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3 mins read

Iddris Sandu’s Web3 Startup Spatial Labs Raises $10 Million

Spatial Labs, a web3 infrastructure and hardware company, has raised $10 million in a seed round led by Blockchain Capital, with participation from Marcy Venture Partners.

The company, which was founded in 2021 by Iddris Sandu, aims to create products and shopping experiences using augmented reality. Sandu believes that the “metaverse” is not just a virtual space, but a way to add more context to the real world and make it more enjoyable.

Spatial Labs made a name for itself in the industry last year with the sale of clothes embedded with a microchip called LNQ. The chip provided consumers with the item’s provenance and ownership history, which was recorded on the blockchain. This technology allowed customers to have a better understanding of where their purchases came from, and gave them a greater sense of transparency and trust in the brands they were buying from.

The chip also enabled brands to create loyalty programs directly into their products. This allows companies to offer incentives and rewards to their customers for repeat business, without having to rely on email lists or other traditional marketing methods. This technology has the potential to revolutionize the way that companies interact with their customers, and could lead to more personalized and engaging shopping experiences.

With the fresh capital, Spatial Labs plans to continue scaling its blockchain-enabled technology and expand into other industries, such as media and entertainment. The company also plans to launch a device called Node, which will simplify the process of developing and deploying augmented reality experiences. The device will allow developers and creators to easily create AR experiences and make them accessible to a wider audience.

Sandu, who is currently 25 years old, is now one of the youngest Black men to successfully raise a double-digit seed round as a solo founder. However, he points out that because of enduring discrimination in the venture capital industry, the process of raising funding can be difficult for Black founders.

Despite these challenges, he is committed to using the funding to turn Spatial Labs into one of the fastest-growing unicorns in the industry.

by Tony O. Lawson

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4 mins read

5 Ways to Get Funding for your Web3 Startup

Raising funds to get your Web3 startup off the ground can be challenging and overwhelming. However, there are a few tried-and-tested methods that you can try to attract capital for your Web3 venture. This article will explain some of these methods to you.

1. Self Investing & Asking Peers

Some founders of startups choose to invest their own money into the startup. Investing in your own idea is a sign of trust and confidence that could appeal to potential external investors. It shows them that you have faith in your project and are willing to take financial risks for it.

Also, if you’re a founder of a Web3 startup, don’t overlook your personal network as potential investors. If you know friends, family, neighbors, or colleagues looking for new investment opportunities, pitch your idea to them.

However, you and your peers alone cannot fund the entire startup. Once you’ve garnered as many funds as possible from your peers and contacts, you need to look to other external sources to get your startup on its feet.

2. Grants from Traditional Entities

Grants are pretty popular among the Web3 community as they are an important source of non-repayable funds. You also don’t have to give up any equity in your company when you accept a grant.

You can take advantage of this by applying for grants offered by traditional organizations that are part of the public and the private sector. Some of these organizations are looking to grant funding to promising startups aiming for innovation in the Web3 space.

When applying for grants from traditional organizations, however, remember that they come with specific stipulations, so read the fine print.

3. Grants from within the Web3 Industry

Many renowned organizations within the Web3 industries are looking to offer grants to startups that use their particular technology. For example, big names like Ethereum, Solana, or Cardano can offer you substantial funding, but the competition can be too fierce.

You could also consider grants offered by newer blockchain players in the market. Establishing your startup on one blockchain network can help you raise funds to expand your idea to others.

4. Web3 Accelerators & Incubators

Startup accelerators and incubators are typically designed to help fresh entrepreneurs grow by providing training, education, and a sufficient workspace. While they may not always be direct sources of funding, they do prepare you for the next steps in fundraising.

If you’re still developing the skills or confidence to build your startup and pitch to potential investors, accelerators and incubators could be of great help to you. However, ensure that when choosing an accelerator or an incubator, you pick one that caters specifically to Web3 startups.

5.   Web3 Crowdfunding

While crowdfunding isn’t a new concept, it works slightly differently for a Web3 startup. Mostly because crowdfunding for new Web3 projects happens on blockchain networks. You can find various decentralized crowdfunding platforms that aim to raise funds from the wider Web3 community to help DAO projects. You can browse through your options and create a crowdfunding campaign for your startup!

Do extensive research on how each of these funding sources could benefit the startup idea you have in mind. Before approaching potential investors for funding, think of optimal ways to create and market your brand and get comfortable with pitching to investors.

Tony O. Lawson

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3 mins read

Mara Raises $23M for the First Crypto Exchange “Built by Africans, for Africans”

Pan-African centralized crypto exchange Mara announced Wednesday that it has raised $23 million to create a portal to the crypto economy for Africans.

Investors include Coinbase Ventures, Alameda Research (FTX), Distributed Global, TQ Ventures, DIGITAL, Nexo, Huobi Ventures, Day One Ventures, Infinite Capital, DAO Jones, and about 100 other crypto investors.

Chi Nnandi, CEO of Mara

Unlike its competitors from North America and Europe, Mara’s onboarding, support, and ecosystem reflect the needs of Africans. Customer support is easily accessed and will be available in both local and international languages.

“While there are other crypto exchanges in Africa, there is yet to be an indigenous African crypto exchange,” said Mara’s CEO, Chi Nnandi. “That’s where Mara comes in — we are a Pan-African crypto exchange built by Africans, for Africans.

The Lagos, Nigeria, and Nairobi, Kenya-based company has also announced a partnership with the Central African Republic, which just passed a bill legalizing Bitcoin as legal tender. As part of this partnership, Mara will become the official crypto partner of the Central African Republic and an adviser to the president on crypto strategy and planning.

Mara’s launch comes during a period in which political and economic instability has led to the devaluation of currencies across Africa. As a result, interest rates, as well as food prices, have skyrocketed.

“The inefficiencies inherent to the old 20th [century] centralized Sub-Saharan African financial systems has presented an obstacle to the proper development of Sub-Saharan individuals and economies for decades,” said Chi Nnandi, CEO of Mara, in an interview with VentureBeat. “A decentralized alternative (which will include but not be limited to finance, art, ownership, infrastructure, and business as a whole) will give Sub-Saharan Africans an alternative to these tired systems. Through this digital financial system — through this freedom — the region will find itself in a much stronger competitive position before other parts of the world.”

“Mara’s mission is to facilitate a more equitable distribution of capital by providing a decentralized alternative that spans across tribes, class, cultures, and countries,” said Nnadi. “Our goal is to close the gap in opportunities for Sub-Saharan individuals and establish a financial infrastructure that they can build their lives upon.”


Tony O. Lawson

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4 mins read

Intro to Cryptocurrency Lending: What is it and How does it work?

Cryptocurrencies have now been around for many years and have gained a lot of mainstream attention. The adoption rate of cryptos is so large that this industry is expected to reach $2.2 billion by 2026. There are many investment options in the crypto space for you to look into if you so desire.

Cryptocurrency lending, also known as “crypto lending”, is quickly becoming a go-to alternative for investors frustrated with minuscule yields from banks savings accounts.

Crypto lending may be a new concept for you but fear not! In this article, you will learn all you need to know about cryptocurrency lending.

So, let’s dive in!

What is Crypto lending?

Crypto lending allows investors to earn interest on their assets without actually selling them. An investor lends his cryptos to a borrower and earns dividends in return. The lender remains the sole owner of his assets. The interest rate ranges between 4% to 17% yearly.

On the other hand, a borrower has to offer collateral to get a crypto loan. He retains the ownership of his collateral but cannot use it until he pays back the entire loan amount by the end of the lending period.

How does Crypto Lending work?

Crypto lending involves lenders, borrowers, and a third-party i-e lending platform. Crypto lending consists of the following steps.

  • A borrower goes to a crypto lending platform and requests a crypto loan.
  • Upon approval of the loan by the platform, the borrower has to attach collateral.
  • A lender transfers the loan amount to the borrower through the lending platform.
  • A borrower has to pay back the entire loan amount within the loan period to get back his collateral.
  • If the borrower could not pay the loan amount, the lender can liquidate the borrower’s collateral to cover the losses.

Pros and Cons of Crypto Lending

Crypto lending has some pros and cons, which are mentioned below.


  • Crypto loans are easily accessible. Anyone can get a crypto loan with or without a credit score.
  • Crypto loans are faster. It takes only a few hours to receive funds after approval.


  • Some lending platforms have minimum borrowing requirements that you must have to get a loan. The requirements can be sometimes very high, causing barriers for some.
  • If you fail to pay the loan amount within the specified period, the platform will liquidate your collateral, and you will end up losing whatever you put up.

Top Crypto Lending Platforms

The following are few leading crypto lending platforms.

  • Celsius
  • Binance
  • CoinLoan
  • BlockFi


Crypto lending is different from traditional bank lending in many ways. It has many benefits but comes along with risks as well. Therefore, you need to be very careful when you start crypto lending.

Always choose a well-reputed lending platform and make sure how much interest rate you will earn, or you will have to pay and how much collateral is required to secure a crypto loan.

Crypto lending is rewarding but risky at the same time. Therefore, always do your own research and keep educating yourself.

Presented by CryptoShare, a lending platform that allows people to lend and borrow money without banks or credit checks.

Cryptocurrency lending

4 mins read

Intro to Blockchain: How it can be used in Everyday Life

Blockchain technology is one of the exciting developments of this century, having great potential to revolutionize many industrial sectors. But the question arises: What is blockchain technology, and how can it be used in our everyday lives?

Keep reading, and let’s find out!

What is blockchain technology?

In simple words, blockchain is a combination of two words; “block” and “chain.” It is a system of storing information such as digital transactions in a way that cannot be changed. The Block stores the information and the Chain is the record of the Blocks. It is Blocks of information that sit on a chain also known as a Digital Ledger.

Think of Blockchain as a type of advanced database that captures, records, and replicates data to make sure it is accurate.

Decentralization, transparency, immutability, and no third-party involvement are the main pillars of blockchain technology, and most of the blockchain projects are built around these core properties.

Applications of blockchain technology in everyday life

Blockchain technology is widely used in our daily life. Some of the examples are given below.

Digital Identity

The internet has become a part of our everyday lives, and today digital security is the primary concern because hacking is common.

Blockchain technology can help in this situation because of its potential to track and manage digital identities. It can not only store information securely but manages everything in one place, reducing the overall expenses.


The Healthcare sector has tons of information such as patient records. It is not easy to manually handle this considerable amount of data. Although the existing digital system is efficient, blockchain technology can make it more secure and easily accessible by combining different databases, comparatively saving a lot of time.

Digital voting

Transparent voting is essential for a successful democracy. Blockchain technology can help organize a transparent, reduced-cost, online voting system while ensuring voters’ privacy.

In 2014, Liberal Alliance in Denmark was the first organization that used Blockchain technology for voting.

Construction Industry

Blockchain-based smart contracts can be used in the construction industry. Using these contracts, involving parties in the project set their rules and regulations and work accordingly. Each milestone is appropriately recorded, and payments are released accordingly.

If any of the conditions are not met, the system will act according to predetermined terms. In this way, the entire system works in a manageable manner, where everyone involved in the project has access to the information and is accountable.

Blockchain can significantly improve the efficiency of the entire construction industry, reducing the chances of disputes.

Government Sector

Government databases store the information of the entire country and can be a perfect target for hackers. It is challenging for the current system to manage this large amount of data.

Blockchain technology can significantly mitigate the risks by ensuring more transparency, immutability, and accessibility. Governments can trace back any transaction to ensure there is no corruption in the system.


There are many other examples of blockchain technology implementation in various sectors such as the food industry, retail industry, financial services, real estate, etc.

Record keeping is the biggest concern in most sectors, and blockchain technology is the best solution that ensures speed, low cost, streamlines, and easy access within the network.

Many industries are warmly embracing blockchain technology, while some are still reluctant. But the truth is, blockchain technology is here to stay!

Presented by CryptoShare, a peer-to-peer lending platform that allows you to lend and borrow money without banks or credit checks.



5 mins read

A Conversation with Tech Architect, Iddris Sandu

Iddris Sandu is a young visionary who landed an internship with Google at 13, received a Presidential scholar award at 14, worked on data analytics for Twitter at 15, and was hired by Instagram at 16.

At 17, he was working with Snapchat until he became a consultant at Uber, working on the software for self-driving cars, and at 20, he collaborated with Nipsey Hussle to create the world’s first smart store.

We reached out to find out more about his thoughts and beliefs about how to change the world through innovation and “great design”.

What is the digital revolution and what does it mean to you?

The digital revolution is an ongoing evolutionary cycle of technology. I guess many could say that the term was coined in the early 80s but we’re now starting to see the progressiveness of the term on a larger scale. For me, it’s about automation. Digital technology is now able to replace and outsmart the very creators of the technology.

How important is it that we shift from high utilization rates to high production rates of tech platforms?

We need to do so in order to create a more diverse infrastructural playing field. I think it’s a common theme in tech for people to say let’s decentralize technology, but that’s not the answer because a system can be decentralized but still not diverse and accessible.

In order to generate the best stories we must be able to have a platform and best tell the narrative.  Our youth must not just be able to establish grounds in rented spaces, but also be able to own their own spaces.

You’ve worked on projects with celebs and major corporations. What attracts you to a particular project?

For me it always cuts down to purpose. I think a lot of people focus on projects with the intent of how their ego can be fueled.
I just want to point out that I’m not pointing fingers at anyone, but as for me, I’m on a different mission and purpose.

I also just feel like the world already has too much of that going on. This vision I’ve been tasked with is bigger than a single individual and thus, all projects I’m attracted to are ones that have a sense of serving and being of service to societies, communities, and humanity in general.

In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?

I would credit the philosophies of Dieter Rams stating that less is more, Alan Watts on the simplicity of life, and even Wabi-Sabi, a Japanese way of life which focuses on three basic philosophies; 1)That things are never finished things,
2)Things are never perfect and 3) Nothing ever lasts.

If you could have a giant billboard anywhere with anything on it, what would it say and why?

I think it would say “one race, the human race”. But I don’t know if that’s politically correct. Anyways, it would say that.

What advice do you have for aspiring tech designers?

Indulge in more solution-based thinking over problem based thinking. The general world doesn’t necessarily thrive on another t-shirt, Instagram post, or social media app. The world needs healing. The world needs solutions to ever-evolving man-generated problems. We need the best thinkers working on providing accessibility to everyone rather than for aspirational gain.

Cars should be $30,000 and look like Lamborghinis. All houses should have concise and great affordance all throughout them and should be classless. Our resources should be distributed to as many people as we can service rather than simply accumulating for ourselves.

by Tony O. Lawson

Interested in investing in Black founders? If so, please complete this brief form.