Decentralized Home-Sharing Platform Bee Token To Charge Fees To Customers To Boost Revenue
To Boost Revenue, Decentralized Home-Sharing Platform Decides To Charge Fees To Select Customers
A new crypto startup has decided to bring in revenue in a new way – directly charging fees to customers. The startup, Bee Token, is working to develop a platform for decentralized home-sharing, which is fairly similar to Airbnb. This new development follows an ICO worth millions to build up the Airbnb alternative, reducing fees and eliminating advertisements.
Unfortunately, while the concept is a positive one, users have not been gravitating to their website at the expected speed that Bee hoped for. The project has chosen to remedy this problem with fees, which are a fairly traditional solution for this unconventional platform.
The ICO for Bee Token closed in February last year, raising 5,000 ETH (which was about $4.5 million at the time). Out of the 500 million BEE tokens created, there are now 213 million in circulation. The market cap was about $11 million in April, but the bear market and lack of success has taking that market cap down to less than half of a million dollars.
CEO Jonathan Chou said, “It’s definitely a pivot. The focus is to have a sustainable revenue model.”
To help with the costs associated with the business, the company chose to let go half of the staff since last year, bringing the original 20-person team down to just 10 individuals. The former employees were primarily around for the token sale, according to Chou. However, there were three people that left as a result of the changing circumstances associated with the business.
When Bee Token first launched, they were aiming to develop a protocol involving home sharing, hoping to repay the cost of building the system with the token supply’s value. However, considering that Airbnb is more familiar to users, it already had a distinct advantage over Bee Token.
At the time, the company believed that the increase of users on their platform would result in more tokens used. Those tokens would rise in value and they were spent, and the compensation for the team would increase in value. There are absolutely no commissions promised by using the website to book travel arrangements. This contradicts what Bee Token says of the centralized services in the industry, who take up to 15% commission. Theoretically, if Bee Token eliminated the fees, they could remain strong against Airbnb and other players.
Chou explained, “We are currently 0 percent for the crypto consumer. We still have a lot of crypto and blockchain companies that use us for travel. Still, the goal of the company is presently to gain an audience of traditional business travelers, considering the fact that these customers are less focused on the cost of their travel.”
With that in mind, Bee plans to charge an 8% commission for businesses, which is still lower than what competitors charge.
Even with the setback, Chou believes that there has about one year before Bee Token is on the level he is trying to reach, which is why a seed round is presently in the works.
“We are pivoting to be a more revenue-focused business,” he said, which is likely due to the need for investors to see money coming into the company. Based on the trend of ICOs and the market, the only options are to pivot smaller ICOs, or “basically, you are just waiting to die,” he resolved.