carVertical CEO Rokas Medonis: To our greatest token holders
2018 is entering its last quarter and it can already be said that it was the fastest and most volatile year in the lives of our small team’s members.
One year ago, on October 1, 2017, we started preparing for our ICO campaign. Just a few months later, at the end of January, we successfully completed the campaign, attracting almost 15,000 contributors in the process. We dived deep in the product development and entered the first two EU markets with the monetized MVP version of carVertical reports by the end of August. This could not have happened without the help, trust, and engagement of our community. Honestly, in the last 10 years that I have spent in IT business, I have never seen such a fast product execution made on time, especially knowing the complexity of carVertical products. But let’s keep everything in order.
We started with a vision of a decentralized car history registry - a great and easy-to-use product that would significantly reduce any fraud in the used vehicle market. Unfortunately, we hit a messy data management roadblock. All the data that we were gathering was abnormal and had no systems or classification. Throughout the years, the data hadn’t been structured at all and even the paid data that we received from selected sources was a total mess. This negatively influenced our decentralization’s vision. In essence, recording messy data on the blockchain leads nowhere. Here, we stood at a crossroad - we could either choose a single type of data and decentralize it, or put decentralization on pause and concentrate our efforts on normalizing the state of the automotive data. We chose the latter. The decision was a correct one. After meeting with numerous major players in the industry, we realized everyone had the same issue and the industry was desperate for a solution. Now, we have a state-of-the-art data normalization engine, as well as a very stable data structure with an on-chain data anchoring. We are polishing our data structure technology as a standard for a wider adoption. Having a stable data structure, we will start recording it onto the blockchain to keep it for the long term.
There is this misguided opinion that blockchain brings 100% value to a product. It does not. This technology brings great benefits, but only if used correctly. As seen in the market, doing a 100% blockchain product creates very expensive, unstable and hardly usable applications. We have to have the right tools for the right job.
We are doing it way faster than all our competitors
As with every IT product, there is no such thing as a final product. What we released in August was the very barebone version of our product. To continue moving forward, we are polishing and updating it every week. We have a really strict product evolution plan with new features and benefits lined up for the next 12 months and we are following it rigorously. For instance, the reports product that we are selling is evolving month by month and is constantly getting new features and data sections. In a short period of time, our data team will start introducing its own data products, interesting chart slices, and conclusions. Looking over our shoulder, it seems that we are pioneers even here since none of our competitors are doing it. Yet, they are in this business for more than 10 years.
On another note, one of our other focuses is opening and onboarding new data providers in our target markets. I really like to imagine that carVertical is a "closed door business". It means that you win if your team opens doors that were previously closed. And we are winning this game.
Data collection speed? Say no more. One of our competitors states that the core value of their business is the 100+ data crawlers they created in 10 years. In my opinion, it’s a legacy thinking. In half a year we created twice as many data crawlers, and data crawling is only 20% of all data that we are getting.
carVertical is a data business. And a data business cannot happen in a day. Data is like statistics: its value increases with time. Data is like money. It never sleeps. It’s an endless development product.
Long-term vision. No other options
The product and customer satisfaction will always be our company’s top priority and it will never change. This is a core value of our long-term vision and we really hope that most of our token holders understand it. It’s the only way. No shortcuts. Our company’s goal will never be to satisfy just the short-time goals and speculate on the token’s price and value. We are really glad that the majority of our community is on the same page with this thinking.
There are plenty of sayings that the crypto market is exactly the same as the dotcom bubble in 2000. I want you to note that during the dotcom bubble there were a few companies like Amazon or Paypal who created real products and real benefits for their customers to plow their way into success.
This goes for us as well. We are not just another platform, another protocol or another blockchain that spiked during the ICO rush. No. carVertical stated that it will be a proper functioning online business with a great product and value for their customers. And you all believed that statement. We are not going to mislead you on it or fail in a short run.
Token value. We have a plan for growth
We are upset about the crypto market downfall as much as you are. And of course, in times when your assets go down not by a few percents but by a few folds, it’s getting hard to manoeuvre and stick to primary plans and budgets. However, our core organizational goal is to be lean. It was like this from the very start. In such dramatic times it helps us to set our minds only on our work and growth, but not on markets.
We always hear your concerns and we fully understand your questions on how we plan to work on the cV token and its value. We can assure you that we think about it all the time. cV token in a run will become the core part of our business. It definitely wasn’t just a method to crowdfund capital for our startup and then forget it as dozens of other post-ICO companies did.
Our next big challenge next year is to combine our product performance with the token performance, providing benefits in short and long terms. We’ve already introduced our community with the updated roadmap which includes things like token burns and staking mechanisms. After the introduction, we’ve had numerous meetings to present further mechanisms that should correlate our company’s success with the token’s success. This means that we plan to incentivize our long-term token holders to continue to hold the tokens and encourage new users to purchase cVtokens via airdropping. We will also create incentives for our partners to buy tokens - striking a partnership with a large company should have a long-term positive effect on the token. We plan to finalize this matter in a few weeks time, which will then be presented to our community.
Lastly, we understand that entering new exchanges can help with exposure to new audiences, which is why we’re actively working on bringing you news on this topic. When we are choosing the exchanges we’d like to list our token on, we have to be realistic and think in terms of finding cost-effective ways to increase our token distribution and exposure to more users. At this point in time, multiple large exchanges have high requirements for token listing (like volume, market cap, amount of token holders, etc.), and we feel like the best solution to achieve a listing on a large exchange is to find a middle-ground solution - getting listed on a middle-sized exchange that can help to achieve this kind of performance.
The future is bright, even if it’s dark outside
carVertical believes that our company’s main measure of success will be the product quality and the value we create for our token holders in the long term. This value will be a direct result of our ability to scale up the product, to solidify and extend our current position, and become leaders in markets of our operations. The stronger our market leadership, the more powerful we are. Market leadership can translate indirectly to better products, better data quality, better long-term vision exertion, as well as to higher revenue, higher profitability, greater capital velocity and stronger returns on invested capital.
We take only data-driven decisions. We never take emotional steps. And I understand that sometimes this is really hard to understand for our community, especially when the markets turn red on a particular day. Thinking logically and making data-driven decisions in such hard conditions isn’t easy, but believe me - it will yield the highest results.
I’ve been friends with our CTO Audrius since 1998. And we have a few things in common: we are always doing what we have promised until the very end and we never fail. This case won’t be an exception.
Thank you for your trust and let’s move further to the future. Let’s build this data company together.