Whitepaper Chapter 1 – Company

Abstract                                        

 

Followine is an innovative Italian start-up founded in June 2017 with the aim of developing a system capable of effectively counter the phenomenon of wine counterfeiting. The Mission is to create a global ecosystem that connects the actors of the wine world and consumers, encouraging the emergence of new international models of communication and business.

What differentiates Followine from competitors is an in-depth study of the counterfeiting phenomenon.More than three years and about € 30K have been spent to travel the world, gather testimonies and data able to improve the system. The know-how acquired is certainly the secret sauce, the one that no competitor can ever subtract.

What brought all this? Certainly everything that follows and will follow: a circuit based on a circulating Token, the effectiveness of the anti-counterfeiting algorithm, the efficiency of the whole system, its self-sustainability over time, the possibility of making it evolve over the years , the independence of the eco-system from the type of technology used, the work on an AI, the possibility of integration of an autonomous machine-learning process, the creation of an inclusive eco-system that focuses not only on our client but on all the wine market stakeholders.

 

1.2 – Followine’s Eco-system

The service offered by the Company provides for random and univocal QR codes supply, printed on the rear-labels of each individual bottle of wine produced by the member company. These codes are generated through a proprietary algorithm and registered on a platform (Followine Security System - FSS) based on blockchain technology, which ensures continuity of service, data protection, and scalability.

Why do we talk about the ecosystem?

Followine arises from the coexistence of multiple systems, which coexist and work together, unable to discern one from the other. In particular:

• the anti-counterfeiting system, in which we place our proprietary algorithm, the creation, supply and management of codes, data, and alerts;

• the online platform that creates the B2B connection between manufacturers and suppliers

• consumers who, by scanning the QR codes, provide us with the necessary data to trace the bottles and that, using the Wine Coin, start the economic circuit.

It is easy to understand, the three systems depend on each other (for example, without the code scanning we do not know where the bottle of wine is, without the anti-counterfeiting system the Wine Coin would be just one of the many tokens in circulation, without the online platform suppliers and producers would not come into contact with each other and would not be able to track their products or take advantage of marketing services to grow their business).

And this is what differentiates Followine from any other project conceived in this sector: the union of the systems and their complementary and symbiotic character.

1.3 Il know-how


Our first encounter with the counterfeiting phenomenon dates back several years, when our founder and CEO, Fabio Guida, worked in a restaurant in Brighton (UK). Fabio noticed that the restaurateurs put labels from Tuscany to bottles of Spanish wine without labels (which were then sold at the cost of a good Italian wine) and found it to be a widespread practice. He decided to study the phenomenon and, to do so in depth, he toured Europe, conducted interviews and polls all over the world, he went in wine counterfeiting environment to learn directly how it works - getting to know the most common counterfeits methods in each geographical area. What sets us apart is the fact that we are focused on a single vertical sector, to fully understand the problems and dynamics, so as to create an effective solution.

Chart 1.1

 

 
 

 

 

Paesi presi in esame da Followine

 

What emerges from our studies on counterfeiting is that, to counter it, the consumer must be the main actor in this battle: even the best technology, if not used in full and in all its facets, can become useless. First of all, therefore, we understood that the consumer must be aware of the information, history and culture of the wine world. Then we need to encourage consumer not only to participate actively in the fight against counterfeiting but above all to become evangelist of the whole philosophy.

 

1.4 – Followine Circuit

consumers can use tokens to purchase through the Followine platform or e-commerce partner and, alternatively, they can convert them to FIAT (any currency with legal tender: euro, dollar and so on). The e-commerce, through the Tokens, can buy marketing services from Followine, wine from the member producers or can convert the Tokens in FIAT. Producers can use them to purchase all Followine services, instead of cash. Tokens returning to Followine will be distributed to consumers for each scan.

Chart 1.2


 

In this way we will give life to the first Vertical Token circulating among several actors in the history of the Blockchain.

 

Why a circuit?

The Followine project stems from the desire and the aim of re-establishing a violated order, which is that of authenticity. Because authenticity is the characteristic that distinguishes one man from another, one taste from another, one color from another. Failing that, the world would be colorless and tasteless.

 

After years of traveling around the world to study the phenomenon of counterfeiting, it was realized that action was a duty, in order to reverse a tendency that damages the peculiarities and authenticity of each Nation that has a strong culture and a long winemaking tradition.

 

For this reason, we have not stopped to exploit an Hype technology, to offer a simple tracking service, passed off for anti-counterfeiting: we worked on the data acquired over time to create something that was able to go beyond .

 

 

 

1.5 SWOT analysis

The SWOT analysis is used to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of a business, as well as to highlight the opportunities and threats that the company will encounter on its way.

With regard to the strengths, it is certainly possible to include the use of a proprietary anti-counterfeiting algorithm, the costs of development and implementation of content, the presence of an ecosystem aimed at the growth of partners, who will also enjoy additional services, and the use of Wine Coin for everything connected to the Followine circuit.

As for the weaknesses, the fact that the brand is not yet known, especially at an international level, must certainly be considered. For this reason, we have decided to elaborate a strategy that will allow us to make known and appreciate Followine all over the world. Alongside this, we must necessarily refer to the costs for the DAICO and costs for the acquisition of new customers - certainly higher than those incurred by software startups. Finally, the development times of Sawtooth are not short.

Talking about opportunities, it should be noted that there are national and international development plans aimed at tackling the phenomenon of counterfeiting - confirming the growing interest in this phenomenon. The system devised and developed by Followine can be replicated in other sectors, so as to combat other phenomena that are equally harmful.

What are the difficulties we are sure to meet? The presence of historical companies in the world of counterfeiting and the fact that the sector in which we enter, the wine industry, is very traditional. If there was a drop in media attention to the problem of counterfeiting, it certainly will not help: but our project could bring to the attention of the general public such an important issue, keeping media attention high and create a new hype.

 

 

Chart 1.3

Strenght

Weakness

 

 

Proprietary anti-counterfeiting algorithm

Brand not yet known

Low development and implementation costs

Low international presence

Ecosystem aimed at partner growth

Costs for the acquisition of higher customers of software startups

WineCoin

Costs for non-negligible ICOs

Opportunity

Threats

 

 

National and international development plans aimed at tackling the phenomenon of counterfeiting

Presence of historical companies in the counterfeiting market

Virgin market

Very traditionalist wine sector

Greater attention to counterfeiting

Slow bureaucracy in countries like Italy

Development of partnerships aimed at improving the export of the partners

Development of similar business models by other companies

Possibility to replicate the system in other sectors

DAICO

 

 

1.6 Revenue Model

Followine is based on an inclusive B2B business model that involves consumers, making them an active part of the process and guaranteeing them benefits both in the short and in the medium and long term. Unlike many blockchain projects, we at Followine did not limit ourselves to writing a business plan, but we analyzed the conditions that guarantee sustainability in the short and long term and the revenues from the sale of the services we offer.

 

Wine producers will incur an expense to take advantage of our anti-counterfeiting service, being able to choose to pay, alternatively:

 

In addition, upselling services are available for both wine producers and other commercial partners, which will have a positive influence on Followine's financial statements: we think of our reports on the wine market which, thanks to the data collected by our users, will be the most complete on the market, as well as all the marketing-related services that may derive from it.

Chart 1.4

 

 

Recall that as well as the entire ecosystem even the revenue model will be subject to many more or less short-term improvements.

Just to name a few: since 2019 it will be possible to pay Followine's services and products in Wine Coin, through the B2B platform and, starting from 2020, the anti-counterfeiting service will also be available through Wine Coin, in order to make our offer always more palatable even for small businesses.