One of the co-founders of the controversial @NFT Instagram account is at it again, looking for investors to pour millions into his latest cryptocurrency venture.
A year ago, the @NFT Instagram account was accused of charging $100,000 for paid posts — ads it posted without disclosure — and falsely listing investor Mark Cuban as one of its co-founders. He was also accused of facilitating several scams and NFT projects to "pull the rug". Now, one of its co-founders, Aaron Avruskin, has revived a new crypto business idea: a browser-based mobile crypto gambling game featuring rapper Lil Baby called "Rollies."
"Before JPEG and Shitcoin and a world away from the bright lights of Las Vegas and the high-roller lifestyle, three cubes, a piece of concrete, and a group of people bonded by their desire for more to create the game that shaped Hip Hop Culture." - says the presentation of Rollies, which was viewed by Decipher.
According to the 18-page deck, “Lil Baby’s Rollies” is currently seeking $6 million in seed funding and is in development starting in January 2022. The @NFT Instagram account was banned in February 2022, but the associated @NFT Twitter account was already banned last January.
The Rollies deck consists mostly of graffiti-style fonts, dice images, and a large Lil Baby design. The presentation promises a "free" case of Lil Baby NFT from 50,000 to 100,000 NFT, a cryptocurrency mobile gambling game called Rollies, and a roadmap focused on sponsored tournaments and subsequent NFT drops.
According to the deck, the project is hiring artist Distorted—who has worked with the likes of Reebok, Redbull, and Adidas—to design for the project, and says it has enlisted gaming developer Aquimo to create Rollies' core gaming product. Aquimo has not yet responded to Decipher's request for comment.
Rollies also claims to have secured Doodles, Pudgy Penguins, and Sappy Seals, along with six other designs as NFT partner collections. Such "partners" will promote the Rollies brand, receive whitelist spots, participate in discussions on Twitter and Discord, and have "some access" to live Rollie's events behind the deck.
Representatives for Doodles and Sappy Seals did not immediately respond to Decipher's request for comment. Pudgy Penguins CEO only responded with a question mark via DM.
In the second and third quarters of 2023, Rollies plans to "deploy further funding" to launch the currently unnamed native token. No tokenomics or additional details regarding the token's viability or distribution have been provided. By then, he also wants to raise another $10-20 million.
The third "phase" of Rollies consists of the launch of Lil Baby's "Cultural Fund," which will supposedly help "black and brown" entrepreneurs with "culturally savvy business acumen and plans."
The deck claims that Rollies could make $16 million in "wearables and counterfeiting" (probably NFT), $9 million in "sponsorship sales" and $5 million in "secondary sales" (royalties from NFT trading) over two years. . Rollies' seed funding round plans to offer investors a common stock offering, which one venture capital consultant told Decipher was highly unusual for a seed round.
"Common shares are usually offered later, in Series B," the consultant told Decipher.
Common stock is also usually reserved for employees and founders, preferred stock is sold to investors.
But like playing dice, investing in startup projects can also be risky for potential investors. In seed rounds of start-up companies, investors usually do not have a ready-made product to evaluate, and many seed investments are made because investors trust the founder's ability to deliver on what was promised.
This was reported by a partner of the crypto venture company Decipher. The direct message states that venture capitalists usually look at numerous factors, including the experience of the founding team, as well as consider what "problem" the project solves before investing. The partner said that unreasonable evaluation of requests, a lack of understanding of the user's "trouble spots" and a team with little experience are signals that can cause concern.
"The team is the most important early-stage component," said the partner, who spoke only on condition of anonymity. Decipher.
As for Lil Baby's involvement in the project, it's unclear to what extent he'll be involved, but the rapper loves NFT. He used to tweet about them and collect PFP NFTs, including a pink Bored Ape with a baby hat, which he later mutated.
"While celebrities and rappers have blighted the space with countless money grabs and carpet-pulling, Lil Baby has done Web3 right," the team behind Rollies says in its presentation.
A source familiar with Lil Baby's NFT plans confirmed to Decipher that the rapper has been working on his own NFT project for at least six months, but it's unclear if it's Avruskin's Rollies project or something else entirely.