One Big Backer Is Propping Up Media Startup Civil's Struggling ICO

The token sale for Civil, the ConsenSys-backed company putting journalism on the blockchain, has brought in $1.34 million toward its $8 million minimum, according to a transparency report released today by the company.

The company is pre-selling allocations of its consumer token , dubbed CVL, in the run-up to the launch of its blockchain-fueled journalism platform. Last October, Civil announced that it had received $5 million in funding from ConsenSys, the ethereum-focused development studio.

The sale won’t be finalized unless it reaches its “soft cap” of $8 million by October 15. The company has also designated a funding cap of $24 million.

In the report , Civil founder Matthew Iles said that the startup would push toward reaching the $8 million cap in spite of the progress thus far.

“The numbers will show clearly enough that we are not where we wanted to be at this point in the sale when we started out,” he wrote. “But one thing we want to say at the top is that until the clock strikes midnight on Monday, we are still working nonstop on the goal of making our soft cap of $8 million.”

He later wrote:

“We were founded to deliver a decentralized network for ethical journalism to the people, so nothing is more painful for our team than to witness how challenging it has been for motivated Civil supporters to wrestle with the user experience challenges involved with our unique consumer token product.”

The company added that “The Civil Media Company did not and does not need the proceeds from this sale in order to continue operations.”

What the data says

According to the report, 681 individuals from 61 countries had finished purchasing tokens during the sale, accounting for a total of $1,344,721.59 as of 9 a.m. ET Thursday.

The majority of those buyers – 487 contributors – purchased less than $100 in tokens, with 250 people falling in the $100-$500 range. Just one buyer completed a purchase in excess of $10,000.

“Another 1,671 individuals have committed another $798,503.71, but are either stuck somewhere in the process or simply haven’t decided to fulfill their commitment yet,” Civil added, noting that, all told, pledged contributions amounted to roughly $2.1 million.

ConsenSys “purchased $1.1MM in CVL tokens during two separate transactions in September – representing 82% of the completed purchase total,” according to the report.

The slow fundraising progress is a far cry from 2017, when other publishing projects, such as Brave’s basic attention token (BAT) raised $35 million in less than a minute.

“We actually believe in shipping product before asking customers to pay for something,” Civil CEO Matthew Iles told CoinDesk in an interview in September. “Looking at what happened last summer, a lot of people asked us why we didn’t get the cash while we can.”

Newspaper photo distributed by Pixabay under a creative commons license

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