NFT Platform Curios Raised $5M in 6 Days Through Crowdfunding Campaign
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are booming in popularity, but those who are new to the space often encounter a significant learning curve.
Grant Powell wants to lower the barriers to access in the NFT world. He is the founder and CEO of Curios, a tool that allows people to create NFTs or set up their own marketplace without any knowledge of blockchain technology.
“Curios’ vision is that any asset on any blockchain or wallet, in any metaverse, game or marketplace can be easily acquired, managed, liquidated or moved without needing to know a single thing about how the underlying blockchain technologies work,” Powell said.
Curios recently raised $5 million through a crowdfunding campaign that lasted only six days, he said.
The Austin-based startup hopes to open up the world of NFTs to users who are not familiar with blockchain technology and would prefer a more familiar e-commerce interface, similar to Shopify. With Curios, the Web2 e-commerce layer and the Web3 layer are tied together by a third layer that makes those two work together. By integrating e-commerce capabilities into the Web3 world, users are able to buy NFTs with a simple credit card transaction.
Curios allows users to create their own NFTs and share them on the platform of their choice. The startup also helps users control the permissions to the NFT content, sell or transfer the NFT to another person and manage the digital rights or intellectual property tied to the NFT.
Curios also makes it easy for users to create their own NFT marketplaces — a daunting task even for a software engineer.
“You would have to have a cryptocurrency wallet that’s on the right chain, that’s connected to your browser that you know how to use the private keys for, that you then connect to another platform just to start the process of creating a marketplace,” Powell said. “It’s those first five steps that 95 percent of humans can’t figure out. So we just alleviated those first five steps.”
Curios is not the first marketplace creation platform, but it may be the first to allow credit cards in lieu of a cryptocurrency wallet. These “Web2 bridges,” as Powell calls them, include fiat payment onramps and custodial crypto wallets.
Powell said he believes Curios may also be the first to offer language translation and currency conversion tools, both of which further the company’s mission to encourage “mass global adoption” of NFTs.
The startup also allows users to mint NFTs across more blockchains than any other NFT marketplace creation platform, Powell said. Curios accommodates eight different blockchains, including non-Ethereum-based blockchains such as Casper and Tezos. This means that a user could mint a NFT on Solana, Polygon and Casper, list them all in the same marketplace and have people purchase them with a single checkout on a single payment.
Curios started building its platform in January of 2021 and launched its first marketplace last August. Curios powers more than 8,000 NFT marketplaces, including Triller, a social video-sharing platform that wants to give its creators the opportunity to turn their content into a NFT with a single tap, and E-NFT, which sold the first music album to go platinum as a NFT.
The new funding from the crowdfunding campaign will be used to hire developers that can facilitate the interoperability and portability of NFTs, which would allow users to import NFTs into metaverses, virtual reality games or other marketplaces.
“That portability that we’re creating — this protocol layer — is going to go beyond just our customers’ marketplaces,” Powell said. “It’s going to take people who create digital assets on our platform and make those assets compatible with other platforms, like video games, virtual reality, stuff like that.”