AirFox, the firm utilizing advertising and blockchain technology to bring smartphone data and internet to 4 billion people in the developing world, has met the presale target of its token, AirToken (AIR), almost two weeks early, raising $6.5 million, according to an email CoinReport received from BIGfish Communications, AirFox’s PR firm.
AirFox is a TechStars portfolio company and venture-backed startup. It was founded by two ex-Googlers, Victor Santos and Sara Choi, at the Harvard Innovation lab in January 2016. Unlike other companies entering the ICO space, AirFox has been operating successfully for over a year. Its B2B telecom platform has already enabled more than 2 million unique U.S. prepaid wireless subscribers to reduce their mobile costs while helping wireless carriers better serve their customers.
The presale attracted a diverse group of investors, including crypto investors, angel investors and other early supporters of the project. According to a BusinessWire press release, the firm also capped the amount a single person could buy to maximize individual contributions.
The presale has since closed, but AIRs will be available again during the official crowdsale opening at 10am ET on September 19 and remaining open for 30 days.
AirFox says it will use the funds raised through the ICO to further develop and launch its new blockchain consumer platform, which will tokenize mobile access by unlocking mobile capital from the smartphone for the underserved and underbanked prepaid mobile subscribers in emerging markets.
The company aims to raise up to $15 million via the crowdsale to make mobile internet more accessible in emerging markets for 4 billion underserved people who cannot afford it.
AirFox Browser and AirFox Recharge, the company’s two free consumer Android apps, allow any prepaid mobile subscriber in the world to earn AirTokens by viewing and interacting with advertisements. The AIRs can be redeemed by users for mobile data or used to send mobile data to others via 5 billion prepaid SIM cards and more than 500 wireless carriers.
AirFox says that it will also use the funds raised through the upcoming ICO to create an innovative microloans program and expand overseas to emerging markets. The AirToken micro finance system will enable P2P lending in AIRs at more affordable rates using the mobile data and airtime ecosystems that are already present in these markets.
“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,” says the press release. “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 company will be at Pepcom and Showstoppers at Mobile World Congress Americas on September 11 to promote the AirToken platform.
Images via Press section of AirToken’s website