“Our Box is really the first physical vestige of Web3,” said Keyvan M. Sadeghi (CEO and Co-founder, Functionland). “For a small initial investment, Box allows people to save money, own and control their own data, and become part of the network, rather than pay monthly for that right. It’s also the first open-source monetization platform in the industry to reward independent software developers. It’s a step toward democratizing the internet while improving the way the internet works for us – individual users – all over the world.”
As we continue to build out the infrastructure that makes up the Open Metaverse, it is necessary to provide customers with products that compete with established Web2 services that they have become accustomed to. One of these ubiquitous protocols is cloud storage. The ability to store photos, documents, and other data in the cloud is something users expect. Of course, current solutions are hosted on centralized networks that the general public has no ownership of or control over.
From AI to Web3
Co-Founder and CEO of Functionland Keyvan Sadeghi, after studying Artificial Intelligence, took a job in GAI (General Artificial Intelligence) in Hong Kong where he was introduced to the world of open-source. He became enamored with the ability to collaborate and share in this manner, developing a passion that naturally led him into the world of blockchain and Web3 technology as a possible way to monetize the open-source ethos in a way that benefits all parties involved. With this motivation, Functionland was born.
Box by Functionland
On March 1 of this year, Functionland announced their first product, Box. This piece of hardware, which Sadeghi calls “the first physical vestige of Web3,” acts as a personal server, meaning that users no longer need to rent out storage space from one of the Big Tech giants that currently dominate the space. Box’s software connects it via the blockchain to all of the other Box devices, backing up user data and securing it across the entire network. Beyond freeing users from Big Tech monthly cloud subscription models, Box also grants daily crypto rewards for volunteering to back up the data of others on their device, building a network that creates value through supporting itself.
Functionland is focused on user experience, understanding that the current state of blockchain, with its learning curve for using wallets and other platforms, does not necessarily translate to the mainstream consumer. With this in mind, they have designed the Box to be comparable in size and setup to an Apple TV or similar device. This combination between simple, usable front-end and powerful, fully open-source backend aims to bridge the gap between Web2 and Web3 for the mainstream user, providing them the benefits of essentially becoming a crypto miner without needing the technical expertise.
The Future of Functionland
After an oversubscribed seed funding round that we at Outlier participated in, Box launched a crowdfunding campaign at the end of March for the Box that sold out in five minutes. Currently, in close partnership with the design firm fuseproject and their designer Yves Béhar, they are creating the final structure for the Box.
Currently, Box has a working model of their Fotos app, as well as a password manager and an app that will allow for file storage in a manner that competes with Dropbox. By the time the product ships, Functionland anticipates that the app selections will be further built out by the open-source community.
Many things in Web3 currently require a high learning curve. Yet, in order for blockchain to take the next step into the mainstream, applications need to be accessible and understandable to the average consumer. Functionland has taken what we believe to be the perfect approach in pushing the next level of adoption by providing an easy-to-use alternative to an existing centralized service. The value proposition of replacing subscription services, providing users with control over their data and even rewards, is an easy-to-understand advantage that brings new users into the Open Metaverse.
Learn More about Functionland
The Project ▶ https://fx.land
The Community ▶ https://twitter.com/functionland
Listen to the Podcast with Functionland
About Outlier Ventures
Outlier Ventures has been backing Web 3 founders since 2014 and is the world’s leading Open Metaverse accelerator program, and was one of the first VC firms dedicated to investing in the emerging crypto ecosystem. Their portfolio includes notable projects across DeFi, NFTs and blockchain infrastructure with a focus on emergent Open Metaverse use cases such as NFT-based play-to-earn games, augmented reality and more. Outlier Ventures portfolio can be found here.
Both Base Camp and Ascent are constantly looking for founders accelerating the open Metaverse thesis by launching token networks. We provide a proven framework for growth while weaving together a global network of over 1,000 of the world’s leading Web 3 founders, protocols, and VCs to form an ecosystem of mentorship and investment.
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