We chose to go into stealth mode over two years ago once it became evident that our resources would be best spent developing our technology before marketing and selling it. It may sound intuitive, but this was not the approach taken by the majority of the industry. This became our long-term Go-To-Market strategy and involved keeping our external communications and sales efforts to the bare minimum, providing only important, sporadic updates to stakeholders. Here’s a brief elaboration on our reasoning for choosing to go into stealth mode:
- New Market
Not even the companies that needed DLT knew they needed DLT when we got started back in 2016/2017. This resulted in a failed PoC rate of over 95% for companies in the blockchain space over the past few years. We spent that time refining our technology and approach instead. We spoke with 10s of industry leading companies to better understand the exact issues they had, what our technology could solve and which niches made sense to pursue. This also allowed us to refine our sales approach so we could go straight to corporate adoption and value creation once our technology was ready.
- New Technology = Long R&D Time
Any new technology goes through an extensive R&D period. This is especially true for infrastructure technologies and even more true when you’re developing every layer in the tech stack. By spending so much time and resources on R&D for the past 3 years we are now one of the only end-to-end B2B DLT companies in Europe, and we did it with 100x less funds than our average competitor, who raised on multi-billion dollar valuations back in 2017. This is an excellent position to be in as we look to build on the success of our strategic angel round in 2020 and raise more funds to be able to scale the business to meet growing demand.
- Go-To-Market Strategy
We chose to take two steps back to take five forward. The ‘Leapfrog Strategy’ as we refer to it internally has been at the core of our approach since 2017. We understood that there were two main approaches that DLT companies could take to be successful; to leverage network effects or to develop superior technology. The vast majority of the industry chose network effects (often in the form of ICOs and heavy marketing and community spend). We chose a technology, value and adoption oriented approach instead. We reasoned that if we could develop superior technology during the period when the market was still developing and could prove our credentials by having our technology successfully adopted and generating value for big clients soon after launch, we could cut through the noise and position ourselves very well for the long-term. In 2021, we will cut through the noise.
So with the reasons for our decision outlined, let’s move on to peaq post stealth mode. Here’s a recap of what went down at peaq since we left stealth mode:
Clients & Solutions
Solution Launch - peaq access control
We launched our first ready-to-integrate solution in late November and we integrated it with a Fortune 100 company, NTT, just days later. We plan to scale integrations and sales of peaq access control in 2021, making it one of the world’s first blockchain solutions to deliver value at scale.
We partnered with FATH Mechatronics to offer joint security solutions in which IoT security hardware offered by FATH Mechatronics and DLT software offered by peaq complement each other to offer seamless and holistic high-security solutions to customers, such as the joint solution with NTT below. There is scope for further products and technologies from both companies to be integrated and create further solutions for more customers in different markets.
FATH Mechatronics GmbH is an agile, fast growing company based in Spalt, near Nuremberg. The company's main focus of activity is the development, production and marketing of innovative mechatronic products in the B2B sector. In 2018, FATH Mechatronics won the German Data Centre Award with the TANlock. FATH Mechatronics is part of the FATH Group - an international corporate group with around 350 employees.
NTT Global Data Centers
Together with FATH Mechatronics we integrated our technology with NTT Global Data Centers EMEA to create an innovative access control solution for data centers. The security solution combines FATH’s IoT hardware with peaq’s blockchain based access control software, a permission and access control system which leverages blockchain to improve cybersecurity and optimise access management processes.
NTT Global Data Centers is a division of NTT Ltd. and incorporates DPA, e-shelter, Gyron, Netmagic, NTT Indonesia Nexcenter, RagingWire and other NTT Communications group data center divisions. Their combined global platform is one of the largest in the world, with over 160 data centers spanning more than 20 countries and regions including North America, Europe, Africa and APAC.
Read more about the successful integration on NTT’s blog here, or watch the video here:
We partnered with one of the Big Four in 2020 for a combined sales offering targeting corporates. We are now building an ecosystem of sales partners around the globe, and aim to be represented on every continent.
Quara Blockchain is one of the leading technology companies in the Middle East. They focus on impactful blockchain adoption by leveraging the strength of the Quara Holding ecosystem - one of the largest holdings in the Middle East, led by Ziad El Chaar. Quara Blockchain enables their clients in the financial services, real estate, industrial and government sectors to reap the benefits of blockchain technology.
Quara Blockchain is our partner in Saudi Arabia and is supporting the capability-building of blockchain for the Saudi Arabia 2030 Vision, which includes sustainable and futuristic mega-city NEOM, being built on the Red Sea area of Saudi Arabia and close to Israel, Jordan and Egypt which aims to become the most high-tech and sustainable city in the world. This partnership positions peaq’s infrastructure technology and solutions, such as peaq access control, in a strategic position for adoption on these projects. Discussions are underway, clients are lined up and integrations are on the way. Together, we aim to leverage blockchain’s most revolutionary qualities - inclusivity, transparency, efficiency and security - for positive impact in the Middle East.
We are pleased to welcome UNITY as another valuable partner to our growing ecosystem. The UNITY management consultancy for innovation and digital transformation combines a distinct depth of technological competencies required for successful digital transformation. For more than 20 years, the 270 employees from approximately 15 locations worldwide have been advising medium-sized companies and global players.
UNITY have an extensive network through which peaq solutions can be sold and integrated. The company have the required expertise for clearly highlighting the advantages of new technologies such as the peaq access control solution, as well as others we will launch in the future.
In 2020 we announced that our e-mobility platform is one of the most advanced projects in the blockchain space globally in terms of development stage and size and scope of the project. We’re now into out third year working on this project. In 2021 we look forward to unveiling it, cementing peaq as a leading player in the industry and coming full circle on our ‘Leapfrog Strategy’ -- coming out ahead of the industry technologically and in terms of corporate adoption and value creation.
Read more about that here.
Successful Strategic Angel Round
We successfully completed our Strategic Angel Round in 2020. We raised the funds from Werner Geissler, former Vice-Chairman of Procter & Gamble, Michael Ganser, former Cisco Germany CEO, Xavier Sarras, Partner at 4P Capital, Friedrich Neuman, Senior Advisor at Deloitte Digital, and Steffen Seifarth, former CEO of Mäurer & Wirtz, amongst others.
Read more about that here.
Klaus Schaaf joins peaq
We added several high profile advisors to our Advisory Board over the course of 2020, many of whom are mentioned as part of the Angel Round above. In Q4 we also added VW veteran Klaus Scaaf to the Board. We’re working closely with Klaus on bring the e-mobility platform to market.
Read more about that here.
Start Up Autobahn
We presented peaq at 'Finding the value within: unfolding the potentials of in-car services', by StartupAutobahn by PlugandPlay in November 2020. The deep-dive session focused on sparking #innovation and exploring use-cases with leaders in the #mobility space.
We were selected for the finals of BIND 4.0 by a group of 57 corporates together with the BIND 4.0 team out of over 750 startups from all over Europe.
Dieses Startup könnte eines der größten Probleme von E-Fahrzeugen lösen // This startup could solve one of the biggest problems facing electric vehicles - Welt/Business Insider/Grunderszene
German deeptech peaq raises €750K to launch a full-scale blockchain platform for the automotive industry - EU Startups
Blockchain: Der Vorteil dezentralisierter Systeme // Blockchain: The Advantage of Decentralized Systems - PC Welt
Germany’s immigrants rise to fore of start-up scene - Financial Times
IOT-Hardware und Blockchain: Ein neuer Weg zur Sicherung von Rechenzentren // IOT Hardware and Blockchain: A New Way to Secure Data Centers - DataCenter Insider
We left stealth mode in Q4 2020. This meant that for the first time, we started to allocate a more significant portion of our resources to marketing and sales activities. We plan to allocate a much larger portion of resources to these activities in 2021, now that we have solutions ready to sell, successful integrations with clients and a lot more planned for the coming months.
In 2021 our focus will be on achieving scale on all the fronts mentioned above. We'll be scaling our; solutions sales, sales partner networks, integration partner ecosystems, team - especially tech and sales amongst several other other things, as we aim to achieve further traction and generate even more value for existing and new customers.
We look forward to sharing our progress with you.