ICOs have undoubtedly emerged as a novel way of generating seed capital for innovative startups. They generate funds very quickly and without the problems inherent in VC funding.

This new way of fundraising is probably the biggest financial innovations in recent years. It involves selling digital units of value, known as tokens, and the mechanism is backed by blockchain technology. So, by their very nature, ICOs have been most popular in the financial services and technology industries.

With blockchain evolving at a rapid pace, it is becoming central to any business offering information recording and managing services. And, tokens have evolved from being units of value to a medium of exchange that can be used to pay for services being offered by the issuing startup. With these transformations, businesses in almost every industry are trying to adopt blockchain and creating a path into the ICO market.

Industries and Sectors with the Most ICO Traction

2017 was a phenomenal year for ICOs, generating $3.88 billion. Here’s a look at the distribution of these funds across various industries and sectors:


  • Payment Processing
  • Exchanges
  • Managed Funds
  • Banking
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Funding Platforms
  • Other Financial Services
  • Prediction Markets
  • Insurance


  • Gaming
  • Gambling
  • Social Networks
  • Entertainment
  • Virtual Reality
  • Messaging
  • Ticketing and Reservations


  • Smart Contract Platforms
  • DApp Services
  • Data & Analytics
  • Mining
  • Data Storage
  • Distributed Computing
  • Connectivity

Professional Services

  • Online Marketplaces
  • Advertising & Marketing
  • Business Services
  • Employment
  • Incubators
  • Identity
  • Loyalty Rewards

Health & Social

  • Health & Medical
  • Social Services
  • Drugs & Alcohol
  • Education

Natural Resources

  • Energy
  • Precision Metals
  • Agriculture


  • Logistics
  • Personal Transportation
  • Real Estate
  • Public Administration

ICOs Need Knowledge of the Technology

The industries are diverse, but there a common thread – their ICO involved using blockchain-based technology to issue and sell tokens. Most of the startups are leveraging Blockchain to do something innovative. Therefore, executing an ICO requires significant technical expertise and it would do well for a company to have developers as part of the core team, as they would be setting up the blockchain for the new token. The system would need to have rules programmed for distributing the new token and accepting Bitcoin or Ethereum. And, the funds need to be kept secure.

The purpose of the new token may vary for every startup going the ICO route. It has become increasingly important for the new token to have some purpose or utility within the new company; and allow investors to use the token to gain access to features or services being offered once the project goes live.

ICOs Need Marketing Expertise

For executing a successful ICO, your project needs to gain visibility, build credibility and create excitement. This involves creating your website and whitepaper, listing on the top ICO listing sites, getting good ratings and reviews by ICO rating agencies, publishing press releases, a solid media buy strategy, optimizing your presence on various social media sites and forums and more. You need a well-planned strategy and solid execution. You could consider a content marketing company that specializes in blockchain, cryptocurrencies and ICOs.

Need help making your ICO successful? Speak to us now. Contact daniel@tokentarget.com or chat with us on Skype: tokentarget.