Curios

Growth Stage

Key to the metaverse: The easiest way to mint, sell, buy and collect NFTs

Analytics

Raised to Date: Raised: $5,000,000

Aggregate Commitments $

Platform

Republic

Start Date

06/23/2022

Close Date

08/02/2022

Min. Goal

$25,000

Max. Goal

$5,000,000

Min. Investment

$100

Security Type

SAFE

Funding Type

RegCF

Series

Seed

Valuation Cap

$30,000,000

Discount Rate

0%

Rolling Commitments $

Status
Funded
Reporting Date

10/05/2022

Days Remaining
Funded
% of Min. Goal

20,000%

% of Max. Goal

100%

Likelihood of Max
Funded
Avg. Daily Raise

$125,000

# of Investors

5,189

Momentum
Funded
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Location

Austin, Texas

Industry

Financial & Insurance Products & Services

Tech Sector

Fintech

Distribution Model

B2B/B2C

Margin

Low

Capital Intensity

Low

Business Type

High Growth

Curios, with a valuation of $30 million, is raising funds on Republic. The company has developed a platform to mint, sell, buy, and collect NFTs. The platform is the easiest way to deploy and consume NFTs and blockchain-owned digital goods. Curios has over 7,000 registered marketplaces and has sold more than 1.2 million NFTs. Grant Powell founded Curios in January 2021. The current crowdfunding campaign has a minimum target of $25,000 and a maximum target of $5,000,000. The campaign proceeds will be used for product development, marketing, business development, increasing customer awareness of the platform, and accelerating the roadmap of the company.

Summary Profit and Loss Statement

Most Recent Year Prior Year

Revenue

$1,645,805

$0

COGS

$1,513,247

$0

Tax

$0

$0

 

 

Net Income

$-621,202

$0

Summary Balance Sheet

Most Recent Year Prior Year

Cash

$161,470

$0

Accounts Receivable

$29,175

$0

Total Assets

$802,287

$0

Short-Term Debt

$782,266

$0

Long-Term Debt

$20,021

$0

Total Liabilities

$802,287

$0

Financials as of: 06/23/2022
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Ratings KingsCrowd Startup Rating Methodology Article

Analyst Report Analyst Report Methodology Article

Synopsis

Decades ago, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a piece of digital content would have seemed like science fiction. Today, thanks to the rise of blockchain and Web3 (a term for the latest version of the internet), buying, selling, and trading this content is a buzzy trend. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are unique pieces of digital content (images, videos, digital certificates, etc.) that are traceable and non-replicable via a blockchain distributed ledger. Some NFTs have even sold for millions of dollars.

Given the trendiness of Web3 and blockchain, countless companies have rushed in to provide services and infrastructure for buying and selling NFTs. Curios is one such company. Curios helps creators mint and sell their own NFTs. More sophisticated buyers — mainly businesses — can use Curios to white-label their own NFT marketplaces. The company earns revenue from monthly license fees and minting fees for each NFT as well as transaction fees for each sale. Curios positions itself as the simplest way to mint and sell NFTs, in contrast to other marketplace platforms that require more technical understanding. 

Curios’ current Republic raise has been rated a Neutral Deal by the KingsCrowd investment team. 

Price

Curios is raising capital via a Crowd SAFE at a $30 million valuation. This price is too steep for Curios’ level of traction. The company has only been operating for a year and a half and only generated $1.6 million in revenue in 2021. While that’s a relatively impressive amount of revenue for a brand-new business, it still doesn’t justify an 18x revenue-to-valuation multiple. 

Admittedly, sky-high multiples are all too common in the cryptocurrency and blockchain markets, exceeding a median of 40x in the first quarter of 2021. More recently, though, multiples have fallen significantly. Cryptocurrencies have tanked in value, causing high-profile market leaders like Coinbase to lay off staff. Curios’ price does not properly reflect this more conservative valuation landscape, particularly given the company’s youth.  

Market

The market for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) is highly volatile. It’s an emerging industry. NFTs have only been around for about a decade and only reached the public consciousness in the last year or two. The economic struggles of the last few months have also hit the industry hard. NFT marketplace OpenSea (which is arguably a major competitor to Curios) just announced that it will lay off 20% of its staff in light of the cryptocurrency downturn. If a market leader can’t stabilize in this supposedly massive and growing market, Curios could have a rocky road ahead.

Despite that short history, though, it’s still notable that the United States NFT market was valued at $4.1 billion in 2021, with a huge 34% projected compound annual growth rate until 2030. Plenty of emerging technologies have stormy beginnings before becoming deeply embedded in daily life. If the NFT market can find its footing, Curios could grab a share of a large, rapidly growing market. Therefore, the company’s market opportunity is risky but has high potential.

Team

Curios was founded by Grant Powell, a digital strategist. Powell began his career as a web developer but soon shifted into web design and digital strategy. He worked at Google for six years as a “creative technologist” on the cross-platforms solutions team. Additionally, Powell spent more than 14 years total as a founder of three companies involving rent payments, website solutions, and digital advertising strategies.

Beyond Powell, the Curios team is small. Gregory Keogh serves as the senior vice president (SVP) of customer success; He has a Master of Science in mechanical engineering from Saint Louis University and a decade of experience working in oil pipeline engineering and architectural engineering. 

A third team member, Jorge Ortiz, is listed as Curios’ SVP of sales and operations. Oritz has a Bachelor of Arts in economics from The University of Texas at Austin. His previous roles involve leading charity, media, and athletic solutions companies, and he spent 12 years founding various companies in those industries. Oritz currently runs another company, so his involvement in Curios seems to be only part-time.

All in all, the Curios team is small and seems to lack key expertise or qualifications for the cryptocurrency and non-fungible token industry. Powell doesn’t seem to have meaningful blockchain experience or current skills as a sophisticated software engineer. Curios’ small handful of other team members don’t offer impressive credentials either. While crypto is admittedly an emerging space that simply doesn’t have a large number of industry veterans, the Curios team seems to have relatively less prior experience compared to other groups of blockchain founders. 

Differentiators

Curios’ key thesis is that buying and selling non-fungible tokens (NFTs) via other tools is too complicated for less technology-savvy users. This point is valid. Interacting with cryptocurrency, blockchain, and NFTs typically requires a complex set of wallet apps, currency transfers, and other steps that make the process too arduous for the casual user. 

However, it’s dubious that Curios is really solving this problem. Curios spends a fair bit of marketing effort pushing its white-labeled NFT marketplace, which would be set up by business clients with blockchain-savvy development teams. Even Curios’ more layperson-oriented product — for the average creator looking to mint NFTs — looks just as complicated as other tools. The overall design of the admin interface appears to be clunky and code-heavy, which doesn’t align with introducing brand-new creators to NFTs. Additionally, Curios’ position isn’t particularly defensible. Other companies can easily come along and offer similar marketplaces designed for a user-friendly experience.

Moreover, there’s stiff competition for a marketplace that welcomes new creators. OpenSea is by far the market leader in offering NFT marketplace tools for creators. OpenSea’s key pitch is also a simpler way to interact with NFTs, but the company seems to actually deliver on that promise with a better-designed, more user-friendly interface. Curios doesn’t offer a strong argument as to why its platform is better than OpenSea’s or the range of other tools out there. This lack of differentiation could be a major hurdle as Curios attempts to navigate the intense turbulence of the NFT market. 

Performance

Curios is a very young company. It only began operating in January 2021 and doesn’t offer many operation details. So far, Curios’ revenue growth has been decent. The company brought in $1.6 million in revenue last year and projects $2.5 million for 2022. However, Curios is burning a fair amount of cash for a young company. In 2021, it spent almost $500,000 on payroll expenses alone and ended the year with a $621,202 net loss. 

So far, Curios users have created more than 7,000 registered marketplaces and sold 1.2 million non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to date. But the company earns most of its revenue from 12 enterprise clients, including Triller and CoinZoom. Plus, Curios reports that its platform hosted the first-ever NFTs for fractional business ownership and the first time that a musician went platinum via NFTs. 

For an early-stage company, Curios has taken some strong strides. Burn may be high, but revenue growth is fair. The company seems to have promising traction, with an impressive number of enterprises as clients. 

Risks

Curios is a very risky investment opportunity, like any other cryptocurrency, blockchain, or NFT investment these days. With crypto prices plummeting and several buzzy crypto businesses defaulting or laying off staff, there’s no guarantee that a new business in this space can survive the volatility. Plus, Curios’ cash position is concerning. The company had just $161,470 in cash at the end of 2021. Without a stronger fundraising history, there’s no guarantee that Curios will be able to draw upon additional funding if its balance runs low again.

Bearish Outlook

Blockchain has always been a highly speculative and turbulent investment market. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are a very recent trend. While they began raking in cash in 2021, 2022 has been a much slower year. It’s simply a very risky time to invest in a cryptocurrency business, and it’s even riskier to invest in one as young and unproven as Curios. 

Curios simply doesn’t seem to have a unique take on the NFT market. Its products are comparable to major names like OpenSea. And in fact, even those major companies are struggling. OpenSea just laid off a fifth of its staff. If those brand-name companies are struggling to get through the crypto winter, how will Curios fare?

Bullish Outlook

Despite all of the recent negativity about cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), many would still argue that the market is large and promising. Many emerging technologies face turbulent years after inception but then ultimately come back to redefine life as we know it. And that’s exactly what many experts think blockchain has the potential to do. 

If it’s true that blockchain and NFTs will ultimately overtake the mainstream market, Curios is well positioned. If the company can successfully offer simpler tools for creators and brands to mint and sell NFTs, the possibilities are theoretically endless. Musicians, celebrities, influencers, and well-known consumer brands could all begin piloting an NFT strategy, and Curios could be the perfect match for their new marketplace. With more than 7,000 marketplaces created in a year and a half in business, Curios’ early traction points in a positive direction. 

Executive Summary

Curios is a non-fungible token (NFT) platform built to help creators and businesses establish their own NFT marketplaces. With key features for payment ease, fraud protection, and other benefits, Curios invites anyone interested in NFTs to mint their first collection. With 7,000 marketplaces created so far, 12 enterprise deals closed, and $1.6 million in revenue generated in its first year of business, Curios seems to be capturing a decent slice of the rapidly growing NFT market. 

However, there’s still a great deal of volatility in cryptocurrency, blockchain, and NFTs. NFT sales have dropped precipitously in recent months, in alignment with a huge loss in cryptocurrency value, rampant loan defaults and layoffs across the industry, and general bearishness from investors. Curios is competing with well-established NFT marketplace providers like OpenSea, but even that brand-name business is struggling in this turbulent climate. It’s also not reassuring that Curios’ founder has no experience in crypto or founding an emerging tech startup. Therefore, Curios has been rated a Neutral Deal. 

For questions regarding the KingsCrowd analyst report or ratings for this company, please reach out to support@kingscrowd.com

Analyst report written July 18, 2022.

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Platform: Republic
Security Type: SAFE
Valuation: $30,000,000

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