Blockchain In Marketing: 23 Startups To Watch In 2019

  • 25 January 2019
  • Sam Mire

The internet is the medium of choice for those looking to advance their brands, and its low barrier to entry has made effective marketing more critical than ever. Captive audiences no longer gather around the television to watch shows like they used to — it’s not 1962 anymore.

Nowadays marketers seek access to a fragmented, dispersed digital audience, and they don’t necessarily have effective solutions for doing so. Internet marketing mostly depends on a couple massively powerful companies — publishers are pretty much at their mercy. Tools for measuring essential data like impressions and clicks are furthermore opaque at best and misleading at worst.

These are issues that can be overcome with the right mix of honesty and innovation. That’s why many in the marketing industry are turning to the blockchain — it boasts transparency and decentralization, features that directly address two of marketing’s greatest hurdles. Tailored marketing solutions built on blockchain technology have opened the doors to platforms offering objective, provable marketing intelligence that can form the basis for more intelligently targeted campaigns.

GeonGeon Network

The Geon Network is created to add a new dimension to one of the more innovative marketing techniques in recent years: geomining. Using blockchain and cryptocurrencies, users can discover and unlock Geon Coins, and in doing so gain crypto-funding – users don’t even need a blockchain address to unlock the value in the Geon Network. The Geon Network allows users to geomine a given location, and when users arrive at the geographic destination, release those Geon Coins into an auto-generated wallet on the user’s device. As users saw with the likes of Pokemon Go, this can be an invaluable mechanism for drawing otherwise uninterested customers into an establishment; it’s 21 century marketing, to be sure.

Date Founded: January 2018

Funding Type: ICO


RunCPA is taking the art of affiliate marketing, which rewards outside sources for bringing traffic to a destination, to the blockchain. The Prague-based startup is a destination for advertisers who are seeking more traffic, with clients including businesses in the spheres of ICO, gaming on the chain, cloud mining, VPN services, and currency exchange. The integration of the blockchain has added an unmatched level of transparency and data-driven compensation to the marketing industry, and RunCPA is working to harness its power in a single ad marketing platform.

Date Founded: January 2015

Funding Type: Private


Moscow-based Efir connects advertisers with opinion leaders whose social influence brings credence to startups and other companies. The goal of the platform is to boost the value of startups’ tokens through collaboration with bloggers and other influencers, who are made available on a searchable, organized database. Efir serves as the conduit between bloggers and advertisers by tailoring language so that it doesn’t sound quite so advertise-ey. The essential factor in any business relationship – payment – is made through smart contracts, with the QZ token as tender.

Date Founded: January 1, 2017

Funding Type: ICO


The AdHive platform brings a dose of automation to the influencer-advertisers relationship. By using AI and the blockchain, the platform cuts out much of the inefficiency that exists in legacy influencer-advertiser pairing platforms. When they become AdHive users, brands can pay to have their native videos published on countless influencers’ social channels, with all of the minutiae of execution being handled by the AdHive team. The end goal is to alter the tv advertising landscape by eschewing centralized gatekeepers for the decentralized marketing economy.

Date Founded: November 2, 2017

Funding Type: ICO

Loops RewardsLoops Rewards

London-based Loops Rewards is bringing rewards points out of the stone ages and into the age of universality. Loops takes the rewards program out of the brands hands, instead granting shoppers Loops whenever they make a purchase, wherever they shop. The app then lets users redeem their Loops in exchange for rewards in the form of discounts, free items, and special offers. The blockchain is the capsule that holds records of Loops earned and Loops spent, and is the technology that lets users derive value from each and every purchase.

Date Founded: September 1, 2018

Funding Type: Venture-backed


Canlead is a London-based company that is helpings its users make money from their social networks. Referrals are the name of the game when it comes to Canlead, and the app, platform and service rewards users each time they successfully extend a job or service opportunity to somebody in their network. If the blueprint proves successful, Canlead will greatly reduce the costs typically associated with agency-derived referrals. The platform is using blockchain for security and privacy as it leverages peer and social networks as new-age marketing tools.

ICO: December 6, 2016

Funding Type: ICO


Buttrfly is establishing a new marketing paradigm where the influencer finds the brands they love, and gets paid for their affection. An influencer can access the Buttrfly Network, swipe on a brand they are willing to advertise for, and see if there is a mutual connection. The system works both ways, with advertisers able to levy appeals to influencers they think will connect with their target audience. The process is AI-driven and largely automated using blockchain technology, keeping costs low and processes efficient.

Date Founded: December 2017

Funding Type: Private


LA-based startup Pei wants to expand the way that users can earn cashback from using their credit and debit cards, including the possibility to get paid in Bitcoin. Regardless of the cashback arrangement that cardholders have – gas, groceries, etc. – Pei offers to give rewards at thousands of otherwise ineligible institutions. Nordstrom, Panda Express, Papa John’s, Hooters, Victoria’s Secret, In-N-Out, and Chick-fil-A are just a few of the brands that have partnered with Pei – which uses the blockchain as a means of Bitcoin and cash allotment – to offer a new form of loyalty program.

Date Founded: 2017

Funding Type: Venture-backed


Flatlay is the equivalent of a digital pop-up shop where brands can launch in real-time, and in a matter of “seconds”. The affiliate network is meant to drive traffic to real-world storefronts, with users curating items from brands they love in their virtual “window-fronts”. Flatlay users aim to gain a following, and those who do can be compensated by publishing sponsored posts that can be presented as native content. Flatlay’s Creditcoin (CCOIN) facilitates the platform’s transactions, and is also the tender that props up the Flatlay Rewards System. Influencer campaigns and broader adoption of the platform on sales channels such as Instagram, WeChat, and others is the next stop in Flatlay’s vision for the future.

Date Founded: 2017

Funding Type: Venture-backed


Ubby is a social, blockchain-enabled network centered around commerce. Users share opinions, recommendations, and reviews of products and earn rewards for their interactions with the platform. The more trusted a user’s opinions become, the higher their Social Score rises; the higher their Social Score rises, the greater their potential earnings become. By paying out users with Ubby’s LIKE Token, the platform aims to brings a solid base of eyeballs seeking financial validation for their time and opinions. Ubby’s bet: that the brands will follow, pitching products on the platform as a novel marketing tool.

Date Founded: September 1, 2016

Funding Type: Venture-backed


AC3 is leading the effort to create marketing tools for the Earn Economy. AC3 built the world’s first platform for users to earn products directly from companies. The AC3 token powers the GrowYourBase.io marketing platform. The platform is active and continues to grow exponentially with users, companies and revenue. The platform’s goals are to drive quality, long-lasting relationships through a recurring closed-loop – earn, purchase, new campaign launches and repeat. The platform delivers authentic engagements by brand evangelists and advocates using social networks and media channels on a single platform, reducing the amount of costs and resources required to keep a brand relevant.

Date Founded: June 2017

Funding Type: Private


LeadCoin was made to facilitate the exchange of leads between businesses. When a seller has a lead that they aren’t going to use, they can head to the LeadCoin platform to sell it to an interested party – and vice versa for those seeking out leads. A blockchain-enabled matching algorithm employs AI to pair sellers and buyers based on their specified criteria, with one person’s unused lead becoming another’s potential goldmine. LDC, LeadCoin’s token, is the medium of exchange for all transactions on the platform. Other features of the LeadCoin platform include algorithmic protections from fake accounts and use of the Bancor Protocol.

Date Founded: November 5, 2017

Funding Type: ICO


The Social Media Market is a place for influencers to partner with brands in the entertainment and gaming industries. The platform will pin down objective market rates, root out fraud, and provide an atmosphere of guaranteed compliance once an agreement between brand, advertisers, and influencer is reached – and they’ll do it all through the use of blockchain and smart contract technology. The goal: provide a framework of certainty, objectivity, and meritocracy in the influencer-brand marketing ecosystem.

ICO: February 9, 2018

Funding Type: ICO


New York-based Snovio is a decentralized lead generation service that aims to solve two primary problems: the prevalence of low-quality, outdated leads and unfair distribution of revenue from data sales in the lead generation business. They hope to resolve these issues by bringing together a high volume of quality contributors to their decentralized platform. Features of the Snovio interface will include domain search capability, email verification for authentication, and the ability to search for specific leads and companies. Many of these processes will take on automated facets due to integration of blockchain tech.

Date Founded: February 2017

Funding Type: ICO


You may be asking: what is Friendz for? The answer: Friendz is for brands and users of social media who want to engage in a symbiotic relationship; the brands can tap into a network of willing, social advertisers, and the citizen advertisers can be compensated for posting on behalf of brands. If they post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Medium, Friendz users can receive FDZ tokens in return. It is ultimately an attempt to decentralize marketing campaigns while taking full advantage of the massive popularity of social platforms and the power of peer-to-peer networking.

Date Founded: July 28, 2015

Funding Type: ICO


The LikeCoin is ‘reinventing the like’ by rewarding content creators who are able to rack up clicks on that ever-elusive heart or thumbs up icon. LikeCoin is striving to be a mechanism that rewards creativity on the internet directly. Though some platforms have established pay-for-performance structures that are fairly reliable, the road to monetization isn’t always as direct as it should be. LikeCoin is seeking to change that by issuing LikeCoin to participants of their platform in concert with each ‘like’ they receive.

ICO: May 7, 2018

Funding Type: ICO


LoyalCoin is putting a twist on old-school loyalty programs by consolidating rewards points from participating brands into a single, redeemable coin. The Loyal Token (LYL) works on the NEM Mosaic platform, and is the medium of exchange that makes the LoyalCoin ecosystem go. Unification among the participating brands serves to strengthen the financial stability of the operation – allowing for scalability. The LoyalCoin platform may also prove to be a tool to increase customer retention – a possibility where often-underutilized or broken loyalty programs tend to fail.

Date Founded: 2017

Funding Type: ICO

remloyaltyREM Loyalty

Canadian startup REM Loyalty is expanding on limited rewards and loyalty programs, and utilizing the Stellar blockchain in doing so. Participants in the REM Loyalty platform gain access to loyalty programs from every hotel and airline in the world (their words, take it or leave it). The REM coin can also be used to pay for Uber – REM Loyalty’s partner – as well as pay rent and exercise a number of other practical uses. Dubbed as a ‘lifestyle rewards program’ the REM loyalty program is one of the more expansive out there, offering rewards across several industries with no expiration date.

Date Founded: July 2017

Funding Type: ICO


French startup Sandblock is a launching pad for companies to create branded tokens as a conduit for customer rewards programs. Sandblock’s Satisfaction protocol is the underlying basis for each uniquely branded coin, and it’s versatility is aimed at helping brands not only retain customers through better loyalty programs, but acquiring new ones through the Sandblock ecosystem.

ICO: April 5, 2018

Funding Type: ICO


FluzFluz is a retail rewards platform that offers cash back at a number of prominent outlets, making it a consolidated reward programs enabled by the blockchain. Users have the option of redeeming their rewards in the form of cryptocurrencies, or selling the points they don’t plan to use. Cash back is also distributed in a communal manner across the platform, so that other users’ purchases are also your gain. Major retailers across industry lines, including Adidas, Uber, Disney, Shell, Delta, Apple Music, and more are partners with the FluzFluz network.

Date Founded: 2017

Funding Type: ICO


GATCOIN is a platform for the exchange of traditional retail vouchers, loyalty rewards, and coupons in a single hub where digital tokens take the place of all three. The platform is open for entry by any global retailer, a sticking point for the GATCOIN marketplace’s potential reach. But one of the most prominent features of the GATCOIN ecosystem is the A-DROP technology, which launches brand-specific tokens to audiences based on demographic, shopping preferences, and geo-location. Once tokens are accumulated, shoppers can use them to purchase products, get discounts, or claim rewards from affiliated merchants.

Date Founded: 2017

Funding Type: ICO


The Birdchain is giving users the ability to monetize their social media and instant messaging in a variety of ways. The app gives users BIRD, the Birdchain token, in exchange for watching ads, reading sponsored content, or selling their data and unused SMS messages. Essentially, the Birdchain app provides a captive audience for marketers, advertisers, and brands, and reciprocates the earnings those brands see back to the users who are digesting the sponsored content.

ICO: March 1, 2018

Funding Type: ICO


Killi, an application launched by Freckle IOT, has the express goal of granting users control back over their personal data. Simply, the Killi platform connects users and brands so that, instead of data being surreptitiously siphoned from users’ every internet move, they are able to sell their information at will. Users can either sell their data, answer surveys, or both, and the blockchain aspects of the platform allow a level of anonymity that the internet doesn’t. Smart contracts ensure that users are paid for the exchanges and surveys they consent to upon completion, all data remains on the user’s device, and the money earned can be exchanged for an Amazon gift card or PayPal cashout.

Date Founded: 2014

Funding Type: ICO

About Sam Mire

Sam is a Market Research Analyst at Disruptor Daily. He's a trained journalist with experience in the field of disruptive technology. He’s versed in the impact that blockchain technology is having on industries of today, from healthcare to cannabis. He’s written extensively on the individuals and companies shaping the future of tech, working directly with many of them to advance their vision. Sam is known for writing work that brings value to industry professionals and the generally curious – as well as an occasional smile to the face.