Making Web 3.0 and NFTs Easy 

Meet Our Visionaries


The world of Web 3.0 and NFT is fascinating and full of promise. While many are eager to kickstart their journey, the disjointed ecosystem makes entering the ecosystem for those new to Web 3.0 extremely difficult. However, that’s all going to change. DTTD, the Animoca Brands-backed Web 3.0 start-up, has created a solution tailored to bring the next billion users on board. We had a chat with Bosco Lin, to discuss how DTTD simplify the onboarding experience of Web 3.0 and their plans.  

DTTD is the world's first mobile-based NFT social wallet, aiming to make Web 3.0 accessible to everyone.


Bosco Lin — Co-founder and CEO of DTTD

Could you tell our readers a bit more about DTTD?  

DTTD is the world’s first mobile-based NFT social wallet, aiming to make Web 3.0 accessible to everyone. The DTTD app was designed to manage an entire NFT collection easily through mobile phones. It allows a user to connect their existing MetaMask wallets or any easy-to-use custodial wallet.  

In addition to acting as an entry point into a user’s Web 3.0 journey, we’ve introduced social elements into the NFT space. Our users can share their collections, view the latest NFT news, and message other wallets through DTTD’s native in-app chat easily at their fingertips. It supports multiple blockchains, Ethereum and Polygon, which cover 97% of the entire NFT sector including games, collectibles, and marketplaces. With more protocols to be introduced next year.  

What inspired you to create an NFT-first mobile social wallet 

Since 2020, we’ve seen interest and demand for NFTs and Web 3.0 growing massively. McKinsey & Company estimates Web 3.0 to be valued at US$5 trillion and have 5 billion users by 2030. Yet, there are still hurdles to overcome for NFT to mass adopt.   

The current ecosystem is too fragmented and complex for the mass market. Each Blockchain operates on a separate infrastructure, often requiring separate wallets and software to be used. In addition, these tools and services were designed and optimized for desktops. The reality is most of the world, especially in Asia, use their phones to interact with the internet. We believe that NFTs and Web 3.0 should be no different and built a solution tailored to their experience.  

Since launching the NFT social wallet in September, DTTD has already partnered with renowned brands like Bupa Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Palace Museum, and the Digital Art Fair to provide NFT experiences for their clients.  

The DTTD app was designed to manage an entire NFT collection easily through mobile phones. 

How is DTTD helping businesses tap into the Web 3.0 world to engage with customers through NFTs?  

An NFT provides brands to form long-term relationships with clients based on direct engagement and reoccurring rewards. By dropping an NFT, you are connected to the customer for as long as they hold the NFT. In addition to forming these relationships, NFTs provide novel and innovative ways to engage with clients. However, despite all the excitement, brands get stuck in the practicality of where to begin.  

That is where we come in. DTTD has created a simple and seamless solution to help brands begin their journey into Web 3.0. We provide a platform to mint and distribute NFTs seamlessly to clients without the need for them to hold or touch cryptocurrency. Moreover, our easy-to-use interface and simple onboarding experience help corporates to set foot in Web 3.0 and sustain a close connection with their clients.   


DTTD has created a simple and seamless solution to help brands begin their journey into Web 3.0. It provides a platform to mint and distribute NFTs seamlessly to clients without the need for them to hold or touch cryptocurrency.

DTTD was also designed with creators and projects in mind. What are the reasons behind this? 

We are dedicated to supporting the next generation of creators and believe that NFTs represent the best way to build a prosperous Web 3.0 community. We believe the spirit of Web 3.0 is all about creation and collaboration. We are proud to collaborate with creators to provide them with a platform for users to discover their work and allow them to benefit.  

We recently held a campaign called “Dotted Spotted,” to highlight the work of the Web 3.0 NFT artists to our community. During the 10-day campaign, we displayed the artwork of 2 NFT artists daily. Our users could directly connect and chat with an artist with DTTD’s wallet-to-wallet chat. Several of the participants told us how grateful it was to be exposed to a new community of tens of thousands of users. 

What excites you about Web3 and the future of your industry? 

Web 3.0 has become a highly engaging topic in the last few years and we are very excited to see more people and brands being interested to explore. We are true believers in its potential and the transformative nature of NFTs. It represents a change in how a digital good is valued. Through our platform, you can find a community and connect, interact and engage with a community of like-minded individuals. We’re most excited about the way tools like DTTD are re-introducing the social aspects of collecting and how we will drive mass adoption.  

Could you give us a sneak peek of the roadmap? What are the future plans of DTTD? 

We have a lot more exciting new features launching soon this year. One of these new features will be P2P trade where users can trade their NFTs with our wallet owners directly through our native in-app chat. As a multi-blockchain NFT social wallet, we will support additional protocols down the road. On the partnership side, we have some new partnerships to announce soon, so stay tuned!  

There is an old saying that rings a lot of truth when speaking about DTTD – the first step is always the hardest. DTTD has successfully simplified what was a complex journey, opening the door of the Web 3.0 world to everyone. As strong believers in Web 3.0 and NFTs, BlackPine is proud to be an early supporter of Bosco and the DTTD team. We look forward to seeing DTTD onboarding the next billion users onto Web 3.0 with their NFT social wallet! 
Learn more about DTTD: https://dttd.io


Building Asia's first digital-native storyteller

Meet Our Visionaries

Marketing has always been essential to businesses. Today, we’re ushering into Web 3.0 – while brands are looking for marketing solutions to increase their involvement within this nascent space, Gusto Collective combines storytelling with immersive technology to create mind-blowing experiences for brands to engage with customers in the metaverse. We have spoken to Aaron Lau, the Founder and CEO of Gusto Collective, about their businesses and their upcoming plans. Now, read on to learn more!

Gusto Collective is Asia’s first BrandTech Group  bringing best-in-class storytelling and technology together to drive value and growth for brands.

Aaron Lau — Founder and CEO of Gusto Collective

Could you tell our readers about Gusto Collective?

Gusto Collective is Asia’s first BrandTech Group – bringing best-in-class storytelling and technology together to drive value and growth for brands. We create and deliver immersive content and engaging customer experiences phygitally, but increasingly in the spheres of AR/VR/XR, the metaverse and NFTs.  The Collective consists of four specialisms in Web3 marketing services, a metahuman platform, an AR experience platform and luxury marketing services.  Gusto Collective was founded in 2020 and it now has around 200 Gustodians, as we call our team members, across the four specialisms in three locations in Hong Kong, Shanghai and London.

What drives/ inspires you to start this business?

I saw the convergence of the physical and digital worlds; and likewise, client-services and owned-product areas.  At the same time, having worked with many global brands for many years in New York and London, I thought there was an opportunity to bring global best-practices and innovative thinking into the Asia-Pacific region, which has already emerged as the world’s dominant economic region but lacked a truly digitally-native pan-Asian BrandTech company. I didn’t want Gusto Collective to be “big for the sake of size” but instead to focus on excellence and quality, creating value for our three main stakeholder groups: the brands who entrust their business with us; our investors who believe in our vision, and of course, our Gustodians who work hard to deliver excellence in our creations.

The Collective consists of four specialisms in Web3 marketing services, a metahuman platform, an AR experience platform and luxury marketing services.


Metahuman artist MonoC — an IP of Gusto Collective’s metahuman specialism. (Instagram @mo.noc)

Gusto Collective consists of four specialisms in Web 3.0 marketing services, an augmented reality experience platform, metahuman platform, and luxury marketing services. Which of these specialisms excite you the most?

We purpose-build our four specialisms to meet the challenges that company executives face in an ever-changing, ever-evolving phygital world, particularly with the emergence of the metaverse and the ecosystem inspired by Web3.  Our go-to-market strategy can easily be summarized as ‘specialisms collaborating around client challenges’.  An example of how this proposition comes alive is the creation of the world’s first real-time generative data NFT art piece that we created for the auction house of Phillips. The work was created by our metahuman artist, MonoC, which is an IP of our metahuman specialism, and powered by an algorithm, which our Web3 specialism created for the project.  This awesome collaboration resulted in the piece fetching the second highest hammer price in the auction. So, to answer your question about my favorite specialism it would be the synergistic value of all of these specialism coming together, just as a Greek philosopher said, “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”.

What excites you about Web3 and the future of your industry?

Web3 is an evolution of the internet.  Web1, which dominated up to approximately 2005, was basically read-only and we could say that Yahoo or Google were representative companies.  Web2, which had a golden age from about 2005-2021, was read-and write, and driven by large internet companies which aggregate and monetize user data.  Facebook and Twitter (or their equivalent overseas peers) are characteristic companies leading in Web2.  Web3 is an emerging concept but refers to virtual worlds in which users read-write-own through NFTs, virtual real estate, and personalized avatars (including clothing and accessories).

Much of the Web3 development to-date has been focused on cryptocurrency trading, NFT sales and also infrastructure.  There has been less focus on the opportunity for brand entry thus far, and we think this represents a major opportunity for storytelling, product development and client impact.

At BlackPine, we are devoted to building a community and creating values for our portfolio companies, beyond just investing. Do you have any past experience or examples of how we have helped along the way?

The world of Web3 and the metaverse is still early in its evolution, and there is no singular, all-encompassing definition to which people can turn.  Themes of what the metaverse is and could be, however, are emerging.  A key point is that there is no one virtual world but many worlds, which are taking shape to enable people to deepen and extend social interactions digitally.  Blackpine’s approach to building a community, beyond just investing, is exactly the right approach and most importantly what is needed to unlock the value of this significant opportunity.  We are now at an inflection point.  It’s a little like the ecosystem that was inspired by the arrival of iPhone with mobile infrastructure, hardware, software, apps, content and wearables, etc coming together to bring mobility to telephony!

What are your future plans?

We want to expand in a few key areas.  First, we want to continue to invest in and build out our products and IPs.  Second, we want to expand the company’s geographic range to other major markets within Asia, building upon our very-strong base in Hong Kong and Mainland China. Last but not least, we must increase our talent density by bringing a diverse group of skilled professionals, from 3D artists to UX designers, data scientists to creative directors.  For instance, we recently brought on Jeff Zielinski as our CFO, and have some exciting new operational and marketing hires to announce soon.

Web 3.0 and metaverse are not empty buzzwords – Gusto Collective has shown the world how they unlock the potential of Web 3.0 and combine the emerging technologies with wonderful storytelling to create value for brands. At BlackPine, we are strong believers in the new frontier is a connected world. We are proud to support Aaron and the Gustodians to continue helping many more brands tap into Web 3.0, the metaverse and beyond!
Learn more about Gusto Collective: thisisgusto.com

Brewing the Dom Perignon of Sake

Meet Our Visionaries

Richard Geoffroy — Founder of IWA Sake

In the world of wine, the effervescent Richard Geoffroy is globally renowned, as the former Chef de Cave and legendary brand ambassador of Dom Perignon where he spent 29 extraordinary years mastering his craft, and realising some of the finest wines in modern history.

Now, as Richard bids farewell to the industry that he revolutionised, he seeks out a new frontier, founding IWA Sake with the innovative idea of bringing the techniques of ‘blending’ used in Champagne production to IWA’s high-end sake — IWA 5, that assembles three varieties of rice (Yamada Nishiki, Omachi, and Gohyakumangoku), along with five yeast strains.

"One of the wine world's most important luminaries."

­— Jancis Robinson on Richard Geoffroy

From left to right, renowned industrial designer Mark Newson, star architect Kengo Kuma and Ryuchiro Masuda, CEO of  Masuda Shuzo, a family-owned sake company established in 1893 — each are contributing their considerable talents to IWA’s reinvention of sake.

Richard’s inspiring vision was launched in partnership with a constellation of stars — he is joined by co-founders Ryuchiro Masada, CEO of a leading sake producer, star architect Kengo Kuma who built IWA’s stunning Kura (sake brewery), and storied industrial designer Marc Newson, who designed a luxurious sake bottle finished with a dark velvety luster.

Nestled in Tateyama in the Toyama Prefecture, IWA’s Shiraiwa brewery will open in January 2021. It will rest between mountain foothills with access to the purest local water straight from the crest of Japan, amidst some of the heaviest snowfall in the world.

“The making of IWA 5 is not a stable recipe but an experimental process reconsidered every year.”

— Richard Geoffroy

At BlackPine, we see immense potential in the premium sake sector. The IWA brand and product is extremely well-conceived and enjoys a differentiated, appealing narrative. We believe Richard is uniquely positioned to elevate sake to art form, with his unrivalled experience, constellation of talents, and excellent management team that possess a unique and proven ability to produce and market premium alcoholic beverages (CEO Charlie Picart spent 19 years at Moet Hennesy, 10 of which as Head of APAC and previously Brand Director for Dom Perignon Japan).

We see a resurgence of sake gathering pace, with recent upticks in premium sake consumption analogous to that of Japanese whisky, which has gone from a neglected product 10 years ago to one that struggles to keep up with demand.

Premium sake is growing rapidly - From 2012-2016 the category grew by more than 10%; Junmai Ginjo/Daiginjo (the highest grades of sake) production has grown by 61% from 2010-2015.

IWA 5 — bottle designed by Marc Newson.

Exports are driving this growth. Importantly, unlike other sake brands, IWA targets 80% exports and new modes of drinking, accessing a wider pool of consumers than traditionally achieved, with exports more than doubling since 2010 within the key markets of USA and China which account for over a third of sake exports, markets which IWA will be laser-focused on in its goal of bringing premium sake to a global audience. In the premium segment, category leadership is relatively unchallenged – Juyondai and Dassai have emerged as leaders in export markets, but the wider industry lags behind, presenting a compelling opportunity to fill the gap with IWA, an innovative, export-oriented premium sake with a strong brand identity — Kanpai!

Alternative protein is eating the food industry

Meet Our Visionaries

Plant-based alternative protein milkshake by Grounded — a Lever VC portfolio company.

“Mindfulness” has permeated global culture in countless ways, in the food sector Millennial consumers increasingly base their choice of what foods and brands to consume on sustainability, health and ethical considerations, and demand a conscious mindset towards food production and consumption. As a result, eating habits are undergoing profound change, disrupting the whole food industry and value chain.


As we move into the next decade, conventional animal-based protein sources are steadily being displaced by the rise of plant-based meat, eggs and diary products, proliferated by recent food innovations. Innovative plant-based products are made from plant ingredients formulated to replicate the taste, texture and other attributes of conventional products that consumers love. In the case of cultivated meat, eggs and dairy, the products are molecularly identical to the conventional versions but are produced from animal cells or fermentation, without the need for live animals.

"73 percent of millennials and members of Generation Z reported purchasing a dairy-free alternative in the past 12 months."

— McKinsey 2018 Dairy Survey

Nick Cooney — Founder of Lever VC

Nick founded Lever VC to be the first sector-specialist fund investing globally in the alternative protein space. Lever VC invests in early-stage alternative protein innovators  and is regarded as a leading fund in the space and its Partners as thought leaders in the field, with a portfolio that includes the likes of Better Meat Co, Good Planet Foods and Avant Meats.

Lever VC’s team has deep experience investing in alternative protein across over 40 deals, including early investments in top plant-based brands like Beyond Meat ($6 billion market cap) and Impossible Foods (valued at $5 billion) and two of the most highly-valued cultivated meat companies (Memphis Meats, Geltor). Between 2015 and 2018 (prior to launching Lever VC) the Fund’s principal Partners executed 35 family office vehicle investments in the alternative protein space, with stellar returns. The fund offers a deep bench of industry, commercial and technical expertise across staff Venture Partners and Advisors. Lever VC has built an ecosystem of renowned experts in the field assisting with deal origination, due diligence and portfolio such as  Ronen Bar (former VP of clean meat company SuperMeat), Biren Doshi (Co-Founder and Director of EuroBev/Next Foods) and Eder Brambilla (former manager of Global New Business and Ventures for JBS).

"We expect the plant-based meat market to expand from USD 4.6bn in 2018 to USD 85bn at the end of the next decade."

­— UBS

Allergen-free plant protein by the The Better Meat Co. — a Lever VC portfolio company.

Just like Nick, we strongly believe alternative proteins will positively impact consumers and promote the welfare of animals, and that growth of the sector will be vital to the preservation of natural resources and tackling climate change, in the long-run greatly benefitting the planet as a whole. We are working with Nick to empower his vision and position Lever VC as a key player in helping innovative startups in the space grow, through funding as well as assisting investments with Lever VC’s deep expertise and world-class network of advisors to supercharge growth.


By empowering innovators in the alternative protein space, Nick and Lever VC are helping to progress society in a positive direction by changing what’s on our plate.

Esports is Changing the Game in Entertainment

Meet Our Visionaries

Sam Matthews — Founder of Fnatic.

Sam founded Fnatic in 2004, since its inception it has been a pioneering brand at the forefront of the Esports industry, an emerging behemoth that is reshaping the landscape of sports and entertainment as we know it. Fnatic’s teams of elite gamers go head to head with the competition in games like League of Legends and Fortnite, tournaments such as Overwatch now take place in huge arenas filled with gaming fans from around the world, captivated by epic battles featuring phenoms like POW3R and Rekkles, Fnatic players with massive global followings.

Fnatic is now the most iconic and most dominant team in Esports history and is known as the “Esports equivalent of football super-team Real Madrid” (BBC).

Fnatic — 15 years at the top ; 55m global audience ; 209 Championships ; 370 Medal wins ; $15m USD prizes won.

"Esports isn’t a new technology or new fad. It’s a full blown shift in entertainment and culture.”

­— Forbes

Fnatic x Gucci: The Dive watch 40mm.

As the clout of Esports grows, brands and advertisers increasingly view Esports as an important new class of sports with a cult following amongst young Millennials and Gen Z. As a result e-thletes, teams and competitions are awarded substantial sponsorships from household brand names and Fnatic is fast becoming the channel through which the most forward-thinking brands communicate with young people, with brand collaborations including the likes of Gucci, BMW and Yeezy.

As with traditional sports, Fnatic’s star players are celebrities in their own right, with a huge number of social followers, we believe that in the near future Fnatic e-thletes will rival the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lebron James and Roger Federer in terms of global fame.

Gaming is the most consumed form of entertainment in the world. In 2018, revenues from gaming ($116B) outstripped music ($17B), films ($41B), and television ($105B).

Total watch time: Gaming (61B hrs) vs. Netflix (58B hrs).

Since Fnatic’s Series A in 2019, BlackPine has teamed with Sam and his stellar team to meet the next stage of Fnatic’s expansion, levelling up by bolstering its appeal to global audiences with a mass affluent strategy, opening up future brand collaborations, implementing marketing campaigns worldwide, and evolving its focus further beyond the hard-core gamer fanbase and pro gear, gaming chairs, PC peripherals and energy drinks.

Despite how far Fnatic has come since we met Sam 15 years ago, there is still plenty of room for opportunity. There remains a vast untapped market for esports beyond hard-core gamers and despite it’s massive growing audience base, Esports remains in the early stages of monetisation. (Revenue per fan: Esports $3.9 NBA $34.6 MLB $34.6), and the sport has a massive foothold in Asia that continues to grow year on year (APAC account for 57% of Esports Enthusiasts in 2019).

Esports already attracts more young males viewers than both the NBA finals and the World Series. A demographic tidal wave brought by the expansion of the Millennial and Gen Z populations in the coming years means a likely exponential increase in engagement with Esports and the the associated influence around it, so we are excited to partner with Fnatic at this watershed moment for the sport to help realise the its full potential as a seismic game changer in the entertainment industry, with Fnatic at the lead.