The Liven app is a dining rewards app in which users earn cash rewards for eating out. Its LVN tokens are an extension to its existing service, and let users buy food and drinks with the tokens.
The company has 400,000 existing users and has signed up establishments including Gelato Messina, 8Bit Burger, MoVida, Maha and Dragon Hot Pot. Other well known restaurants slated to join the platform include dumpling establishment Din Tai Fung, Gazi and Jimmy Grants.
Typically a company undertakes an ICO to raise capital in exchange for equity through the sale of cryptocurrencies such as ethereum or bitcoin. But in Liven’s case, the LVN purchasers receive no equity in the company and can pay for the tokens in Australian dollars, US dollars or ethereum.
The LVN, which are worth US1.5¢, are then used to buy food and drinks. The restaurants have the option of accepting LVN as payment, or they can receive fiat currency from Liven of equal value in exchange for the tokens.
Now that the company’s private token sale has closed, Liven is opening it up to the public. Under its original timeline, this was supposed to occur in May 2018.
It is hoping to sell an additional $US18 million worth of LVN. Buyers in its private sale included restaurant owners and high-net-worth investors, which had to spend at least $US10,000 to participate.
When LVN first proposed its ICO, its tokens would have been worth $125 million thanks to the high value of ethereum. But since then the value of all cryptocurrencies have tanked. It hit its peak of almost $1800 per ethereum in early January 2018, but it is now trading around $194.
The volatility of the price of cryptocurrencies will have no impact on LVN because the tokens are used as a utility for buying food and drinks, rather than as an investment.
Mr Wong said the main function of its token sale was to raise awareness and get the tokens into the hands of customers, but he hoped it would also give the company an indication of which markets to expand into next.
“Our ambition is pretty clear here. We’re bringing cryptocurrency to the masses and using the existing user base to solve two problems. Firstly that the adoption is suffering because there’s no business championing it with scalable infrastructure, and secondly making it understandable in laymens’ terms,” he said.
“No one understand terms like protocols.”
The business was founded by brother and sister team Mr Wong and Grace Wong in 2014, alongside university friend David Ballerini. It raised $10 million in 2017, a large portion of which had been conditional on the company expanding nationally.
Late last month it signed up one of the first investors in bitcoin-related start-ups and one of five founding members of the Bitcoin Foundation, Roger Ver, to its advisory board.
“The future of cryptocurrencies depends on practical applications for real people and Liven is a prime example of this,” Mr Ver said.