Spending millions on a digital piece of art that could be screenshotted feels like walking around on a strip of concrete as a tourist activity. The look doesn’t make immediate sense – there’s hardly any incentive for something as accessible as a Google image or a street.
This is my best bet to explain at least some of the confusion surrounding the explosive rise in NFTs or non-fungible tokens. The token minted in the blockchain can give digital assets a unique identifier. In other words, anyone could scan a work of art, but only one of us will own the true, original work of art. That context is part of the reason why Beeple, a digital artist, sold his artwork for $ 69 million just days ago.
The reason this topic comes up in a weekly startups newsletter is because of the impact it could have on the cryptocurrency movement, of which there are a growing number of early and late stage startups. The popularization of NFTs, as I outlined in Equity this week, could lead to the cryptocurrency finally becoming tangible for the average person – alongside the average Bitcoin hoarder. With platforms that sell NFTs, you usually have to use cryptocurrency (usually Ethereum) to buy something. Mix that with the fact that people have an innate desire to own, protect, and perpetuate their wealth and you could have the perfect storm. Beeple, a digital artist, made $ 69 million for his work and this is not just a major funding event but a signal that crypto enthusiasts and crypto assets have an inescapable place in public dialogue.
Ownership as a way of making a decentralized network mainstream is a metaconversation in its own right, and I’ll make it clear that the blockchain and NFTs still have a long way to go before they are truly fair and accessible and make their move. But it’s hard not to be distracted by the possibilities here.
It’s more than a screenshot, it’s about the potential of pixels that have more meaning than ever before. And it’s more than a strip of concrete, it’s the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Finding exclusive aspects of accessible things in our lives is imperative for a consumer and could be great for creators.
In the remainder of this newsletter, we’ll discuss Coupang’s competitive edge in the industry, a startup hoping to be the Nasdaq for revenue, and Google’s brain battling Google itself. As always, you can follow me on Twitter @nmasc_ for my thoughts during the week and technical news.
The Amazon of South Korea goes public
Coupang, which some refer to as the Amazon of South Korea, set the price this week and began trading in the public markets. At one point on Thursday, the company was valued at $ 92 billion.
Here’s What You Should Know: When Coupang first launched, South Korea found that the U.S. had no third-party logistics companies similar to UPS or FedEx. Now it wasn’t without competition, but it had an opportunity to build an end-to-end logistics company that is now worth a shipload of money.
More IPO news:
The Nasdaq for revenue
Pipe has a compelling narrative: it’s anti-VC, doesn’t like to call its rounds, and says its goal is to be the Nasdaq for revenue. The goal from the start has been to give SaaS companies the ability to generate their income upfront by connecting them to investors who pay a rate for the annual value of those contracts. It converts monthly recurring income into annual recurring income.
Here’s what you should know: The startup raised $ 50 million at a funding event this week. In the first quarter of 2021, tens of millions of dollars were traded on the platform, reports Mary Ann Azevedo of TechCrunch.
Can You Beat Google With Google’s Mind?
On our main equity show this week, the trio discussed a number of news items that of course lend themselves to a piece we wrote months ago: Meet the Anti-Cartel Startup Club.
(BTW, if you want a big discount on Extra Crunch, just use our code EQUITY when you sign up to access great items like this and most of our analytical work.)
Here’s what you should know: Neeva, which was created by a team of ex-googlers, including the man who created Google’s advertising engine, is a startup to watch. There is a lot to chew and we do it best in the episode. So listen and find out if you are Team Natasha and Danny or Team Alex.
Blaming the intern will not save your startup from cybersecurity liability
As SolarWinds points out, a company can be held liable for the mistakes of its employees through a legal term known as “vicarious agent”.
Cybersecurity writer Chandu Gopalakrishnan explains what it means to you and what you can do to stay on the right side of the law.
All about TechCrunch
A few household items this week:
In the course of the week
Seen on TechCrunch
With its first acquisition, Zapier buys a Makerpad with no code
Sequoia Capital is investing millions of dollars in Gather, a HQ virtual platform
Seen on ExtraCrunch
There have never been more fintech rounds worth $ 100 million than now
What I wish I had known about venture capital as a founder
White label voice assistants will win the battle for podcast discovery
4-way startups will drive the rollout of GPT-3 in 2021