From Monet to Money
Why we invested in Talis Protocol
Benson Oak Ventures is investing in Web3 start-ups based on a core thesis around Passionware. We invest early — backing strong, passionate Founding teams who have strong product capabilities and skills to scale a community from early adopters to mass market usage.
We invest in products that will leverage the potential of Web3 and also make the products seamless to use and appealing to a broad mass market. As with Web2, we love great UI/UX - which we consider even more important in decentralized platforms.
At first glance, Talis looks like an NFT marketplace - and a highly visually appealing one. Under the hood Talis is building the NFT-based platform that artists deserve. A simple way for real world and digital artists to mint their NFT’s and link into a network of print on demand providers bridging the digital and real world without any middlemen.
With NFTs, we saw the advent of huge market opportunity open up for artists, freed from shackles of multiple middle men for distribution and sales leaving the artist with cents on the dollar and no real opportunity for livelihood from their passion.
Opensea was the first marketplace to really take off and saw NFT artists, collectors and speculator generate sales volumes of $8M last February and finished 2021 with over $14B. Opensea is the wild west of NFT marketplaces with no curation of the art, insane ethereum gas prices and a centralized take rate marketplace.
Talis Protocol: From Monet to Money
The team has a broad vision for Artists and NFTs moving them beyond speculative instruments into a real business by bridging the digital to the real world through a decentralized print on demand solution. This opens up benefits for multiple stakeholders as everyone gets to share in royalties created through art, its adoption and its further merchandising.
Artists and Creators. Enabling artists to connect with print on demand (POD) services around the world so buyers can get their NFT's and ownership on canvas, t-shirt, book etc.. This leads to immense value for all other stakeholders in the POD ecosystem
Printing Companies. Removing middleman and providing global marketplace for POD services with a focus on high quality ownership based art. This provides better margins by going direct to buyers and most importantly - empowers artists with real business opportunities, reducing overdependency on pure NFT sales.
Consumers. They now have access to a massive collectibles market and also can themselves port this to the offline world and showcase their ownership in the physical world.
Art investors. Over time art investors will see what catches on and be able to build affiliate/rev share businesses with said artists as well as stake early promising artists and subsidize distribution for rev share opportunities.
The Talis Protocol engenders business fundamentals within what is today a collectible / speculative asset. This also erects the foundations for artists to turn their NFT businesses into financial collaterals and business partnership opportunities leveraging Defi.
The team had a soft launch in November and transaction volumes have been doubling month on month with great feedback from artists and users alike. They are proving the fit for long tail artists and iterating and improving on product and seamlessness of experience. Behind the scenes, the team has pipeline of unique art collections involving high end galleries with exposure to non crypto-native collectors. (TBA)
The Economy & Unlocked TAM
Conventional art generated sales of $50B in 2020 while the NFT market has done $40B in volume this past year with no slowdown in sight. While there likely will be a reset in the market at some point with many “art pieces” plummeting in price - the underlying mechanism and accompanying appetite it awakened with artists of all types isn’t going anywhere.
Talis will be opening up NFTs to a business market by connecting with POD solutions around the globe that will be integrated as part of the protocol and enable artists to mint their collections and give purchasers automatic options to print on different materials without any middlemen and unnecessary commissions.
Printing on T-shirts alone is an almost $4B dollar market and add to this, cups, books, canvasses, textiles, masks - any surface on which to showcase art, status and uniqueness, and the potential market unlock for Talis is immense. We could easily imagine the combination of print and NFTs to open up new marketing channels and community engagement for anything from music festivals to movies to game launches and corporate events. The opportunities are endless and at the cusp of unleashing great creativity.
The Token: Use Cases and Incentives
Transactions on Talis happen with UST (Terra stable coin) with a very small commission going to the Talis treasury. This is then used for buybacks and distribution to the stakers of the Talis token - where stakers will be compensated for their longevity as well as amounts staked.
The idea is to maximize stakeholders that are aligned with the long term vision of having a DAO that is owned by artists, curating gorgeous art, discovering up and coming artists and having a seamless business model to tap into with opportunities in digital, real world print and gallery relationships. (As Talis will be showcasing with an upcoming confidential announcement).
The token appreciation is directly tied to the growth of the Talis network and activity. Growing transaction volumes, attracting more high quality artists, as well as more believers in the DAO that will stake and provide liquidity, participate in artist grants, launchpads and much more. Talis will cover the gamut from discovering up and coming artists to building full businesses through print on demand relationships.
TALIS marketplace is really a form of vertical integration - create art, expose virtually (NFTs) and physically (through printing), secure access to funding and distribution to new audiences on a global scale, and an investment club for projects and artwork — all in the hand and decision making of the token holders.
The Talis Protocol is Web3 Passionware, enabling multiple stakeholders to benefit and “be their own business”, whether as an artist, curator, financier, investor, or merchandiser.
We’re excited to see how this evolves and to have invested alongside great investors such as Arrington, Parafi, @CozoMedici, Collider Ventures and others while seeing the team build, focus on artists and community and establish strong foundations to support their growth.