“Personal data is the oil of the 21st century,” says the Opiria white paper. Having accurate data on customer desires helps companies to come up with superior products, better predict the market and more efficiently target research and development.
Unfortunately, much of the data companies receive is incomplete and inaccurate. Wherever possible, customers avoid sharing their data, or else supply inaccurate information, as they have no incentive to provide what companies want. This leads to inefficiencies in the marketplace whilst companies try and guess what their customers want and launch undesired products.
At the same time “data brokering” has become a $250 billion industry, with brokers undertaking ever more underhanded methods to gather and bundle customer data, leading to further customer resentment.
Opiria believe they can solve these issues with the introduction of the PDATA token and the Opiria Platform, allowing companies to buy data directly from their customers, data which customers will be happy to give as they will be appropriately compensated. Customers will also have complete ownership and control of their data, in line with the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) guidelines.
The white paper extends considerable space to dealing with the existing situation and outlining the current model for data collection. Essentially the situation can be summarised as:
- For companies to survive they need products that customers want. In order to find out what those customers want, companies need data on the customers.
- Customers do not like giving data so will either give minimal amounts or offer fake data.
- Part of the reason that customers don’t like giving data is that while they receive no profit from it, it is packaged and sold by data brokers, who do receive a profit.
- The poor quality of data on customers leads to a 70-80% failure rate for new products.
Opiria’s solution for these problems is to ensure that customers have full control of their personal data and are compensated for sharing it with interested companies without brokers or other middlemen taking a percentage.
The Opiria App
Opiria already has a product in the market, the Opiria app. Customers can download it, create a profile and share initial information in the form of a survey. Companies can then reach out to these customers for further surveys.
The white paper devotes considerable space to this, but in a nutshell Opiria currently offers two different types of survey: mobile surveys which are delivered once and the results available immediately upon completion, and mobile diaries which track a customer’s experience with a product or service.
Opiria folds in other data to the analysis, such as the GPS location of the customer, allowing for richer data sets. Opiria say that this method is much quicker than traditional approaches to market research and that their platform already offers insights which are “ … 50 – 100 times faster and reduces the costs for consumer research by 95% (compared to traditional methods)”.
The next stage for the company, one it hopes to achieve by September this year, is the addition of “objective data” to its analysis, specifically eye tracking and emotion analysis. From this point the data will include not just the customer’s subjective survey responses — what they say they are feeling — but measures of what they actually are feeling.
Opiria has developed a browsers plugins that will track both eye movements and facial expressions when the customer is exposed to a stimulus.
These will enable a whole field of further potential analysis of the customer, showing what interests them and how they respond emotionally to various images, words or products.
The Opiria Platform and PDATA Token
The use of a token here is simple. Opiria hope to create a data marketplace whose currency is the PDATA token. Companies will be able to buy personal data directly from their customers with no middlemen, and customers will be rewarded for sharing. If the demand for personal data increases, so will the cost of that data.
The Opiria Platform will grow out of Opiria 2.0 and add tracking of customer behaviour and data from wearables like heart monitors and smart devices like smart scales.
The ecosystem is a flow of data from consumer to company, and of PDATA tokens from company to consumer.
The more customers are signed on to the platform, the more valuable it will be. Opiria have several ideas for building the customer base, for instance a post-ICO airdrop to bring in new customers, PDATA referral fees for signing up friends and a social media campaign.
Customers’ data stay with them and when sent to companies will be encrypted. The Opiria platform does not have access to the customers’ data.
The PDATA token
Companies may pay Opiria in fiat, even though their campaigns will be run in PDATA. Opiria will exchange the fiat payment for PDATA at the market rate, either from reserves or the open market.
Consumers will be able to cash out of their PDATA once their balance surpasses a minimum number of tokens. This threshold exists “to avoid consuming gas for a lot of small transactions on the blockchain”.
The more PDATA tokens the customer holds onto, the higher their rating within the platform and the more likely they are to be chosen for more PDATA-earning projects.
Opiria argue that this model solves the industry’s major issues, although the middlemen might disagree. Consumers get control of their data, privacy and compensation. Businesses get better data and a lower price.
The General Data Protection Regulation comes into force in the EU in May of this year, greatly boosting consumer rights around privacy. The white paper extends considerable time explaining what this will mean for businesses and how Opiria will stay on the right side of the new regulations.
Indeed, one of the great strengths of the white paper is that it acknowledges that all businesses function in a legal and regulatory framework, and it gives these frameworks proper attention. There is a large section for disclaimers and risks which thoroughly explains the business, legal and regulatory risks which this project, like all ICOs, faces.
Opiria was founded in 2015 and its platform launched the following year, enabling market research and data aggregation for a variety of clients. In 2017 the platform was localised for the Chinese market.
The ICO is scheduled for Q2 this year. Once completed there are two sets of milestones, one for the development of data acquisition within the platform and the other for the blockchain.
For data acquisition the next milestone is the release of Opiria 2.0, which will include extra modules including the aforementioned eye-tracking and emotion detection. 2019 should see the launch of further modules including social media, smartphone, web browsing and wearables.
On the blockchain side, peer to peer trading should be developed in August, with the integration of blockchain into the platform coming soon afterwards. Opira hope to have a MVP of the blockchain-based platform by the end of 2018, with the full version ready for launch early next year.
Considering that the blockchain functionality will be built onto an existing platform this kind of timeline seems realistic.
Regarding revenue the numbers are much harder to predict as there are so many other factors at play, not least the potential for competing platforms. The company’s business plan assumes annual growth of 338% and an expansion into the 50 “strongest countries in the field of consumer research”. This would give it 25,000 customers, a consumer pool of 250 million people and annual revenues of $250 million by 2023. This estimate may be optimistic, or conservative, but is almost certain to be inaccurate given the difficulties in predicting where a company will be five years out.
This is an impressive team with a strong background in engineering and entrepreneurship. The leadership all have substantial biographies in the white paper and LinkedIn profiles linked from the website.
The white paper states that “all members have prior experience in either founding or working for startup companies”. CEO Christian Lange has considerable background in science and engineering as well as entrepreneurship. Co-founder and CTO Marlene Gagesch is a highly accomplished computer scientist and worked with Lange as head of software development for their Ergoneers startup.
Information on the software development team is harder to come by as they do not have profiles or biographies, though their names and photos are shown.
The team has put together a strong lineup of advisors including Ismail Malik, editor of ICO Crowd, fintech advisor Michael Mazier and MEP Daciana Octavia Sârbu. The advisors come from most relevant fields and appear to cover most of the required areas of expertise.
If perhaps there is a weakness, it is the common ICO issue that the team is relatively stronger in engineering and technology than it is in marketing. However, the leadership have considerable entrepreneurship experience, good advisors and have so far mounted a strong marketing game.
Token and Token Value
PDATA tokens are designed to be useful to both companies and their consumers. Companies will use the PDATA token to pay consumers for their personal data, enabling companies to get better information, and providing an economic incentive to customers to share that data. Holding PDATA tokens will increase the likelihood a customer will be asked to complete “personal data requests” for companies.
“Roughly 750 million” PDATA tokens will be created with each worth $0.10. The private sale will run until April 9th with a bonus of 50% and a minimum purchase of $50,000 of tokens. No more than $5 million will be sold at this stage.
April 10th sees the start of the public pre-sale, with a minimum purchase of $5,000 at a bonus rate of 20%. Tokens are limited at this stage, though Opiria will not reveal where the cap is. If triggered it will be announced through social media and the public ICO will start early.
That public sale is scheduled for April 21st with a 15% discount on the first day and a 1% smaller discount each subsequent day, with no bonus on the final 15 days.
The target for total funds raised is $30 million, though if this is reached early enough, within the first five days of the sale, then the cap will be extended to $35.
Tokens will be unlocked 30 days from the sale, and any bonus tokens unlocked 30 days later.
Of the total quantity of PDATA tokens 60% will be made available in the sale, with 20% going to the company itself, 13% to a development fund for “data purchase and community development” and the remainder going to advisors and bounty programs.
25% of the team’s tokens will be unlocked at the same time as the public’s tokens, with a further 25% unlocked after each subsequent 6 month period.
As to the use of the proceeds they will be used for technical development, platform expansion and growth of the customer database.
As previously mentioned, the ICO team does not contain a marketing specialist. However, they have run a decent campaign thus far.
Opiria have all the usual channels to get their message out, including Twitter and Facebook, where they have a good followings, as well as Telegram and Medium.
CEO Christian Lange has been hitting the conference circuit to get the word out and the platform is making increasing use of YouTube, which is often an underused resource by ICOs.
The website and white paper are well presented and there is also a summary document to help investors get an overview of the project.
The white paper contains considerable research and explanation of the market opportunity and how Opiria plans to fit into that landscape. The reader is left with the feeling that this is a team that understands the market they are planning to sell into.
This is a strong team with a simple and effective idea which benefits both the producers and consumers of personal data.
As always, the success of the project will depend on attracting enough attention. With that in mind it is disappointing not to see a marketing specialist among the senior management, though there may be enough entrepreneurial experience present for this not to matter.
The marketplace idea makes intuitive sense though the platform will only show real benefits to companies if the data is noticeably better than what is currently available. For that to happen consumers must be properly incentivised to provide more information. Whether or not the PDATA token will be able to provide this incentive remains to be seen.
Though the efficacy of the Opiria 2.0 “objective data” additions like eye-tracking and face-reading browser plugins is unproven, the project stands a much greater chance of success than many ICOs as it is being “built on top of an already existing business with already existing revenue”. Having a functioning business and paying clients should stand it in good stead to take its next steps onto the blockchain.