Investing in Story Protocol

Sriram Krishnan

I grew up obsessed with movies, TV, and comics. Be it Batman, Superman, Star Trek, Harry Potter, or Lord of the Rings, like millions of others, they formed a major part of my childhood (and still do). 

When I got access to the internet, I would then discuss these with fans from all over the world on the early 2000s versions of fan sites. Even then, the creativity struck me – be it fan fiction, homegrown art, or people writing entire novels. However, there was no mechanism – no protocol – for these remixes of culture to plug back into the original creations that inspired them.

Fast forward a couple of decades, and the internet, especially social networks, has created a renaissance in composable creativity – social networks are filled with memes, remixes, and full-blown story arcs of fan-created content. 

But with that explosion comes challenges. 

Today, Soundcloud has banned derivatives, videos with soundtracks get removed from YouTube, and original artists receive neither attribution nor compensation when they survive. To this day, creative IP, much like the early open-source community, remains gatekept and read-only despite multimedia franchises attracting some of the most avid and imaginative communities. 

We believe hindrance of community and development is one of the reasons why we’re seeing some of the most creative ideas not translate to film, television, and longer-form media. 

Here’s where Story Protocol comes in.

We met the Story Protocol team last year with the ambition of solving these core problems. Their vision is to use blockchain to track provenance – or the OG creators of material – and incentivize and create community. 

The open protocol would give creators across all media – writing, images, audio, and video – the ability to track their work as it takes on a life of its own across the internet. It would also reward those who remixed or modified the original content into something new. 

The team is looking to usher in the era of open-source IPs by becoming the protocol for collaborative world-building. The next generation of hit multimedia franchises will have ownership and community at their core.

We couldn’t be more excited to work with the founding team with a unique combination of technical expertise and understanding of the media and entertainment industry. 

The combination of S.Y. Lee, who previously founded the mobile serial fiction platform Radish; Jason Levy, who led content at Episode, a storytelling ecosystem; and Jason Zhao, who previously served as a product lead at Google’s Deepmind, translating cutting-edge AI research into customer-facing applications

That’s why I’m thrilled that today, we announced that we’ve led an investment in Story Protocol and will be partnering with them as they build out this vision.  

Welcome, Story Protocol! 


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