Thanks to the internet we live in a global economy. This means that people all over the world are able to collaborate and work together on projects and even potentially start business partnerships with people they have never met in person. But as technology has evolved making it easier for people to work together, the legal and financial institutions that are currently necessary to set up shop are expensive and in some cases can be a barrier to getting started. Everyone who has started a business and incorporated will tell you the same thing regarding the thousands of dollars it usually takes to get started often before making a penny, “it’s the cost of doing business.”
But does it have to be that way?
Not according to Varun Mayya, a serial entrepreneur who founded Jobspire (acquired in February 2017 by TurnToTech), Avalon Labs, and most recently Enkidu. With Enkidu, Mayya and his team, have built a solution that eliminates the legal startup costs, makes it easier to find people to collaborate with, and are pioneering a new phrase called “trustless teamwork.”
How Enkidu Works
There are four key components to Enkidu that I want to focus on: a global collaboration platform, a payment gateway, a resolution voting system, and a time-locked smart contract system.
Global Collaboration Platform
With Enkidu, the team has built a global collaboration platform where individuals can find like-minded collaborators and team up to build and launch a product or service. For example with the collaboration marketplace, you will be able to find designers, engineers, developers, creators, e-commerce experts, content writers, small ticket investors, and even coffee brewers. Additionally, each individual will have a rating that helps others determine how credible they are. Once you find someone you want to work with you can put in a proposal to work with that person and after some negotiation you come to an agreement–that’s where the Enkidu magic starts to kick in.
For example, let’s say Ann looking for a graphic designer to create t-shirt designs for her to sell in her online store, she has a listing in the Enkidu marketplace and Jay (a graphic designer) sees it, he makes a proposal to her for 25% of each t-shirt with his graphic on it for a one year commitment, she comes back and they negotiate, he eventually agrees to 20% per sale. Now through the Enkidu payment gateway, the platform offers a digital contract to both of them to sign.
Once the digital contract is signed, the cap table is updated. For example, see below:
The payment gateway automatically follows the rules of its associated cap table, which essentially allows users to collaborate with each other trust-free. Every payment that comes in is split up in accordance with the cap table amongst the collaborators on the project keeping things transparent and headache-free.
Resolution Voting System
The resolution votin
Smart Contract System
This is one of the key places the blockchain comes in. A time-locked smart contract based vesting system has been developed to prevent premature rewards for collaborators. For example, in Jay’s case, 100% of his payment split vests within one year, his committed period; and that payment split lasts indefinitely. Vesting is only meaningful after a collaborator leaves or is removed from a project.
With that in mind, if a particular collaborator is guilty of malpractice (breaking the law with regards to the particular project), poor contribution, or decides to voluntarily quit, then the rest of the team can pass a resolution to “Vote Kick” that individual. The person will continue to receive their split of the payments until their time period ends and the percentage of continued payment split depends on the amount vested up until the day of the Vote Kick.
Varun and his team are planning an ICO (initial coin offering) for Enkidu with a target to raise $30 million in funding. They will be offering 1.5 billion tokens with 15% of them being release during the pre-sale (pricing to be determined) with a hard cap of $5 million, and 37% of the tokens to be released during the public sale (price also to be determined) with a hard cap $25 million.
Public Pre-sale: March 5th, 2018 – March 19th 2018
Public Crowd sale: April 4th, 2018 – May 4th, 2018
In terms of the types of people Varun expects to invest in Enkidu, “I think there will be two types of people who invest,” he tells me, “ICO traders and people who care about the platform.” With many ICOs these days the people investing are looking to make a quick buck, but with Enkidu, Varun thinks the makeup of people who buy in will be different, comprising more of people who see true value in the platform.
In terms of making money, when an incoming payment comes in through the payment gateway, a 0.5% transaction fee is charged–one half of that goes to the Enkidu team, the other half burned out of existence, thus increasing the value of the coin.
Within the next year, Varun is planning to see at least 1,000 teams on the Enkidu platform and using it to build out their business. He also is hoping to have a case study or two completed showing the benefits of using Enkidu. Ultimately, Varun believes (and I agree with him) that Enkidu is best suited for people who want to sell things online — whether that be services, products, or digital goods.
The team over at Enkidu also realize that the platform may not evolve fast enough to support a fast growing company/startup. Varun acknowledges that Enkidu is ideal for smaller teams (5 or less collaborators) to build and sell online without having to create a company or deal with legal and financial overhead. They understand that at some point, projects will stop becoming about passive revenue and “graduate” into full blown companies so in order to address that they have developed a resolution called “Convert to Company.”
Once the “Convert to Company” resolution is passed, three key things happen:
- Enkidu liquidates the treasury proportionally into each collaborators account.
- Enkidu sends across a lawyer friendly log of contracts and resolutions with detailed financials (audit friendly).
- And finally, Enkidu closes the project, transfers the domain to the owner and allows for the IP to be moved to a new entity.
The Enkidu team has thought out many scenarios and built solutions in the platform to handle them. That being said, there are still potential issues with the system which Varun says the team will address based on demand. For example, one of the benefits of incorporating is a corporation offers liability protections–Enkidu does not, however, Varun doesn’t currently see this as a major concern for most businesses that will be using Enkidu.
Overall, I’m really impressed with what the Enkidu team has built and I’m excited to keep an eye on it.