Fresh off a $10 million pre-sale, Japanese blockchain startup Patron has officially launched it’s pre-ICO sale, with an ambitious $20 million target. Patron is part of a new wave of ICOs bringing local expertise onto the global platform. Founded by Japanese micro-celebrity turned ICO advisor, Atsushi Hisatsumi, the platform is looking to centralize all influencer marketing activity on to the blockchain.

Influencer marketing has exploded over the past few years as global brands recognize the importance and positive ROI that influencers can bring to the table. Despite this growth, influencer marketing is still a new frontier for most brands. Three-quarters of Instagram influencers fall into the 18 to 34 age range, with those aged 18 to 24 accounting for 42% of them. The marketplace is young in general, leaving a generational gap between traditional companies.

Due to this gap, influencers are often in the cross-hairs of messy contracts and engagements, sometimes leading to exploitation of services. Patron is looking to solve this and to help bring awareness to the vast majority of influencers that may never be found.

For example, influencers can be impactful in a small subset of people which may leave them in the shadows of major brands. Add in geographical challenges and some aspiring influencers face a severe uphill battle to be found, despite having access to popular applications like Instagram and Facebook.

Why is this important? For one, 30% consumers are more likely to buy a product recommended by a non-celebrity blogger. Consumers can relate more to these influencers and value their opinions more than that of celebrity influencers. Just 3% of consumers are influenced by celebrity endorsements in their product purchase decisions.

When you start breaking this down, it becomes evident that micro-celebrities need a platform where they can effectively locate brands, communicate with them, and sign far rates in a secure and safe environment. Patron is doing just this and making it convenient on a global scale, making it attractive for all parties.

Following an international private sale that saw over $10 million in investments from multiple countries and entrepreneurs, Patron has its sights set on the United States. The team will be traveling to New York City in February to film with Small Cap Nation and Nasdaq in Times Square, as well as visit Silicon Valley – the hopeful future home of Patron.

Patron’s pre-ICO will run through February 28, 2018 and will include a 50% bonus on all contributions. Following this round, a public ICO will commence on March 1, 2018 and end on March 31, 2018. The total hard cap for the project is $40 million. The team is advised by an international advisory board including former TechCrunch co-founder, Keith Teare, and Tori Lane Casserly, the co-founder of  CoinTelegraph.Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.

David is a professionally accredited leadership and marketing coach who works with young founders and early stage teams to help them navigate through emerging marketing opportunities with a current focus on artificial intelligence and virtual reality. Using the identification of new technological innovations that give way to different paths that can effectively reach customers, David is able to make marketing departments more effective, adaptable, and progressive.