The Design of a Decentralized Marketplace of Marketplaces.
Awake Corp is a new holding company with the mission of making buying and selling things better, faster, cheaper and safer – no matter what asset is being traded! This means that a lot of the friction and costs in today’s business of business will change, and fast. In fact, the seeds of this disruption are all around us – from blockchain to new supply chain paradigms, and much more – unlocking huge financial repercussions for buyers and sellers and the entire marketplace ecosystem.
Awake views the world as a marketplace of buyers and sellers, connected on a single commerce cloud. Assets are the things people buy and sell, money is the collateral used to facilitate the exchange. As we shall see, this basic abstraction of buying and selling – aka the trading or exchanging of value – is the very story of Awake. The essential simplicity of this basic function, and its apparent complexity in the real world, and a new solution to managing it.This is the opportunity on which Awake is built.
The world is made up of people who do things for a living – buying and selling their time and skills – in order that they can live – by buying and selling the things they like. This happens at all levels – individuals and employees, volunteers and nonprofits, mom-and-pop stores and large multinational corporations, and everyone in the middle.
The buy and sell transactions done by these individuals and collectives constitute the total economy of a given legal jurisdiction, be it the individual corporation, a city, a country, or indeed the world.
As ‘software continues to eat the world’, more assets are becoming digital. The new world of digital securitization takes this to the logical end – anything and everything of value is now being digitized, fractionalized, and traded in legal ways, on globally regulated markets.
The Awakened View of Value
Awake is built on the foundation of trading assets. Awake makes money from the associated cash-flows, by taking a small commission percent of each transaction facilitated on the Awake Marketplace platforms.
Positive cash-flow is a good thing. A company driving its business on the Awake platform is a source of transactional revenue for Awake. Further, as the business grows and becomes an attractive investment, then Awake is able to assist in the financing of the business as well.
Awake recognizes the world as a Great Marketplace – full of buyers and sellers! The “Awakened Marketplace” democratizes the ability to buy and sell – for everyone – globally. It removes almost all friction from the process of buying and selling and ensures compliance with associated governmental regulations.
Marketplaces are composed of transactions. These transactions have many properties that make them desirable, but also difficult, expensive, and time-consuming:
Transactions have Cost.
Transactions take Time.
Transactions need Trust.
Transactions involve Multiple Parties.
Transactions need Contracts.
Transactions need Privacy.
Transactions need Security.
Transactions need Regulatory Compliance.
Transactions need Risk Oversight.
Transactions need Tax Reporting.
Transactions need Auditability.
Transactions need Verifiability.
Transactions need Payments.
Awake realizes that the cost of doing business today is needlessly high, complex, and dominated by old world businesses that do not want the status quo to change. This is for one reason only – they make money doing it the old way!
An excellent example is a real estate transaction. There is needless origination fees, excessive underwriting fees, and the broker/agent commissions, one can pay typically up to 5% to 7%.
Another example is buying something from an online store that is in a different country – sometimes the process is just plain cumbersome from the payment systems which are not seamless – and certainly, the forex fees that can cost up to 10%.
In order to create this new Awakened world, two things are needed. First, all the frictions mentioned earlier in this section must be minimized.
And second, to make this new marketplace function – it must become liquid – or in other words, it must have active buyers and sellers, doing lots of transactions.
We will refer to this collective first part of the friction as the Bottom-of-the-funnel Cost of doing business. Solving this bottom of the funnel problem involves technology, which the Awake platform provides, and also involves acquiring the sellers.
This new frictionless payments infrastructure, or more precisely a new settlement layer for global commerce, composes the first part of the Awake Marketplace Operating System.
Second, the ONLY friction:
The cost of doing business is burdened by these various friction points described. We now come to the perhaps most difficult one
Transactions have frictional Acquisition Costs.
This Top-of-the-Funnel cost of acquiring customers is filed under the “marketing budget”.
Buyer / Customer Acquisition Cost
In the world of online marketing – which is already the world today and certainly tomorrow – the spend consists primarily of paying Facebook and Google lots of money in order to reach digital audiences. Even relatively small online businesses can end up spending hundreds and thousands of dollars a month on these giants.
The return on this investment is typically unclear. The conversion rates of most online commerce operations are quite low – usually between 1% and 3%.
Not only are advertisers having to pour all this money into the Facebooks and Googles of the world, they must satisfy themselves with very limited ROI and basically zero visibility, for the ability to track media spend against actual sales is technologically not possible with most existing digital approaches.
The recent trend of integrated ad-blockers within operating systems like iOS have already enabled tens of millions of customers to turn off advertising, targeting services, and domain names connected to ad networks. On top of this, click-fraud continues to hit unprecedented levels each year – further diminishing the ROI.
More and more media buying customers are pushing back – insisting on better ROI metrics – as satisfaction drops across the current customer acquisition models.
Awake Customer Cloud
The second part of the Awake solution is an arbitrage play.
There are two parts to the friction in doing business – the first is the Bottom-of-the-Funnel Cost. The second – the Acquisition Cost/Top-of-the-Funnel Cost – is really the cost of driving customers to the business.
Google/Facebook / Baidu/Tencent
Today, the Internet is dominated by Big-Tech, because of one main reason – they have control of the largest audience aggregations the world has ever seen. They are able to dominate advertising because basically all of online marketing boils down to spending money on these large audience engineering platforms, such as Facebook Ad Network, Google Ad Network, and now the Amazon Ad Network.
The virtual tax levied by these Internet giants is often a whopping 30% if they close the transaction), on top of the basically unlimited “ad spend” that businesses do to attract those potential customers in the first place.
Arbitraging Buyer Acquisition Cost
The reason businesses pay these Ad Networks any money is because they hope to attract buyers.
There Is No Alternative (TINA)
If there was an alternate way to access large buyer audiences, with high-quality first-party data, and a way to pay for the access with ROI-verified commissions, potentially cheaper, this would be online e-commerce marketplace nirvana.
Awake will offer sellers this nirvana offering via portfolio company Quintype, projected to go from 250M buyers in 2019 to 2B buyers in 2024. The Quintype platform represents a near-1-click media plus commerce layer with integrated checkout capabilities.
Awake Market AI
The Awake Market AI leverages its unique first-party data of buyers and sellers and matches them in real-time.
Seamless transactional commerce across media-driven marketplaces – the future of online e-commerce is decentralized and automated, using AI.
One Blockchain to Bind ’em
Our core Trader Operating System -or AwakeX – is powered by a new, proprietary blockchain that is already able to do institutional grade decentralized matching/trading at 50 ms latency.
This high-speed DECENTRALIZED marcher is the heart of the Awake TraderOS – and is the tissue that connects the most liquid, decentralized asset pools of the world. These include fungible store of value type assets such as stocks and crypto, as well as non-fungible assets such as real-estate and positive cash flow companies.
The AwakeX engine matches buyers and sellers, across a global network of decentralized pods of buyers and sellers – at lightning speed – powering the most friction-free commerce engine in the world.
It all boils down to liquidity. A global marketplace platform is made by buyers, not sellers, for in the end, the buyers create the market.
Between Quintype and AwakeX – and associated accretive ecosystem growth – the Awake full-funnel Marketplace Engine will connect 2B buyers in real-time.
Awake is assembling the world’s largest “Marketplace of Marketplaces”- connecting 2B buyers and sellers across the world – enabling the cheapest, fastest, safest way to trade.
Post the acquisition of the underlying companies, Awake expects a strong shopper cloud. Quintype expects to cross 250M by financial year end 2019, and projects 1B global buyers by 2022, and 2B global buyers by 2024.
Awake is the marketplace of the future – where buyers and sellers connect – and engage in trade – they exchange value for value – safely, securely, cheaply – and instantly.
Main Street 2.0
In the Awake Market, sellers will create and unlock value for themselves – and the platform will charge a transaction fee of 1% – allowing makers and sellers – individuals or collectives – to keep 99% of the value they create.
The Awake Market connects buyers and sellers, completes the transactions efficiently and cheaply – in real-time – and does not charge a premium for the privilege.
Wall Street 2.0
What is true for Main St is now true for Wall St.
The highest, most liquid marketplaces and their cash flows – available to investors globally – via fractionalized ownership shares or digital securities – powered by the same high-speed blockchain engine that powers the value store and value transfer in all the marketplaces themselves.
Any investor – anywhere in the world – is now able to buy and sell fractional, digital shares of safe, verified real-estate, crypto, companies, stocks, and other assets.
Whether the transaction be large or small, whether buying 1/100th of a single share of Apple, Inc, a skyscraper in NYC, a house in the suburbs, or a private company, the transaction will cost only 1% – and will complete on the platform in a completely integrated manner.
Cryptocurrencies and beyond
At the end of the day, what we’re really talking about are marketplaces.
Marketplaces are economies, and all economies are governed by capital flows and central banks.
The world is ready for a new, programmable, high-speed, decentralized central-bank-as-a-service, and this is what AwakeX powers.
The recent boom, bust, and revival of Bitcoin and crypto-assets have the world ready for what comes after the version 1.0 hype cycle and bust. The unregulated ICO madness has now ended, and the world is ready for a new, regulated form of cryptocurrency, called STOs and other names, but these are the new digital currencies.
The Awake ecosystem starts from deep within the bowels of value creation – both by matching buyers and sellers for a tiny fraction of the transaction value – as well as by creating new money in the form of frictionless payment systems for each marketplace – that suits the needs of the business and customers – with the currency backed by real-world cashflow-backed assets.
The commerce fabric that powers and governs this new type of asset-backed value-transfers, otherwise known as crypto-assets, is the platform for what amounts to central banking operations – perhaps the new Decentral Banking. It includes issuing new currency or asset-backed digital securities, financing cash flows via other means such as loans, credit, hedging, etc, all on a real-time transactional stack that track all the live data about value and value transfer.
Powering these new decentralized economies – governing them, facilitating them, and providing liquidity to them so that the wheel of value creation can spin – and buyers and sellers are connected without friction and cost – this is the Awakened World of Production and Consumption, the future of buying and selling, the future of decentralized real-time commerce at global scale.
To enable this new world, several components are needed. Some are acquisitions, some will require new capabilities.
Two key acquisitions concern:
The first part of the funnel – or the top of the funnel – is the media/audience layer.
Quintype is an end-to-end solution for digital media and audience engineering operations that is real-time, omnichannel, and powered by AI, matching audiences with the most engaging content experiences and ecosystems.
Quintype was founded in September 2014, and is a B2B SaaS platform, with associated revenue opportunities that will kick in 2019-2020 and beyond, as the aggregated shopper audience scales past 250M buyers.
Click here for detailed (permission needed) AwakeVC Quintype Acquisition Document.
The bottom-of-the-funnel transaction settlement layer is AwakeX, powered by a multi-asset high-speed blockchain capable of decentralized matching at 50 ms now, and to 20ms later this fall.
The underlying solution is composed of a few companies and the detailed Awake (permission needed) AwakeVC AwakeX Acquisition Document has more.
Spiritful & Awake Realty
We will have more to say about these two global marketplace platforms shortly. Spiritful and Awake Realty address the global economies of alcohol production and consumption, as well as real-estate management and investments respectively.
AI for Private Equity
What is between the two layers? What is between the Top-of-the-Funnel shoppers, and the Bottom-of-the-Funnel, the seamless 1-click trade experience?
The answer is – investment opportunities across all verticals of modern consumption.
Awake is now in the position of the world’s most sophisticated and complete Alternative e-Commerce Stack, powered by an Alternative Trading System, including the 2B shoppers needed to create entirely new companies and marketplaces.
Awake is a Private Equity marketplace – powered by AwakeX – where the most valuable pre-IPO companies, real-estate, and other high-value assets are bought and sold.
Awake is able to do this with the most advanced Data-Driven Commerce Intelligence Engine in the Universe.
The shopper data, the engagement data, the marketplace and supply chain data, the fulfillment and logistics data, the cash flow data, and the financial and financings data – all in one real-time cloud.
Read more of an exec summary of AwakeVC -Tech-Enabled Private Equity 2.0.