"Oh yeah, unlimted free kombucha!" Zoe, my dear co-founder, reacted when I first announced the news that we got invited to join Capital Factory's Venture Portfolio.
Yes we did it! The last week of my time in Austin. I feel honored.
The whole Q4 of 2021, I was on different podcasts and shows talking about my first exist, Gumdrop. I got invited to all types of shows, from talking about startups to talking about bitcoin.
While I was on air talking about Gumdrop, I also indicated the next startup that I was working on, 10XIT. I have long been a fan of the next generation of the internet. Crypto was a huge part of it. The idea of 10XIT traces back to 2017. I remember those days when Bitcoin was still in the 4 digits. What most people did not know was the fact that the first wave of the NFT boom was in 2017. I hated the UI back in the day for both crypto exchanges and NFT marketplaces. Well, NFT marketplace Opensea had no minting back in the day, and it looked like shit.
In short, I was always interested in starting something for the next generation of the internet. I started helping my influencer friends launch NFT projects. Then I start to take on all types of projects. The next thing I know, I was serving application companies that want NFT features.
I went ahead and started 10XIT, an API that allows any software company to mints NFTs on their own platform. We also made NFT features frictionless by removing as many web 3 jargons as possible, so the UX on our client's website will be as frictionless as possible. (i.e. gas-free minting, auto wallet generation, etc)
I pitched 10XIT at every event in Austin, mostly at Capital Factory and Draper Startup House. I became the NFT guy in Austin pretty soon. Everyone started to ask me about their NFT projects.
By the end of 2021, I already closed a deal with a major VR company that works with fortune 500 companies.
With one deal in the pocket, we start to get more deals. The second deal was an AR gaming company. Then AI, then NFT marketplaces... We were well on our way to our next milestone, close ten 4-and-5-figure deals. It was so amazing that we made it revenue positive this early on. We decided that we will not fundraise before we close 10 good size deals.
My goal of joining Capital Factory's portfolio started in the Gumdrop days.
I remember the first time walking into Capital Factory, I wanted to join the accelerator. I was so nervous but I knew I had to give it a try.
I was told the accelerator is no longer running, and Gumdrop wasn't making enough money to make it to the portfolio. It was the most upsetting and exciting day of my life. I was a bit upset because I couldn't make it into the portfolio. To be fair, Gumdrop did not make money at all. Meanwhile, I was extremely excited because they let me worked there for a day, and I was able to meet all these cool founders there. I was shocked by how many founders were in the same room and the energy of the space.
Love it! Capital Factory and Austin, Thank you so much for giving me so many opportunities and so much love during my time there. I will be back in due time!