Crypto launchpads or crypto incubators help blockchain-based projects raise capital while giving dedicated investors early access to token sales.
Launchpads typically use an application process that carefully selects viable projects. This process evaluates the projects’ feasibility, the overall experience of the development team, underlying technology, and the breadth of the potential market. Launchpads allow investors to participate in projects that the community of experienced investors has vetted. They also provide various essential services such as marketing, connections, and development advice that help the projects succeed. Some launchpads act as investors, putting significant amounts of money into the projects they help vet.
Here is a look at five established launchpads that have proven their worth.
Type: Multichain Standalone, Gaming
Blockchain: ETH, BNB, Polygon, Solana, Avalanche
The Binance Launchpad, OKEx Launchpad, and Huobi Prime are the most popular crypto incubators by the number of participants. These platforms are popular because they are anchored on big crypto exchanges that magnify their visibility to the mass market.
However, since these platforms attract considerably more participants to the launches, the potential output is also very small. The IEO (initial exchange offering) usually involves 200,000 or more people, where tokens worth $1-2 million are sold. Besides, such a launch is far from an “exclusive club” where sales are designed for smart and diligent investors. Instead, it is a pure mass-market — easy to get in, easy to get out. A feature that makes these platforms perfect breeding grounds for pump-and-dump schemes.
The situation is different for smaller and more specialized launchpads like Seedify. Seedify is the leading blockchain incubator focused solely on decentralized gaming. It has a comprehensive support network for blockchain and metaverse gaming entrepreneurs essential for establishing important connections with various venture capitalists and industry peers. Seedify selects projects that have a good technical basis and great potential. Besides, it allows users to invest in these projects at a very early stage.
Like with most crypto launchpads, to get started with Seedify, investors need to buy its tokens (SFUND) which they then can use to stake their funds (to be whitelisted). Seedify users can also purchase a stake in new crypto gaming projects that get launched on Seedify through IGO (initial game offerings) using their SFUND. So far, 52 crypto projects have used the platform to launch their operations, almost every one of these churning out a profit for initial investors.
For instance, Bloktopia, a project aiming to provide an unprecedented VR experience for the crypto community, bringing users together in one immersive environment, raised $5.2 million. Its value has since increased 20 times more. Today Bloktopia is valued at $104 million with ATH ROI almost at 700x.
We can also marvel at an ambitious MMO Outer Ring, a Play-to-Earn (P2E) game set in a science fiction and fantasy universe. It earned an initial investment of $7.375 million and is now valued at $30 million. Even Penguin Karts, a small battle-racing 3D multiplayer game on blockchain, turned out successfully. It initially attracted only $1.235 million but has since earned five times the initial profit.
Realms of Ethernity, one of the latest mega-projects to launch on Seedify, has already raised over $11.3 million through private token sales. It is now set to double its value for the investors. Realms of Eternity is a play-to-earn multiplayer simulation game and toolbox that allows developers and players to co-create virtual worlds without any central authority. Despite the early success, it is yet to host an official Initial Dex Offering (IDO) or be tracked by CoinMarketCap and other price-checking websites.
Type: Monochain, DEX-based
PancakeSwap conducts Initial Farm Offerings (IFOs), allowing users to purchase tokens of early-stage projects before their public launch. However, in this case, users exchange or swap their CAKE-BNB tokens for new project tokens. As part of the process, half of the total funds (CAKE tokens) are burned — adding an important deflationary mechanic for the token. This strategy is why CAKE turned out to be so stable and valuable only two years after its launch.
PancakeSwap has attracted one of the largest pools of retail investors. More than 1.5 million Twitter followers and between 13 and 18 million monthly website visits, according to SimilarWeb. Binance was one of the initial firms to invest in this IFO platform in 2020, hence the natural closeness of PancakeSwap to the mammoth digital assets exchange.
However, the quantity of retail investors means little if it does not translate to real financial opportunities and interest in new projects. Thankfully, the case of PancakeSwap is different. Crypto startups on PancakeSwap successfully collect tens of millions of dollars, gaining even more value after launch.
PancakeSwap has helped launch 18 projects, many of these continuing on a growth trend for a considerable period. Hot Cross, a cross-chain toolbox for ETH and EVM networks, raised $2.75 million in May 2021 and is now worth almost $20 million. Lucky Block, a worldwide lottery designed to mitigate some of the glaring faults in the lottery industry and provide a more inclusive environment for players launched on PancakeSwap in January 2022 and immediately started making waves, with a net gain of 150% in a single 24 hours period. The project is now valued at $64 million.
A more recent example is Era7: Game of Truth, a turn-based battler that blends elements of DeFi, NFTs, and Trading Cards into a play-to-earn game steeped in mythology and magic. It initially raised $1.8 million but has since surged to over $23 million in valuation. PancakeSwap users who invested in the project increased their capital by between 10 and 12 times.
3. DAO Maker
Type: Multichain Standalone
Blockchain: ETH, BNB, Polygon, Solana, Huobi
DAO Maker is the largest IDO launchpad by finance and volume. Besides, it is extremely profitable for participants, providing the highest overall ROI if you disregard tiny launchpads with between one and ten projects. It has the highest overall percentage of high-yield projects. The launchpad has released 99 projects to a good degree of success, with the worst performer raking in three times the strong holder offering (SHO) price.
DAO Maker offers potentially huge returns on investment. Almost 10% of projects launched through DAO Maker have the all-time highest ROI of 100 times or more. This statement implies that if an investor put in $1000 worth of DAO into one of the projects floated on the launchpad, they could gain at least $100,000.
The most successful IDO, aside from GameFi, which is also a launchpad, was My Neighbor Alice. A multiplayer blockchain builder game where anyone can buy and own virtual islands. It raised $2.2 million in February 2021 but now has over $191 million in a market cap. Other influential projects that got their start on DAO Maker are Orion Protocol, a DeFi platform, virtual NFT horse racing universe DeRace, and peer-to-peer DeFi platform Opulous. All these projects have, at some point, achieved well in excess of 100 times ROI.
All of this sounds wonderful; however, there is a catch. To participate in IDOs, you need to stake at least 2000 DAO. One DAO at the press time costs around $2 (and can shoot up to $10). Meaning that you need at least $4,000 to participate; making DAO Maker by far the most demanding launchpad in the space.
Type: Multichain Standalone
Blockchain: ETH, BNB, Avalanche, Polygon
Established in late 2020, Polkastarter is a decentralized fundraising exchange with a lot of promise. It attracted over 620,000 enthusiastic investors and launched over 100 projects.
The exchange is the second-largest launchpad by total funds raised, trailing only DAO Maker. It also is the second-largest if you consider market cap and daily trading volume. However, it has considerably fewer breakout successes than DAO Maker or Seedify. None of the projects released through the launchpad has managed to gain 300 or 400 times their starting value. However, it also has extremely rare instances of flops.
Stellar performers of Polkastarter are Wilder World, a decentralized artist DAO and liquid NFT marketplace that attracted $3 million and went on to attain a market cap of over $80 million, and Dotmoovs. The latter is a blockchain and AI-powered platform that analyzes videos of players performing sports challenges. It raised only $1 million initially before bursting in the seams and reaching over $30 million, generating huge returns for its investors.
5. Red Kite
Type: Multichain Standalone
Blockchain: ETH, BNB, Polygon
Poor marketing is why most new crypto projects fail to raise good capital.
Red Kite is designed to solve this problem by offering new ways to raise funds. It is supported by a network of marketing partners, top influencers, and communities that help the projects soar. The projects launched on Red Kite go through a robust vetting process and are hand-picked to protect investors’ interests. The launchpad provides a safe platform that allows investors to gain early access to vetted token sales at a lower price before they hit the market.
Red Kite works on ETH, BNB, and Polygon chains and aims to connect to the Polkadot pool to become the first launchpad on the DOT chain with flexible pool types and whitelist conditions.
The launchpad is the third in performance having released some 65 or so IDO projects raising almost $9 million. It boasts of a significant ROI that averages 150.3% with 42 times ATH ROI. According to these metrics, Red Kite is second behind only DAO Maker among launchpads that have released 20 or more projects via IDOs.
You can easily choose a project you like from their pool, read about it, check its financial data, and buy tokens if they are not yet sold out.
Some of its successful launches worth mentioning are Label, an NFT infrastructure with a P2P incubating platform that allows investments in world-class IP rights, and TribeOne, an AI-Powered NFT and DeFi funding Platform. The former initially raised $1.1 million before swelling to $16 million while the latter fetched $1.961 million before increasing fivefold in value four months after release.
These are a few of the most profitable launchpads that any person knowledgeable about the crypto world should know about.
While the potential return in IDOs is lower than throwing money on a random altcoin named after some breed of inu (meme token), which almost always drops to zero in four days, the probable IDO profit can be calculated. Besides, almost every IDO project has a positive ROI, and users can take an active role in their development. It is advisable to start with a project that has a great underlying tech and a believable future, especially where such projects have shown signs of blossoming.