Being in an industry where the short end of the stick is often given, artists need ways where they’re able to thrive without their counterparts, which is the void Alexander Yoseph came to help fill with his app.
Inflow — a music platform described as “the first Black-owned cryptocurrency app for musicians” — wants to help its users not only launch their own cryptocurrency but also have “new methods for independently monetizing.”
“What artists like about Inflow is that you are not monetizing your music, you are monetizing access to you,” Yoseph told AfroTech. “So, if an artist is in a 360 deal and they can’t release exclusive music on inflow they can just monetize vlogs, live streams, meetups, etc., as rewards for their token holders. We also are the only app that rewards fans so it’s a win-win scenario.”
After creating his idea, the founder’s app caught the attention of leading Ethereum software platform Consensys and open-source research and development laboratory Protocol Labs. The companies went on to participate in Inflow’s $1.5 million seed funding round.
Yoseph shared with AfroTech where the vision for Inflow stems from, in what exact ways musicians can benefit from the platform, and how he hopes to bridge the culture and crypto gap.
AfroTech: Where does your passion for wanting to support musicians originate from? What’s your background story for how you’re connected with music?
Alexander Yoseph: My passion for supporting musicians comes from always looking to discover the newest musicians. I’m the guy in the friend group that is always putting the homies onto new artists and going to underground shows. After college, I started working for a music studio and an indie label out of Dallas, Texas where I then started managing artists and then consulting independent musicians. During the day, my 9 to 5 was working at enterprise tech companies and right after work, I’d go straight to the studio and work from 7 a.m. to 12 a.m. to work on my passion.
AfroTech: How did you first get connected with Consensys and Protocol Labs and what exactly did that interaction look like?
Alexander Yoseph: They actually reached out to me. Consensys and Protocol labs were recruiting for their accelerator called Tachyon — which is the number one accelerator in crypto. They had heard about what I was doing through KERNEL by Gitcoin, which is like the Harvard of Web3, where the top young minds go to incubate their ideas and collaborate on new projects. I was a non-technical solo founder with a crazy idea that was constantly making progress and funding my business via crypto trading. So, I think that stood out to them as the type of founder they wanted in their accelerator. The accelerator was intense and greatly sped up my development cycle while digging into our product-market fit.
AfroTech: With the $1.5 million seed round, what will the funding be going toward in regards to benefiting artists who are a part of the platform?
Alexander Yoseph: Since the bulk of the development was done while bootstrapping, we have actually started an artist fund that we will be using to help fund music videos, vlogs, concerts, and exclusive experiences for their fans. Essentially, we will be giving advances with no strings attached.
AfroTech: It’s become a movement in the tech space for founders wanting to disrupt the music industry by creating new revenue streams for artists. What about Inflow do you feel artists will resonate with the most in order to feel secure to join the app?
Alexander Yoseph: What artists like about Inflow is that you are not monetizing your music, you are monetizing access to you. So, if an artist is in a 360 deal and they can’t release exclusive music on Inflow, they can just monetize vlogs, live streams, meetups, etc., as rewards for their token holders. We also are the only app that rewards fans. So, it’s a win-win scenario.
AfroTech: What do you aim for Inflow’s overall impact to be in the near future?
Alexander Yoseph: We are building the first platform where our culture can create currencies at a massive scale. Whether it’s artists, athletes, or brands, we let them create their own economics, which allows them to become financially independent. We will be the bridge between the culture and crypto. We are actually launching InflowSports this summer with pro, collegiate, and high school athletes.