bridges, it will bring even more opportunities to connect to the booming DeFi ecosystem on other chains.

Threats

  • Regulation might prevent certain use cases e.g. political campaigns.
  • Easy to copy solution given enough funds and coding power.


Market


Charitable Giving

  1. Giving in 2020 rose despite the pandemic putting millions out of work,
  2. Only a fraction (20%) of donations come from corporations
  3. Those making less than $50,000 a year give more in relation to total income than those in all other income ranges except the highest earners
  4. 2020 saw a huge 20% increase in online giving
  5. The least likely reason for people to give is so they can get a tax break
  6. Charitable giving experienced a 25.3% increase in online fundraising from March 2020 to March 2021.
  7. Only 3% of charities rate their board and executive leadership as being digitally savvy.
  8. 66% of charities are worried they will miss out on opportunities for digital fundraising.
  9. 51% of high-wealth donors ($200k+) prefer to give online.
  10. 21% of donations are directly through social media.

This shows that online donations are becoming more and more popular.


Crowdfunding

  1. Crowdfunding generates over $17b yearly in NA alone and it grew 33% year-to-year in 2020. The crowdfunding market is projected to reach $300b by 2030.by e
  2. There were 6.455 080 worldwide crowdfunding campaigns in 2020. There are projected to be 12,063,870 campaigns by 2023.
  3. Crowdfunding campaigns with videos earn 105% more than those without videos. Campaigns that updated followers regularly raised 126% more than those with no updates.
  4. Adding personal information to your campaign could get you 79% more backers.
  5. Crowdfunding campaign admins that shared fewer than 2 times have a 97% chance of failure. A successful campaign admin posts an average of 4 times throughout their campaign.

This proves that more community feedback increases donations.


Streamers, Content Creators and Influencers

These professions partly rely on donations as well. Vitreous can provide additional outlets to connect to their audiences. Responsible spending from their side might encourage more donations.

Essentially, creating a social network about money should create a whole new type of influencers.


Political Campaigns

In Slovakia, every political campaign is required by the law to be funded through a transparent bank account. The only information available there is: balance, incoming and outgoing payments, bank account numbers and their holders. This sort of transparency is not satisfactory. Journalists are going the extra mile to research this information. This is causing a lot of trouble for politicians since they’re complaining that their donors are contacted and harassed by journalists. Even though there is some transparency, it still requires a lot of work and effort to understand it. While journalists might do the work, an ordinary voter definitely won’t.

Bringing a more transparent product to the market can create a way for politicians, who care and are willing to prove to their voters at all costs that their funding is decent, to distance themselves from those who prefer not to get questioned about their funding.


Competition


Kickstarter

  • crowdfunding
  • 5% of total funds raised
  • payment processing fees 3% + $0.20. Pledges under $10 have a discounted micropledge fee of 5% + $0.05 per pledge


Indiegogo

  • crowdfunding
  • 5% platform fee on all funds raised for the campaign
  • 3%*+ $0.20


Gofundme

  • crowdfunding, personal and charity campaigns
  • platform fee 0%
  • transaction Fees 2.9%* + $0.30 per donation


Patreon

  • membership platform for artists and creators
  • 5%-12% of monthly income
  • standard rate 2.9% + $0.30 per successful payment over $3
  • micropayment rate 5% + $0.10 per successful payment $3 or less


Buymeacoffee

  • payments are directly transferred to your PayPal, Stripe or bank account.
  • 5% fee


Mightycause

  • crowdfunding for non-profits $59/month, $99/month for non-profits, 1.2% and 29¢ on donations
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Team

Matúš Vojčik

Founder

Matúš has received master's in Computer Science, Graphics and Artificial Intelligence from Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia. He worked as a freelance software developer and data-scientist on various projects and later moved to Paris and joined an early stage startup to build predictive models for professional esports matches. He also created hashbrownies.io with L2 smart-contracts Stellar Turrets. The belief that transparency can make the world fairer and enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies conceived the idea of Vitreous.


Discord: matus#8231

github.com/matusv

hashbrownies.io


Sandy Kauy

UI/UX designer

Sandy has Master's in visual communication and graphic design from ECV in Bordeaux, France. She has over 7 years of experience in print, graphic design, art direction, production and social media. Even though UI/UX is not her speciality, she took the challenge of mocking up the MVP for Vitreous.


www.linkedin.com/in/sandy-kauy


Pierre Fenoll

Backend Engineer

Even before completing his Masters' and Engineer degree in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence from EPITA in Paris, France, Pierre moved to London and then San Francisco. Driven by insatiable curiosity, he worked on a spectrum of technologies ranging from continental-scale Voice over IP, Human-Computer Interaction with Computer Vision, three dimensional artsy exploration environments; to Real Time AI inference on mobile. Most recently he has launched FuzzyMonkey. Pierre strongly believes Game Theory and technology can finally bring an end to corruption worldwide.


github.com/fenollp

fuzzymonkey.co

Links:

https://www.figma.com/file/ka5H3JuPh3nfToODdkEKQB/Vitreous?node-id=0%3A1