Dear Friends of Bindle Systems:

We hope this email finds you healthy and safe, and that the Fall is starting off as well as possible under these difficult circumstances.

We’re writing with some updates on Bindle and some requests for help.

Please reach out if anything below especially resonates, and thanks as always for your support!

– The Bindle Systems Team

Gus Warren

Co-founder and CEO

Bindle Systems – A Public Benefit Corporation

Latest public deck: https://docsend.com/view/rrxy7mduwcrj3c3n

Updates

  • Our first B2B app was approved by both Apple and Google just before Labor Day and our first pilot – a back to work use case – started last Monday, September 14th. This was a week behind schedule because the app store approval process took a bit longer than we expected, but it is still a big accomplishment, especially when one considers that app store approval of COVID-related apps is not at all a foregone conclusion. Our first consumer-focused app will be submitted to the app stores later this Fall. 
  • Additional pilots will be live over the next few weeks (weddings and TV/movie production sets), and the pipeline remains remarkably strong for a company of our size: rural colleges and universities, food processors and distributors, large media companies, sports leagues, arenas/stadiums, airlines, hotels, convention centers, and gyms.  
  • On the government front, one of the largest and most well-respected lobbying firms in DC has agreed to work with us at the FDA (to push for rapid result testing at home) and at Operation Warp Speed (to push for portable vaccine certificates). The firm is taking most of their fees in equity because they believe in our vision and our team. Our primary argument in DC is that the country simply cannot afford the wasted resources and time of having multiple private networks for proving health status – we need an open, interoperable standard.  
  • We are up to 11 full-time employees and 15 part-time contractors. 
  • We just announced the first slate of our Advisory Board, which has come together really nicely.  
  • Revenue model: after many discussions with partners and customers, we have locked in on an attractive and sustainable revenue model. We charge “verifiers” (offices, schools, venues, etc) a fee for using our platform to verify the health status of their employees, students, and guests. We then share a portion of this revenue with the companies who “issue” the health status certificates onto the platform (labs, test platforms, vaccine manufacturers, etc).  
  • We just completed our first market research study with Stripe Partners, a leading ethnography firm that normally only works with very large companies like Google, Facebook, and Spotify. Summary findings can be found here. As you’ll see, Stripe unearthed some fascinating insights, many of which are already being incorporated into our product marketing. 
  • Abbott’s recent announcement of a $5 test was a really important development – we had not expected single digit $ tests until early 2021.  
  • The drumbeat for universal, rapid-result testing is growing by the week – some recent examples: https://www.rapidtests.org/ and https://youtu.be/7jsxQWm93JE 
  • You’ll notice that my email address is no longer @freewillnetworks.com and is now @bindlesystems.com. We decided to drop Freewill Networks as a public corporate name because the name “free will” was proving problematic. While most contacts understood that we chose the name to reflect our commitment to self-sovereign identity, some assumed that “free will” had more to do with refusing to wear a mask or refusing to get a vaccine, both of which are anathema to our underlying mission. We’re still incorporated in Delaware as Freewill Networks, but our public corporate name is now “Bindle Systems” and I use a slightly longer version in my signature: “Bindle Systems – A Public Benefit Corporation”.  
  • Finally, several of you have been curious about “What’s after COVID?”. For those interested in the broader opportunity around digital identity, this McKinsey report from last year does an excellent job outlining the various use cases and applications.