Update November 9th 2016: The following review was published in May 2016 and was based on "version 2" of the StartRevShare platform. However, StartRevShare has since collapsed totally and other factors have come to light which prompted me to update this review. I will publish a review of Jen's latest program soon and when I do, I will place a link here for you to check it out.
About The Company
The company website is run by Jens Steyaert out of Belgium and is the successor to version 1 which was shut down not long after launching. Version 2 sets to be the ‘next big thing’ created by Jens and claims to have all the answers as to why the first one failed. They actually “guarantee people a massive ROI forever” which is a huge red flag for a company claiming not to be a deceptive scheme.
The sales page for version 2 pretty much confesses that the original version was a Ponzi scheme:
The marketing material suggests that the key difference with this program over others is that investors are paid out according to ‘real profits gained through legitimate sources’ in the form of their start network of websites. Jens also makes a big point of telling people how he has millions in Adzcoins (ADZ) for a backup. At the time of writing this 1 million ADZ equals about US$50,000.
Jens owns a number of websites that are the alleged ‘source’ of revenue to pay out affiliates investing in these ad packs.
Adzcoins & The Start Network
The following is a list of the websites that are part of the ‘start network’ and which are owned by Jen.
This is the website of the crypto currency Jens is responsible for, known as ADZ. This is the only way people can buy and sell throughout the start network of websites from what I have seen.
These ADZ are currently worth less than US$0.05 outside of his network of websites according to coinmarketcap.com:
This is a social media platform that currently has around 30k members according to the company website. It pays people ADZ for engaging in the platform. Joining this platform is essential to obtain your ‘e-wallet’ which facilitates the buying and selling of services and ad packs as mentioned.
After logging in the user is immediately encouraged to upgrade to VIP in several places, this status is essential if you wish to withdraw any money at all outside of this platform.
On one hand we are told the VIP membership is limited to only 500 people:
Whereas another page is telling us it’s limited at 2000 people:
Either way, it costs between $20-$500:
Apparently by becoming VIP you’re unique referral ID will be advertised by the company which gives you a commission shared across all the VIP members without lifting a finger. This commission is paid out in ADZ and can only be ‘cashed out’ by VIP members.
The idea behind the ADZ Extension is to have a publishers website visitors pay for content with ADZ when the user has ‘ad blocking’ software enabled. When a website visitor has ad blocking enabled, a banner will pop up in place of the ad (or some other way) instructing the visitor to sign up for StartPeeps. Participation in StartPeeps and other ways will then allow the user to earn ADZ and ‘donate’ these to the publisher
in order to unlock their content.
According to a comment I received from an affiliate, the content was never going to be locked. The visitor simply had the banners shown to them which nudged them to donating ADZ Coins to the publisher. Here’s how it was supposed to work:
1) People install a browser extension where they receive daily ADZ coins from several sources such as product sales and commissions which they can only use to donate
2) Publishers add the donation widget to their site
3) People can donate their ADZ to publishers with the click of a button
This is better than I first thought since no content is locked. However, there are still things about this I’m not keen on and it didn’t work out in the end. The new version apparently has improved this.
Instead of earning the regular 10% of your referrals ADZ income, the $500 VIP members get the full 50% share and also get paid an extra 5% on level 2 and level 3 referrals. The website also states that you will have ‘referrals for life’ given to you randomly during the course of your VIP membership.
The website constantly emphasises the whole ‘get in while it’s on the ground floor’ mentality but there is no way of knowing when, and if, this will ever ‘take off’ as Jens suggests.
This is a coupon website run by Jens that provides people with a selection of savings from different online stores. This does appear legit in itself and the only website I’ve seen that is completely separate of the referral program.
One thing I will mention is there was an offer under the ‘popular’ tab for Amazon that had no discount or offer at all.
Not sure what that’s about, maybe they are still ironing out the kinks. If this isn’t providing unique value to consumers though it will not be paying the company the kind of revenue they will need to sustain 150% ROI’s in any kind of reasonable time period.
This is very similar to a website known as Fiverr.com that operates as a marketplace. Vendors sell their services and users can get stuff done for cheap. You must use your ADZ to make purchases for services rendered, which means you must join their social network first. After having a look at a fair few of these it does not appear as though many people are actually using this service. It is only new though to be fair.
This is supposed to be some kind of crowd funding website but is not operational as of writing this.
According to the company, this is the search engine of the future. I’m personally not so convinced.
Where Is The Money Coming From?
As stated earlier, the company claims to be paying people for giving away free browser extensions which begs the question of how they can do this? Where is the revenue coming from to pay for for the ADZ Extension Referral Program when it comes time to cash out?
When you give people this browser extension then they are inevitably going to be prompted to join and participate in all of Jens networks including the coupon website. The company makes affiliate commissions every time someone makes a purchase through this website.
Thus, it seems at least plausible that funds from the coupon website are being used to pay affiliates that have given away these free extensions.
At best this is not the full story though as I am about to explain…
How The StartRevShare.com Platform Really Works
The sales page is really quite vague about the VIP and the adpacks and how they fit together. According to official FAQ page on their website we are told there are 3 main ways to earn inside this platform:
- Buy adpacks and they mature at 150% in an unknown period of time
- Refer others into your downline who will pay you 15% on all adpack purchases inside the system
- Surf advertisements provided to you by the company and make a few cents
There was only one problem with all of this- once you sign up the members area has none of this!
After logging into the back office I was not able to purchase any of these adpacks being talked about by the company. There is no option to do any of this at all, the whole platform just points people to upgrade to VIP and take part in the income streams explained above to the full.
If you need to pay $20-$500 for VIP status to be eligible to cash out your revenue, it’s not good.
I almost fell over when I saw this one though:
Ponzi scheme: paying existing investors with the revenue from new investors as oppose to revenue gained through legitimate investments in the market and/ or through the sales of goods to non-affiliates. Tacking an ad pack on top does not legitimise things.
Earning & Spending Your ADZ
The only way you can currently earn ADZ is to use the social platform, marketplace, search engine and a refer others to do the same.
The only way you can use any earned ADZ is in the marketplace to buy ‘gigs’ and a very similar partner website offering a crypto currency rev share platform located at cryptocointraffic.com. There’s no way the majority of people are going to join this referral program to buy gigs and purchase content that almost NO ONE is ‘locking up’ with this system.
This leaves funds being used to gain entry into a similar scheme possibly even owned by the same people.
Alternatively you can cash these ADZ out fully IF you purchase a $500 VIP membership…
What I Liked
- The general concept of giving content publishers another way to reach those with ad blocking enabled browsers is kind of interesting in itself
- The coupon website does seem to be a separate revenue source that could be used to pay out a percentage of affiliates legitimately. The question is though, how much value does this really have over similar websites and how can we know the amount of revenue coming from this to pay out adpacks as they mature?
What I Didn’t Like
First of all, there are no adpacks available for purchase in the back office, we are only given the option to purchase a VIP membership. This is because the entire adpack campaign was scrapped, yet they continued to use a sales page that does not explain this properly to people and provides a FAQ page that flat out lies to people about what to expect on the inside.
It also appears as though the user base for their other so called legitimate revenue streams is fairly dead. For example I couldn’t see any number of people having placed a job in the Market Place at all. Not only this but to make a purchase in this marketplace requires funding your account which is a super elaborate and annoying process to say the least.
To fund your account requires creating a BitCoin wallet somewhere, funding it and then creating an account with Yobit.net to trade BitCoin for ADZ using the address you are given in the social media platform. The worst part is that none of this is even explained in the very area you need this information- StartPeeps! The only reason I know is because I found the blog lol.
Think about this for a moment…
An everyday consumer want to get a gig done for $5. They have the choice to go through this elaborate funding process that can actually take days to complete if you are setting things up for the first time OR using a better quality and better known platform known as Fiverr.
Which would you choose?
I can honestly see a lot of people becoming frustrated when it comes to making a simple $5 purchase for a gig. So much for creating a valuable third party marketplace for non-affiliates to fund ROI’s.
Some of the other things I wasn’t keen on:
- On one hand they say VIP membership is limited to 500, then they say it’s 2000 on another page… which is it?
- They claim to have all of these truly separate streams of revenue to pay affiliates buying adpacks but at present the only legitimate revenue source that could possibly justify 150% ROI’s would be their coupon website
- Claim to have millions of ADZ in stockpile which may be true in itself but 1 million ADZ equates to around US $50k
Despite the company’s claims of legitimacy and third party revenue sources I am not convinced this is 100% legit. In fact, at this point I believe this could be a recruitment driven Ponzi scheme. In one way or another these websites are all interlinked to the purchase of a low value crypto currency and do not hold the kind of value I would expect to support the companies claims to be generating solid revenue from non-affiliates.
Everyone using the marketplace is an affiliate by default, since they need a StartPeep account. Likewise, the majority of those joining StartPeep are those looking to make money with the opportunity. All members are strongly encouraged to participate in the opportunity by ‘upgrading to VIP’. The only way people earn real money with this is to pay for VIP and then get a passive ROI that is most likely coming from the VIP sales themselves.
Whatever the case, this was a pretty elaborate ‘mash up’ of a business model that ultimately ended up collapsing like the first version. I will be reviewing the latest program from Jen called AdzBuzz in due course which is hopefully a solid improvement.