The Fund Founder Spotlight Interview: Greg Rogers of Graceful
The Fund is a founder collective and early stage firm, 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 Greg Rogers, co-founder and CEO of Graceful, a consumer platform for the elegant gifting of memories, messages, and wealth. It is the future of legacy.
Across the globe there is a historical tradition of financial gifting. It started with precious metals and jewels and morphed into savings bonds, gift cards, and shares of stock. Today, that might mean crypto or an NFT. The assets have changed over time, but the idea remains the same - you want to leave a financial legacy to someone you love. The problem with the way we give and receive these financial gifts is that they often feel transactional and impersonal. What if there was a way to pass down wealth, while at the same time passing down memories and messages? That’s the idea behind the innovative new consumer platform Graceful, designed for the elegant gifting of memories, messages, and wealth. It is the future of legacy!
Graceful is a human experience driven product and very personal to CEO and co-founder Greg Rogers. He and co-founder Brian Maher started working on Graceful in April of this year with a team of four and they are launching their website today. The product will open for sale on Cyber Monday, November 28th. They are taking legacy to the next level and their product will definitely have you thinking and seeing outside the box!
What is Graceful?
We call it a Programmable Digital Vault. Think of it like a trust, built for the digital age. You can store monetary assets such as crypto in the vault. You can upload memories like photos, videos, and documents. Then you can program the vault to reveal and distribute the assets and contents based on time triggers or life events (birthday, wedding day, graduation, etc.). There is a physical cube which your recipient receives that is the AR interface to the digital vault. This might be hard to imagine so we created a video to help you visualize the experience.
What is Graceful’s “Northstar”?
Strengthening the connection to the people we love and have loved and making that connection immortal. We can’t make our loved ones immortal, but we can make the connection immortal.
How does Graceful work?
Our launch product is called Graceful 1.0. This first version of our vault is easy to set up and even easier to buy and gift to someone in your life. Each new vault comes with a kick-start in wealth of $200 of Bitcoin (BTC). The first supported vault configuration is a time lock: choose between 1, 5, or 10 years. You then include two message, one for when your recipient receives the gift and another for when the vault unlocks. The recipient then receives a sapphire blue Limited Edition 1.7 inch cube made of finely milled anodized aluminum. When they scan the cube with the Graceful App, each side of the cube produces a holographic display of a different part of the vault.
What’s the inspiration behind Graceful?
My best friend died of cancer at the age of 42 and he left behind a wife and three kids. I have a wife and three kids and I really started thinking about my own mortality and the fact that my time was finite. I was pleasantly ensconced in the investor world and I had promised myself that I was never going to do another startup, but then my world got rocked by the loss of my friend. I wanted to use technology to help him cheat death, not literally, but metaphorically. I wanted him to be able to give a cube vault to his wife and each one of his children; and I wanted a cube from him too. There's never been a platform like this for passing along not just wealth but also memories of love, with a physical interface that feels like science fiction. I thought, “what a powerful proposition.” While the story started in a sad way, I’m determined to build this vault for each of my family members so they can receive financial and sentimental gifts throughout their lives, whether I’m here in the flesh or in memory. I want others to be able to do the same.
What are Graceful's plans for the future?
The big goal is to create a product for children, but we're starting with adults (18+) to make certain that we have everything buttoned down. We also plan to make the programmability even more powerful. Soon you will be able to put just about anything digital into the vault - any financial assets, photos, videos, documents, diaries, written advice, and even your will. You will program the vault for when and how you want these things revealed or released to your loved one. Graceful 2.0 is already in the works.
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