How Kunal Kapoor’s new NFT project is building a global culture and merch brand for Web3 innovators
With NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) gaining more use cases by the day, an increasing number of startups have started innovating on blockchain-based digital asset ownership solutions.
Now, various artists, gamers, and creators are entering this industry to explore how NFTs can impact the creator industry.
For seasoned actor and entrepreneur Kunal Kapoor, this spelt an opportunity to build a culture, content, and merchandise-driven NFT platform for creators.
His new project(known as LAB) is a robot-themed NFT community and platform for innovators, builders, and gamers in the Web3 domain.
“In popular culture, advancements in technology are often portrayed in a dystopian manner. It is important to have a counter-narrative, and so the name Love A Bot implies love for technology, and pays homage to tech innovators,” he says in a conversation with The Decrypting Story.
Into the LABverse
The LAB project comprises a builders community, an AR (Augmented Reality) experience, NFT airdrops, artist collaboration, content creation, and more.
“India has always been an exporter of commodities and importer of cultural brands. So, my idea is to build a platform for people who love technology, and come together to build the LAB brand,” Kunal says.
Kunal was introduced to NFTs in 2020, and it felt natural for him to venture into the Web3 space. As an actor who told stories through film, and as a founder of the crowdfunding platform Ketto, the idea of storytelling and community building in a decentralised manner fascinated him.
“I enjoy storytelling, creativity and community building, and NFTs were the coming together of all the things I love,” he says.
Kunal says that Web3 technologies enable people to build communities around decentralised IPs (through NFTs), allow for bridge-building between physical and digital assets, and merchandise, and decentralise community building and decision-making.
These key aspects of building LAB excite Kunal the most.
Participation on the platform is represented through 9,876 exclusive virtual bots (NFTs) that can be acquired by participants who can use them as their characters.
According to the project, each bot belongs to a particular generation of innovation that gives them its own unique quirks and features vocational characteristics such as chef bots, construction worker bots, and so on.
Challenges of building in the NFT market
Kunal remains cognizant of keeping his NFT project organic and authentic, acknowledging that several NFT projects have tricked and scammed users.
“Building a community is definitely a challenge, since it's easy to create traffic by buying followers on social media. This tricks people into being convinced about a project’s legitimacy, and they may get burnt in the end. However, at LAB, we are keeping growth incredibly organic, and are not just focusing purely on traction alone, but rather, on onboarding real believers in the narrative of our project,” Kunal explains.
While the Polygon-based LAB project is still in its early days, Kunal believes stronger education around NFTs can help Indian innovators make a bigger difference in building a brand like LAB. He believes it could potentially address the problem of low adoption of NFTs in the Indian market.
“Rather than building narratives around people making or losing a lot of money with NFTs, there needs to be education and awareness on the transformative potential of blockchain technology. NFTs are still complex for the average user,” Kunal adds.
Going forward, the idea is to create LAB merchandise, build an educational resource hub, and create interesting content around Web3. Kunal’s mission with LAB is to bridge the gap between physical and digital/Web3 culture, and create digital goods that can be used in the Metaverse.
“Our bots are Metaverse-ready. We are open and happy to have more people join our community, exchange ideas, and build a global, decentralised brand,” Kunal signs off.