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Fueling Onchain Social with Social Graph Ventures

Helping power the growth in consumer crypto and onchain social applications

Today, I'm thrilled to announce that I am joining as a member/investor in Social Graph Ventures, a community DAO venture fund dedicated to investing in consumer crypto and onchain social. Jakub Rusiecki and David, both seasoned web3 builders and investors, summoned the fund. Some of the other renowned backers include Sandeep Nailwal from Polygon, Peter Pan from 1kx, Stani Kulechov, Christina as Avara, Lata Pearson from Fabric Ventures, Siddharth Jain from Decentralised Co, Abhishek from Zerion Hydra Ventures, and Ryan Li from CyberConnect, to name a few. It has been over 6 months since I became a member, and I am already learning tons about investing + seeing incredibly promising early-stage teams emerging. As a crypto marketer + builder, I intend to provide hands-on support to our portfolio, leveraging my expertise. I will also be the resident marketer. ๐Ÿ™‚

Over my last 7 years in crypto, I've helped numerous protocols and web3 projects with initial traction/go-to-market and helped achieve product-market fit/scale new network effects. I've seen firsthand how impactful marketing can be for early-stage web3 projects trying to create flywheels. Early-stage founders also need more understanding of core personas, user mapping, and journeys. Often, crypto projects have to deal with 10 or more different personas โ€“ from developers, end-users, token community, validators, governance participants, etc. Founders tend to underestimate these skills while focusing on tech. Similarly, crypto investors rarely offer hands-on marketing support to teams since it's not their expertise.

This leaves a huge gap where promising ideas fail to get traction or things fall flat after a year or two of running the show. My journey has equipped me to help bridge this gap with founders of early-stage startups even before I joined web3. 

By fusing marketing knowledge with an investment mindset, I can get into deals unattainable to other investors while adding value.

Investing in SGV is also a natural fit with my interests as an active user of crypto networks/end-user applications and observer of where consumer social is heading. I've had a lifelong passion for experimenting with emerging social platforms before discovering crypto. Going back years and years, I was an early adopter of networks like Orkut, MySpace, SecondLife, Twitter, Vine, Facebook, Path, Gowalla, Foursquare, ProductHunt, Instagram, TikTok, and more. 

On the crypto side, I avidly use Farcaster/Warpcast, Lens, Zora, ENS, Interface, 0xppl, Mirror, Sound, IYK, and more, emerging daily across various protocols.

Emergence of Farcaster Frames

Farcasterโ€™s Frames is disrupting and reshaping the approach to building consumer crypto apps by enabling the builder to build embedded applications within Farcaster. 

Since its launch on Friday, Jan 26th (aka Frame Friday), numerous Frames, i.e. micro-interactions, have gone viral on Farcaster. (on its Warpcast client)

The launch of Frames has mobilized dormant builder energy across the crypto ecosystem. 

My very first frame was courtesy Paragraph for people to subscribe to my onchain newsletter.

Investing in the Fabric of Social

                  [Via: The rise of web3 social by Albiverse

Given what drives user adoption and retention, SGV believes infrastructure has received disproportionate funding and attention thus far, while the application layer enabling social experiences remains overlooked. While money pours predominantly into L1s and L2s, we see massive potential in teams building the middleware tools, gaming integrations, identity frameworks, and other consumer fabric upon which the next generation of onchain social applications will run.

SGV aims to support startups designing with status in mind, facilitating portable reputation, visible social proof, and user-generated content incentives that retain communities. History shows networks taking this into account tend to outlast those focused narrowly on functional utility. The application layer and middleware tools enabling consumer experiences should be more appreciated. Just as picks-and-shovel companies unlocked value during the gold rush before mainstream adoption, Web3 social infrastructure is now coming online, or, to be precise, onchain.

Investment Direction

SGV plans to fund two layers of the stack:

Onchain Social Applications

Innovations across gaming, content sharing, events, communities, and consumer use cases.

Onchain Social Middleware

Picks and shovels like APIs, analytics, authentication, algorithms, and other tools that make building Web3/onchain social experiences easier. 

The Future of Onchain Social

Hype often starts slowly before hitting an inflection point. I believe onchain social will follow a similar path - infrastructure first, killer apps second, and mainstream adoption later. With Ethereum and the broader EVM ecosystem scaling and consumer understanding growing, the landscape looks ripe for new ideas to take flight. We're also seeing promising developments like ERC-6551, which allows NFT profiles to own assets and interact across web3 without changes needed by developers. ERC-6551 has already been widely implemented, notably by Lens Protocol on Polygon, and could further accelerate adoption in the ecosystem. 

Getting in early with Social Graph Ventures allows me to help that future while benefiting if the thesis proves correct. Though there are considerable risks,

I'm eager to play a small role in what could become a consumer movement as meaningful as past internet revolutions. The building blocks now exist; it's time for creators and builders to grab hold and assemble.

Web3 will enable entirely new social experience categories grounded in user ownership, control, and agency -- not exploitation. We're still extremely early, but the potential for more transparent and equitable digital interaction models feels boundless!

I look forward to how we can reshape social connectivity and community participation on the internet into something more transparent, equitable, user-owned, and onchain.

If you're building a crypto consumer/ web3/ onchain social product, I'd love to hear about it! Feel free to reach out to exchange ideas or say gm! My DMs are always open to connect.

Follow SGV on X OR join our public group on Telegram.

Big thanks my friends for reviewing this draft and sharing valuable feedback: Neeraj Thakur, Jakub Rusiecki, Jennifer Kim Tran, Niall Yorke, Gajesh Naik, Siddharth Jain, Kunal Gandhi, and Gaurang Desai. ๐Ÿ™

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#onchain#consumer crypto#onchain social#web3 social#consumer internet#socialgraphventures