Kodak’s last-ditch effort to remain relevant is underway!
The beloved camera company’s pivot to blockchain—the business detour du jour—is moving forward. In January, Kodak announced plans to use its name on multiple products at the intersection of photography, image rights, and the blockchain. Today, Kodak announced its plans to raise up to $50 million in both a public and private ICO.
Many have regarded Kodak’s pivot as a hasty attempt to raise quick money. When the blockchain move was first announced, Kodak’s stock quickly shot up, spiking at near $12 a share. Since then, it’s gone significantly down to around $5.
The ordeal has similarities to the Long Island Iced Tea Corp., which announced plans to rebrand as Long Island Blockchain. As soon as the press release published, the former beverage brand’s stock went crazy, but investor interest soon waned. It turned out that Nasdaq had threatened to boot the company if its stock price didn’t go up, so the pivot was a last-ditch effort to do just that.
For what it’s worth, Kodak’s blockchain ambitions seem a little more believable than an iced tea company. One of its cryptocurrency-adjacent partnerships is with a company called Wenn Digital, which is building a blockchain platform for image licensing and rights. Photographers would pay for these rights in KodakCoins, which would be created via a coin offering.
But this isn’t exactly Kodak project. Rather, the company is licensing its name and is only a minority stakeholder. In fact, all Kodak will receive from KodakCoin is 3% of the coins issued and future revenue on royalties, reports the New York Times.
The token offering will begin May 21, and then we’ll see if it’s able to raise the $50 million it believes it can. Investors don’t seem too thrilled. Kodak shares are down nearly 7% from its closing price last night.