What should you set as your soft and hard cap for your token sale?
It’s a tricky question. If the soft cap is costed well and is the amount needed to get your project off the ground, then why isn’t that the hard cap with remaining tokens reserved for issuing in a secondary and tertiary coin offering tied to milestones? It is, after all, an Initial Coin Offering. The feeling that you only have one bite at the apple is the same as a token investor’s FOMO.
I often hear investors backing away from ICOs with what are considered high caps in general terms – “I only participate if the cap is below $25m” or the like is common. When you think about it even $25m is a considerable sum for most start ups. That said, this is a much too simplistic approach. For a start it is the overall token capitalisation that you need to look at. $25m for 20% of the issue is very different to $25m for 50% after all.
What is important is what amount is right for the project. Can you justify the need for raising the amount you are asking for. How much do you really need to get you to the next stage? How many stages is realistic to ask investors to cover? Do you need a pre-sale or even a pre-pre sale? (another blog coming there I think). What will you do with your stash before you need to spend them?
Some will buy tokens because they are interested in your product and see the benefit of future use most will be looking for a return on their investment -probably quickly. As they are not buying a stake in the business that return needs to come from an increase in the value of the tokens. In most cases this will be driven by the demand to use them (or in the short term the perceived future demand for them) to use your product. In turn this will be affected by the number in circulation, which is why burning unissued tokens is popular amongst investors.
Both groups need convincing if your ICO is to be successful.
As I said earlier, it is an ‘Initial’ coin offering, the implication being that you’ll be back for more – everyone seems to get that with IPOs, not so much ICOs – probably because you have to be a competent investor to take part in an IPO.
However, so many people are looking for the issued tokens to be finite and won’t want to see a flood of new tokens at a later date. Just my opinion but probably the best way is to announce the full amount that will ever be issued with only a percentage released in the ICO and keep the rest in the contract with the right to do further sales in tranches at certain dates or milestones.