Welcome to the first community update of 2023 🎉
I hope you’ve had a chance to relax with friends and family over the holidays. If you’re like us, you’ll also have spent some time reflecting on 2022 and looking forward to 2023.
As well as some standard New Year resolutions (that I seem to remake every year), I’ve been spending much of my time reflecting on the transition that Connect Financial is making from development to launch. This is in equal measures exciting and daunting. We’ve accomplished so much already and we have much left to build.
With this in mind, you’ll start seeing a change in the type of content that we cover in these updates. We’ll be spending less time discussing the progress of development and talking about the aspects of the product and spend more time covering topics relating to launch, go to market and corporate activities. You’ll see change logs incorporated into the updates as well as more thought leadership on markets and the payments industry.
Since these activities are often larger and slower moving, we’ll be reducing the frequency of the updates to monthly, with ‘mini announcements’ filling the gaps in the Discord and Telegram channels or as Medium updates if necessary.
We’ll start with the more important stuff first, but please read the rest of the article. We are still aiming to onboard test users onto the platform in February. The initial platform release products will include all trading features, fixed loans, membership and staking. Following this initial release we will introduce card registrations, the reward system and announce our next road map with our banking as a service products.
We remain confident that we will be able to roll out cards quickly over Q1 and Q2, it’s important to note that cards have a lot of moving parts behind the scenes (card printing, banking integration, ISO certification, customer support, fraud services, to name a few!), so we are not fully committing to a “credit cards in customer hands” date quite yet. As always, we will keep you updated on our launch dates as we proceed. Though we do plan to have virtual cards available prior to physical to allow for any delays in the manufacturing process and delivery logistics.
In other team news, we have doubled the size of our DevOps team as we make ready and roll out all our systems onto their production environments. This is a large undertaking as we work closely with our dedicated Google Cloud support team to prepare everything for our launch.
Like we’ve stated many times in the past, security, performance and reliability are all non-negotiables when it comes to the platform. From the physical hardware and infrastructure utilized to the software technology stack and policies built in, we have taken a painstakingly methodical decision process on every piece to uphold those ideals.
Corporate and partnerships
For those following along at home, you will have already seen our recent partnership announcement with Coinstack. As well as being one of the most read crypto industry
newsletters with more than 70K subscribers that caters to the institutional crypto market, covering the rise of programmable money, smart contracts, distributed computing, web3, and the creation of an open, efficient, and transparent global financial system as all assets become tokenized and start trading on 24/7 markets during this decade.
As we are currently in the process of moving into a live production environment Connect Financial has elected to start filling a seed funding round with assistance from Coinstack and other advisory partners.
Connect Fintech Services Inc, an Alberta registered entity dba Connect Financial is currently wholly privately owned and funded, and we want to emphasize that we maintain the runway required to launch the core feature set. The primary reason for the seed round is to accelerate our growth, quickly expand into markets outside of North America and capitalize on recent market opportunities that have presented themselves. Another important note is this round is equity based and does not include any token allocation (as supported by our recent tokenomics update).
If you are interested in more details and are a member of a fund or similar entity please feel free to reach out to us.
This week we’ve kicked off with Mastercard’s product launch success team. The value of this program to Connect Financial is incredible as they lend their expertise as they review and assist us in our marketing, positioning and customer awareness. While also ensuring we are fully capitalizing on the benefits and integrated into every aspect of their ecosystem we can be. This level of service is just another reminder of what a terrific partnership we have with Mastercard.
On another front, we’d like to announce that Connect Financial has been accepted into the Google for Startups program which includes many benefits but namely a $100,000 grant towards hosting and service fees in the first year, with an additional $100K of discounts in the second year. This is being made available to us at a time when our costs are increasing daily as the production environment is brought online. This program also gives us access to many layers of extra support from their engineers, entry into forums and other programs that Google hosts for startups, and a myriad of other benefits.
Over the last few weeks we’ve also been negotiating with a very well respected project to offer a co-branded credit card to their community. This is another line of business that we aim to fill going forward at Connect Financial, access to our products via non-conforming avenues and development of our business-to-business channels.
Marketing & GTM (Go To Market)
Chantel and the marketing team have been busy twisting knobs and pulling levers to optimize our paid advertising efforts with some encouraging early results. In the month of December we saw visits to the site increase by over 2500% from the prior month.
In conjunction with our traditional marketing (e.g. Google Adwords, press releases and tier-one publications), we’re also gearing up to increase exposure specifically within the crypto industry. This week we launched a small video experiment with a Ukrainian You-Tuber and we have an external AMA scheduled for this Friday (check Telegram and Discord for the details).
Over the coming weeks, you’ll see more and more activity in our public-facing channels. It makes a lot of difference if you share, comment and retweet!
Client Portal Demos
Over the next month we will be creating demonstration videos of the client portal, walking through how to use features and showcasing the products. These videos will be made immediately available on our Youtube channel and snippets of them will be used as references in our support documents.
We truly look forward to the community feedback on what we’ve built.
The second CNFD airdrop was taken on the 6th of December and eligible CNFI balances have been locked into the ConnectDAO airdrop smart contract. There was a lot of CNFI activity leading up to the snapshot, so hopefully all eligible holders will enjoy their CNFD reward when the DAO goes live.
We have made some updates to the airdrop distribution scheme, releasing airdropped CNFD tokens daily to the eligible CNFI holders over a three year period in order to protect the market liquidity of the DAO while it establishes itself.
The ConnectDAO dApp development is essentially finished, with only testing and auditing still left to do. As a team we’ve decided to hold off launching ConnectDAO for a few reasons:
- Almost all of our attention needs to be focused on the successful launch of the core Connect Financial product set.
- We want to launch ConnectDAO as a revenue positive project on day one. This means launching Connect Financial and projects like Smart Metal before the DAO.
- Market timing is incredibly important for a project like ConnectDAO. While the market direction is still uncertain and volatile, it makes sense to hold off on a token generation event.
In the lead up to the ConnectDAO launch, you will see a build up of awareness through its own community channels.