Initial coin offerings (ICOs) are a means of raising capital using the blockchain technology. On the side of the issuer, the collected funds are typically used to finance a project (e.g. the building of a software).
In exchange for the financing, the investor receives a token which may be connected with the right to receive, e.g. a dividend, a voting right, a license, a property right or a right to participate in the future performance of the issuer.