The Fund Founder Spotlight Interview: Grant Powell of Curios
The Fund is a founder community and early stage fund, by founders for founders.
Welcome to The Founder Spotlight where we highlight the incredible people behind the companies we’ve backed at The Fund. This week the spotlight is on Grant Powell, founder of Curios, a Web3 platform with easy-to-use tools for every creator and business, no programming required.
The popularity of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) has skyrocketed in the past couple of years. An NFT is a digital asset that is verifiable via blockchain technologies, meaning ownership and authenticity of the asset can be tracked digitally in a way that everyone can see. Assets include one-of-a-kind artwork, music, videos, in-game assets such as avatars, and other intangible things such as owning one of the stars in the sky. Because NFTs can be rare and unique, they are becoming sought after as collectibles. The vast majority of people don’t own an NFT (let alone know how to create an NFT), nor know what to do if they want to buy one. The Web3 platform Curios makes it easy for anyone to mint, sell, buy and collect NFTs. Founder and CEO Grant Powell wants the NFT world to be accessible to all, without needing knowledge of blockchain technology. Curios is doing that by building on-ramps to Web3 through the integration of Web2 and e-commerce options such as purchasing NFTs with a credit card (as opposed to cryptocurrency that’s usually required), and creating a managed or “custodial” crypto wallet, so that buyers don’t have to go through the complicated steps of creating their own. Curios also offers currency conversion tools and language translation capabilities making it a truly global platform – virtually no other Web3 platform offers this. If this is a completely new subject and you feel lost just reading this paragraph, Curios offers some great articles that provide a more in-depth explanation.
Grant Powell is a unique founder (what some would call a unicorn) as he’s both a left-brain and right-brain person. He’s been building technologies in different capacities over the last 20 years, and also has a background in fine arts and graphic design. If you want proof, just check out the Curios website as he’s responsible for everything you see, from programming code and writing content, to the logo and design. Grant built, by himself, the vast majority of the first version of Curios’ technologies and tools that launched in August of 2021.
One of Grant’s first passions was collecting and he’s been doing it as long as he can remember. As a technologist and a collector, he was really excited about how NFTs could power digital collectibles. He tried to purchase his fist NFT and found it to be so difficult he actually abandoned the idea. He immediately saw an opportunity to make the experience easier and more user friendly, and decided to build Curios to do just that.
Curios really is the key to the Metaverse!
Why is Curious going to win?
We make it easy for people to buy and collect digital collectibles as well as create and sell those digital collectibles. We put the customer first and we put the user experience first. There are many people who are decentralization purists, which we agree with and support, but they focus on decentralization for decentralization sake, while completely forsaking the end user’s experience. I think that the winning equation is to honor the decentralization principles, while also honoring the user and making sure that you're bringing those two things together.
What sets Curios apart from competitors?
On the surface, it would appear there are many companies similar to ours, what you would call “Shopify for NFTs,” because like some of the other company’s out there, we too make it really easy to create your own storefront – this is done through our “marketplace builder.” However, Curios’ suite of tools and technologies extends greatly beyond just building NFT storefronts. Our core technologies and products include: smart contract factory, unlockable content, digital rights management and secure streaming, fiat and cryptocurrency payment rails, token-gating/ticketing, whitelists, airdrops, packs, generative art, currency conversion, language translation and so much more. And, all of these tools are wrapped in an API, so that people can take those technologies and integrate them into any other platform or marketplace that they want. It's that level of abstracting these complicated Web3 technologies, and making them available in an easy to use Web2 interface and API that's our true core product. There are very few companies who are doing that, in fact, none come to mind that are able to offer all the same features and technologies that our API and tools do.
How does Curios inspire “customer love”?
The number one piece of feedback we get is that customers are blown away by how many features we offer and how robust our platform is. Actually, one of the major global consulting firms vetted over 70 different NFT platforms and put Curios in the top three in terms of features. I also had one customer say to me, “I can't believe that you even exist, I thought it would be years before a company would come out with the level of functionality that you offer.”
Tell us about some recent milestones that Curios crushed.
We just closed a $5M seed round in 6 days, through crowdfunding. We raised $4M in the first 24 hours and then the other million in 5 days, which was really exciting.
We’ve now sold 1.2 million NFTs on our platform, but when we hit 1 million NFTs sold it was a big deal for us.
We're just about to hit the $100,000 per month revenue milestone. We’ve been seeing 25% month over month growth for the last year, which is something we're really proud of.
Do you have any interesting hobbies?
I’m a pretty serious coin collector. A coin expert is known as a “numismatist” and if you search the word on Google, I'm the first numismatist, as a person, that comes up. I specialize in medieval Scottish gold coins, and a Google search will probably lead you to my website, as it ranks in one of the top spots.
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