The co-founders of ReelStar, Navdeep Sharma and Nick Bahl, set out to create a blockchain-based social media platform for the media and entertainment industry that would empower creators operating within this sector.
The two entrepreneurs believe that they have created a decentralized platform that integrates multiple social media, Web3, and payment functionalities to help users distribute and monetize their content. Bahl explains that the platform uses smart contracts to ensure that content creators are paid fairly and on time, and that revenue is distributed transparently. Sharma adds that the ReelStar solution will serve not just the stars for their revenue-producing capacity, but also everyone within this ecosystem. Sharma declares that the Web3 philosophy and technology will drive a new artist and fan-centric revenue model that is democratized, and offers greater engagement and artistic development potential, as well as reduced costs for all participants.
ReelStar is an app that offers a number of functionalities, such as live streaming, video sharing, peer-to-peer chat, audio/video calling, and more. One of its key features is ReelPay, a mobile-first, global payment solution with seamless integration of fiat and cryptocurrencies. This feature has been designed to put creators more in control of their work.
ReelPay was launched in Dubai in the last quarter of 2022. Bahl recalls that the development process wasn't an easy ride and that it took them two years to get to the point where they are confident that their product has all the desired functionalities.
Bahl points to the importance of flexibility, communication, and garnering feedback from end consumers as key lessons learned during the development process for ReelStar.
ReelStar is the world's first "everything" app. It offers live streaming, video sharing, peer-to-peer chat, audio/video calling, and more.
As serial entrepreneurs, both Sharma and Bahl have had first-hand experience developing several internet-based ventures. This has attuned them to the importance of being an early adopter when it comes to the evolution of technology. Their experiences have made them hyper aware of how the Internet has changed how people consume media, but also that the industry at large is still plagued by issues like piracy, a broken revenue-sharing model, and lack of transparency. "The media and entertainment industry is a multi-billion dollar industry that has traditionally been dominated by a few big players," Sharma says. "We both felt that the Web3 space had achieved sufficient technical maturity to support not only its applica- tion to the ReelStar venture, but that it was ripe for the kind of innovation that we envisioned bringing to the space."
The ReelStar solution has, so far, been funded by seed capital from the co-founders, together with limited funding rounds and private and preliminary token offerings- the company raised over US$5 million from the initial token offering of its utility token, ReelToken (REELT), which is based on a multi-blockchain platform. Its architecture makes use of networks by Polygon and Binance Smart Chain.
Bahl says that if they had the opportunity to raise funds again, they would have done it in fewer rounds. The utility token's use case and the opportunity to change the way things are done with Web3 technologies is what interests investors and potential users. They want to be better than other app providers and be known as a market leader.
and a general lack of understanding from the mainstream."
The ReelStar co-founders believe that, given the tremendous growth and development of sectors centered on the blockchain over the past few years, the industry has now gained mainstream attention from investors, institutions, and governments. Sharma says, "Many new use cases have emerged, ranging from decentralized finance to non-fungible tokens, and the industry has attracted significant investment and attention from both retail and institutional investors. However, the $2 trillion industry is also facing challenges, such as regulatory uncertainty, scalability issues, and a general lack of understanding from the mainstream."
"The crypto/Web3 sector has the potential to revolutionize many industries," says Sharma. In the UAE, he says, there has also been a growing interest in this sector, with the government launching various initiatives that helped the UAE become a hub for crypto and blockchain startups. "However, the regulatory framework for the industry in the UAE is still evolving, and there is a need for clarity and guidance from the authorities," Sharma adds. Bahl shares the opinion that the blockchain sector will continue to grow and mature with new use cases emerging; however, he expects this to be coupled with the increased regulatory scrutiny and oversight. "Governments and regulators will seek to balance innovation with investor protection and market stability," he says. "The environmental impact of cryptocurrencies will also be a key focus, and we may see more sustainable approaches to mining and energy consumption also emerge. Overall, I believe that the crypto/Web3 sector has the potential to revolutionize many industries, and that it will continue to be an exciting and dynamic space to watch.
Navdeep Sharma and Nick Bahl are the co-founders of ReelStar, a social media platform that is integrated with Web3.
Sharma says that the UAE is a good place to base a crypto or Web3 business because the government is proactive and supportive of innovation. He advises potential entrepreneurs to be aware of local regulations and cultural differences. "One of the main considerations for crypto and Web3 entrepreneurs expanding their businesses in the UAE is to ensure compliance with local regulations and laws," he says. "While the UAE is a welcoming destination for businesses, it also has strict regulations that must be adhered to. Entrepreneurs need to understand the local regulations, and seek guidance from legal experts to ensure compliance. Another consideration is the cultural differences and business practices. The UAE has a unique culture and way of doing business, and entrepreneurs need to understand and respect these differences to build successful relationships with local partners and customers."
"One of our key goals for 2023 is to expand our presence in the MENA region," say the co-founders. "We plan to further develop our platform and ecosystem, with a focus on increasing user adoption and engagement, as well as expanding our range of services and offerings to cater to the diverse needs of our users and clients," Sharma adds. "We will continue to focus on delivering a seamless and user-friendly experience for our customers, with an emphasis on security and privacy. We also plan to contribute to the growth and development of the Web3 ecosystem by collaborating with other projects and sharing our knowledge and expertise."
The conversation then turns to the talent gap in the blockchain sector. Sharma and Bahl use this as an opportunity to make a call for more education about -and in- the industry. Bahl explains that there is a need for skilled professionals who can design, develop, and implement decentralized applications and systems. He advises Web3 founders looking to address this talent gap to invest in education and training programs to develop the skills of current employees, and attract new talent. This could include partnering with universities and online learning platforms to offer courses and certification programs in blockchain and decentralized technology. Founders can also consider establishing mentorship programs or internships to provide practical experience to aspiring professionals.
"The talent gap in the Web3 sector presents an opportunity for innovative and forward-thinking founders to invest in human capital and develop a competitive advantage," says Sharma. He adds that another route to achieving the same goal could be leveraging decentralized hiring platforms, and collaborating with other Web3 companies to share talent resources, and pool their expertise. "It's important to create a culture that fosters innovation and continuous learning to attract and retain the best talent in the industry," he concludes.
- "TREP TALK: ReelStar co-founders Navdeep Sharma and Nick Bahl share their tips for entrepreneurs in the Web3 space.2. STAY LASER-FOCUSED ON YOUR MISSION: "With so many exciting developments happening in the crypto/Web3 space, it can be easy to get distracted by new opportunities and ideas. However, it's crucial to stay focused on your company's mission and long-term goals. This will help you avoid shiny object syndrome, and ensure that you're building a sustainable business that delivers real value to your users."3. BUILD A STRONG COMMUNITY: "Crypto/Web3 is all about community, and building a strong community around your project can be a key driver of success. Focus on creating a product that people love, and then work to foster a sense of belonging and ownership among your users. This will help you build a loyal following, and create a virtuous cycle of growth."4. EMBRACE EXPERIMENTATION: "The crypto/Web3 space is still in its early days, and there's a lot of experimentation happening. Don't be afraid to try new things, and take risks. Be willing to iterate quickly, and adapt to changing market conditions. The ability to experiment and pivot is a key advantage of being a startup, and that can help you stay ahead of the competition."