Australians dining rewards-based payment startup Liven is creating its own cryptocurency, LivenCoin.
The Melbourne-based loyalty program company says the move will be the first to enable Australians to transact with cryptocurrency in daily life on a large scale — buying food and drink at 700 restaurants — via the Liven app.
The app, founded in 2014 by siblings William and Grace Wong, and engineer Dr David Ballerini, allows 180,000 users to be credited with 15% to 25% of their bar and restaurant bills, which can then be spent on their next outing or donated to charity.
The app has raised $11.5 million in traditional capital and processed $5 million in bill payments.
The fintech today also launched the pre-sale for an initial coin offering with a goal of $65 million to power Liven’s latest venture. There is a minimum buy-in equivalent to $10,000 of ethereum.
For non-investors, LivenCoins will be earned when users eat out when the updated platform launches in August this year.
LivenCoins will be able to be spent at partner restaurants across the Liven network including 8Bit Burgers, Poke Bowl, Roll’d, Crinitis, Mad Mex, Massi, AU79, Nene Chicken and Nandos.
Grace Wong says the initial coin (ICO) offering will allow Liven to develop a new cryptocurrency gateway for the platform as well as fund expansion into new markets and verticals.
“Liven has a strong presence in both Melbourne and Sydney, however a key focus is to grow our footprint in what we’ve identified as a $39 billion market in Australia alone,” she says.
“We’ve got over 2,500 partner venues contracted to join the platform in 2018, which will soon include some of our favourite venues in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.
“We’re demonstrating 50% quarter on quarter growth, already operating as a network currency system.”
Dr Ballerini, a co-founder and academic behind Liven’s economic formulae, says the ICO is an anomaly among projects in the latest funding trend.
“Liven has been of significant interest, particularly to investors, because unlike the vast majority of ICO projects, the company is underpinned by a successful business model with sound unit economics and backed by millions in private capital, that only comes after painstaking due diligence and expert analysis,” he says.
“With its expansive network of merchants and customers, Liven will be the first company to achieve mass adoption of crypto transactions, external to crypto-communities.
“We’ve also built in reward mechanism and market correction systems to ensure LVN tokens are always underwritten by intrinsic value that stably grows over time, without a high risk of a ‘Bitcoin-bubble’ forming.”