Upcoming ICO: INS Wants to Disrupt Grocery Shopping
Buying groceries online is nothing new. INS, however, wants to disrupt traditional grocery shopping by bringing in the blockchain and smart contracts to democratize the shopping experience both for product manufacturers and consumers alike. INS has attracted the attention of some major brands already, including Unilever and Mars, for instance, and is hoping its INS tokens that will be sold in an upcoming ICO will take them the rest of the way.
While the concept of more efficient grocery shopping with the blockchain for smart contracts, payments and supply chain management sounds good, it’s still very much that — a concept. INS still hasn’t decided which blockchain it will use, as the Ethereum network isn’t equipped to handle the expected capacity, and is considering developing its own distributed ledger technology as an option.
The upcoming ICO is scheduled for Dec. 4, and 50% of the proceeds are being directed toward R&D. This means that buyers of the INS token are taking on a significant amount of risk if things don’t go as planned. On a positive note, the founder of INS has groceries and innovation in his DNA.
Upcoming ICO: INS in a Nutshell
INS was founded by Peter Fedchenkov, the grandson of a Russia-based direct-to-consumer product maker in a post-USSR world. The younger Fedchenkov has experience in the Russia grocery industry as well, having launched what he describes as Russia’s “largest venture-backed grocery delivery company” dubbed Instamart.
INS is looking to eliminate wholesale and retail providers altogether. He says he’s replicating his grandfather’s business model and modernizing it with the addition of blockchain technology and of course an upcoming ICO.
The problems that INS say they’re trying to solve are tied to inefficiency. For instance, they point to price markups on products at the retail level of as much as 50%. This is driven in part by the distance that food must travel from farm to table, something they refer to as “food miles.” Additionally, consumers are limited to buy the products that generate the highest margins for the grocery store. INS points to an “abuse of power” among grocery stores and believes their project is the solution.
By connecting food product manufacturers directly with consumers, INS says that it will decrease the food miles and instead create more of a dependency on local farmers. They also plan to slash food waste that is a product of too much inventory at stores and replace trade promotions with more tailored marketing.
While the idea behind democratizing the grocery industry may sound appealing, and if anybody can pull this off INS’ Fedchenkov is probably the person, investors should understand the risk they are inheriting with a startup whose platform isn’t fully developed yet. INS outlines these risks in its white paper, not the least of which is a token whose value may never materialize.