Be Your Own VC With Launchpool, Enabling Egalitarian Investments for All Stakeholders
KuCoin AMA With Roxana Nasoi — Head of Growth at Launchpool and Head of Launchpool Labs incubator
Dear KuCoin Users,
Time: July 14, 2021, 11:00-12:25 (UTC)
KuCoin hosted an AMA (Ask-Me-Anything) session with Roxana Nasoi — Head of Growth at Launchpool and Head of Launchpool Labs incubator, in the KuCoin Exchange Group, discussing the latest news from Launchpool, Launchpool Labs, and the Launchpool Web3 Techstars Accelerator.
LaunchPool is a regulatory compliant initiative which was started in 2020 by the Alphabit Digital Currency Fund with the aim of providing fair guaranteed access to early stages of project raises to the retail community. With the ethos of ‘Egalitarian Investment,’ Launchpool counts over 35,000 investors across the world who believe in the idea of being your own VC, while supporting the startups ecosystem with a minimum viable community, resources, access to funding opportunities and enabling partnerships across the blockchain ecosystem.
Official Website: https://launchpool.xyz
Launchpool Labs Litepaper: https://launchpoollabs.xyz
Roxana Nasoi — Head of Growth at Launchpool & Head of Launchpool Labs incubator
Roxana is an entrepreneur, privacy advocate, technology and business strategist, startup mentor, and TEDx speaker, with 10+ years of experience in the digital economy, digital marketplaces, global community-driven products, and an extensive business network across over 100 countries (Asia, Middle East, Europe) in industries such as ehealth, banking, fintech, data economy, R&D.
Q&A from KuCoin
Q: Could you please explain what Launchpool is?
Roxana: Sure, thanks for having us here for this AMA. Launchpool is a regulatory compliant initiative that was started in 2020 by the Alphabit Digital Currency Fund with the aim of providing fair guaranteed access to early stages of project raises to the retail community, with the mantra of ‘Egalitarian Investment’. Launchpool currently counts over 35,000 investors across the world who believe in the idea of being your own VC while supporting the startups ecosystem with a minimum viable community, resources, access to funding opportunities, and enabling partnerships across the blockchain ecosystem. Recently, we announced our new incubator, Launchpool Labs, and our accelerator program, in conjunction with Techstars, called the Launchpool Web3 Techstars Accelerator.
https://launchpoollabs.xyz (we're launching the website this month, but the litepaper is available for anyone to read and explore the incubator offering for the community)
https://www.techstars.com/accelerators/launchpool-web3 (applications for startups open in September)
Q: What is Launchpool doing to ensure its longevity and sustainability during a bear market?
Roxana: As mentioned above, we have announced our new incubator, Launchpool Labs. This will give the community the opportunity to invest and co-build with founders from Day 1. For Launchpool, this represents a strategy and mindshift to earlier stage projects and a longer-term investment. For our community to receive more value from the LPOOL token, for the team to have a bit more oversight on valuations and the overall project development. This ensures we deliver quality projects to our valued community members.
With Labs, we grant access to very early stage opportunities (and co-build a minimum viable product and minimum viable community alongside our investors), which will be conditioned by an NFT-tiered system that acts like a membership card. The distribution of NFT levels takes place in July 2021, October 2021, April 2022, and October 2022.
We published the AMA summary of our recent Labs AMA, explaining in depth what Labs incubator will be about and the return on value provided to the community.
I hope this answers your question, but to sum it up: we're really completing a cycle here, which looks like this:
Select » Incubate » Accelerate » Launch
Selection is done via our Analyst team.
Incubation covered by Launchpool Labs incubator (3 months per cohort, starting in August 2021).
Acceleration covered by our Launchpool Web3 Techstars Accelerator (applications start in September, end in December; the first cohort to be accelerated during March 2022 - June 2022).
Launch covered by Launchpool.xyz
We hope the community will be with us in the long run, and together, overcome any 'bear cycles', although, when you go for the "be your own VC" route, bear and bull cycles become irrelevant.
Q: Anything else that you want to add to that?
Roxana: We announced our Web3 Accelerator with Techstars at the end of June. Applications open in September, and with Techstars unicorn acceleration strategy, we plan to handpick fantastic projects and bring even more opportunities to our community for activities with these projects. For now, we can’t share too much of the details, but this is a long-term play. These cohorts take almost a year to select, process and accelerate, so we’re here to stay.
The Launchpool Web3 Techstars Accelerator is 100% chain agnostic, and we're looking to bring the ecosystem together, best protocols are given an opportunity to aid startups in building on their tech, VCs and Funds get to support a wide array of projects, the community gets to witness and take part in making history (fingers crossed).
The Dapp List just mentioned us in "Ecosystem Updates": https://thedapplist.substack.com/p/this-week-in-dapps-ep33
And this is the official press from Techstars announcing our initiative together with Launchpool and Alphabit fund:
We want more unicorns coming out of crypto and paving the way for crypto adoption.
Nothing else to add for now, just that we're super excited to launch the first crypto accelerator with Techstars, and make use of their expertise in traditional tech, and bringing that knowledge to crypto.
Q: How do you pick projects for your Launchpad?
Roxana: This is where the magic happens, right? Well, it's actually a long process that takes place in the background, and weeks of meetings and calls, and decisions.
To clarify again, Launchpool is a PRE-IDO launchpad, not an IDO launchpad. We bring Private and Seed Round allocations to the retail investor at prices they usually would not otherwise have access to. Our team does a rigorous vetting process for projects that would like to do an AME with us. We’ve recently put a policy into place that has a project founder also do KYC with us before any further discussions or vetting takes place. We always put our community’s interests first in order to bring quality projects and investment opportunities.
While teams and projects applying to do a private seed sale on Launchpool don't need to pay (we don't charge a fee) and there's no lottery system for investors to get access to them, the community needs to KYC as well (one time with occasional updates) to follow the regulations.
We take projects on the same review and selection process as funds do when they decide to invest. For us, the community is a fund in itself, so we need to ensure from our end, we review to our best abilities before we announce an AME - allocation mining event (basically, the private seed offering).
Q: What is the distinction between Launchpool Labs and Launchpool? Can you explain further?
Roxana: Launchpool Labs is the incubator for projects that will go on to launch (do an allocation mining event - AME) on Launchpool — it’s securing a pipeline of quality projects. We have much more influence over projects coming to labs because we become partners much earlier in their lifecycle.
The community remains the core in both.
While the community is the core of Launchpool, $LPOOL is the access key that grants community access to unique rewards, private seed allocation opportunities, and DeFi features.
Labs will have overall control on tokenomics and valuations of the projects going through the incubator. Therefore, we expect the longer horizons of investment to be more greatly rewarded as we better value the projects and their token economies compared to the wider market.
Mission: Be your own VC!
Vision: Product + Community from Day 1 for Startups.
Private pre-seed deals for Launchpool investor community, high risk - high reward.
Unique experience to grow together and witness the journey from ideation/prototype to MVP (minimum viable product) and MVC (minimum viable community).
I highly encourage you to grab a small bag of $LPOOL and try out for an AME (allocation mining event) on Launchpool. It's fairly easy.
And then you can first-hand understand how Labs - the incubator - will work.
I could probably go on for hours on the subject, but nothing beats experiencing it for yourself, right?
Q: How many projects has Launchpool done an AME with so far?
Roxana: Launchpool has done successful AMEs with 15 projects to date. You can see all projects via this link: https://app.launchpool.xyz/projects
Projects built on ETH, ADA, Solana, Polkadot, Polygon, etc.
During the bull run in early April, we’ve had about 4k wallets taking part in each AME, right now between 1k and 2k wallets (1 wallet = 1 KYCed account = 1 individual), so I believe given the market situation, we're going strong, and the sentiment is still there.
Q: As a regulatory compliant fundraising platform, where do you see the future of crypto?
Roxana: We're chain agnostic, and we are open to supporting different protocols (Solana, Polkadot, Polygon, Flow, ADA, ETH, Bitcoin, etc.). We see crypto making waves in remittance and the trading aspects. Our space can combine both the 'Wall Street economy' with the 'real-world economy' while still being early on.
The banking system is very 'westernized', and has barriers to entry quite high, there's a boom of countries going from 'poor' to 'middle class' quite fast, and this is where crypto can serve.
To add one final point, smart contracts can open the door for Web3 and open finance, which means we're looking at a handful of protocols that can deliver on their promises, while Bitcoin remains a good store of value alternative and enables fast, cheap transactions cross-border.
Payment as a Service and Banking as a Service are hot in traditional finance and now entering crypto too. So lots of work to do, and a bright future, we believe.
Regulations will be a big part, but privacy layers will also protect the small individual requiring privacy for their daily transactions. Because we're losing individual privacy around fiat on a day-by-day basis, and CBDCs won't offer much pseudonymity.
Q: What are the use cases of the $LPOOL token in the Launchpool Ecosystem?
Roxana: Plenty of use-cases, to be fair.
guaranteed allocations by the use of our LPOOL token;
supporting raises in USDC (ETH network), BNB, BUSD (BSC network).
Over 10,000 people have so far KYC'ed to access regulatory-compliant investment opportunities.
The Launchpool community counts over 35,000 members (across Twitter, Telegram, and our dApp).
There is no lottery system, no whitelisting, no wait times for retail investors to take part in the offerings.
A lot around utility and access enabling capabilities, long-term holders benefit from holding the token in the case of Launchpool Labs incubator, etc.
$LPOOL actually has utility inside the ecosystem and is the access key and core component, you cannot access guaranteed allocations without it.
Think of having a key in your pocket that opens doors in the same building. That's what $LPOOL is for Launchpool's ecosystem.
Free-Ask from KuCoin Community
Q: Do you have NFT? If you have, please tell us how it works. If you don't have one, are you planning to bring it?
Roxana: Hey, YES. We have NFTs. They act as 'access keys' to the incubator offerings (very early stage) before the projects hit the launchpad at Launchpool.XYZ
You can read more about NFTs on our AMA summary:
Q: You have a team that has been in blockchain technology since 2012. How have your team’s long years of experience provided an advantage in establishing strong connections in the industry? What will your experiences in the industry add to Launchpool?
Roxana: We have a combined network that covers the main crypto-friendly hemispheres in the world. It's helping us not just tap into our individual networks, but also to collectively reach as many individuals, teams, partners, as possible.
It also makes things easy from an operational standpoint. We work great together and fill in each other's gaps.
We would not be able to survive in DeFi without that expertise and knowledge, to be fair.
Q: How critical do you consider the interoperability between the ecosystems to be to the future of blockchain tech, and how are you paving the way to that future?
Roxana: HIGHLY critical.
We need smart contract composability and interoperability, and we need bridges between protocols.
Otherwise, we end up with a fragmented space, which won't do us justice in the long run as an industry.
For our community, when ETH gas fees were painful, we implemented a BSC integration so people could make use of the low gas fees on BSC, for example.
But this is a temporary fix; ideally, we need to look at the bigger picture and encourage teams that are building on interoperability.
Q: Why should I invest in Launchpool? Give me some good reasons, and please tell me about your security system?
Roxana: I can't tell you what to do with your money at the end of the day.
I do encourage people to try it out and see if this guaranteed allocation model works for them.
These are very early stage projects or private seed rounds; if you understand the risks, give it a go.
Q: Can you give us an overview of LPOOL tokenomics? Is the token designed to rise and fall with the platform’s success, and does it include any scarcity paths such as stake, store, or burn?
Roxana: Labs - the incubator - addresses the LPOOL tokenomics and mechanisms better. I do encourage you to give it a read at launchpoollabs.xyz - our litepaper covers everything about how we plan to sustain $LPOOL and what mechanics we use (staking, burning, etc.).
Q: At the moment, the market is down; even with great partnerships, hype, marketing and working products, etc., some projects are finding it difficult. So, are you facing any challenges? If yes, mention them and tell us how you are handling it? And lastly, are you seeing the current market as an opportunity?
Roxana: Challenges are given so they can be overcome.
We're ready for the bear, so to speak; we have a solid pipeline of initiatives, a supportive community that still has an appetite during a 50% market correction - this is great feedback for us.
Everything can be turned into an opportunity with the right team and the right mindset.
Q: Will LOOPL consider having local branches aiming also to raise adaptation into laws/regulations of different countries in the near future?
Roxana: We already have communities in Vietnam and Turkey - and very supportive of our efforts and products.
We'd like to have more localized initiatives; if there is demand for that, we will look into implementing this and getting more hands on deck to help us.
Q: What plans have you taken to beat the competition as the market is very big?
Roxana: The IDO launchpad market is big.
Pre-IDO, frankly, there's little competition.
We have a quality-first approach; we're not interested in launching tens of projects per month, but looking at a handful per quarter that can bring in good returns to the community, with the right vesting schedule, so rug pulls don't happen.
Q: Great idea and initiative on Launchpool Labs. Would you please give some insights on how as an end-user or an investor, this will benefit, or in other terms, how we can utilize this opportunity effectively?
Q: Is there anything else you would like to share or you want us to know?
Roxana: Can't cover everyone's questions, but please visit our Telegram community at https://t.me/launchpoolxyz to get all your questions answered.
It's been great to spend the last 1 hour and 30 minutes with the KuCoin community!
Thank you for having us, and hope to see you in our community and our initiatives.
And remember: only invest what you're willing to lose!
Wishing you all good luck in your trades, and may the gems find your pockets. Have a great one, everyone!
KuCoin and Launchpool have prepared a total of 1,300 LPOOL to give away to AMA participants.
1. Free-ask section: 50 LPOOL
2. AMA activity: 1,250 LPOOL
Activity 1 — Quiz: 700 LPOOL
Activity 2 — Price Guess: 350 LPOOL
Participation Rewards: 200 LPOOL
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