For Joey Primiani, designing a new NFT marketplace is just the latest step in what has been a long and fascinating journey through the world of technology.
After stints at Google and Cortex and a gig growing Lady Gaga’s online fan base, Primiani, along with business partner Mirko Kiefer, unveiled his latest venture this week: Folio, a social network that offers artists a platform and tools to present their NFT creations.
Billing itself as the “first mobile NFT marketplace and social network”, Los Angeles-based Folio is an invite-only community for artists to promote their work, collaborate with other artists, and connect with NFT collectors. . The platform, accessible via an iOS app or web browser, is intended to serve as both a digital portfolio for artists and a tool for collectors to research and discover digital art. Artists decide the price at which they want to sell their art, and Folio takes a share of each work sold.
Primiani told dot.LA that the idea was prompted by the difficulties that members of the NFT art community can face when accessing various online platforms, such as setting up and logging in through digital wallets like MetaMask. .
“The onboarding experience is a problem for a lot of artists that we really want to solve,” he said. “We want to make it an easier experience so more people can use it.”
Primiani completed his first internship at Google in 2009, where he helped design the Silicon Valley giant’s search products, then worked as a designer at the Google Labs technology incubator. From there he worked with Lady Gaga to create LittleMonsters.com, a social network for dedicated fans of the singer. It was his work with the acclaimed artist that gave Primiani the idea of creating his own marketplace, specifically one focused on showcasing LGBTQ+ and underrepresented artists, which is one of the goals of Folio.
“Before, the big problem in the art world was that a lot of people were doing art for galleries, and now they’re doing it directly for fans and consumers,” he said.
Primiani’s dream came closer to realization after connecting via Twitter with Mirko Kiefer, a blockchain engineer and entrepreneur. After a few workshops, they officially – and quietly – created Folio in 2020. The platform had been in private beta testing for the past few months, during which time the founders were doing a Web3-focused residency at the Launch House accelerator in Los Angeles. . (Creatives like Pol Kurucz, Zigor, and Marc Hemeon got access to the beta product.)
“We really wanted to be one of the first to really get this experience because it’s so new and the platforms couldn’t handle a lot of the demand that was happening,” Primiani said.
Folio and its small team of five are still in the pre-seed stages and have seeded all of its funding so far. Primiani said any new funding will be used to hire both in Los Angeles and remotely, and to grow and scale the business.
“I think we’re only about 5% of what’s possible,” Primiani said of the blockchain-enabled internet known as Web3. “It’s a bit like the internet in the 90s, where it’s like the Wild West and anything is possible.”