Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) are a type of fundraising using cryptocurrency. They are preferred more as compared to venture capital or bank loans or angel investors primarily due to the reduced time and greater speed of transactions. An additional advantage is that this is a largely decentralised system. Though crypto coins as such do not come under any regulation, ICOs have come under scrutiny and have even been banned in countries like China.
The way an ICO works is that a company first builds a blockchain-based project or writes up an idea for one. They give a detailed description of this along with the token value and whitepaper details and set the funding goal. When investors come across this ICO, they may choose to invest in it in exchange for other altcoins such as Ethereum or Bitcoins. Once the funding goal is met, the company will then release their own coins.
Before an ICO sale starts, there can also be a pre-ICO sale. This is to familiarise the investor crowd with that ICO and also serves as an announcement about the project and its ICO sale start.
There are several web pages which can guide potential companies on how to make ICOs. The list of new ICOs coming out is: