[Exclusive Interview] Meet Nico, COO&Co-Founder of Pr3sence
Today we have the chance to interview Nico, COO and Co-Founder of Pr3sence.xyz a Web3 solution that exclusively leverages blockchain data to maintain pseudo-anonymity and deliver targeted ads to users, without compromising privacy or relying on cookies. Together with him, we will cover what Pr3sence is about, who is the team behind it, how the idea came to life, and why Ad serving needs to be powered by blockchain data. Let’s get started!
[SurferInvestor] Could you please summarise briefly what Pr3sence is about?
[Nico] Pr3sence heralds a new era in digital advertising by providing a Web3 solution that exclusively leverages blockchain data to maintain pseudo-anonymity and deliver targeted ads to users, without compromising privacy or relying on cookies. Pr3sence plans to offer rewards for user attention, derived from project revenue. Pr3sence’s innovative approach and suite of Web3 marketing tools empowers advertisers and publishers to adapt to the evolving digital landscape, pioneering the next generation of ad-tech.
[SurferInvestor] Could you please introduce the founding team? What is their background and what makes them the right team to run Pr3sence?
[Nico] The founding Team comprises of 3 members (all doxxed).
Ed – CEO and Blockchain dev. Edoardo is a talented developer and leader. He is an expert in AI, Machine learning and data science with industry experience, and previous founder experience. He is also experienced in building NEAR projects due to his skills in Rust which the blockchain is coded on. He is also working on preparing the data sets and smart contracts for our upcoming expansion to Ethereum
George – CTO and Full Stack dev. George is an experienced full-stack dev who worked at PwC, a large worldwide consultancy firm. He is focused on building our app and developing its integrations and new features.
Nico (myself) – COO and Business Dev, experienced in machine learning, focused on business development pertaining to the onboarding of users, making valuable partnerships and building the vision for the product.
[Nico] The whole team has been in the space since 2017 but decided to build its own project last year. The team is committed to working towards an open-web which grows the adoption of crypto and builds useful products for its users and builders. It believes marketing is a fundamental pillar of any web3 projects and is therefore building a sustainable and transparent advertising solution that leverages on-chain data.
[SurferInvestor] Why does an Ad Server need to be powered by a blockchain?
[Nico] Currently ad servers are centralised and opaque systems, where users are exploited without being rewarded. Advertisers achieve poor conversion rates on their ads (Google ads display advertising click through rate is only 0.35% on average) and publishers earn on average only 51% of the advertiser ad spend. They also don’t take into account users on chain data and so aren’t catered towards web3, therefore need to become blockchain enabled. Using the blockchain means user privacy is intact by keeping them pseudo anonymous and easily able to receive rewards via their wallet, which also resolves the privacy concerns surrounding cookies and web2 user tracking. In addition, marketing in web3 is currently mainly community driven and inefficient as it doesn’t take into account users on chain data.
[SurferInvestor] Could you describe a use case of how Pr3sence works? Let’s say user Bob is a veCRV locker, when he connects on another Dapp you might want through an Iframe to advertise him other Dapp?
[Nico] If Bob is a veCRV holder, competitor DeFi projects that want to target veCRV holders could advertise to him when he logs into one of our publishers (a site or dApp which hosts our ads though our API) as Bob would fulfil their targeting criteria. Alternatively, an NFT collection could target the holders of a popular collection or users that have traded a certain value in NFTs or user wallets above a specified balance,(for example targeting whales). We allow for the targeting of any metric that can be viewed and measured on-chain.
[SurferInvestor] The Cookie-free and privacy centric advertising is a very strong narrative in crypto. How did you validate that there is room for building a business around it?
[Nico] It is clear that users of web2 care about their privacy and concerns about it are rising. with there being many cases of data leaks and invasive recommendations. So a privacy centric solution is needed.
[Nico] Secondly, cookies can be invasive, and regulations around them are tightening, in addition to their gradual extinction as google ads are getting rid of 3rd party tracking cookies, while Mozilla, Safari and Brave have already disposed of them.
[Nico] Web3 is a large and quickly growing industry, there are over 1 billion monthly impressions across top Dapps (wallet enabled) and crypto sights (Coingecko, CMC etc) so there is huge potential, and hosting ads can provide a great source of revenue to projects with high traffic and opens up the possibility for freemium business models.
[SurferInvestor] How did the idea of Pr3sence came to life?
[Nico] We realised that targeted crypto media based on on-chain data didn’t exist and current marketing methods lacked this component. Much of the web3 marketing is community driven and un-targeted, and we wanted to create a product that could help other projects to grow and gain exposure on bigger platforms, and offer cross chain marketing to promote a multichain future. Improving upon current user privacy, data usage and collection conventions were also key to our vision for Pr3sence.
[SurferInvestor] What item in the roadmap gets you the most excited?
[Nico] The most exciting update on the horizon is our launch on Ethereum Mainnet (over the next 2 months). After that comes:
Multi-chain advertising starting with NEAR-ETH
Launch and expansion to support ETH l2 and EVM, ARB/OP/BNB.
Launch of custom audience building tool (called insights) which allows creation of lists of wallets fitting certain targeting options.
Enabling user rewards
[SurferInvestor] What attracted you to build on NEAR at first?
[Nico] At first, we were actually building a different project on NEAR, which was an ENS equivalent for NEAR wallet names (nomenmarket.com), we decided to stay on NEAR with Pr3sence due to our connections with its ecosystem and its tight-knit community and developer support. We also received support and encouragement from the NEAR foundations and many of its participants. Building on NEAR would allow for a proof of concept in a smaller community, which would allow for evaluation of our approach, in preparation for launches on larger ecosystems such as ethereum.
[SurferInvestr] Are there already some proof of concept you can share on NEAR?
Yes we are live on NEAR, visit app.ref.finance and near-staking.com, where our ads are being hosted! also keep up our socials where we will post updates! Be aware that these ads are currently blocked by ad blockers, but this is something we are working to work around.
[SurferInvestor] Why do first mainnet and then other EVM l1/l2? At the end of the day, users are using the same 0x on every chains that are EVM compatible?
[Nico] Despite the wallet addresses on Ethereum and its scaling solutions being the same format (0x), the data associated with each chain is separate and therefore must be dealt with as such. Once the data on each chain is analysed, it can be normalised so that analysis between chains can occur, which enables the possibility for cross-chain recommendations.
[SurferInvestor] How many people are on the team?
[Nico] The team is composed of its 3 founding members. Pr3sence will soon begin to raise funds in order to hire more team members, growing the team and accelerating its developmental progress.
[SurferInvestor] In an ideal world, what do you think Pr3sence will look like in 5 years?
[Nico] In 5 years, Pr3sence would like to be the leading privacy centric advertising solution, with a suite of marketing tools for projects and individuals alike. This will encompass web2 and web3, and create a world where users dont have to be personally identified to receive high quality recommendations online, but can provide additional information and be rewarded for it. Physically this would mean supporting the leading web3 blockchains and their surrounding ecosystems, as well as major traditional digital advertising networks.
[SurferInvestor] For people interested, how to get started?
To get started, get in touch with the team as we are currently in closed-beta on NEAR, follow us on twitter @Pr3sence_xyz, and check out our website Pr3sence.xyz where we will announce our public launch soon on NEAR and Ethereum.
Thanks a lot for taking the time answer all of those questions Nico. As an ex Online marketing employee, the concept of Pr3sence.xyz resonates with me very well. I wish you all the best for the next steps and the upcoming funding round!