Connecting EveryTHING to Everyone — Helium | Algorand | Semtech
Written by: #TeamEmrit
[If you’d like to have a video/audio walkthrough of our business plan, click here!]
Vision: Our vision is to connect everyTHING to everyone through one Global network!
Mission: Emrit’s mission is to enable the world to build ‘THE GLOBAL IoT NETWORK’ that connects everything to everyone through risk-free financial incentives, and by bridging established IoT protocols and blockchains with a consumer-focused, crowd-sourced deployment model.
Emrit was started in 2019 by an 11-year-old boy with a simple vision of incentivizing the general public (who were not deep into crypto or Blockchain or IoT) to host the hotspot provided by Helium to build #ThePeopleNetwork. Before starting Emrit, he was mining Ethereum cryptocurrency and driving his e-scooter to the golf course. He clearly understood the value proposition of mining HNT while providing wireless network coverage and tracking devices like his e-scooter.
He ordered 100 hotspots first and Powered up Atlanta, where he lived (our initial pilot). Then Emrit ordered 1000 hotspots to deploy across the USA and another 750 hotspots to deploy across Europe in the first year of Emrit’s operation. Based on the success of our initial alpha and beta testing results, we decided to deploy these hotspots all over the world and build the dream team and world-class technology to scale.
As we deployed our devices, we witnessed Helium become the fastest-growing wireless network in America. This validated that the timing was perfect to solve the most critical problem the IoT industry has been facing for many years: the rails to connect billions of devices. We knew we could be the premier company building this network. Along the way, we are also able to identify and solve many areas that are not addressed by Helium.
A paradigm shift in Emrit’s vision occurred when we are able to solve the untold market needs connected to the primary problem we were initially solving.
Biggest Challenge in IoT:
For years, the biggest problem facing the IoT industry is the lack of a Global IoT network that is easy to deploy and affordable for billions of devices to connect.
- Most of the large telecom companies are unable to address this problem cost-effectively even though it is a trillion-dollar-plus industry.
- The Things Network, Sigfox, and other IoT networks mostly stayed regional and could not expand globally after several years.
Helium laid a strong foundation to address this problem. After six years of multiple iterations of product-market fit, the Helium team finally figured out how to use blockchain for micropayments and enable a business model innovation of using economic incentives and game theory to build the global IoT network, #ThePeopleNetwork. Within one year of its launch, it became the fastest-growing wireless network in the US, and now it is set to expand rapidly in Europe.
Why Emrit loves the Helium network and why we choose them:
- We love Helium because #ThePeoplesNetwork is a peer to peer network, and not controlled by a telecom giant.
- We genuinely believe that Helium will disrupt the telecom industry. Emrit’s founder, who was 11 years old at that time, was selected to speak in SXSW 2020 on the topic ‘Can the Telecom industry be disrupted’ along with Helium CEO and a Silicon Valley VC Amir Haleem — https://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/104922
#ThePeopleNetwork is powerful, and the best part is that even a child or grandparent can understand how it works. Not only that, Helium has the gravity to hire top-shelf talent.
- We choose Helium Blockchain to collaboratively build ‘THE GLOBAL IoT NETWORK’ along with other partners and the people across the world. Helium provides an economic incentive (HNT) to share with everyone and accrues value over time to the people building the network.
Emrit started working with Helium from day 1 of its launch and is also an investor in Helium. We deployed hundreds of hotspots in the first year of operation in cooperation with Helium.
Opportunity for Emrit:
While Helium is in the mission of building the layer one blockchain, LongFi, and the Peer to Peer Wireless network, there are many areas where Emrit can add value. Being an open-source protocol, Helium has allowed other ecosystem partners like Emrit to build applications on top of their protocol and develop their own business models to grow ‘THE GLOBAL IoT NETWORK.’
- The majority of the public (90%) and also most of the enterprises are unprepared to transact with Helium cryptocurrency (HNT)
- Helium is not designed to support individuals or entities who deploy and manage hundreds of hotspots
- There is no mechanism in place to ensure 100% network coverage nor verify that common SLAs are met. For traditional communication networks, these responsibilities are normally taken care of by a typical regional network operator
- There is a better economic incentive opportunity to spur demand/use cases and deploy billions of devices in the Helium network
- Provisioning, Onboarding, device management, and overall user experience is not on par with current consumer expectations
- Most blockchain and software companies are not ready to handle the physical hardware, logistics, and global supply chain challenges
Emrit has not only found ways to solve the practical problems it faced over its last one year of operations using agile iterations and rapid prototyping, but it also identified the underlying untold market needs that will help secure a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create the global wireless network by connecting access to the internet of information (for machines) with access to internet of value (personal banking for underbanked and unbanked population).
Uncovering the Untold Market Needs while building THE GLOBAL IoT NETWORK:
- Earning $25 / month means something or significant to 90% of the world’s population
- And they are not ready to take any risk by investing even if it is a dollar
- 90% of the world’s population needs a micro-loan at an affordable interest rate
- Even in the US, more than 60% of the population does not have a savings of $1000 and are paying more than 100% interest rate for getting loans under $1000
- Earning a higher interest rate is important to savers, particularly during this ultra-low interest rate period that we expect will last for a few more years
- Financial access and payment processing for last-mile merchants (like street vendors) are not currently addressed by the majority of financial institutions and payment processors
- Better user experience is needed in bridging crypto earnings to real-life spending in fiat currency
- Contactless banking and contactless payments became imperative during COVID-19 and beyond
Emrit’s Product Architecture
Emrit is on the mission to solve the above problems and also meet the untold market needs by bringing multiple products to the market in the next one year. When done, this will help us to Bridge the DeWi (Decentralized Wireless) and DeFi (Decentralized Finance) along with the emerging LoRaWAN protocol.
The below diagram demonstrates Emrit’s product architecture:
1. Deploying Foundational Technology:
Emrit started with a vision of connecting everyone and everything by being Digital First and operating as an international Digital Business. We started with building a comprehensive Enterprise Application with multiple modules to support the massive growth of ‘THE GLOBAL IoT NETWORK’. Complete built out will happen over multiple versions of product releases comprising of ETL from Helium blockchain, e-commerce, Order Management, Inventory Management, Financials, Installed Base, Host earnings dashboard, Analytics, CRM software to manage the end to end lifecycle of the Host and the CoolSpot.
Version 1.0 is released on October 14, 2020, as a web application, and it is a comprehensive enterprise application with multiple modules to support the massive growth of THE GLOBAL IoT NETWORK. V1.0 is built over the last several months based on solving practical problems we faced as we deployed hundreds of hotspots.
- e-commerce and order management system for the host to sign up and order CoolSpot and accessories
- Inventory management system for managing CoolSpot inventory & Shipping
- Host earnings dashboard, charts, and drill-downs to the underlying transaction in the blockchain
- Affiliate management system (for referrals)
- Mass Pay of HNT earnings every month for thousands of hosts
- Installed base of all CoolSpots with online/offline status and with automatic alerts when a CoolSpot goes offline
- Comprehensive administrative dashboard to manage thousands of installed CoolSpots, hosts, and supply chain
Version 1.1 — Nov 2020
- Host payouts in fiat currency (USD and EUR) in addition to HNT payouts
- Dashboard for Regional Deployment Partners (RDP)
- Automation of business KPI — Level 1 (Executive) and Level 2 (Operational)
- Improvements to Inventory management
- Implement full story for Community and Customer success
Emrit’s interim CoolSpot will be released in Nov 2020
Version 1.2 — Dec 2020
- Demand management
- Improvements to Host earnings dashboard
- Improvement to the administrative dashboard
- Robust Access Management
Version 2.0 — Q1 2021 (Major Release)
- Mobile app for host earnings dashboard and affiliate management
- Automation of provisioning at host place (Eliminate provisioning at the warehouse)
- Product integration of CoolSpot with Mimic Go for the better onboarding experience
- Robust wallet management
- Pilot launch of Personal Banking (with integration to Algorand)
Emrit’s Next-Gen CoolSpot will be released in 2021, which has more features and functionalities.
2.Powering the Business Platform (B2B2C model)
The objective of the business platform is to:
- Build 100+ entrepreneurs / SMB’s across the globe who can be virtual network operators
- To deploy use cases with strategic IoT industry partners and accelerate data transfer
- Build systems to meet SLAs expected by the customers
- To support the Helium ecosystem through Venture Builder and providing seed capital to entrepreneurs and startups
Regional Deployment Partners- Q4 2020
- B2B2C business model to distribute CoolSpot to hosts across multiple countries
- Software-based virtual regional network operator platform is designed to incentivize super hosts and RDP (Regional Deployment Partners) to provide 100% network coverage and meet customer-specific SLA’s
- Enable 100 Entrepreneurs / Small businesses across the globe in 2021 to become Regional Deployment Partners and deploy hundreds of CoolSpots in their respective regions
- Work closely with customers to build SLA and get to 90% level initially — Mid 2021
Integrated Business Plan and strategic investments — Q4 2020
- Emrit’s CFO office to build an integrated business plan with strategic IoT partners to sell more IoT devices along with Emrit’s CoolSpot, deploy use cases and accelerate data transfer in the Helium network
- Provide strategic investments from 11–11 Emrit IoT Ventures and bring other co-investors
- 11–11 Emrit IoT Ventures is also an investor in Helium, Smart Mimic, and few others in the IoT space.
- Integrate product offerings and offer product bundle to hosts and end customers
- Smart Mimic and Cal-Chip are current IoT partners that are being implemented in Q4 2020
Venture Builder — Q1 2021
- Build a global business platform and a Venture Builder program that allows super hosts and Regional Development Partners to become Entrepreneurs / Small businesses by providing tools, coaching, financial capital
- Provide grants to encourage the super hosts and RDP to acquire customers, solving use cases for end customers through their IoT services
- RDP’s who deployed more than 500 CoolSpots will be eligible to apply for Seed & Growth Capital
Atlanta Venture Builder and London Venture Builder will start in early 2021 and virtually support RDP’s across the US and Europe. Asia and Latin America to be launched in late 2021 and early 2022.
3. Personal Banking & Financial Services
In 2021, Emrit will develop a personal banking and financial services product suite on top of its technology layer by bridging the Helium blockchain and Algorand blockchain and also extending to the Ethereum blockchain through the bridge between Algorand and Ethereum. With Emrit’s CoolSpot and Personal banking solutions, users no longer need to touch digital currency to get access to modern financial services infrastructure.
4. Enabling the Network Effect and building the ecosystem
Emrit’s secret sauce is the combination of connecting Helium (IoT Blockchain), Algorand (Financials Blockchain), and Semtech (LoRaWAN). We will create a network effect that will combine the supply side of IoT devices with the demand side of implementation partners. Exponential growth is often a function of such a holy trinity.
Emrit’s Differentiator — Competitive Advantage:
Embracing an innovative and creative business model, Emrit is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to massively deploy ‘THE GLOBAL IoT NETWORK’ by collaboratively working with Helium and its partners and provide financial freedom to millions of people around the world.
GET FREE. GET PAID Business model:
In the beginning of this century, we saw companies like Facebook and Google offer their software for free (GET FREE model) and monetize by making users as their product and compromising their data privacy. With the advent of Public Blockchain, cryptocurrency, and Decentralized Finance (DeFi), Emrit’s GET FREE. GET PAID business model is the newest revenue model in modern times.
By offering Emrit’s hardware, software, tools, and customer support for free and also offering to get paid (around $25 per month) for providing network coverage and data transfers by hosting Emrit’s free CoolSpot, Emrit is able to achieve a large number of signups without friction, and build a strong community who will ultimately help ensure adoption globally.
FREE HARDWARE DROP — Every host receives a small basic income:
Emrit introduces a world first: the #HardwareDrop. Each host receives a free CoolSpot and is provided an income of ~$25USD. 50% of the world’s population can make a simple basic living out of this level of income. We are just now seeing the first glimpses of Universal Basic Income (UBI) in practice through our strategy in some underdeveloped economies.
BORROW MONEY — With low or no CREDIT SCORE:
‘Emritans’ (anyone in the IoT ecosystem including hosts, hotspot owners, Defi users, IoT device owners, last-mile merchants, etc.) can borrow money based on their CoolSpot yearly earnings potential and even if they have poor or no credit score. Their loan is secured and backed by token earnings, and they receive eligibility at a lower interest rate.
ENABLER OF AN IoT ECOSYSTEM
By building with Helium, Semtech, and Algorand, on one side of technology, and Smart Mimic, Cal Chip, Digital Matters kind of IoT specialist companies on the other side of demand creation and fulfillment, Emrit is virtually creating and enabling a complete ecosystem, by tying all the players in the IoT ecosystem. This model is unique in itself. As a next step, with the introduction of DeFi services, in collaboration with 11–11 Ventures, Borderless Capital, and their invested companies, this IoT ecosystem will also be extended into the Algorand ecosystem of users. This is a highly unreplicable model and unique strategy.
#TeamEmrit worked and lived this business plan from their practical experience in building #ThePeopleNetwork over the last 12 months. Below are the leadership team members we brought in at different stages of our growth and collaborated on this business plan’s design and development.
Q2 2019 — Deploying the first 100 Hotspots
Aditya (Adi) Arul, Founder — Top 25 Entrepreneur under 25, SXSW 2020 speaker invitee on the topic ‘Can the Telecom industry be disrupted’ along with Helium CEO and a Silicon Valley VC
Kavitha Palani, President — Managing Partner at 11–11 Ventures
Arul Murugan — Started as Advisor in 2019. Chairman and Founding Managing Partner at Borderless Capital, Founder & CEO of Enrich
Q1 2020 — Scaling from 100 to 1000 hotspots
Randall Pires, Co-Founder and COO — President of Government Blockchain Association and he built wireless internet for seven years in Africa before returning to Atlanta
Bruce Bates, Head of Products — Bitcoin Maximalist who believes in HNT after BTC
Q3 2020 — Scaling to thousands of hotspots
Satish KVS, CFO — ex-CFO of Vodafone (VBS) and VP of Finance of Reliance Communications
Arul Murugan, Chairman — Founding Managing Partner of Borderless Capital
David Garica, Blockchain and Crypto Advisor — CEO & Founding Managing Partner of Borderless Capital
Q4 2020 — Building a broad global community and ecosystem with millions of followers
Peter Saddington, Co-Founder — CTO & Chief Evangelist — 4x Founder, 3x Author, Agile & Bitcoin OG. Peter met with the founding team of Emrit in early Q1 2020 and was activated to go public after many months of alpha/beta testers and internal hypothesis validation.
We want to extend our special thanks to the below individuals and organizations who worked closely with #TeamEmrit as we built the organization over the last 1 year.
- Tushar Jain — Managing Partner of MultiCoin Capital and the President of DeWi.Org
- Amir Haleem — Founder & CEO of Helium
- Frank Mong — COO of Helium
- Mark Philips — BD @Helium
- Patrick Van Eijk — Director of LoRa Business Development @ Semtech
- Jamie Wilkinson — Board Member of DeWi.Org
- Noyan Berker — Co-Founder & CEO of Smart Mimic
- Dal Gemmell — Marketing @Helium
- Marc Nijdam — CTO @ Helium
- Serdar Serttop — Co-Founder & CTO of Smart Mimic
- Coco Tang — Engineering@Helium
- Travis Teague — Technology@Helium
- Burak Yalcinkaya — Co-Founder & CMO of Smart Mimic
- TJ Rancour — Co-Founder & President of Cal-Chip Connect
- Abhay Kumar — CPO of Helium (Mylar)
- Bryon BeMiller — Smart Buildings @Semtech
- Remi Lorrain — Global LoRaWAN Networks Director @Semtech & EMEA Vice-Chair @LoRa Alliance
We also want to extend our special thanks to all our hosts, individuals, trade organizations, and companies that supported and contributed to the initial growth.
- Metro Atlanta Chambers
- ATDC (Top 10 incubator as ranked by Forbes)
- ATV (Largest Startup hub in South East)
- TAG (Largest Technology focused Trade Association in the US)
- Tech Alpharetta
- Hive Financial Systems
- Software Automation
- Icon Commercial
- 33 Holdings
- LPI Enterprise
- Government Blockchain Association
- Forbes Technology Council
- 11–11 Ventures, and many others