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SRAX Betting Consumers Tired of No Control Over Their Online Data

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Back in 2012 when Facebook came public, the company faced plenty of analyst scrutiny for seeming ill-prepared to monetize mobile users.  The social media giant certainly figured it out, using user’s data to calculate which advertisements each likely will respond to.  Understand that Facebook doesn’t sell your data, but it does collect the data and sell access to you, a smart business model that makes that data very valuable to advertisers.

In a white paper on its Blockchain Identification Graph (BIG) Platform, Social Reality, Inc. (NASDAQ: SRAX) describes companies like Facebook and Google as acting as “gatekeepers, blocking information flows and diverting data collected from online communications into impenetrable private marketplaces that the digital product of human interactions — data — is bought and sold with little oversight or compensation to the true provider of the data — the user.”

That’s a polite way of saying that these types of companies are muddling up the internet and hoarding our data to generate billions of dollars in advertising sales and profits each year.  Unfortunately, none of that is given back to the general public (unless you’re talking about specific examples for common shareholders in the companies).

With that in mind, the digital marketing and data management technology gurus at SRAX built the BIG platform, complete with BIGapp and BIGtoken, to remove the friction of information exchange with a transparent, consumer-focused platform.  The first platform of its kind, the BIG platform will give users the opportunity to authenticate their information and data they generate online, ultimately deciding if their data can be used in the marketplace and when companies and third parties can purchase access to their data.

When users do share, they will be compensated for doing so.

While complex at the technical level, the concept is easy for users to comprehend: claiming control of your data.  Essentially, a person will be reconnected with his/her digital identity, a relatively novel concept in today’s dog-eat-dog advertising world.  For a change, consumers will be able to opt out of information that they don’t want put in front of them and get paid for sharing their information to let advertisers market to them.

Furthermore, the platform doesn’t store data, meaning that if a user deletes all his/her data, they are deleted from the system completely.

In October, SRAX launched the platform in Beta phase.  Up to 10,000 Beta users began by downloading and using the BIGtoken app.  During the Beta phase, SRAX is not monetizing the platform, rather incentivizing users to complete actions to earn points.  At the end of the Beta testing, scheduled for January 31, 2019, the top three users will receive Bitcoin (5 for 1st, 2 for 2nd and 1 for 3rd).

When enough advertisers are on board, SRAX will then take monetization live.  A digital token, BIGtoken, will be an incentive for consumers to verify and share their data.  Options can be as specific as not wanting to see a specific brand or choosing not to share something personal, like a birthday.

SRAX pays for data upfront, with the token system representing rights to revenue generated from the BIG platform.  Half of the revenue goes into a trust that is built by the amount of tokens issued by SRAX.  As participants share data, they can eventually exchange their tokens for fiat currency.

In today’s world of big data – and against the backdrop of an incessant string of high-profile data breaches or accusations of data mismanagement – consumer’s concerns are growing about data sovereignty.  SRAX’s next-generation technology is a solution to revolutionize the consumer/advertiser dynamic and it certainly is backstopped by the company’s experience and strong track record in brand advertising and consumer marketing.  After all, SRAX currently has a product lineup for advertisers and the company analyzes or serves 12 billion ads per month.

The question now and over the next year is: Are consumers are indeed fed up?  If so, like it appears to be true, a platform where consumers are finally given control, much less rewarded, would certainly seem to be an effective answer and likely in high demand.

Online Media Group, Inc. is not registered with any financial or securities regulatory authority and holds no investment licenses and does not provide, nor claims to provide, investment advice. We are a publisher of original and third party news and information. This article is sponsored content and is neither an offer nor recommendation to buy, sell or hold any security. The views expressed are our own and not intended to be the basis for any investment decision. Investing intrinsically involves substantial risk and readers are reminded to consult an investment professional and complete their own due diligence, including SEC filings, when researching any companies mentioned in this release. This release is based upon publicly available information and, while vetted, is not considered to be all-inclusive or guaranteed to be free from errors. With respect to Section 17(B) of the Securities Act of 1933 and in the interest of full disclosure, we call the reader’s attention to the fact that Online Media Group, Inc. received $1,333 in compensation from IRTH Communications for content creation, advertising and distribution services related to this material.

Featured|Tech

KonaTel Acquires Lifeline Program License and Apeiron Systems, Adds to Business Communications Services Portfolio

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As 2018 drew to a close, KonaTel (OTCPK: KTEL) was busy with business development as it geared up for growth in the new year.  Two separate acquisitions diversify and strengthen KonaTel’s offerings, as it adds a Lifeline Program license and a portfolio of business communication services to its product lineup.

From its headquarters in Dallas, Texas, KonaTel is a cellular reseller of wholesale priced minutes, text and data, including traditional post-paid cellular services, primarily operating on mobile networks of major telecoms like Verizon and AT&T.  The company is also a Sprint authorized agent of cellular services and products that mainly include business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-customer (B2C) products and services, primarily B2B mobile service and Internet of Things (IoT) or wireless data.

During the third quarter, ended September 30, 2018, KonaTel generated $2.45 million in revenue, bringing its sales total for the first nine months of the year to $7.59 million.  The Virtual ETC segment provided the lion’s share of the revenue at $3.66 million during the January-to-September period.

The Lifeline Program license comes via the acquisition of the membership interest in IM Telecom of Oklahoma.  Now that the U.S. Federal Communications Commission published a notice approving the transfer of the Lifeline Program to KonaTel, the companies are finalizing the closing of the agreement.   The federally funded Lifeline Program was created under President Ronald Reagan as part of the 1984 Telecommunications Act to provide subsidies to eligible consumers for landline, wireless and broadband services.  Exact numbers are difficult to discern as all providers don’t report on the matter, but millions of Americans participate in the program.

Separately, SEC documents show that KonaTel agreed at the end of December to acquire Apeiron Systems in an all-stock deal that significantly added to the company’s business services.  Under the terms of the agreement, KonaTel paid 7 million shares of restricted stock, subject to a lock-up period and leak-out terms (meaning they can’t be sold right away or flood the market when the lock-up period expires), for all of the outstanding shares of Apeiron. 

The hyperlinked 8-K filing provides all the details on the transaction, which is qualified as a reverse triangular merger.

Organized in 2013, Apeiron is a provider of a suite of real-time business communications services that include voice, messaging, network connectivity and platform services.  It develops software that defines and manages the products, its billing and the customer experience and interface.  Further, the company delivers service from a facilities-based network using best-in-class commercial and open source software and hardware to create a highly resilient and scalable business communications service.

Apeiron has built scale already, providing PSTN (public switched telephone network) voice origination and termination services from about 16,000 U.S. rate centers and origination and termination voice services to 60 non-US countries, along with public, private and SD-WAN data connections to more than 90% of the populations in the U.S. with wire-line fiber and copper access technologies and wireless LTE data access from the three major U.S. networks. 

Part of KonaTel’s 2019 goal was to increase its focus on IoT and the acquisition dovetails with that initiative as Apeiron delivers a SD-WAN network product, an IoT product using LTE data connections and a Voice Platform-as-a-Service product that operates on Apeiron’s private cloud infrastructure.

As part of the merger, Joshua Ploude, CEO, president and co-founder of Apeiron, will stay on as CEO of the new, wholly-owned KonaTel subsidiary.  Vyacheslav Yanson will hold the position of Chief Technology Officer, the same position he had with the company before the acquisition.

Online Media Group, Inc. is not registered with any financial or securities regulatory authority and holds no investment licenses and does not provide, nor claims to provide, investment advice. We are a publisher of original and third party news and information. This article is sponsored content and is neither an offer nor recommendation to buy, sell or hold any security. The views expressed are our own and not intended to be the basis for any investment decision. Investing intrinsically involves substantial risk and readers are reminded to consult an investment professional and complete their own due diligence, including SEC filings, when researching any companies mentioned in this release. This release is based upon publicly available information and, while vetted, is not considered to be all-inclusive or guaranteed to be free from errors. With respect to Section 17(B) of the Securities Act of 1933 and in the interest of full disclosure, we call the reader’s attention to the fact that Online Media Group, Inc. received $1,333 in compensation from IRTH Communications for content creation, advertising and distribution services related to this material.

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