Web3 doesn’t have the most inclusive reputation, but many crypto founders talk about entering the space with the next 100 million users. According to statistics, the next 100 million can not could be. A totally active group of white people who spend most of their time coding and/or day trading (no shade, just pointing out a fact)!
this week Chain reactionI interviewed Devin Lewthan, founder of Twentysomething, who seems to have found the secret sauce for bringing Web3 to new audiences.
Her NYC-based media company Mad Realities has debuted the first season of “Love Proof,” a reality TV show focused on dating that allows viewers to engage with the plot and make key decisions through NFTs. This April, Mad Realities raised $6 million in a seed round from investors including crypto VC firm Paradigm and socialite Paris Hilton to build a platform it envisions as the “Netflix of web3.” You can listen to the full interview with Devin below.
“We think what’s going to bring the next 100 million people to crypto is satisfaction because it’s familiar. It’s a matter of actual consumer use,” Lewthan said on the podcast.
Lewthan, who rose to fame in the tech world when she launched the viral clubhouse show “NYU Girls Roasting Tech Guys” during the pandemic, first became interested in NFTs when she started talking to her friend and co-founder Alice Ma. How crypto can help the way media is supported.
“We basically put out a blog post, where people are doing NFTs on this dating show and who’s on the show, what’s going on and who’s going to win and have fun, special, management benefits based on the tier you buy,” Lewtan said.
Shortly after the Mad Realities team released their first blog in November, they raised $500,000 worth of ethereum to fund the product. Within a few months, they whipped up a five-week interactive show filmed in person in New York City.
The audience for the first season, which ended in April of this year, was ~55% female and primarily comprised of people who came primarily for the show’s entertainment value rather than its connection to Web 3, Lewtan said.
Once audience members saw the perks and voting rights offered to Mad Realities NFT holders, the so-called “roseholders” lashed out at the “Bachelor” franchise.
They were able to say to their friends: I’m sure these roses that are showing are people who bought NFTs, and they let those NFTs vote on things, and then the money from the NFTs funded the show. And then they just make sense to me, more so than most of the projects in the space… That’s not really a use case as a scam as I think with NFTs,” Lewthan said.
As for what’s next, he said the next chapter, “Proof of Love,” which is expected to launch early next year, will inform the startup as it creates a broader vision of what the Web3 media platform will look like. They are experimenting with ideas like bringing other content creators onto the Mad Realities platform and helping them launch their own NFT projects for their audience, she added.
Above all, Lewthan emphasized the importance of keeping user-friendliness in mind while developing the product.
One of the things we focus on when building our app is that this is important. [creating a crypto wallet] It is not one of the steps in the process. You should be able to create an account and not worry about it being linked to a wallet.” Lewthan said.
“It’s wallet compatible, but if you sign up, you have to have NFT in your wallet and in your app and you don’t even think about it… So what are the things we’re going to focus on? Does it have the experience to be user-friendly and mobile-first in a place where it doesn’t even sound like a crypto product?”