MeetnGreetMe is an online concierge service that links out-of-town travelers with locals for advice about their destination and support during their stay. The company itself has been around for a few years, but it’s currently moving into blockchain territory by using a form of cryptocurrency to reward the "MeetnGreeters" of the business.
"We were pondering as to how we can reach out and encourage our community and grow MeetnGreetMe business in a more efficient way," said CEO Elena Shkarubo.
"Cryptocurrency came as an answer and, we can use blockchain, to introduce our own cryptocurrency, and blockchain technology can also help us make the payment process more efficient and prompt."
Shkarubo has a background in business development, with an MBA in strategic development from Kingston University London. The team is made up of business professionals and developers, with plans to grow its staff as the company grows. The MeetnGreetMe team is currently in its public ICO phase and aims to launch parts of its blockchain updates by the end of the year.
Online Technology Connects Local People
MeetnGreetMe has a similar workflow to Uber; the only difference is that the former serves as travel advising platform. A traveler pays money for the services of one of the “MeetnGreeters,” and the company earns a fee based on the transaction amount. This could include recommendations on restaurants or hotels, or anything else you may need when you travel. The company is currently in about 300 cities around the world. Shkarubo explained,
"I think our preferences as travelers are changing and it’s no longer enough to book online tickets or hotels. People want more. At the same time, we have motivated local people who can become great personal experience makers and help travelers with anything they need during their trip."
That's where blockchain technology comes in. Aside from paying fiat currency for the MeetnGreeters’ services, cryptocurrency is being used to reward people for delivering a high-quality service. Based on the feedback of the tourists, a person can earn what are called Welcome Coins. The MeetnGreeters can use these coins to promote their profiles further, pay for additional training and, eventually, they can be used at accepted partners, such as restaurants and hotels.
"We believe that one-day MeetnGreet will circulate in the system and become so well-known that local businesses can actually pay in Welcome Coins for delivering information about their businesses on our platform," added Shkarubo.
MeetnGreetMe is currently using ERC-20 tokens as the foundation for its coins but is looking at other options that offer higher scalability.
Delving into the Blockchain World
Work on the blockchain aspect of this company started last September, with an education campaign taking place with its industry partners and MeetnGreeters.
"We had a chance to speak to our community and travelers. What I discovered is that people out of our circles need more information about cryptocurrencies and blockchains, so they are actually ready to work with cryptocurrency and other related techs," said Shkarubo.
The company decided to launch an ICO to both help develop the community around the implementation of crypto-technology, as well as raise capital. As mentioned, the company's pre-sale is completed and its public sale is currently underway. Shkarubo further stated,
"ICO allows us to introduce our own cryptocurrency, Welcome Coin. It’s an opportunity to pre-sell Meet ‘n Greet Me services and use the investor's contributions to develop and grow Meet ‘n Greet Me."
The company feels the ICO market is a bit slow right now but expects it will pick up as word of mouth spreads out and with the announcement of some new business partners. Shkarubo also revealed,
"We received some exciting partnerships, initial offers and they’re from different parts of the world. Very soon I will be able to announce one of the big names. So it was positive feedback from the travel and hospitality community."
The Steps Ahead
As noted, the company plans to bring in the Smart Contract based payment system and some other blockchain based plans later this year. The second step is to implement a cryptocurrency payment system at the beginning of next year. This project will be continually in-development, especially on the side of bringing on new partners into the crypto-community and educating their client-base about this new kind of currency. Shkarubo further revealed,
"Connecting advances technologies and human experiences, we aim to become a must-have service to use when people arrange their trips. Of course on top of that our financial goal is to earn our billion and the community to believe in us and support us."
What You Need to Know?
CEO: Elena Shkarubo
Who this is perfect for: Tourism Industry Partners, Tourism operators/guides
Public Sale: Currently underway