What is Cool Cousin?
Cool Cousin is a VC backed company that allows locals to earn from their knowledge while making it easy for travelers to upgrade their trip.
— Nadav Saadia, Co-Founder & CMO
Paxtradings Quick Facts
- Revolutionizing travel with a sharing economy powered by blockchain
- 1 ETH = 3,770 CUZ
- Pre-ICO: April 10, 2018 (24 hours); ICO: April 30, 2018 — May 31, 2018
- 99,000,000 CUZ Available / 300,000,000 Total CUZ Supply
- 250% user growth in the past 6 months
Q&A with Nadav Saadia, Co-Founder & CMO
Paxtradings: For those who are not familiar with Cool Cousin, can you explain what it is, and what the team aims to accomplish?
Nadav: Cool Cousin is VC-backed decentralized travel agency optimized for millennials, aiming to change the way people travel. Launched in 2016, our platform allows travelers to easily upgrade their trips, while giving locals the platform to earn from their city knowledge. With double-digit monthly growth, 500K+ users, and over 1,000 local influencers in 80 cities around the world, Cool Cousin is now emerging as an autonomous community that scales organically and powered by a sharing economy on the blockchain.
Paxtradings: How does the Cool Cousin function within the platform and why is it needed?
Nadav: Finding reliable travel information is too damn hard! Information overload, fake reviews, sponsored content in disguise, and just generic lists make people more confused and frustrated than they ever were. This is why having a trustworthy local friend to guide you is an alternative everyone desires.
Cool Cousin allows you to have someone like that in every city in the world you travel to. Using our app, currently available in the App Store and through the web, you connect with a local you choose, get their full city guide, message them for tailored advice, and enjoy their concierge-like services — from custom itineraries to booking services. Our Cousins guarantee that you will get the most out of your precious travel time and money and will learn from their local knowledge and expertise.
Paxtradings: How much would a traveler save by booking a vacation through Cool Cousin as opposed to a travel agent?
Nadav: Hundreds of dollars. Our Cousins don’t have the overhead of a travel agent with an office and the expenses that come with it. And thanks to the wonderful blockchain technology, the fees can be significantly lower. But a Cousin saves you a lot more — thanks to their local knowledge and tailored fit service, they promise that your travel budget will literally buy you more, with no money (or time!) wasted on tourist traps or mediocre experiences. That itself saves you a lot of time and money and keeps you from bad experiences.
Paxtradings: How often do travelers looking for a “Cousin” not find one during peak season? Also, upon arriving at the destination, if a traveler is not able to connect with a “Cousin” due to a variety of reasons, how will he or she find a replacement?
Nadav: There is no such thing as “not finding” a Cousin. Our Cousins’ city guides with all their favorite spots and personal inputs are available on-demand, and Cousins that are unresponsive to messages are taken off the platform. Our Cousins are super-welcoming and responsive, with an average response time of three hours. If for some reason one of our Cousins doesn’t respond, our community team is alerted and the traveler is offered an alternative Cousin with the same characteristics. We make sure that the traveler gets an immediate response.
Paxtradings: Of the 100k+ users per month and the 310 percent rise in interactions between “Cousins” and travelers in the last 6 months, how much of this interaction actually results in travelers vacationing at their destinations?
Nadav: Almost 100%. The number of visitors to our platform is significantly higher than 100k but we only consider a user someone who used the app as a traveler in the destination, meaning they connected with a Cousin in their destination. This is why we’re so proud of our steady growth. It is not just people that have come to view content, but actual travelers that have interacted and are engaged. And this is only in the beginning, when we have Cousins in about 80 cities. Just imagine what will happen soon, when we launch hundreds of new cities and onboard thousands of new Cousins.
Paxtradings: What does your “Cousin” onboarding process comprise of? How do you assure travelers the local “Cousins” are completely safe and reliable?
Nadav: After filling in their initial application, it is reviewed by a our community managers who then, if find eligible, give the potential Cousin a link to our dedicated Cousin platform. Then the potential Cousin starts adding their recommendations that are reviewed by our content team who monitor the process and give guidance, if necessary. Only when a full guide is curated, we schedule a photoshoot for the Cousin. When the photos are taken, the profile can be completed and air.
I truly think that Cool Cousin today is maybe the most curated community in the travel industry. Every Cousin is validated manually by our community managers that email with them at first, go over every recommendation they suggest, and even Skype with them to fully understand their vibe and validate their intentions. Now, with the power of blockchain and CUZ, we’ll be able to turn our community to fully autonomous, safeguarding the authenticity on one hand, and allowing the onboarding process to be much faster and seamless.
Paxtradings: Where does your company stand in terms of growth compared to your competition? What advantages are there to using your platform as opposed to a competitor, and what strategies do you plan to use to stand out?
Nadav: Cool Cousin is the up-and-coming player in the travel planning game. We are obviously not yet close to the industry giants in terms of numbers, but our growth and the hype we generated in the past year is an indication that we’re heading in the right direction. Now, a year and a half since we launched, Cool Cousin is positioned as the personalized alternative for all the generic solutions. We’ve been able to do that with almost zero dollars spent on marketing thanks to a “secret weapon”: our amazing community of Cousins. Our Cousins not only create the content and provide the service. Each of them is also a micro-influencer and a marketing channel of their own that spreads the word about Cool Cousin to their network. This, together with a cool brand that millennials can identify with, has helped us get a lot of attention — from The New York Times and The Guardian to National Geographic and a featured spot in the App Store.
Paxtradings: Are there any large upcoming partnerships other than those already listed in the Municipality Partners Program?
Nadav: This is actually the first time we’re releasing it — Cool Cousin is about to launch a partnership with NYX hotels — the boutique hotel brand from the Leonardo group that operates over 130 hotels in Europe. We are soon launching our pilot together in Milano and plan to add more locations soon. Other than that, we are approached by many blockchain and “mainstream” companies, but are being extremely selective. We only want to partner with companies that share our vision and values. Soon, we’ll have more exciting news.
Paxtradings: How far along is the project today and when can contributors expect to use the platform? What does the roadmap look like for 2018?
Nadav: Cool Cousin is a working company with a working product with thousands of daily users. In 2018, we plan to add thousands of new Cousins in hundreds of cities, launch our Android version, and of course launch the in-app wallet and jumpstart the use of the CUZ token within our platform.
Paxtradings: As a non-Cool Cousin question, we like to ask for unique predictions for the ICO and cryptocurrency space in the future. Where do you see both in the next 3–5 years?
Nadav: Countries are going to power many of their services with blockchain. To enable privacy, ownership of data, and accountability for access to data. Estonia is the first of many countries that will move many of their vital services onto the blockchain to allow better services to their citizens.
Crypto is going to become a mainstream means of exchange. Not necessarily replacing fiat globally, but definitely becoming an equal competitor with the various payment systems out there.
99.9% of ICOs you see these days will fail. When you see companies doing an ICO these days, most of them are just “whitepaper” companies with no heritage, no product, and no idea on how to manage a company. So contributors will become smarter, and it will become increasingly harder for companies to raise funds. Only the valid ideas and companies will survive. Amazon survived the “.com bubble” burst. So did Cisco and eBay. The things they had in common: a valuable product, a functional company, and great execution. And they continue to prosper to this day.
The Pre-ICO will take place on April 10, 2018 and will last for 24 hours. There are a total of 99,000,000 CUZ Tokens available during the Pre-ICO and ICO period, representing 33% of the total CUZ supply. The Pre-ICO is uncapped.
The main ICO will begin on April 30, 2018 and will end on May 31, 2018. There are a total of 99,000,000 CUZ Tokens (ERT) available during the Pre-ICO and ICO period, representing 33% of the total CUZ supply of 300,000,000 CUZ. A soft cap of 4,000 ETH and a hard cap of 17,500 ETH are set for this period.
The minimum purchase is 0.1 ETH, at a rate of 1 ETH = 3,770 CUZ.
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