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ICO Analysis for January 2018

Welcome to the first monthly ICO analysis for 2018, provided by Suicide Ventures analytical department. Please take a look at our December ICO analysis for 2017, you can also find all  previous reports in our blog.

Dynamics of number of ICOs per month.
Diagram 1. Dynamics of number of ICOs per month.

This report covers 138 ICOs completed in January 2018; pre-ICOs are not included. However, the report includes ICOs divided into different phases. The results in this case are calculated separately for each phase.

These terms are the key metrics in our report:

  • Soft cap is the minimum amount required by a project.
  • Target is the funding goal as stated by a project’s team.
  • If a target does not get stated, then we use hard cap, which is the maximum amount a project is hoping to achieve, or a technical limit of a crowdsale.

What is the Success Criteria?

An ICO is considered to be a success if all these conditions are met:

  • Soft cap is reached.
  • More than 50% of the target or hard cap gets collected.

An ICO is considered to be a failure if at least one of these conditions is met:

  • Soft cap is not reached.
  • Less than 50% of the target or hard cap collected.
  • No information on the project status and funds raised is available, the official website has been deleted and or the official Bitcointalk thread is cleared.

If soft cap, target and hard cap are not stated, our experts will analyze the project and make sure that the funds raised are sufficient to implement the business. Thus, if a business has collected the necessary funds to implement their roadmap, we deem it a success. If not, it is considered unsuccessful.

Distribution of projects by status [Failure or Success].
Diagram 2. Distribution of projects by status [Failure or Success].

44% of all ICOs completed successfully this month. We can see a huge boost in the percentage of successful ICOs. One of the reasons could be ETH recent price growth of almost 50%. Another reason for this could be that projects are setting more realistic caps,  we will take a close look on this below.

Dynamics of ICO success in raising funds.
Diagram 3. Dynamics of ICO success in raising funds.

Below you can see the comparison for previous months.

What about the market size?

Let’s see what is going on in the market regarding funds raised.

Table 1. Funds raised (if stated), million USD
Total FundsMedian Funds
Raised by all projects$1367M$8M
Raised by successful projects$1262M$15.1M
Raised by unsuccessful projects$105M$0.9M
Dynamics of total funds raised.
Diagram 4. Dynamics of total funds raised.

In January 2018 $1367M was collected, which is slightly less than we saw last month.

How are funds distributed between projects?

Top-10 ICOs compared to others.
Diagram 5. Top-10 ICOs compared to others.

The market is asymmetric, meaning that there are always some huge ICOs taking a significant portion of the overall market. Top 10 projects altogether collected over $500M, which is 38% of total funds raised this month.

Only a few projects (less than 3%) did not set hard cap for their ICOs, while around half of all projects set soft caps. 16% of all projects didn’t meet their soft caps, which has doubled since last month. Only 9% of ICOs specified their target.

In January 31% of all ICOs did not report amounts of capital raised which is an increase from the previous month. Some projects keep silent after failed crowdsales, some are hiding behind vague clarifications like “completed successfully”.

Dynamics of hidden ICO results.
Diagram 6. Dynamics of hidden ICO results.

Here you can see the comparison for three previous months.

Median funds raised in comparison with total funds, millions USD
Diagram 7. Median funds raised in comparison with total funds, millions USD

January continues the positive trend in median figures of capital raised. Projects have started to collect more money on average, even though there are less ICOs, and a lower amount of total funds collected.

Median funds collected by all projects, including successful and unsuccessful ones, was $8M in January 2018 compared to $7.1M in December 2017, which is almost the same. Median for successful hasn’t changed too much, it’s $15.1M this month, compared to $19M in December. A far more significant shift was the median for unsuccessful ICOs. With January concluding at $0.9M compared to $2M in December.

Distribution of successful and unsuccessful projects by funds raised, million USD.
Diagram 8. Distribution of successful and unsuccessful projects by funds raised, million USD.

The following diagram categorizes the projects by total earnings. In January we haven’t seen any significant spikes. Most projects successfully raised funds in the range of 20 to 50 million USD. All successful ICOs collected 93% of total funds this month.

In December 2018 we concluded that ICOs tend to set more realistic caps, raising money for specific purposes. Now in January it’s become even clearer,  around 40 projects hard capped under 10 million USD (30 last month) and almost 50% of them are successful (40% last month).

On the following diagram we showed that a lot of projects raised very small amounts, which are below their cap. Only 1 project has a hard cap below $1M.

Around 45% of all failed ICOs collected less than 1 million USD. That does not make the project a scam, but it does raise concerns. Last month is was over 40% of such ICOs.

Distribution ICO quantity by funds raised
Diagram 9. Distribution ICO quantity by funds raised
Distribution of the projects by funds raised, as a percentage of the target/hard cap.
Diagram 10. Distribution of the projects by funds raised, as a percentage of the target/hard cap.

Take all or leave with nothing. This month makes it obvious. 83% of ICOs collected under 10% or above 90% of their target/hard cap. Last month we saw around 50% of ICOs raise funds between this range.

Do we have any ‘ninjas’?

There are some interesting facts about ICO speed this month. 23 successful ICOs hit hard caps in less than a day, raising over $400M, representing  30% of all funds raised this month.

The diagram below shows us that most of the successful ICOs happened very quickly.  The problem starts after 15 days. Often projects wait till the end to raise “just something”, claiming afterwards that it’s “enough to start development”.

Distribution of ICO quantity by duration.
Diagram 11. Distribution of ICO quantity by duration.

However we saw some growth of successful campaigns after 60 days. It’s happening mainly due to the recent trend of multi-phase ICOs.

Distribution of funds raised by ICO duration, million USD
Diagram 12. Distribution of funds raised by ICO duration, million USD

Below we can see the total number of funds collected during each period. Basically it’s a correlation to the previous chart of ICO quantity. We should also emphasize that the funds collected by 1 ICO on average is heavily decreasing over time.

Conclusions:

  • Amount of funds raised slightly decreased from $1599M in December to $1367M in January.
  • The total number of ICOs was 138, 15% less than in December.
  • The proportion of successful projects increased to 44% of total.
  • The median funds collected by all projects is growing.  It was was $8M in January, compared to $7.1M in December.
  • There are around 40 projects hard capped under 10 million USD and almost 50% of them are successful. The ICO market is becoming more mature.
  • 83% of all ICOs raised under 10% or above 90% of their target/hard cap.
  • Top-10 projects collected 38% of all funds, which is over $500M.
  • Only 3% of all projects didn’t meet their soft caps.
  • 31% of ICOs did not report amounts of capital raised compared to 28% in December.
  • As always, just a few projects confirmed unsuccessful ICO and issued refunds.
  • 23 ‘ninja’ ICOs hit hard caps in less than a day, raising over $400M.

Suicide.Ventures will continue to provide monthly ICO analysis, look out for our new metrics coming soon.

Stay in touch.

Sources: Suicide Ventures, project websites, whitepapers, official Bitcointalk threads.