1 week ago

    An interview with Dave Catudal, Co-founder & CXO, Lyvely

    Table of contents
      Dave Catudal, Co-founder & CXO, Lyvely
      Dave Catudal, Co-founder & CXO, Lyvely

      1. Tell us about the vision in establishing the Lyvely platform and the ecosystem of investors, partners and creators which you’ve built so far 

      We started Lyvely after witnessing many of our friends and family lose their livelihoods for a period of time during the pandemic lockdowns. It was clear to us that those without a digital presence were vulnerable to variable economic conditions, and we wanted to create a global platform that provided unmatched opportunities for people to generate revenue and get paid for doing what they love. To do this, we had to fix what is broken with traditional social media when it comes to monetization opportunities. Our vision is to fuse DeFi features with the familiar UX of a web2 platform, effectively bridge the gap between user convenience and more lucrative earning opportunities. 

      This vision has resonated with our investors – the Phoenix Group and Cypher Capital, who are among the biggest names globally in the Bitcoin mining and crypto VC industry. Apart from this, we have raised a significant amount from the private sale of our $LVLY token. The trust of our investors and support from our community and early adopters has been a driving factor in enabling continuous innovation and growth, allowing us to develop robust infrastructure and expand our user base.

      2. What is the product rollout strategy, and users from which countries can engage with the platform?

      My co-founder and I strongly believe in the “Build in Public” theory, so our product rollout strategy has been designed as an iterative process where we adapt to our creators feedback and needs. This has allowed us to gain trust with our early adopters, many of whom have become our founding creators and brand ambassadors. With faster than expected growth and traction, we’re transitioning from a Beta launch to a global launch in Q4 this year, starting in the UAE region where we have already built a strong community of talented creators and fans of the brand. The UAE is a digital creator hot spot and is very welcoming of innovation and development in the blockchain space. The local government has even launched a multi-million dollar fund for creators, which is positioning the region as the global leaders in the creator economy. 

      As part of our 2024 roadmap, we will continue targeting select regions globally with high engagement and familiarity with blockchain technology, such as EU, APAC and Americas. As we gather user feedback and refine our platform, we will continuously expand our reach and enhance our features and fintech offerings to cater to a wider global audience. 

      As far as the platform goes, we’re rolling out a suite of creator tools and features, such as live stream selling and shopping, adding to our community and memberships feature, and building an advertising and affiliates program where we connect brands and creators within our platform for paid collaborations. We’re also adding more gamified engagement features to enhance the creator/user dynamic. Our goal is to empower creators by providing them with their own digital HQ, where they can think more entrepreneurial and use Lyvely as their launchpad for building a successful online brand and business.

      3. How many creators and users have signed up to the platform? What are the main creator segments you’re targeting?

      We’re still in Beta testing phase but our creators are already generating revenue, which is really exciting for us. We currently have over 15,000 creators and users from different segments including coaches, musicians, podcast hosts, and a lot of wellness enthusiasts who are looking for a more personalised ecosystem for their audience. Our target users are primarily those who have something to share or teach, or those who want to start a paid community for their fans and followers. We’re especially targeting creators and brands who are excited about the potential of SocialFi. Since our platform is designed to cater to both emerging and established creators in web2 and web3, we’re excited to bring the two worlds together in a single ecosystem, where our $LVLY token will have practical utility for both creators and those who support them and consume their content.

      4. How can artists utilize the platform to hold digital art exhibitions?

      Our platform doesn’t provide a specific art gallery feature, but we provide tools for artists to curate and display their pieces in a visually appealing manner, allowing them to monetize and reach a global audience. Additionally, artists can interact with viewers in real-time and even offer exclusive content to their followers through the subscription feature that acts as a paywall to view specific content, determined by the artist. Our platform is a great place for artists to use as an e-commerce site, while building a community around their work and their creative process.

      5. Does the platform allow creators to prepare NFTs and videos of art for their work?

      Lyvely allows creators to showcase their artwork as well as NFTs minted from other platforms. We currently don’t offer the minting of NFT’s in our platform, but we do offer a feature where our creators can launch their own token-gated communities, and soon they will be able to issue NFT’s as a “ticket for admission” as an option for users to access their paid community.

      6. What is the platform’s USP and strategies for user engagement? 

      Lyvely’s USP is a combination of our creator-centric brand, where we actively help our creators succeed via partnerships and affiliate opportunities, as well as the integration of our DeFi offering via $LVLY tokenization. Our platform offers creators unparalleled control over their communities and earning opportunities through our integrated features and monetization tools. These include:

      • Monthly membership feature
      • Free and Paid Community
      • Paywalled Content: Share exclusive content with fans and subscribers, receive payment in fiat or $LVLY token.
      • Fiat/Crypto on ramp and offramp (coming soon)

      7. Can a creator sell their work via the platform? What are the associated monetization avenues for content creators and users respectively? Does the platform charge a commission?

      Creators can sell their digital content or digital services via Lyvely. Monetization avenues include subscription-based access to premium content or event access, one-time payments for content or services, and tipping. 

      The platform provides various tools to facilitate these transactions securely, and we charge a commission for revenue generated via your Lyvely profile. It’s a minimal cost and creators can save on these fees by accepting $LVLY token as payment from their fans and followers.

      8. Can you elaborate on the $LVLY token and its utility from a creator and user perspective? When are you planning to list it? 

      The $LVLY token is central to our ecosystem, offering extensive utility for creators and users alike. Creators can use $LVLY tokens to receive payments, access premium features, save on fees, earn rewards, and participate in platform governance. Users can use tokens to tip creators, access exclusive content, and they can earn tokens from taking specific actions and adding value within Lyvely’s ecosystem. We are planning to list $LVLY token on tier 1 centralised exchanges Q4 this year, and we’re launching an exciting whitelisted Airdrop campaign before our listing to enhance liquidity and provide more opportunities for our community to engage and profit from the Lyvely platform.

      9. What are your thoughts on the SocialFi ecosystem, and how will Lyvely make a difference?

      The SocialFi ecosystem has struggled to experience mass adoption, but we know that Lyvely will change that. When done right, SocialFi will transform how we interact and transact online. Since Lyvely combines the intuitive experience of traditional social platforms without the barriers to entry that typical web3 based SocialFi platforms have,  we can successfully disrupt the $500bn digital creator and freelancer economy by creating an ecosystem that blends the best of both worlds.

      10. Can a creator find collaborations and brand engagements directly via the platform?

      Absolutely. Lyvely facilitates collaborations and brand engagements by connecting creators with potential partners, affiliates and sponsors. This creates a lucrative circular economy where creators can find new opportunities to grow their audience and monetize their content or services effectively. We also organise professional shoots and secure brand partnerships for our creators, thus helping them to grow both professionally and creatively. Ultimately, when our creators win, we win. Our driving force is knowing that our success comes from helping other succeed first.

      Following our interview, we sent the spokesperson of Lyvely the following question:

      On June 28, 2024, the U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued final digital asset broker reporting regulations that mandate broker reporting for centralized exchanges and hosted wallet providers, providing extensive rules under which transactions in digital assets which include NFTs will be reported in the US. But it set aside related rules for decentralized finance (DeFi) and unhosted wallets as it continues to study 44,000 comments to the agency. DeFi operations and non-hosted wallet providers will have to wait for their own rules later in the year.

      The final regulations will go into effect for transactions starting in 2025 and will require digital asset brokers to keep tabs on cost basis for customers’ tokens starting in 2026 requiring them to file 1099-DA forms like their traditional investment-firm cousins with a $600 annual threshold on NFT proceeds before they need to be reported.

      Miles Fuller, Senior Director of Government Relations at TaxBit said “The release of the final Treasury regulations is a huge milestone for the industry. The implementation of information reporting for digital assets is a massive step forward in reducing the tax compliance burden on individuals operating in this ecosystem. It is also a key step in closing the estimated $50 billion crypto tax gap and will further legitimize digital assets here in the US. The final regulations provide businesses with needed clarity about their reporting obligations while also creating transparency for both taxpayers and the IRS when it comes to tax filing and compliance. Taxpayers will now know what they need to report for activity conducted with a digital asset broker and the IRS will know what to expect to see on tax returns.”

      How will Lyvely comply with these final regulations?

      Answer: DeFi platform Lyvely spokesperson indicated that the finalized regulations are not relevant to Lyvely.

      Founder Bio: Dave Catudal, Co-founder & CXO, Lyvely, is an accomplished entrepreneur in the fields of tech and wellness with an extensive background in product innovation and e-commerce.

      Credited with founding several successful ventures in the wellness industry, Dave is currently building the future of SocialFi at Lyvely, integrating various aspects of web3 to deliver transparent monetisation & engagement tools for the creator and freelance economy.

      Dave previously founded one of the fastest-growing D2C health supplement brands in the GCC region. He also holds a patent for his best-selling fitness machine & online program in the USA. 

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