ICO Spotlight: Interview with Nagler Itay, CEO of Cool Cousin
Coinschedule: So basic things first, why Millennials or Gen Z?
Millenial and Gen Z are generations that by default look for better, more efficient new ways of doing things. They have high expectations and standards when it comes to services they use, and expect to get the maximum value for minimum effort. These generations are also tired of the old version of “tourism”, but travel is their holy grail. They prefer experiences over “things” and are willing to spend a lot of their money on travel. This is why Millennials and Z are the early adopters of Cool Cousin and make the core user base of the service – They were unsatisfied with available travel solutions and easily related with Cool Cousin’s more efficient and personal way of making travel decisions.
Coinschedule: Travel and Tourism account for 10% of the World’s GDP, what is the main opportunity or market gap Cool Cousin is filing?
The travel market is HUGE and it is a known fact. When we see that in recent years more and more Millennials go back to using travel agents, we understand that there is an enormous opportunity for companies that will answer this need for curation and personalization. These are people that are willing to pay for services that save them time and hassle and give them easy access to the content they need – Netflix and Spotify for example. Cool Cousin is planning to become these people’s go to service when they travel and become a significant player in this 3 Trillion dollar market.
Coinschedule: How is Cool Cousin different from the traveler’s communities all over the internet or apps like Couchsurfing?
There are a lot of services out there, but IMHO none of them is combining on-demand content and maximum personalization like Cool Cousin does. When you connect with a Cousin in your destination, you don’t only get their full city guide immediately, you can actually ask that person for any advice or help. Instead of going online and researching, sometimes for hours, you just ask someone who’s like-minded and that you can actually trust. You have no other service that really facilitates this kind of connection between travelers and locals. Millennials are looking for new online alternatives, due to their growing mistrust in the common digital travel solutions – information overload, generic lists, fake reviews and manipulated content – all of these lead to confusion and choice fatigue. Cool Cousin is an answer to this frustration – a two-tap personalized solution that elevates experiences.
Coinschedule: How are Cousins recruited? Are they being paid to engage with communities? Do they level up as they engage more?
Until this day we received 7000 applications from people all over the world asking to become Cousins in their hometown, without ever spending money on marketing. Those people are validated by our team and later on, their content is validated as well before published. Until this day the Cousins weren’t compensated for their contribution, but once we’ll launch our token economy they will be compensated for services that they will offer travellers and they will also be able to earn CUZ tokens for actions that help us to maintain or improve the service – validation of new Cousins, content monitoring and more. The more a Cousin will be involved, the more they will be able to earn obviously.
Coinschedule: Taking about blockchain technology, how are you harnessing its power in your business model?
In order to make this premium service affordable to all on one hand and authentic and unbiased on the other hand, we need to harness our community, to perform micro-tasks, content validation, authenticity, etc. That way the community will be acting as a autonomous organisation. To grant them irrevocable self-governing rights, we are planning to harness blockchain technology, to truly set them free of commercial interests to provide the best unbiased and high quality community possible. Delegating these authorities and responsibilities to the community reduces overhead costs as well as heavy micro transaction costs – that’s why it’s a key component in making this affordable.
Coinschedule: Please brief us a little about CUZ. How are you implementing the cryptocurrency into Cool Cousin? Does it have a separate wallet?
Cuz is a perfectly compatible ERC20 token, so in that sense, it is not different from other tokens out there. However, we are a consumer-facing product and our goal is to make the underlying technology work for the consumer without them being aware of it. That’s why our app will have a built-in wallet that will behave like any other in-app credit wallet, with the exception that you can withdraw your tokens from it and move them to a wallet that is in your full control. That way we are going to achieve the best of both worlds – complete flexibility for the more savvy users and convenience and ease of use for the laypeople who wish to use it.
Coinschedule: How does the community pool work?
The community pool will be used to finance maintenance of the public goods of the ecosystem as well as to incentivize new community members and contributors across the board. At first, the initial allocation will be used to maintain it for 4 years. Afterwards, a small cut of every transaction will be used to replenish the pool, to allow a more welcoming environment for both paying and non-paying users
Coinschedule: We’re also interested to know about the team working to make this happen.
Cool Cousin’s 17-person team consists of talented professionals from multiple disciplines, with solid industry experience and successes. After working together for two years building the Cool Cousin platform and community, our team can already show a track record of materializing our vision and creating a product people love. In the ICO market, it is not something very common and a huge advantage. Adding to that, we have a super-team of advisors. Not just “names on a paper”, but real company builder from the blockchain, travel and venture capital worlds.
Coinschedule: What are some of the long and short-term milestones Cool Cousin is aiming to achieve?
Because Cool Cousin is already a working service with thousands of daily interactions between travellers and locals, implementing our token will be relatively fast. We plan that in a couple of months from the token sale, people will use CUZ for services inside our app. We also plan to launch our Android version by Q4, something that will accelerate our growth.
Coinschedule: Do we have any notable partnerships to mention? Also, any quick notes about the ICO?
Our latest news, and maybe our biggest to date is that Synco, the South Korean giant, has joined the Cool Cousin family. Synco is of the largest co-investment groups and a crypto leader in Asia and In addition to being a leader in the blockchain investment world, Synco operates Blockchain News, the acclaimed Blockchain Magazine, and Korea’s largest blockchain events – the monthly Korea Blockchain Symposium. We also partnered jus recently with NYX Hotels, a boutique hotel chain owned by the giant Fatal group. This is huge for us and is another way that Cool Cousin is making crypto accessible for mainstream travellers.