Over recent years, the world of cryptocurrency has exploded with growth, attracting new entrepreneurs and investors to join the sector. As a result, crypto startups are emerging all over the globe, seeking to revolutionize traditional industries and create new opportunities for businesses and consumers worldwide.
However, despite the hype surrounding cryptocurrency, many startups in this space face significant difficulties when it comes to fundraising. Many of these difficulties come from the fact that they are using outdated practices. This is something that needs to evolve and change with the rest of the crypto industry, and a project called AngelBlock has an idea about how to make it happen. This review will explain what AngelBlock is about, how it works, and what it offers.
According to the company, its mission is to establish an acknowledged, widely-adopted standard for a fundraising process in the Web3 sector. As the current practices still mostly rely on the methods used in Web2, which are outdated and inefficient. Web2 practices’ greatest downsides include limited protection for investors and startups.
- Startups are facing the risk of investors prioritizing their own interests instead of those of the project. This can result in them exiting prematurely, which could lead to an asset dump that would ultimately damage the project;
- Investors are facing the risks of rug pulls or projects failing to meet their expectations and achieve the promised milestones:
After recognizing these problems in the cryptocurrency industry, AngelBlock decided to create a new, Web3-focused experience that would have the needs of both startups and investors in mind. The result would be a new mutually-beneficial ecosystem, with elevated security, based on ethical and sustainable growth.
AngelBlock was founded by Alex Strzesniewski, who has been a member of the crypto industry for over six years. For most of his time in the crypto sector, Strzesniewski focused on crypto-based startups and cryptocurrencies themselves.
His involvement and passion regarding blockchain technology come from the belief that blockchain can impact the world, and change how people think of value and methods of transferring it. He then started working on AngelBlock full-time in October 2020.
Initially, Strzesniewski got the idea for the project earlier that same year, in May. AngelBlock’s founder imagined it as a decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol focused on the fundraising landscape. This was at the time when DeFi was just beginning to emerge and become a new trend in the crypto industry.
This environment caused Alex to return to more ideological crypto roots, after spending years running a mid-sized centralized cryptocurrency exchange. Alex realized there was a lack of services offering secure, crypto-focused deals that he was interested in, so he decided to create one himself. He believed a platform like AngelBlock was necessary because the crypto industry has many knowledgeable investors who prefer making their own decisions instead of simply joining a deal flow.
The only available deals prior to the project’s launch reportedly included the following:
- Shady deals in Telegram groups;
- Questionable deals on launchpads that lacked security or transparency;
- Classic crowdfunding on established websites with equity-based deals instead of token-based ones;
- Good deals that were offered by well-established, highly-regulated entities, but they were not focused on cryptocurrency;
Therefore, Alex started working on AngelBlock in October 2020, officially establishing the project less than a year later, in mid-2021. The platform continued to grow and expand, making some notable achievements, such as:
- The launch of V1.0 of the protocol on Ethereum’s mainnet on October 31, 2021;
- It partnered with Aleph Zero in January 2022;
- AngelBlock held a token raise for approximately $4 million USD;
- It minted the first batch of AngelBlock NFTs, making 40% of the total supply available and raising over $300,000 in profits;
- In April 2023, the project implemented and deployed the staking mechanic
- AngelBlock attracted the attention of more than 50 crypto startups that wanted to be listed on the platform, primarily because of its Startup Grant Program;
How does AngelBlock work?
AngelBlock’s primary goal is to allow for the raising/investing of funds in a transparent and decentralized manner. The funds used in active fundraisers are kept safe in a smart contract, so the process is entirely non-custodial.
Recommended video: 5-minute demo showing the investment flow on AngelBlock.io
However, democratizing fundraising in the Web3 sector is only the first step, the company says. AngelBlock also intends to build a completely new, compliant industry standard for fundraisers that involve crypto tokens for future use. The project wants it to be geographically agnostic, meaning that everyone can use it, no matter where they are. It also seeks to increase transparency as much as possible and make it as safe as it can be, in the cryptocurrency industry.
In the short term, the project seeks to increase the safety of investing for the wider crypto community by providing tools to prevent it from seeing massive losses, such as the $2.8 billion lost in rug pulls in 2021 alone.
DeFi is growing rapidly, in both funds and engagement. However, it doesn’t have the proper infrastructure to maintain this growth while still ensuring security and safety.
AngelBlock claims that it would achieve higher levels of safety by keeping the users’ finds on-chain, and ensuring that they are protected. The capital would only be paid after startups start delivering on the milestones that they promised to investors during the fundraising process.
AngelBlock sees this as a solid way to prevent projects from making false and over-exaggerated promises just to convince people to give them the money. This would minimize the risk of not delivering on such promises, and the protocol governs all of it, so there is no way for developers to get the money and disappear. The design is essentially fraud-proof, or close thing to it. If the projects do try to scam users or rug-pull them, voting on the protocol will not occur, and the funds would simply go back to investors.
AngelBlock was designed to accommodate two entities: investors and startups.
The platform’s team relies on its network to look for startups. The network was cultivated for years, and past conferences have proven that it is efficient and reliable. In Q3 2022, the project launched a grant program, offering $90,000 to up to 3 recipients. This was only the first such program, as AngelBlock intends to conduct more of them, likely in the very near future.
However, after learning from the original experience, the team realized some of the past mistakes. Its following grant programs will likely be structured differently, using a cyclical design. This means that each quarter would bring a fresh batch of participants, granting $15,000 in its native cryptocurrency, THOL, to the winners.
As for investors, they would receive a number of benefits. Not only would they get the exclusive deal flow and high APY staking, but also multiple benefits involving THOL token. Investors require access to safe projects that have great potential. It is just as important for them to become aware of such projects early on.
AngelBlock’s platform claims that it can secure both, and provide exposure to some of the best deals in crypto in the earliest stages. That way, its users could co-invest with premier funds and crypto angels.
The company also has an idea to create a user-generated, early-stage crypto startup directory. This would not be a part of AngelBlock but would operate separately. However, the team sees potential in this additional “biz-dev funnel,” which could help find crypto startups in their early stages and start preparing them (and investors) for a fundraiser somewhere down the line.
Revenue has always been an important aspect to projects and investors alike, and for the purpose of transparency, AngelBlock explained that it takes a small percentage of successful fundraises. As of May 2023, this percentage is only 2.5% of a raise.
The team shared that it is also working on certain additional features that would continue to drive revenue for the project. One source of revenue comes from the launch of AngelBlock’s own cryptocurrency, THOL. The token has a fully diluted market cap of $27 million.
According to the team, front-ends are one of the most limiting aspects of any project in crypto right now. They pointed toward Uniswap, which was forced to block certain crypto assets due t regulatory issues in the United States. Similarly, AngelBlock’s front end is also a limiting factor, only allowing the platform to propagate its technology to a limited number of users. Even then, it can only do it to a limited point.
This is why the team is excited to work on a feature called Private Raises, where parties would be able to use the backend and more secure technology. Unfortunately, this would have to be done in an invite-gate way. However, once launched, the feature would be a perfect way for VCs, grant programs, or startups seeking to raise funds to do just that.
It is worth noting that AngelBlock deployed its native cryptocurrency, the THOL token, on February 15, 2023, and it already emerged on Uniswap on February 16. The token was launched with a price of $0.14.
The main use cases for the token include:
- Paying gas fees;
- Gaining additional privileges based on the number of tokens held;
- Liquidity sourcing;
- Providing incentives for supporting startups;
- Community-building incentives;
- Paying rewards for reporting and/or fixing security issues;
- Offering grants;
It should be noted that some of the mentioned utilities might not be active as of yet, but the team intends to offer them at some point during development.
Notably, the THOL token is capped at 400 million units, which is its max and total supply. However, only around 20% is in circulation, approximately 79.8 million THOL. The project has no inflation model, although the token supply will decrease over time as part of the gas mechanics.
THOL token price now:
It is also worth noting that AngelBlock has several types of native tokens supported, including:
- THOL — THOL, or Tholos Token, is the main token in the project’s ecosystem. It is the token that users will earn as a reward for staking;
- wTHOL — Wrapped Tholos is another token, and this one is meant to act as a correlated incentivization asset. Its purpose is to be used for cross-user interactions on the platform;
- xTHOL — This will be the project’s future governance token. Its emissions, as well as its entire treasury, would be controlled and governed by AngelBlock’s DAO. According to current plans, this token may also be used as a staking reward;
- AngelBlock NFTs — AngelBlock has already had some experience with NFTs, launching its first collection known as the “Dope A** NFT collection.” This and future collections are intended to accompany AngelBlock long-term and remain tightly integrated with the platform;
- Badges — Lastly, the project also has ERC-1155 certificates that can be unlocked by investors following fundraising. This will be strictly tied to the projects and amounts invested.
How does AngelBlock stand out?
AngelBlock’s platform is already rich with features including the basic ones, such as being:
- Smart contract-based;
However, apart from these, the project can offer a number of new and unique features, like:
- Automated token vesting and distribution system — According to AngelBlock, around 20% of the tokens from fundraises are sent to the wrong addresses, or they tend to arrive in the wrong amounts. This is a consequence of manual transaction errors — human error. This is why the project decided to create an innovative on-chain vesting and token distribution system. This new, fully automated solution is performed via smart contracts. It can significantly improve the accuracy and efficiency of token distribution and eliminate the mentioned issues entirely;
- Milestone-based payout approach with embedded governance mechanisms — Another feature that the project has included is the milestone-based payout approach. This is not unique, as many contracts in traditional business employ this method, but it is a unique feature among crypto projects. This works because startups are expected to define a series of milestones during the fundraising process. Investors can then vote when the milestones are achieved, and the portion of the raised funds is then released to the startups. If the startups fail to deliver, they do not receive the money. Instead, it gets returned to investors. That way, the project eliminated rug-pulls and scams where fraudsters would disappear with their money as soon as the token sale ended.
- Aligning stakeholders’ interests with the THOL token — AngelBlock uses its native cryptocurrency, the THOL token, to provide incentives for stakeholders in the ecosystem. It aligns the interests of investors, startups, and even the broader crypto community. It rewards validators and other active participants, thus helping the growth of a collaborative environment. Along the way, it also drives the adoption and growth of communities, which also contributes to the success of Web3 startups that use its platform.
- Decentralized governance with the AngelBlock DAO — Another feature of AngelBlock is its DAO — the decentralized governance that runs the project. Due to the project’s relatively young age, it has not yet achieved full democratization, and its DAO is still in the process of being made. However, it is in the making, which means that the community will have a say in how the platform operates. It will ensure that the fundraising solutions stay fully transparent, secure, and accountable.
Is AngelBlock safe to use?
The company claims that it is fully committed to transparency, compliance, and security. The project was developed with future regulations in mind, and the goal is to promote compliant, transparent, and secure fundraising. The platform is regulatory-compliant and it plans to stay that way. As such, it also expects collaborating startups, partners, and other participants to be the same.
AngelBlock already enforces KYC and AML requirements, which are in line with international standards. It also proactively adopts EU MiCA regulation guidelines, ensuring disclosure and transparency for startups. While countries like the US have little to no crypto laws and regulations at this time, the project can predict what such laws might look like once they finally arrive someday, based on the countries that have already passed crypto bills.
Other than that, AngelBlock’s entire feature set was tailored to make investing as safe as possible, as transparent as possible, and to validate the needs of both users and startups. We cannot say it is 100% safe, as nothing in the crypto industry comes risk-free. However, we can say that the project has done everything in its power to increase the level of safety and security for startups and investors alike, and potentially reach entirely new levels of safety in the crypto sector.
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AngelBlock Pros and Cons
AngelBlock has done a lot of things right already, however, there are some downsides, as well. Overall, we can summarize its strengths and weaknesses like this:
- A mission focused on boosting safety and adoption;
- It considers the needs and requirements of investors and startups, not favoring one over the other;
- Automated token vesting and distribution system;
- Milestone-based payout approach;
- Full decentralization and democratization through a DAO;
- Commitment to compliance and security;
- Its token has a capped supply;
- Proactively compliant with international regulations;
- A unique use case seeking to provide a type of platform that was previously non-existent or unsafe.
- Despite its efforts to be as regulatory compliant as possible, the regulations are still in the early phase, even in the countries that have them, which cause problems in the future and limit the project’s ability to operate in countries that might come up with vastly different laws;
- Crypto markets are known for volatility, and even the safest platforms cannot protect investors from this aspect of the industry.
AngelBlock is a Web3 project that intends to bring a new, significantly different approach to fundraising in the crypto industry. It is unique, with new features and designs that can protect investors and remain fair to startups. Neither side is discriminated against, and the solution can still prevent some of the largest issues in the crypto industry, such as fraud, rug pulls, and more.
The project has its own token rich with use cases and its own NFTs, with the first collection already out. The platform seems like it seeks to bring a positive change and improve the crypto industry, which started attracting investors as soon as the project became known to the public.
AngelBlock is still a young platform, and it has a lot of development to go through before everything looks, feels, and works as its founder intended. However, it appears to be on the road to achieving its goals and moving toward them rapidly.
Frequently Asked Questions about AngelBlock
What is AngelBlock?
AngelBlock is a decentralized, non-custodial fundraising platform that seeks to tackle funding hurdles faced by Web3 startups. Until now, startups have had to deal with methods that were inherited from Web2. AngelBlock seeks to provide a new, original solution that would be a better fit for the more advanced version of the internet.
Is AngelBlock safe?
AngelBlock’s features are strongly focused on bringing safety to the crypto industry and its participants. That includes investors and projects alike, with both parties’ needs being met. With that said, it is still a part of the crypto industry, and there are some risks, such as the risk of volatility, that cannot be eliminated.
What are the benefits of decentralized fundraising?
With decentralized fundraising in the way that AngelBlock does it, users will be free from certain risks, such as scams and rug pulls. Meanwhile, startups would also be free of risks, such as investors dumping their assets in pursuit of their own interests. It is a decentralized solution that can offer the best deal to both sides.
What does AngelBlock aim to do?
AngelBlock aims to revolutionize the way fundraising is being performed in crypto. It wants to create a safe and rewarding environment that for startups to raise money, for investors to support new projects, and to profit from this and other activities within AngelBlock’s ecosystem.