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Blockchain-Powered App Astra Raises US$1 M on Shark Tank Vietnam

On the ninth episode of Shark Tank Vietnam Season 3, which was televised on 18 September, Astra – a blockchain-enabled travel social network – has set a record of the highest value deal with $1 million in exchange for a 15% of its shares. This call for funding is controversial when the App is still not available on both Google Play and Apple’s App Store, but the startup sets its own valuation of US$10 million.

Despite the fact that the other 4 Sharks shook their heads, Shark Nguyen Thanh Hung – Vice Chairman of CENGroup – commits to pouring $200,000 into this startup and will conduct partial disbursements for the rest of his $1 million funding amount when Astra’s business model is recognized and trusted by experts.

According to CEO Nguyen Tiep, Astra is the first travel social network in the world to pay rewards to users. Astra CEO believes that by rewarding users who provide reputable reviews and recommendations of attractions and travel services, this social network will soon appeal a large number of users.

The idea of rewarding content creators is no longer something new. However, Astra founders realize that users deserve more benefits once they share experiences and reviews to the community. Nevertheless, the rewarding system faces the obstacle of how to ensure transparency and fairness.

Then, Astra is the answer to that concern as the team develops a tool, called Proof of Rating, to measure content’s value. Its formula takes into account the number of interaction types, content creator’s reputation index, interactor’s reputation index, and content-type parameters.

In terms of transparency, Astra applies blockchain technology, with the use of smart contracts to allocate bonus payments. Each Astra user will be assigned a private wallet address and a private key. When a user posts, the Proof of Rating system will calculate rewards for that user, and transfer this data to the active smart contract, which will be paid automatically to the user’s wallet.

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