ICO Analysis - WePower (WPR) Token

ICO Analysis - WePower (WPR) Token

WePower is tackling a market ripe for a technological disruption but over valuing themselves given their current market position. The team are focused on selling the investment in the product rather than the product itself.

  • Targets a massive market ripe for a technological disruption.
  • Assists with the growing problem of power distribution and climate change topics.

  • The focus is on targeting investors and not the product.
  • Not first to market with blockchain, nor does it differentiate itself enough.
  • Immature idea seeking a valuation of a mature product.

WePower enables renewable energy producers to raise capital by issuing their own energy tokens. These tokens represent energy they commit to produce and deliver. Energy tokenization standardizes, simplifies and opens globally currently existing energy investment ecosystem.

WePower (WPR) ICO Fast Facts

  • ICO Crowdsale Start Date: February 2018
  • Maximum Discount: 15% bonus (Public presale. Minimum purchase will be $200USD equivalent in ETH)
  • Platform: ETH
  • Amount Raised: $35m USD (with a 55% crowdsale, values the company at about $64m USD)

WePower (WPR) Utility

WePower is hitting all the right buzz words on their website. It is a blockchain-based, green energy trading platform. It should strike a chord with just about every person out there. The concept is relatively simple, it allows green energy producers to sell power to consumers in an auction style format. Producers gain a stable pipeline of energy sales and consumers get to purchase green energy at a price set by the market (within an acceptable range to the producer).

Where it falls down is that this isn't entirely new and it isn't something that requires blockchain technology to achieve. My own power provider Powershop (direct link) has a very similar system where I can pre-purchase standard power with a significant discount. I can also purchase green energy from a number of producers. I would say my provider goes even further, offering consumers who feed solar back into the grid a portion of the green energy sales.

Competitors have already done this for years and they have done it well. No blockchain and no investment required.

WePower (WPR) Team

WePower is led by Nikolaj Martyniuk. After University, he worked as an financial analyst for a year before working his way to Director level during his 7 year stint at JSC. For the last 3 years of that stint he was also the CEO of Modus Energy (both organisations are part of the JSC Modus Group). His co-founder, Artūras Asakavičius, completed his Masters degree in Law and started as an Associate at  Sorainen Vilnius Law firm, focusing on startups three years ago.

Founding a technology company with an associate lawyer is a little unusual. A deeper look into the team reveals there is a heavy weighting to investment managers, consultants and high level advisory roles. Obviously these roles are all needed, but there seems to be a very strong bias here.

WePower (WPR) Roadmap

WeEnergy has knowledgable people from the Energy sector leading them through a very ambitious timeframe. Starting from a near zero base, they will launch the WePower platform within two months and then have that platform connected to the energy infrastructure a month later. Launching an app in two months would be an amazing effort. Launching the WePower platform with all the approvals required to operate on critical national infrastructure seems near impossible.

After 6 months of testing their platform, they will go live in Spain and begin distributing donated energy tokens to investors by the end of 2018.

2019 is curiously labeled 'Further Expansion' which is reminiscent of the underpants gnomes' plan. With two years of roadmap available, they have an ambitious plan to connect their software to national critical infrastructure. That ambition then disappears with no further details about their plans or goals after that.

A deeper reading into the whitepaper says they have: a planned pilot with an unnamed system operator in Estonia, producers intending to use the system in spain and connections with a mall startup bootcamp in Australia. There just aren't the major business commitments expected in a company promising a 3 year return on investment.

WePower (WPR) Value

On initial inspection, WePower is a startup business with no major deals or customers signed up (that they have been able to share publicly atleast) and a product that is heavily regulated by governments and restricted by geography. They are valuing themselves at at $64m USD with no real plans listed beyond 2018.

The concept is great. It touches on power distribution and management that will become critical in the future, but it is simply offering a way for consumers to have the freedom to choose where their power comes from and how much they pay for it. This is not new in the power industry, nor are they the first to market with the idea of using blockchain technology in the power industry (POWR can claim that price for Australia at least).

While it the sector is ripe for technological disruption, this just isn't the most appealing whitepaper I've read to achieve this.

WePower (WPR) Transparency

The team have a fantastic website and whitepaper produced… too fantastic actually.

A read through the website highlights the advantages of investing in the product but fails to adequately introduce the topic. I'm a big believer in a product doing the talking. Introduce a solid product and the investors will come to it. This just simply is not the case here. The website is filled with cliches and glossy images showing possible profitable outcomes. To find out any detail about the product, you have to ask the question on the social media sites.

On the personnel front, all team members and advisers have a profile linked from the main page, which is great. The campaign is conducted solely in ETH. Being an ERC-20 token, it is good to see they are supporting the parent platform here.

WePower (WPR) Distribution

The whitepaper is extremely detailed and covers the existing consumer/brand solution as well as the plans for growth. It is great to see a large portion of the tokens (50%) going to members of the public. Although, with the team taking a large cut (20-30%), this only leaves 15% assigned to the growth of the ecosystem, which is a little lower than usual.

They have also reacted responsibly following the skyrocketing price of Ethereum recently. They were originally pegged at 1ETH : 1000WPR when ETH was $250. Now with ETH soaring to $900+, they have agreed to alter this to 1ETH=4,000WPR and have this applied to the large private buyer from earlier rounds too. Although, this does lead to an interesting discovery in that their 'open presale' occurred 3 or 4 months prior to the 'public token' sale. This is a long time to wait for an investment round to close and almost invites the massive fluctuation in the price of crypto currency.

WePower (WPR) Summary

This is one that raises a few concerns for me. While WePower have gone to great efforts to show investors reasons to support the project, the fact that any description of the product is buried under multiple layers of sales and marketing is a little frustrating.  WePower are focusing on selling the product rather than highlighting the product and having the investors come to it.

The forward vision is missing a little of the detail, with the goal from 2019 simply missing from the roadmap.

The green power sector is ripe for disruption, many have failed due to regulations and economies of scale. They not only need to launch a product with the customer base to encourage energy providers to come on to their system, but they need to achieve this in each region. Having a million customers won't give them the scale they need if the customers are diversified across 100 unique regions.

Crypto Coin Disclosure

He does not hold any WPR tokens (or POWR tokens either)
No payment or private consultation was sought for this article.

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Tags:     electricity erc20 ico-eth power wpr