About: the402 enables creators to build communities and monetize through crypto
App Type: Web3 livestreaming platform
Founded in March 2022, the402 is a livestreaming platform that enables creators to build communities and monetize superfans by leveraging crypto. Currently, the402 creators can token gate livestreams using both the402-exclusive NFT access passes and NFTs issued on other platforms, and sell digital collectibles during livestreams. Communities can also interact with creators and other fans using their chat functionality.
the402 is a platform designed to provide a seamless web3 experience for creators and users alike. For creators, the process of starting a livestream is quite simple and takes just a few steps.
“Once a creator has their own profile page setup, all they need to do is click on the "Go Live" button which displays their stream key and enter it into OBS. That's it.” - Ravi Bakhai, Founder of the402
Once livestreams are over, the402 also hosts VODs for token-holding fans that grant access to previous livestreams on creator profile pages.
The experience of creating an NFT is just as straightforward and requires no coding. They can publish content by simply uploading media, adding a cover photo, and setting desired parameters (e.g. price, quantity, and royalty percentage). From there, the402 handles everything else, including token gating, supporter tracking, and monetization.
If a creator would like to issue an NFT access pass, they can mint one on our site leveraging any of our creator-owned smart contracts. We also have credit card integration to seamlessly onboard non-crypto native fans.” - Ravi Bakhai, Founder of the402
For users, the UX is clean and easy to navigate, so they can quickly connect their wallets and begin exploring the platform. Buying and selling NFTs is simple, and marketplaces include transparent information like livestream NFT collection statistics. As such, the402 offers a low learning curve for anyone coming from web2.
The402 was founded by Ravi Bakhai and Narahari Bharadwaj. The project was born from an intrigue in NFTs. In particular, Ravi wanted to figure out “how [builders] could create a more sustainable ecosystem to drive NFT sales and provide actual utility to NFTs.” Then, at NFT.NYC, a spark of inspiration hit as the founders observed collectors buying NFTs offered by musicians performing live. Unsurprisingly, the halo effect of a memorable experience increased sales. The pair focused on building a platform that would further enable this type of interaction between creators and their communities in the digital world of web3.
The idea from NFT.NYC came to life at a hackathon where the duo created the first iteration of the402. Thanks to the positive response from the community, they plunged into building in web3 full time to pursue the402 as their new mission. The co-founders released the full creator platform just a few months later in June 2022.
Ravi had heard of Livepeer from researching the Ethereum ecosystem, as a cheaper alternative to host livestreams. The founders decided to migrate their video streaming to web3 with Livepeer Studio after meeting with and talking over technical details with the Livepeer core team. More specifically, they wanted to test out Livepeer Studio’s livestreaming capabilities and see how they “could use livestreams to drive sales for creators.”
Ravi described the transition to Livepeer as “pretty simple… It was too easy. So that’s why we’re [wondering] why is [Livepeer] not more of a thing? I think [Livepeer] is doing a lot of the heavy lifting.”
1. Livestreaming page and chat functionality
2. Creator profiles where fans can watch livestreams, collect NFT access passes, watch previous livestreams, and subscribe to creators
Creators that want to token gate livestreams can leverage various pricing mechanisms to issue an NFT access pass. Also, creators can use tokens from existing platforms to curate their own communities on the402.
Fans can enter creator profiles to purchase NFT access passes in order to attend livestreams. Fans can also chat with creators, other fans, use on-chain subscriptions for notifications, and use NFTs as their verified profile picture.
During the livestream, creators can create custom emotes that can be minted as NFTs, and also place NFTs minted on other platforms (e.g. Zora, Manifold, POAP) for sale.
The platform has been hosting livestreams for artists since the end of July. Their first token-gated livestream was at the end of July 2022 with the indie pop musician Alara. Though the402 is just beginning to establish a user base, Alara was able to sell 14 NFTs for a total compensation of $820 for a ~45 minute livestream. Alara tweeted about the experience and expressed her excitement to livestream again soon.
the402 embodies the web3 ethos by enabling creators to reclaim ownership of their content and communities, and bypassing middlemen for direct compensation for their work. the402 is now focused on building its capabilities and spreading stories of creator success. Also, the team is particularly excited to discover additional methods to mobilize communities around their favorite creators and build more crypto-native integrations.
“[the402 team was initially in a] super fast experimental phase rapidly iterating on product and improving the experience with each livestream. With the underlying infrastructure in place, we’re looking forward to start scaling this to more creators and communites. There is still a ton of exciting things we’re planning on rolling out soon. We’re just scratching the surface.“ - Ravi Bakhai, Founder of the402
In the current web2 ecosystem, many creators follow a boom-and-bust model - banking on virality, views, and ad dollars to drive revenue. With token-gated livestreams, the402 hopes to build an alternative revenue stream for creators where they can provide exciting and exclusive experiences for their communities with greater ownership of those relationships.