AirFox, the company making mobile data and internet more affordable for millions of people, today announced it will open an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) on August 29, 2017 to fund the development and launch of its new blockchain consumer platform, AirToken (AIR). A TechStars portfolio company and venture-backed startup with a proven wireless business-to-business product, AirFox aims to raise up to $15 million in a token sale to make mobile internet more accessible to 4 billion underserved people who can’t afford it. AirFox’s technology harnesses the decentralized power of the Ethereum blockchain as well as advertising and proprietary “credit-score” algorithms to reward users with AirTokens, a new cryptocurrency redeemable for mobile data, and eventually physical and digital goods.
Mobile data plans enable users to browse the internet, download apps, and partake in the digital economy. Yet in many countries, such as Mexico and Brazil, an average consumer works 8-40 hours to earn 500MB of mobile data; in Nigeria, 500MB of data can be more expensive than health care or education. Much of this group – an estimated 2 billion people globally – is also unbanked or underbanked and lack an established record of credit.
Victor Santos, AirFox CEO and co-founder, wants to change this: “I was born in Brazil, a country with one of the highest telecommunications rates and where over 40 percent of the population is unbanked. With no mobile internet and no line of credit, billions around the world are unable to receive loans, create new businesses or rise into the middle class. With the AirToken and our mobile apps, we will bring mobile internet and microloans to lower income, data-starved and often unbanked mobile subscribers in emerging markets. We are on the cusp of massive disruption in many industries because of Ethereum, and AirFox is excited to harness this technology to help the world’s underserved citizens.”
Over the last year, AirFox’s business-to-business platform has enabled more than 2 million unique U.S. prepaid wireless subscribers to reduce their mobile costs while helping wireless carriers better serve their customers. Now, AirFox’s free consumer Android apps, AirFox Recharge and AirFox Browser, enable any prepaid mobile subscriber on Earth to earn AirTokens. With AirFox’s Android apps, users:
- Earn AirTokens by viewing advertisements on their devices, completing offers (surveys, videos, downloading apps, etc.), and browsing the internet.
- Are rewarded in AirTokens for every ad impression on their device.
- Can exchange AirTokens for mobile data or use them to send mobile data to others via 5 billion prepaid SIM cards and over 500 wireless carriers.
- Can purchase AirTokens from the mobile application.
- Will be able to apply and qualify for microloans in AirTokens later this year.
- Will be able to redeem AirTokens for digital services and physical goods next year.
AirFox will use the ICO funds to develop a revolutionary microloans program and expand abroad to emerging markets. By analyzing mobile behavior, device data, payments and browsing history, AirFox will use proprietary algorithms to assign credit rankings to users. The credit rankings will be used to offer qualifying users microloans in AirTokens, which can be sent to other AirFox users or claimed for mobile data packs. At any time, users will be able to transfer their AirTokens directly to an Ethereum wallet using a secure AirFox website transfer page.
The goal is to raise $15 million USD equivalent in ETH for selling 150 billion AirTokens; this will determine the exchange rate, which will be set immediately before deploying the contract. Following the ICO, the value of AirTokens to ETH will float according to the market. There is no plan to have a follow-on offering. Crowdsale purchased AirTokens are transferrable once the ICO closes. For more information on the details of the ICO, click here.
Founded by ex-Googlers Victor Santos and Sara Choi in January 2016, AirFox quickly established itself as the leader in affordable data plans for US-based prepaid wireless carriers. Incubated at Harvard’s Innovation Lab, AirFox is a TechStars Boston alumni and is venture backed by Project 11, Launch Capital, and NXT Ventures, among others. With the launch of its ICO and new blockchain consumer platform, the company is on a mission to enable unrestricted access to the internet for anyone with a prepaid smartphone. AirFox’s free Android apps, AirFox Browser and AirFox Recharge, enable users to earn AirTokens, a new cryptocurrency, by viewing advertisements on their devices, completing offers, and browsing the internet. AirTokens are redeemable for mobile data and, eventually, goods and services. AirFox will also use its proprietary algorithms to assess and grant qualifying users microloans in AirTokens. To learn more, visit www.airfox.io.