Remi Labs wants to help brands launch NFTs
The team behind the gm groundhogs NFT project has launched a new veuture.
Remi Labs touts itself as “everything your business needs to create non-fungible token (NFT) collections that sell products, experiences, access, and memberships,” and the group is working on ways to help brands package together benefits for customers in the form of NFTs, such as access to exclusive products, discounts, and other rewards.
It started because four guys with very comfortable day jobs became obsessed with the web3 industry. “None of us know what’s going to happen with web3 and crypto and NFTs, but I haven’t experienced or seen this type of energy around a new technology more than once or twice in my life,” says Roger Emmer who left Vivint to found Remi. “When you combine that with wanting to go take a risk on a startup, and then timing seems to be really good around this space, I’ve really been excited and passionate about it just personally.”
There’s certainly plenty to be improved upon in the web3 space. Top of mind is user experience—and that’s something Remi Labs wants to change. “The UX for crypto today is horrible, and we learned that going through the groundhogs project,” says Doug Barnett, who also left Vivint. “We onboarded hundreds of new people into crypto. It’s really hard. If a business expects to bring their own customer base and sell them crypto products, the UX of that needs to be significantly better than it is today, and that’s the problem we’re trying to solve.”
Remi Labs is working to build out NFT technology to help brands create NFT packages and offerings—while making them easy to navigate by their customers. Some of the things they help with include crypto payment processing, setting up benefits through NFTs for customers, and building out a community. It’s something their experiences with gm groundhogs and their previous work experience have prepared them for.
“We can come in and check the boxes across all the different areas that a brand might be nervous of in terms of launching NFTs,” Brant Choate, Remi’s CTO, says.
Choate started building websites in 1996. At that time, he could feel that websites would be a big part of life going forward. But it was difficult to create a professional-looking website, accept payments, and build a brand. Beyond that, there were problems with online credit card scams in the early days of the internet. Now, creating a website is a fairly easy process—anyone can do it in short order with tools like website builders, how-to guides, and a low yearly investment.
Today’s hype around NFTs, cryptocurrency, and web3 technologies has a similar energy, but it’s still in its infancy. Remi wants to solve those early hurdles to make web3 much easier to navigate in the future.
“A lot of people that launched businesses online were people looking for a quick buck, and then decided it was too hard. I think a lot of what we’re hoping to help shape is a pattern for everyone else,” Choate says. “We have a lot of work to do in presenting web3 to the masses in a way that’s more understandable and easier to grasp. Right now, there are a lot of buzzwords and terms that only engineers understand. And we’re kind of looking to help it be a little more approachable for everyone else.”
NFTs might not be for every brand, but the group says the companies they’ve talked to have been receptive to what they’re offering. Many believe that NFTs will have a huge impact on our future—that, years from now, coupons, airline and hotel miles, and more could all be packaged as NFTs, without the end user even knowing it.
Choate definitely wants to get to a place where the technology becomes second-nature. He uses Amazon’s one-click checkout as an example. The average user probably doesn’t think about the technology used.
“No one’s talking about that you have to sign an SSL certificate, and that there are these seven or eight layers of technology underneath it,” he says. “I think there’s probably a world where your average consumer is just not really going to care about the details as long as they are getting additional benefits from what the technology brings. And ultimately, we believe that that’s going to happen.”
Remi Labs is part of the Y Combinator winter 2022 batch of companies, which Emmer describes as “probably the best startup incubator in the world.” Y Combinator provides seed funding for startups and receives small stakes in the companies they fund in return. Remi Labs already has customers signed on to start launching products, and they’re also looking to hire between seven and 10 people over the next few months.