NFTICALLY’s New ECommerce Metaverse

NFTICALLY’s New ECommerce Metaverse

The future of the ecommerce metaverse is just so, so exciting.

NFTICALLY is an up-and-coming startup company specializing in the non-fungible token (NFT) ecommerce metaverse. Upon entering the NFTICALLY metaverse, you get a 360-degree view of a chosen brand’s storefront and can navigate through the store to look more closely at its different features. Users can also opt to join sessions with friends, and they can call on channels only accessible to their own specified group of people. 

As of June 2022, NFTICALLY powers more than 9,000 storefronts worldwide, from individual sellers to brands and enterprises. Some of NFTICALLY’s clients include Zipmex, a leading cryptocurrency exchange in the Asia Pacific region; a major London client selling Manchester United player NFTs; and Salman Khan’s Dabangg NFTs. However, many of these storefronts still remain in private viewing at the request of individual companies, but they will likely be launched publicly in the near future.

Founded by Toshendra Sharma, an Indian entrepreneur who has copious amounts of experience in the technology industry, NFTICALLY originated when some of his past colleagues reached out and proposed an idea to him, “People were looking [to launch] their own OpenSea.” For those who aren’t familiar, OpenSea is an American NFT platform where users can buy, sell or mint NFTs, in a similar process to that of buying and selling physical goods on Amazon, Ebay or Etsy. Sharma was up to the challenge. Soon enough, Sharma banded together with his past colleagues and began working on bringing their fascinating ideas into the real world.

What sets NFTICALLY apart from the rest?

A few features distinguish NFTICALLY from other ecommerce metaverses, and they are all linked to the company’s emphasis on accessibility. Many other metaverses require complex headsets and power usage, which especially hinders users from lower socioeconomic classes from participating in the platforms. Sharma tells us that, for one, NFTICALLY aims to bridge the gap between Web2 and Web3, so consumers on desktop and mobile devices can access the metaverse to transact, purchase or just create experiences with friends. Additionally, NFTICALLY allows users to transact on the platform without installing a new custodian wallet, which is a key feature that many ecommerce metaverses do not have.

Challenges they faced

Sharma says that NFTICALLY faced two main challenges from its inception. First, he shares, the “fear around using cryptocurrencies in terms of the government and legal landscape” means that “not every brand is comfortable in entering the cryptocurrency space”. This poses some difficulty in enticing new clients to join the platform. The second challenge is the complexity surrounding fiat on-ramp services, which are essentially exchanges that help users convert fiat money into cryptocurrencies. There were major difficulties in brainstorming solutions for making it convenient for average users to access their bank accounts, credit cards or debit cards to purchase NFTs. According to Sharma, “There is not much support from the payment gateways, as well as from the bank side,” since these institutions do not want to take the risk of providing fiat on-ramps in case the government shuts them down soon after launch. 

Sharma’s personal journey

Sharma began his career in 2009, running a robotics engineering company, RoboSapiens, and proceeded to gain admission into the Computer Science department at Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, one of the most highly ranked computer science departments in India. After graduating with a Master’s degree in Application Security, he ran a cybersecurity company Wegilant. His shift from cybersecurity to blockchain started unfolding as he learned to understand the use of blockchain to improve data security. When he dug deeper into the topic, he realized that they could secure data records using immutable blockchain technology, which he says “[is] very common in 2022, but earlier in 2016 [wasn’t very] obvious”. 

Once Sharma pierced the bubble of the blockchain industry, he realized that everybody needed to learn about blockchain. In 2016, he introduced his first blockchain company, RecordsKeeper, a decentralized blockchain database with the purpose of increasing the reliability and trustworthiness of data through the immutable blockchain technology. He says that it was successful, but “in 2016, it was too [ahead] of its time… [and] it didn’t pick up much.” He later began teaching blockchain topics online, and proceeded to launch a company called Blockchain Council in late 2016 to offer certifications on various blockchain technologies. It became massively successful, amassing nearly 100,000 followers on LinkedIn alone, and Sharma believes that its success was a testament to the importance of blockchain in the future.

Sharma has hired a CEO for Blockchain Council to help run the show, so he can focus more on the growth of NFTICALLY, which he says will be his main focus for the foreseeable future. 

Excitement about the future

When asked about the most exciting aspect of NFTs, Sharma points to their authenticity guarantee. He expounds, “NFT actually solves that core problem [of authenticity and digital replicas], which actually makes it look very big and powerful.” In terms of blockchain, Sharma discussed the creation of immutable records as something that has “a very strong value”.

Sharma believes NFTICALLY is in a market with immense future potential, and that even occupying “a small chunk of this big market will be decent enough to become a multibillion-dollar company”. However, he also says that creating valuations isn’t the company’s core focus. Instead, NFTICALLY aims to create value for their clients and “wants [their] clients to be rich because of [NFTICALLY]”. The reason is simple and neat—making customers rich is the “biggest wealth that you will build”. Sharma also mentioned that players who enter the space go through the cycle of adoption that involves friction, denial and acceptance. However, he explained that NFTICALLY does not mind the longer wait time in this industry because they are in for the long term and do not want to rush things.

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Header Image courtesy of NFTICALLY

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