As part of our entrepreneurship section, we spoke to Keirin Rebane of WOF Labs on her experiences getting into a relatively unknown space – Web3.
Here is her story so far…
I always have so much to say!
And yet, when I sit down to finally put it on paper, my words elude me. I attempted to write something at the end of 2021, but with so much moving so fast, time appeared to pass by.
Well, better late than never, and as web3 moves at supersonic speeds, it’s impossible to stay on schedule with anything anyway.
NFTs and blockchain technologies have begun to emerge, and within Estonia itself, there are already many Estonians who have opened their doors to this exciting new world.
In the light of this increasing interest, readers can now find more articles and news concerning how this is the next promising potential technology. Yet, some still claim that it is all a scam and a pyramid scheme—built to take money away from fools.
As more people become interested, I have also been asked why I decided to get involved and what I am doing daily in this new sector.
So let me explain a little bit what my role has been in this and how I got into it.
I graduated with my master’s degree in business and technology management whilst acting CEO of Navin – a development company, which my co-founder Artur and I founded in 2018.
Navin had just started its fourth year, and by that time, we had built dozens of e-shops, apps and web platforms for our customers.
We had seen a lot of success stories and mistakes in building startups. We felt that we had learned a lot from them, and now we had reached a point where we wanted to use that knowledge to build something for ourselves. We missed a good idea and working with individuals who matched our own ambitious values.
In mid-April, I was writing my master thesis.
For my empirical research, I needed to conduct interviews with different founders who had experience building a marketplace business.
During one of the interviews, I felt an immediate connection with one of the founders. Aleksander and I had a similar understanding of business principles, and we seemed to be in a similar place in our lives. Together, Aleksander and I wanted to build something impactful and meaningful and to do it in the right way.
When I sat down with Artur, Aleksander, and his son Sander, I knew we had the dream team right then.
They had experience in business development, fundraising and scaling, Artur and I had experience in designing and building technology solutions. We saw the problems in the supply chain and quickly realised the answer – Supplain. We all knew we had a lot of work to do, but we were ready to take that journey.
After months of work, we understood that we needed to first build a community as we started working on Supplain in April but only arrived at web3 and NFTs at the beginning of August.
Rather the reason was to first bring together our future users and industry specialists, so we wouldn’t build something that people don’t need.
This allowed us to achieve two goals at once:
However, there were long working days ahead of us.
It took us just 4 weeks to create the NFT collection. The team launched an NFT collection in early September, “World of Freight“, and began building a community of like-minded people around it.
We created WOF Labs after the NFT collection was already done. From the first discussions about starting to build Supplain, five months later we had already launched World of Freight, followed by creating WOF Labs, the company.
I worked through hundreds of hours of podcasts, videos, and articles, learning about the world of crypto and NFTs. I devoured as much as I could, diving deeper for more and more knowledge. Eventually, I found myself in several other large communities on new and unfamiliar platforms.
As we grew with increased interest in WOF, we needed additional talent on board. Very soon, we were blessed with several remarkable people joining our team, among them Andre Veskimeister, Ben Horlick, David Bailey-Lauring and Daniel Gansen. From six months at the moment of launching the company, we have over 1,500 fantastic community members across the globe and a dedicated team of exceptional developers!
At the start of September, we launched our NFT collection, and since then, we have managed to raise approximately $750,000 by selling our NFTs. For our NFT holders, we launched an online Racing game.
By February 2021, we released the Supplain white paper of the Supplain blockchain, and right now, we are in the middle of creating a light paper version and more investor deck.
On 6th April 2022, together with Delfi, a leading Estonian news portal, we will host the first NFT and web3 conferences in Nordic and Baltic area, NFT Tallinn. At this conference, attendees will hear from the top leaders from many industries, including:
We received partner support from LHV bank, PopSpot, Icebreaker and the Yolo Group. Gleb Kostarev from Binance and many other industry insiders want to join us at the conference” with “basically everyone who’s active in the web3 industry in this region will be there”.
On a more personal level, I have to confess; it hasn’t been somewhat smooth and easy.
Entering a whole new field takes time and requires a lot of work. You need to set expectations on yourself but not unrealistic ones.
At first, I felt insecure concerning many topics and conversations and only now am I beginning to understand a competent level of Web3 information. Web3 can go even deeper, and I feel I have only started to scratch the surface.
And yet, that is the most exciting part of the web3 world – it’s constantly evolving, and you find the most incredible opportunities. I’ve found myself in communities where people are super helpful and supportive. Every day I learn something new.
And I genuinely believe that Web3 has come to give the internet back to people.
I have seen how many people’s lives have been positively changed by Web 3, which is why I have focused on helping to onboard more people into crypto and Web3. Especially women, because there are very few women in the crypto space (sadly, only 12% of women work in the blockchain industry).
But overall, I want to say how happy and grateful I am for all these challenges and opportunities. I can already predict that I will have one of the most exciting times ahead of me.
Last year, I received a scholarship to Draper University in the United States. This is an accelerator programme not for startups but rather for company leaders, meaning a 5-week summer university in San Francisco, Silicon Valley.
Because of Covid, I could not travel to the United States last summer, so it was postponed for a year. But this year, I am definitely going to Silicon Valley at the end of May 2022, where I will spend the next five weeks in intensive hero training. Naturally, I am already very excited about this – collating even more knowledge and accumulating new contacts for Supplain.
We already have a team and we’re building Supplain, but we’re starting to raise additional capital in the summer to expand the team and speed up the development of Supplain blockchain.
There will be different teams. One team will develop the World of Freight community and P2E racing game, and the other will establish the Supplain blockchain.
And yeah, that’s pretty much what I have been doing this last year.
There are so many new features and plans that we are working on with our fantastic team – so I can not wait to share them with you in the following months and weeks.
Watch this space!
Keirin Rebane has a master’s degree in business and technology management and is the founder of an Estonian-based development company. She has helped build various e-shops, online platforms, and applications in her career. During that time, she has been in different roles: a manager, product owner and designer. Having a previous technological background helped her orient herself in the NFT world, primarily when they created their own collection where all the NFT parts were hand-drawn in digital form and later generated in collaboration with code. Today, she is the product owner and art director in the World of Freight and Supplain teams.