In this issue, I will demonstrate how KABN is relevant to the virtual sports and online gaming world.
As well, introduce a new periodical in our research: The KABN Market Update — insights in a constantly shifting environment.
Lastly, and most importantly, our “Interview of the Week” with CEO of KABN Systems NA, Ben Kessler.
KABN NA is emerging as a force in a period of a tough combination of confusion, nervousness, and uncertainty.
1.) Chinese giant Tencent saw a rise in earnings of 26% Q/Q for first quarter earnings (Fiscal year end is Dec. 31st) as coronavirus left customers trapped inside with time to spend on its hit games and other entertainment options.
David Dai, of Bernstien Research, said “Tencent has been investing in its tech to better use its data, better target, and improve conversion and it appears to be paying off.”
Source: Financial Times
2.) Streaming media is the leading channel of consumption. The quality, volume and speed of streaming content has profoundly changed the media consumption patterns. This has a positive effect for companies such as Peloton, a fitness provider that streams live and on demand workouts to your home.
Source: SEC Peloton Interactive
3.) No surprise, Comscore says data usage is way higher. Data usage has increased by 18% year over year — and that does not take into account the broad elimination of data usage from currently-defunct industries.
KABN represents online protection for a diverse group of users, that is growing rapidly
According to Comscore, data usage usage is up 18% in March 2020 over 2019.
That said, I believe this significantly understates the actual figures.
This huge growth does not take into account:
How much data is not currently being used. Consider a few examples.
•The travel industry — hotel bookings, airlines, airports, NAVCAN, security efforts;
•The delayed industries — filing taxes later, making mortgage or rent payments later;
•The office spaces, most of which are private so not releasing data — this means servers are unemployed, cubicles don’t have computers running
•Schools, from universities to elementary all the way through, aren’t using data at the same rate;
•Non-essential or shut-down businesses aren’t using their POS nor any data at all;
•And many more examples, such as the loss of data usage from the oil and gas sector and any industries that have seen the mean contraction.
In sum, 18% year over year is misleading. It must be many, many times more than that.
Government online interaction has had an opposite correlation to the markets.
Below is growth rates y/y from 2005 to 2007 — yes this is aged data but meaningful parallel.
This means interaction with the Government potentially requires a KABN solution.
The simple graph doesn’t need a regression map to show that, over the course of two years, as online applications for grants and benefits increased, the completion of online tax forms fell, and the online information requests increased.
This data set starts at 2005 for the purpose of showing growth rates, hence meaning two years as 2005 becomes the Base Year.
My point is, as tumult enters, the magnitude of change increases during a crisis.
Online interactions with any government become more and more meaningful and require more online privacy sophistication.
Strangers and Friends, and Knotworking …
Online gaming and e-learning are potentially large addressable markets for KABN
Online gaming is a proxy for, and analogous to, e-learning. And we are at the catapult phase.
To start with online education, I would like to make a comparison to traditional learning.
When you are physically in a classroom, in elementary school for example, your teachers are your safety net, for parents and student alike. They know when you have been late, and wonder why, and they know when you are visibly ill, which has nothing to do with your math class efforts.
This has consequences in the very new reality of online education, and e-gaming.
Now more than ever the reality of online identity is not just at a peak, it’s rising quickly with no end in sight. My data points above show usage of online presence as modelled by network utility.
E-students and e-gamers are exposed to an online presence that now involves substantial financial issues — in all cases for parents or protectors, and confidence between consumers and retailers.
Knotworking is the notion that we have brevity of certain trusting relationships. We find ourselves in a situation, like on a flight, or a cruise (timely!), or a banking relationship, or any form of brokered relationship. We become friends with a flight attendant, but know nothing about them, yet share personal stories, or any information, based on the proximity of the interaction.
This is where KABN comes in. Knotworking isn’t going anywhere, it’s only getting tighter — mind the pun. The whole point is a knotwork is the short time of intense personal interaction that comes along with examples like online gaming. Strangers, or friends, are your group you play Fortnite against, or online baseball. Friends, and strangers, are potentially your classmates in an online setting.
KABN has developed a protocol that provides a systemic approach to address security and privacy requirements within the knotworking sphere.
My point is — if you realize the reality of online gaming, online education, and online presence in any capacity, you need KABN-esque expertise in order to protect yourself.
Source: Engeström, Y., Engeström, R., and Vähäaho, T. When the center doesn’t hold: The importance of knotworking. In S. Chaiklin, M. Hedegaard and U. Jensen (eds.). Activity Theory and Social Practice. AarhusPress, Denmark, 1999.
Tom Kennedy, introducing Chief Executive Ben Kessler:
“Ben, I want to ask the same question I asked Mr Lucatch in our last letter — why are you so excited to be involved with KABN?”
Ben Kessler, CEO:
“Hey Tom, great to be chatting with you and thanks for the question. From the early days of KABN, no day has been quite the same and although like any startup there are good days and not-so-good days, it’s always been exciting.
I think one of the reasons for that is that we started with the premise that within the online identity, verification, and validation space, there have traditionally been a lot of inefficiencies, inconsistencies and, frankly, a lot of friction with respect to legacy providers and solutions. So, the challenge was right in front of us.
In going about solving for that challenge, we’ve created a digital identity platform which is not only reusable and biometrically-enabled but it also is the anchor or underpinning for a tremendous number of use cases from which we can build. Think about it this way, if we are able to verify “you are you” and then give you the tools to manage your verified identity, think about how many different opportunities we can bring to you that can empower you, the user, while creating value for the entire ecosystem of KABN users and while also generating revenue for us.”
“Unpacking that answer, you’ve been at this for awhile.
You earned your stripes in payments and Fintech. Ok, so to MasterCard. How does that experience inform your approaches and decisions as you build out your platform, solutions and financial services models?”
“My MasterCard experience, as well as some of my other experiences in Fintech and the broader global payments space, has given me some great insights and perspectives as to how a business can both solve a consumer problem and “do good” while also have a great, revenue-generating business model — they are not mutually exclusive. Additionally, you can start with one primary use case, one foundational anchor, get it right and then you can start applying it to numerous other use cases.
With KABN, I think we’ve got just that — our Liquid Avatar solution in combination with our reusable, biometrically enabled digital identity platform, KABN ID, is our foundational anchor from which we are solving a consumer problem by letting consumers manage their digital identities and ultimately be the beneficiaries of their personal data.
We also deliver value to our consumer users as well as to KABN and our stakeholders as we build out our revenue programs like financial services and the KABN KASH cashback program. There are numerous other opportunities, which we will certainly pursue, however, by starting out with the primary use case, we are positioning us better for success.”
“Classic startup in a new market. That makes sense.
Speaking to the addressable market, in this challenging time for the North American, and global economies, how does your value proposition fit, and is there an opportunity with supply chains relative to online presence?”
“Without a doubt the current macro environment is challenging and surely no one is immune from feeling its impact in one way or another personally or professionally. That said, it is causing us all to alter much of our behaviors and activities and, in many ways, accelerating the trends that were already heading in the right direction.
I’ll give you just one example. The first ecommerce transaction occurred in 1994 and ever since then, there has been a steady growth of ecommerce transactions as a percentage of overall retail transactions. That percentage has been growing over time such that the estimate, prior to the current pandemic, was that in 2020 ecommerce sales were expected to account for 15.5% of retail sales worldwide.
Forecast for 2021 is that the percentage would go up to 17.5%, again, pre-pandemic. What’s occurring now is that the trend has accelerated tremendously, and most would expect that the 2021 number will now be substantially higher — in fact, as one data point, for April 2020, VISA reported that its eCommerce transaction volume was up 40% from April 2019.
Online commerce, online education, online everything is accelerating and KABN, with our Liquid Avatar solution and KABN ID platform is in a unique position to support this continued acceleration online.”
“To end on a lighter note, how have you been coping with this new environment of staying at home? How often are you shaving? For me, walking my dog has been my biggest athletic endeavor.”
“Haha. Frankly, there hasn’t been much of a transition because the KABN team has been successfully remote since inception. We have folks in Toronto, a team member in Texas and me in New York.
My yellow lab Daisy has been by my side since day One and knows no different. I will say that the only adjustment for me is that I now also have my two daughters at home with me during the day which requires me to close the office door from time to time!”
“Thanks for your time Ben!”
About the author:
Tom Kennedy is a consultant with a background in investment banking research, strategic management, and investment management. He is not considered independent.
KABN Systems North America is making a rapid entrance into a cutting-edge space in the North American privacy market, being online identity disintegration. This could not be more timely as every industry is trying to mitigate their online exposure and adapt to a new version of online prominence.
This company is led by a diverse team of experts, who are proven leaders in creating value through addressing market needs and identifying channels to reinforce their utility in a B2B market. In addition, we believe that there is significant value in the B2C launch of Liquid Avatar, a uniquely positioned product to address security for online interactions in a rapidly expanding size and range of markets. This includes online gaming, financial services with AML and KYC requirements, social media interfaces, and actively pursuing more industries. Especially now, in May 2020, KABN’s products are highlighted by the challenges facing supply chain management.
KABN North America may be the next potential unicorn, and here’s why:
1.) This business requires no material capex outside of human capital.
2.) Once public, this business will be under normal intense regulatory scrutiny.
3.) This business requires no material debt to achieve its initial goals.
4.) Their ‘Liquid Avatar’ product is applicable to an infinite realm of online presence requirements: for the safety and protection of students, employees, managers, voters, and all financial services interactions. And all social media interfaces.
5.) Controlled data gathered will be worth more than the revenue they will produce.
6.) Now is KABN’s moment to emerge as a powerhouse.
Yagil, Adi. Medium.org
Education Data reference, TechJury
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