The number of active DAOs, active decentralized autonomous organizations has increased by more than 132% since September 2020 (1). Their combined assets under management have also risen from 290 million USD to over 14 billion USD today (2).
DAOs are organizations governed by computer-encoded rules, and instead of any central government, the organization’s members control them. These organizations have evolved from blockchain technology and are gaining significance at a rapid pace.
According to investor Cooper Turley (3), “DAOs are like an internet community with a shared bank account. They are a small group of people coming together to form a chat group and then decide to pull capital together, typically using an Ethereum wallet.”
The co-founder of QuikNode, Auston Bunsen (4), said that “DAOs take resources coordination on the internet to a new level. We can think of it like strangers coming together to purchase a basketball team. They represent a new type of organization that is moving at rocket speed.”
“Everyone who buys in receives a portion of the DAO’s governance token. They can then use it to vote on where the constitution should be custodied,” said Alice Ma, one of the contributors of ConstitutionDAO (5).
A DAO named ConstitutionDAO of a group of crypto investors recently made headlines when they established the organization to crowdfund enough money to purchase the last surviving first edition copies of the US constitution, which went on auction a week ago (6, 7).
And even though the said DAO lost in the auction, it raised more than 40 million USD from over 17k contributors in less than a week (8). They would all have gotten fraction ownership of the constitution had they won the bid.
And it makes the ConstutionDAO initiative an interesting case study on the future of DAOs and fractionalized ownership and governance in general. The movement offers some of the first solid insight into using crypto infrastructure and blockchain technology to facilitate fractional ownership of any artifact.
Notably, startups that promote fractionalized ownership of assets are receiving record funding, especially in real estate where businesses like Pacaso, which offers “a new way to own a second home,” which co-ownership, recently secured 75 million USD at a 1 billion USD valuation (9).
Other recent fundings in the fractional real estate ownership space include, Strata, which has secured over 7.5 million USD so far, Kocomo with more than 56 million USD, Altacasa with about 2.3 million USD, and Divvy with over 1.2 billion USD.
Business Opportunities with Fractional Real Estate Ownership
Fractional ownership has democratized the ownership of 2nd home in ways beyond what Pacaso is offering today.
For instance, Kocomo aims to modernize the timeshare model via fractional ownership to open up cross-border vacation home ownership with additional benefits to owners, such as the ability to rent them out.
Notably, opportunities are not limited to residential properties alone. Businesses can apply a similar model to commercial projects, a concept already taking off in our country (10), and agricultural land (11).
We see lucrative business opportunities in three other niches.
When it comes to private jets, co-ownership is not a new concept in transportation. For instance, NetJets has been using it since the 19060s. However, as the technology makes the model more accessible, other opportunities emerge in the space.
It can include boats, yachts, motorbikes, bicycles, supercars, e-bikes, and even exotic animals.
Collectives and the Culture Economy
Companies like Otis and Masterworks allow customers to purchase fine art shares and other collectibles like sneakers, comics, and even baseball cards.
Other more attractive collectibles can include NFTs, coins, wine, jewelry, books, antiques, etc.
Wunder, a Belgium-based startup, has offered investors the opportunity to own fractions of digital artworks since 2017. Art owners can earn profit from their artifacts when hotels and corporations display their pieces in lobbies.
And with the rise of the metaverse, more real-world assets are set to enter the digital realm. Examples include patents, music, fashion, IP rights, gaming moments, and a lot more.
In short, there will be more opportunities to help people diversify their investment portfolio via fractional ownership of assets, whether physical or digital.
There are many other opportunities as the world starts opening up to fractionalized investment models. It includes
- Lease-to-own purchases of any expensive pieces of equipment (12)
- Niche insurance products may also emerge, considering different risk profiles of owners of multiple assets.
- Employees can gain perks like hotel stays, vouchers, and fractional ownership of the company’s properties and other assets. A company based in Hong Kong is already selling fractional real estate as a part of its incentive scheme for its employees (13).
Businesses worldwide seem to have turned to an old-school option, sacks for their cargo shipping, after grappling for months with supply chain disruptions that led to backlogged ports and short supplies of shipping containers.
Coca-Cola recently made headlines when it became the first major importer to abandon shipping containers for FIBCs (14).
Super sacks, or FIBCs, Flexible Intermediate Bulk Containers are soft-sided containers that ship everything from clothes to cosmetics.
They were frequently used to move goods during world war II. They were the predecessor to standard shipping containers. They can hold more than 1k kgs of products and offer many advantages over metal containers:
- They have fewer shipping costs since they weigh less (only about 3 kg each) than 20 ft metal shipping containers (weighing as much as 2k kgs empty).
- Depending on the bag type, FIBCs cost about 5 to 20 USD each, leading to less cost.
- FIBCs can be easily loaded onto smaller ships, unloaded with a small forklift, and transported on a flatbed.
Consequently, InterBulk, among the leading makers of FIBCs, has witnessed a sharp 50% rise in sales over the past six months (15).
You can work with any FIBC makers to white-label your super sacks. We also see lucrative business opportunities in recalling, refurbishing, and reselling them.
This company called Bulk Bag Reclamation is already doing it. And you can also compete in the space by targeting customers in a specific niche.
For instance, another company called Dewitt sells primarily landscaping businesses. You can also focus on specific industries like CPG and other D2C niches struggling due to recent shipping shortages.
There is also an opportunity to consult businesses that want to ship without conventional containers. Many brands are not widely familiar with the bulk shipping world. You can help them move their goods via FIBCs that come in different styles, materials, and safety ratings as per what they wish to move.
Losing Weight with Psychedelics
We recently talked about the clinical benefits of Psychedelics in treating addiction, anxiety, and other mental health benefits (Suggested Reading: Biohacking: An Industry With Opportunities Worth Over $50 Billion). The space is poised to grow positively as more research reveals its different treatments and uses.
And next in line seems to be obesity.
Insert Image 2 (Source: NeonMind)
NeonMind is a new company that is studying the use of psychedelics for obesity.
As per their investor pitch deck, about 2.8 million people die annually from obesity-related conditions. And according to data from 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults globally were clinically obese (16), costing world health care systems hundreds of billions of dollars (17).
Psilocybin activates serotonin receptors that can suppress appetite and curb sugar cravings.
NeonMind’s preclinical data have shown to be an effective compound to aid weight loss in low and high-dose treatments (18).
According to the preclinical trials of Psilocybin for weight loss, low dos, which is non-hallucinogenic, was -31% effective on weight gain compared to placebo. In contrast, high doses, which are hallucinogenic, were -28% effective.
Even though these studies are at an extremely early stage, if we consider the size of the worldwide weight loss industry, over 192 billion USD in 2019 (19), and the explosion of VC funding in the space, there is plenty of room for new entrants to compete with NeonMind.
And if psilocybin becomes a useful tool to fight obesity, we may witness a similar proliferation like CBD and THC creams, drinks, gummies, etc. There is also likely to be high demand for edible wearables and transdermal patches to induce weight loss.
In countries where psychedelics are legal, you can deliver these products D2C and other dedicated retreats. Like any pharmaceuticals, there will also be a need to monitor and report the effects of these products so everyone can track whether there are adverse reactions or if they are administering them safely.