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Tara Fung, CEO of Co:Create, on How Web3 Loyalty Can Onboard Brands to Web3 | Ep. 282

In an exclusive interview with cryptonews.com, Tara Fung, Co-Founder & CEO of Co:Create, talks about how Web3 loyalty is an upgrade on traditional loyalty programs, onboarding brands to Web3, and Co:Create Ink — ten world famous tattoo artists enter web3 loyalty.

About Tara Fung


Tara Fung is the Co-Founder & CEO of Co:Create. Tara is a growth-oriented leader who enables innovative brands to unlock the power of their community through gamified, self-owned reward programs. With a background as Chief Revenue Officer of Alto, a leading cryptoIRA and digital asset IRA custodian, Tara forged partnerships with institutional crypto asset managers, driving a staggering 25X revenue growth in just 18 months.

She also served as Chief Commercial Officer at a consumer lending FinTech firm, spearheading an advocacy campaign to change the tax treatment of employer-sponsored student loan repayment programs. Her efforts resulted in the passage of this initiative as part of the CARES Act. Tara holds degrees from Harvard Business School and the University of South Carolina.

Tara Fung gave a wide-ranging exclusive interview, which you can see below, and we are happy for you to use it for publication, provided there is a credit to www.cryptonews.com.

Highlights Of The Interview

  • How Web3 loyalty is an upgrade on traditional loyalty programs
  • How Web3 loyalty can help onboard brands to Web3
  • How can the e-commerce industry benefit from Web3 technologies as a whole
  • Why the intersection of web3 and luxury fashion will be one of the most popular use cases
  • Co:Create Ink — ten world famous tattoo artists enter web3 loyalty

Full Transcript Of The Interview


Matt Zahab
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to the Cryptonews Podcast. We are buzzing, as always, still coming in hot for Mexico. And I am super pumped to have today’s guest on the show, Tara Fung, the Co-Founder and CEO of Co:Create. She is a growth-oriented leader who enables innovative brands to unlock the power of their community through gamified, self-owned reward programs. And we need a lot of this in Web3. She has a background in a multitude of things and was the Chief Revenue Officer of Alto, a leading crypto IRA and digital asset IRA custodian, where she forged partnerships with institutional crypto asset managers driving a staggering 25x revenue growth in just 18 months. Tons of other stuff on the bio. We’ll get into that later. Super pumped to have you on. Welcome to the show.

Tara Fung
Thanks so much for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Matt Zahab
Pumped to have you on before we get into Co:Create and the super fun stuff. We gotta get into you. But one of the things that I’m most excited to jump into as a big ball fan is the incredible work that you guys did with BR. And that’s what I assume everyone, I believe that’s the bread and butter, if not the most famous thing you’ve done. I can’t wait to get into the new tattoo partnership as well. That’s super cool. I’m actually a tattoo virgin. And I feel like, you know, especially as a sort of younger millennial, I’m 28 born in 95. I’m like one of the only people my age who don’t have tats, which is sort of wild too.

Tara Fung
I bet that’s true actually. And the funny thing is that women are more likely to have tattoos than men.

Matt Zahab
100% just like you know, I feel like the men get dumber and stupider tats than women do I feel like women usually put a little more thought into it. Whereas men just put stupid shit all over their body But we’ll get into that later but before we get into a lot of the Web3 and community related and loyalty related stuff tell the listeners and myself a little bit about your past. You know childhood where you grew up how you got into Web3 the whole nine yards

Tara Fung
Yeah, so, Tara Fung, I’m from a small little town in rural North Carolina called China Grove. And people always ask me, is that the China Grove and the Doobie Brothers songs? Which it is not, it has zero claim to fame. There was like 4,000 people there, but I loved it. It was a great childhood. Grew up on what was somewhat of a farm with goat, this, that, and the other. And I just always wanted to figure out how the world works. And so I traveled a lot, I studied languages, I worked abroad, in undergrad I studied economics because I thought that would teach me how to approach problems. It would teach me a mindset and a skill set that I could apply to all different industries. So you’re probably already picking up, I’m a total nerd. And after a few years in the workforce where I was working for parent company in Mercedes Benz actually, I went back and got a graduate degree because I wanted to get into tech and I wanted to start building things. I just realized big companies weren’t the fit for me. I wanted to be doing small, scrappy, trying to change the future type stuff. And initially that got me into fintech and fintech got me into crypto and crypto got me into Web3. And then two years ago, I set out starting what is Co:Create and had been at it ever since through a bunch of different environments and ups and downs. And it’s been a wild and really enjoyable ride.

Matt Zahab
What was your first sort of taste into the Web3 world? Like was there a, did you get orange pill back in the day? Like what was your sort of welcome to the crypto world? Did you have that friend who bought drugs with Bitcoin or whatever the case may be? Like what was it sort of that catalyst?

Tara Fung
Oh my gosh. So much tamer like y’all are going to realize how uncool I am. I think I’ll go through this Podcast. But so my first taste or exposure was actually, in grad school. So I went to Harvard for my MBA and we had this course that I took called managing the financial firm, which is as boring as it sounds. And one of the financial firms that we studied were crypto companies. So we actually studied Coinbase and this was in 2015. And so we were studying Coinbase and other crypto companies as like, this is a new type of financial company. And I remember at that time I was like, I don’t get it. And I also just don’t have time to get it. Like this is just not interesting enough for me. And so I am in no way is a crypto OG, right? I can’t say like I bought my first Bitcoin in 2012 or this, that and the other. And so I put it off on a shelf. I was like, this is not the time for me to explore this. It just doesn’t feel relevant yet. When I went to become the CRO of Alto IRA, we, that company enables individuals to utilize retirement funds, which has a lot of tax advantages to invest in alternative assets, whether that’s venture capital, private equity, private real estate and crypto. And it was then that I realized, okay, I can’t put this off anymore because I’m not going to talk to people about using retirement dollars to invest into crypto unless I understand it. And I don’t invest in things I don’t understand. So it’s time for me to go deep. I remember it took me probably took me two or three months of one of my colleagues talking to me about what a self custodial wallet was. And I was so, I could not grok this concept. Like I really could not get it at all. I was like, why do you need a wallet? I don’t understand. We were a custodian. I’m like, they’re custodians for this type of stuff. And then the first time, and so I really started in crypto approaching it from an investor lens, right? Like what are the role of these assets within a diversified portfolio, particularly like your more stable assets or more accepted assets like BTC and ETHs and at the time, Sol and some others. And when I first logged in, when I finally got the wallet piece, and I first logged into a Web3 powered site with my wallet, I was like, holy smokes. This is a game changer. I’m taking my identity with me. My identity is not stored in this app. Rather it is mine and my assets are coming with me and that was, then it was over.

Matt Zahab
And that was it. I love that. What was the first wallet?

Tara Fung
MetaMask.

Matt Zahab
It’s crazy though. Like I hear these stories all the time. I remember the first time I got MetaMask and it’s so scary. Right? Cause like, you know, I fortunately had a couple of mentors and close friends who sort of walked me through the process, but like sending that first transaction when someone gives you, when someone gives you sort of the, you know, the prefix of this could literally go to the abyss. If you mess up one of these 20 something letters and numbers, you’re just like, holy shit. This is sort of spooky.

Tara Fung
You know, it is scary and I think that’s just an indication of the fact that this market is immature because the way that it works now is not the way that it can work or should work going forward. Like you shouldn’t have to worry about if I lose this crazy long password or someone steals it, my financial future is in jeopardy, right? Like that is not the way that things should work and that’s definitely going to change.

Matt Zahab
And that’s one of the things that you guys are doing incredibly is building, you know, Web3 tech that looks and feels like Web2, like it’s got to be clean. It’s got to be sexy. It’s got to be frictionless, seamless. And we’ll get into that soon. I guess the bread and butter, the show is obviously you Co:Create and Web3 loyalty. Let’s jump right into Web3 loyalty. This is something incredibly powerful. We’ve seen a lot of brands. We’ve seen Starbucks. We’ve seen Nike, some of the biggest fortune 500 brands jump into this to try to really, you know, to try to make the terrain and leave the station. And very few people have truly done it yet. But like you said, being able to bring your identity with you and actually having something that’s black and white and not gray is truly powerful. In your eyes, how does Web3 loyalty? How is it really an upgrade on the traditional loyalty programs? Just as a whole, give us sort of the 360 degree elevator pitch on why Web3 loyalty is so much more powerful and has such a higher ceiling than classic Web2 loyalty programs.

Tara Fung
Yeah, I like to say that the term a loyalty program is the most euphemistic term possible for what these programs actually are. They are not loyalty programs, they’re captivity programs. You earn things that you never own and if you decide you want to leave, you have to leave everything behind. And so that’s not loyalty. Loyalty is something that is given and something that is earned on both sides where there are mutual commitments made to one another. And Chris Dixon has this quote around, blockchains are computers that can make commitments. And I think the existing loyalty programs we have today, the commitments are one sided where the brand is unilaterally determined what is being earned that it has never owned and they can change the rules at any time and if they do, you’re stuck with it. And we saw this with Delta. One pushback that we would get and still do is well, clearly this benefits the brands disproportionately because they’re the ones in control and what they have no incentive to change. And I think some of the largest brands, you’re right, they have no incentive to change and to give more power control, voice saying ownership over to their community, over to the members of their loyalty programs. But there are a lot of brands who aren’t Delta. There are a lot of brands who are looking to stand out, who are trying to figure out how do I acquire and engage customers because I’m not so big that I can just set my own rules and say basically deal with it. And for those brands, the true power of Web3 is that it opens up a better way for you to engage and to gamify interactions with an audience to make them want to give you their time, their attention, their share of wallet, as well as it allows you to enter into these flexible coalition loyalty programs where your assets can be used at other brands and vice versa so that you can now market to like-minded communities. And you can open up not just retention, but acquisition because loyalty programs, they are typically managed by the quote and quote CRM or retention team at a brand. They are seen as a way to increase someone’s spending, someone’s LTV lifetime value with a brand. They are not seen as a way to acquire and grow a brand’s customer base. But in this world that we’re living now where try to get in front of a 14 year old girl, right? Like try to find a way and add that we’ll get in front of a 14 year old girl. Like she’s in Roblox, she’s in Fortnite, she’s in like, how are you gonna do this? And the way that you’re gonna do it going forward is because people, you’re going to have these communities that are super fans of brands and they’re going to be incentivized and encouraged and rewarded for telling others about it. And we’ll be able to track and reward those activities all on chain. And so I think the summary is Web3 Loyalty provides brands a better toolkit to grow, reward, engage an audience and it provides consumers the ability to own their loyalty, which actually then engenders loyalty, not captivity.

Matt Zahab
That was absolute gold. We gotta take a step back and excuse my ignorance here. What happened with Delta? I’m Canadian in Canada. It’s like all about aeroplanes. We have like two airlines. We fly Air Canada or WestJet. Really only the two in Canada. You gotta give me the deets. What happened with Delta?

Tara Fung
So, and this hurts me because I am a Delta Gold Medallion member, but basically what Delta did was they came out about a month and a half ago and they said, the way that miles and status have been earned is changing and deal with it. And what those changes were, you no longer actually get miles based on how much you fly, it’s based on how much you spend, which the question then becomes like, are you an airline or are you a financial institution? And they doubled the requirements to achieve status. So Silver Medallion, Gold Medallion, the status that actually starts to unlock the real aspirational benefits, they doubled it. And the thing is, it’s like, OK, well, I could just say I want to leave. You know, it’s the brand should be able to change things. They have to be able to evolve, but consumers should also be able to leave. And there is no concept of rage quitting within loyalty programs. These miles I have, I can’t even send them to my husband without paying a cent per mile. If I wanted to send 30,000 miles, I would have to pay $300. I might as well buy him a ticket, right? The Medallion status, it’s not mine. I can’t get out. I spent this entire year working for it because you work for it for one year. And then you get it really the next year. And the only way I can really realize those benefits is if I continue to fly Delta. So it’s just it’s a rigged game. And I think everyone has really seen that and they’ve just struggled with why is the power dynamics so disproportionate? Because a lot of people said, no, Delta, I’ve chosen to fly with you consistently, even when it involved layover. And for this. And now you went and changed everything without consulting us at all.

Matt Zahab
I’m the exact same with Air Canada. Fair Canada ever changes. I mean, riots. I’m gonna be the leader of the Air Canada Riot crew. Before we get into Co:Create, are there any Web3 brands or any loyalty programs that you are truly in love with or that you idolize or at least want to steal from? Like, who’s doing it right right now?

Tara Fung
So one of the brands that I think is so forward-thinking and is really changing what loyalty can mean, it’s a brand that was born into Web3 called KIKI World. And the reason I say born into Web3 is if you go to their website, you actually have no idea that there’s Web3 under the hood. Candidly, they are one of our clients. So all of the on-chain things that they’re doing are powered by API’s. So I love them for that reason too. But the way that they work is every single product they create is voted on by the community. So they’re a beauty, it’s really powerful because they’re a beauty brand, right? There are so many beauty brands. It’s actually really hard to distinguish yourself in that market. You’re going and you’re up against every other brand who’s buying the same ads and ad words on these various platforms. They will come out and say, we’re gonna make this amazing. Nail polish, here are the 10 shades, vote on your shade. They’ll show the leaderboards. You get points for voting. You then get minted a collectible, an NFT based on the color you vote for. And when that color, whichever color wins, that color is created. And then if you have the right collectible, you voted for the color that won, you actually, that NFT can be used to get a $5 discount in purchasing the product. So it’s like Co:Created, it’s gamified, it’s rewarding, it’s all underneath the hood, no Web3 wallet or knowledge required in order to participate. So I really love them as an example.

Matt Zahab
That’s huge. Another talk we have to get into, you’re absolutely on fire by the way, there’s so many different areas we can take this. The power of APIs, it’s like one of the most important and I guess another recurring theme of the pod is powerful because again, loyalty programs are powerful but APIs have literally become one of the most powerful pieces of software in tech present day. Like we’ve even seen it with the new sort of open AI API that came out and how many people are now creating their own GPTs. It’s just APIs are powering all of the web. It’s just web hook city, population APIs, they’re tearing it up, they’re doing incredible things. And it allows companies like you guys to create incredible pieces of tech and then so seamlessly allow all of your clients and partners and community to just like, hey, we built something that’s pretty frigging sick and you can snag it for a very fair price and you don’t have to do any of the heavy lifting we did it. It’s absolutely incredible. I’d love if you could talk about just the importance of APIs and how it’s such an integral part of your business and really everyone else’s business present day and moving forward.

Tara Fung
Yeah, no, it’s a really great question. When we were starting, the thing that we believe to be true is that the best brands in the world, they want to own the experience layer. They want to be able to create these stories and tell them better than anyone else. And so the front end, if you will, everything that a consumer sees and engages with, they want to be able to make that theirs truly. And so we were considering, do we offer a white label solution where you basically just skin the same thing over and over again with slightly different colors and fonts, or do we want to build an API first product that is truly embeddable, that is behind the scenes that’s invisible to the consumer? We’re like, if we’re going after the best brands in the world, we have to build an API first product. One, it’s way more scalable, it allows for much more robust types of programs that are very different, and two, it makes the brand be the one in the spotlight. It allows them to truly come up with the experience they want to provide and the story they want to tell. And we’re just obfuscating everything that’s hard on chain, from programmable wallets to membership management, to token deployment, to mint burn transfer, to gas abstraction and wallet abstraction, to the logic for how tokens are earned, purchased and what that gives you in terms of benefits. So auctions, raffles, other redemption opportunities. So we’re trying to take all of that so that brands can truly focus on the things that make them unique and different, which is the experience, not the infrastructure.

Matt Zahab
It is crazy how like, again, with an API, it’s just company X builds something so useful. And company A to Z just like gets the piggyback off of all that hard work for just a very minuscule, monthly, quarterly or annual price. And it’s just so cool. It’s something that I’ve, you know, I don’t wanna say that I’ve become passionate about, but as a non coder and non super tech guy, it’s something that I’ve been more cognizant I guess really my main motivation comes from the profitability side of it. And it’s like, okay, as someone who likes to create businesses and help companies grow, like this is something that, you know, I need to become not an expert per se, but at least have a really good, better than the average Joe’s knowledge. So something very interesting. We do need to take a quick break though and give a huge shout out to our sponsor of the show. When we get back, we’re gonna keep us in on Web3 Loyalty and we’ll get into some fun stuff like luxury, fashion, beauty brands, e-commerce, tattoos on the blockchain, and of course, Co:Create. But until then, huge shout out to PrimeXBT, longtime friends of cryptonews.com and longtime sponsors of the Cryptonews Podcast. We love their team and their product as they offer a robust trading system for both beginners and professional traders. It doesn’t matter if you’re a rookie or a vet, you can easily design and customize your layouts and widgets to best fit your trading style. PrimeXBT is also offering a sweet promo code for listeners of the Cryptonews Podcast. The promo code is CRYPTONEWS50. That’s CRYPTONEWS50, all one word, to receive 50% of your deposit credited to your trading account. Again, that is CRYPTONEWS50, all one word, to receive 50% of your deposit credited to your trading account. And now back to the show with Tara. Let’s jump into Co:Create. I mean, you’ve already sort of thrown it on the platter and I feel like without even giving the elevator pitch, all the listeners know exactly what you and the team do, but I always have to throw the classic, give me the 30 second elevator pitch on what Co:Create is. So throw in the ball over to your court, give me the 30 second elevator pitch on Co:Create and then we’ll get into some more fun stuff here.

Tara Fung
Yeah, absolutely. So we help innovative brands unlock the power of community, utilizing the tools of Web3, as well as to tap into the largest interoperable loyalty network so that they can partner with other innovative brands who are doing cool things and serving similar audiences. I think for us, what’s most important, as I was saying before, is we’re an API first platform. We are everything you don’t see that you don’t experience. With the exception of our first incubated concept, Co:Create, Ink. Which I’m sure we’ll talk a little bit more about.

Matt Zahab
I mean, let’s jump, we’ll get into that later. But first, first one I want to discuss. And we did have someone from your team, well, not from your team, but from the Bleacher Report team come on the show far earlier on. But you got to give us the TLDR on how incredible and how successful the partnership with Bleacher Reports. And of course, the NBA on TNT was because that was that was all world. That was incredible. And for guys like me who, you know, love ball and and then all the people who took part in that and had no clue that there was any like sort of Web3 tech involved in it, which was the best part.

Tara Fung
Yeah, so the Bleacher Report team, they are outstanding. They are so well-informed and knowledgeable when it comes to the space, which you really don’t see at large established companies very often. So it was just a total pleasure working with them. We’re powering the Watch to Earn program for inside the NBA. So if you’re watching Kenny and Shaq and all of them on television, after those episodes there, you can go on and it’s back because the NBA is back. You can go on and you can fill out answers to trivia questions. You earn BR tokens, so Bleacher Report tokens, which are actual ERC-20 tokens, that you then, as you accumulate them, can redeem in their rewards marketplace for either collectibles, inclusive of physical merch. So what’s really cool is I was actually just on there last night, which I got most of the questions right. I was on there last night and I was looking at the marketplace of redemption opportunities and I was like, there’s some cool swag and I just need to get some of my 5000 BR tokens because they’re still available. So I’m eyeing this sweatshirt that I really want and they’ve now expanded this. So the BR token, it’s not just gonna be for the NBA. They’ve now expanded the city in NHL. They’re thinking about expanding it to other properties. So it’s really meant to be this rewards token that is for sports lovers and sports fans. And it’s just been incredible partnership to work with them.

Matt Zahab
I love that. Yeah. Huge shout out to the BR and TNT team, especially as a Canadian. I mean, you know, when you’re a Canadian kid, you grow up, you don’t grow up watching basketball. Well, you do. But, you know, as soon as you come out of the womb, you literally, you know, get a pair of skates thrown on you and grab a hockey stick and start skating around in the pond. So it’s great to see TNT do such incredible work and grow the game of hockey as well, because, you know, we need our fellow Americans. There’s 10 of you for every one of us. And if we want to grow the game, need that to happen. So I absolutely love that. Let’s jump into your Co:Create Studio’s, your inaugural project, which is the Co:Create Ink. And you guys have partnered with, I believe it’s 10, world -famous tattoo artists. And again, this is just Web3 loyalty at its peak. So friggin’ cool. You got to tell myself and the listeners more about this.

Tara Fung
Yeah, so we are an API first platform, which means that we don’t control the user experience or user journey. And intentionally so. And as we were coming together over the summer, we realized there are ideas that we’re really excited about that aren’t within the brand lane. They’re more so in the creator economy lane. And we want to, creator economy don’t need APIs. They need platforms, white label solutions, plug and play tooling that doesn’t require a developer. And so we started to explore like, what are cool ideas that we could bring to life built on our Co:Create tech stack. So we’ll use our base, but we’re actually going to build the full application inclusive of the front end experience. And one of the concepts that we got really excited about was this one of tattoos. You know, tattooing, it is one of the oldest art forms in the world. And there are tattoo artists who they have clearly craftsmanship. The application of tattoos takes a lot of skill, but there are tattoo artists who are also truly artists. And their artwork is still charged or priced based on their time. You know, even if they charge a higher hourly rate than others, they’re still getting paid based on their time, not on their art. Their art is still also impermanent as much as we think tattooing is permanent. It’s still tied to a human who gets sunburns, who gets cuts and wounds, who eventually passes away. And so their artwork also doesn’t have permanence to it. And we were excited about the potential for blockchain and NFT technology to enable this art form to be elevated, to be permanent, to highlight the collector network that surrounds an artist, which some of these artists, they’ve worked with incredible people, such as one of our founding artists has tattooed Usher and Chris Hemsworth, another one is tattooed Lady Gaga. Like, I mean, just incredible people that you want to kind of know who are the connections between this group. And so we realized, you know, NFTs can change this, but it’s got to be done in a way that doesn’t require someone to be a Web3 expert because there is a lot of skepticism within certain communities about blockchain and crypto and Web3. And this has to be experienced first. And so what we’re bringing out, which is Co:Create Ink, it’s launching in December, is you can go on and you’ll be able to actually see exclusive one of one works by these top tattoo artists. You can buy that design, which comes with the booking. It comes with the session. So you’re actually buying the application of the tattoo, which for these 10 artists around the world, we have artists in Brazil, in Italy, in Germany, in Tokyo, in the US, in Canada. We actually have one tattoo artist in Canada. You can’t get appointments with these folks. Like, one of our artists there, wait time is over a year. So this gets you an actual booking with an exclusive one of one work that you have a digital collectible that you can own forever, as well as the actual application. And it opens up all of the tradability that we know blockchain is capable of. So we’re really excited to bring it to life. We’ve got an incredible group of artists and feel very fortunate to be able to partner with them, to build something that works for them and really treating them as the subject matter experts. And we are just like the vessel to help them do something really cool.

Matt Zahab
I absolutely love this partnership. And again, like we live in the attention economy nowadays and you’ve stated many times on the show, you guys are primarily an API company. And for the ability for not only you, but the tattoo artist, I’m sure all of like every single one of these tattoos is gonna be filmed and is going to be content will be produced out of this. This is just all world content as well. Like this just seems like winds across the board for absolutely everyone.

Tara Fung
Yeah, for sure. And we’re actually going to be launching the platform. Well, we’re only launching it to a select number, so we have a waitlist running right now. So for anyone interested, go to cocreate.ink to sign up for the waitlist so you can get first access when we launch. And we’re going to be running a prize draw. So for people that are on the waitlist that go on to refer, you will have the chance to actually be flown out to our launch event during Art Basel Miami on December 7th and meet all the artists and just have a good time. And if someone might even get tattooed, there we shall see.

Matt Zahab
Love that. Maybe that’ll be me. Maybe I’ll get my name thrown out of the hat. No longer be a tattoo virgin. First one. Oh, I love it. A couple more points here as we are getting a little tight for time. Ecommerce industry, something I’m very passionate about. I have been very fortunate to work with one of Canada’s fastest ever growing e-commerce brands. I love e-commerce. I think it’s great for the people. It’s so nice to go into store and again, especially with how powerful shipping is nowadays, literally you buy something, you get it the next day. Most of the time, Amazon e-commerce brands, maybe two or three days later, it’s lovely. And it just, just the absolute sort of economic creation that it has produced as well, very cool industry. This is a way that Web3 can really come in and start moving a groove and shake things out more specifically on the whole loyalty side of things. I really haven’t seen a whole lot of brands take the power of Web3 yet. There’s also tons of Shopify plugins that allow NFTs like Shopify and Toby Luke has, you know, on a multitude of different occasions has said, we’re cool with NFTs. We understand that this can unlock, you know, a bunch of really cool loyalty programs, but I still haven’t really seen any brand take this to the next level. I know you and the team are working on some really cool things here. Have any brands in the past done this that you’ve, you know, seen and been like, wow, that’s really cool. And I guess just a segue out of that question. What exactly are you and the team working on in e-commerce space right now?

Tara Fung
Yeah, so, you know, the KIKI World example that I gave, they are an e-commerce brand. They don’t have any physical stores and they actually use Shopify as well. So we have a Shopify integration and app that’s available for any of our clients to use. I agree with you wholeheartedly that e-com is an incredible opportunity for this because they already live online and in digital spaces. We also, though, are very excited about the ability to recognize and reward actions that are taken across IRL and URL. So physical stores to events to online e-com to Instagram and other social media platforms. And so we’ve actually built out integrations with Instagram, with Twitter, with Discord. Now I believe Telegram is coming next, where people say, I know my community, they’re going to engage with me on my e-com site, right? Because that’s where they come to get things. They’re also engaging me in these other places. And I want to be able to recognize and reward those actions. And so I have to have a way to bring this all together. And a blockchain or tokenized loyalty program is the perfect way to do that because it is this ledger, right? That can take in inputs from all these different places and create a centralized single source of truth for what that individual has done, has contributed and has redeemed and participated in. And so I think e-com is a huge opportunity. KIKI World is a great example of that. But we definitely need to see more because what I think what is one of the blockers right now is people here Web3 loyalty and they think, as we were talking about before, retention marketing, which if you’re a disruptor brand who’s trying to grow, you’re not focused on retention as much as you’re focused on growth. And so we have to change that concept of loyalty can be more than retention.

Matt Zahab
Yeah, it’s so true. It just seems like there’s so many opportunities for all these e-commerce brands that again, it’s like you go on their website and they have perhaps a similar to an airline point system where it’s like, it’s not like airlines where, you know, you are a CEO of a very fast growing company. You’re flying around North America all the friggin’ time. Like no shit, you’re gonna wrap your points. You have a reason to like, you know, actually want those points and the rewards are worth it. But spending thousands and thousands of dollars to finally get like 10 bucks off your next purchase. It’s just, there’s no incentives. And we live in a world where incentives move the needle. So very interesting on that end. Another area that I think has a very high ceiling is high end fashion, beauty, just luxury as a whole. You know, I feel like luxury can really do it. What about the luxury space? Obviously, besides KIKI World, anyone moving and groovin’ in the luxury space?

Tara Fung
Yeah, so we are working with one of the oldest luxury brands in the world, which is a program that’s not live, so I can’t share more about it. But I would say keep your eyes out because you’re right. The areas where brands really are starting to understand and take steps to implement Web3 loyalty programs are in intermediated industries. Luxury has often had an intermediated sale or relationship with their customers. Blockchain, it’s a back-end technology, but it’s a direct to consumer technology. It directly connects the two ends of the spectrum, a provider and a consumer or two community members, right? And so we’re seeing this in luxury, we’re seeing this in any sort of industry where they’re sold through intermediaries, so beauty, which is sold through Sephora or other large department stores. We’re seeing this in the alcohol industry where a lot of alcohol brands have not had that direct relationship with their end consumer. They’re sold in bars or they’re sold through intermediaries as well. So those are the ones where I get really excited. The other one that we’ve already talked about as well as an industry is fans of sports teams. So many fans exist out there and the sports teams, you don’t really, you’ve got your social media following, but they don’t have a good sense of who their fans are and where they are and what they care about in a way to directly incentivize them. Web3 loyalty programs, these are incentive programs that are supposed to create great rewards so that people take actions that that organization is wanting them to take. And so any intermediated industry where there is a desire for a direct relationship, those are the ones that I think are really getting Web3 loyalty and starting to do cool things.

Matt Zahab
Very true. Yeah, sports teams, anyone from sports teams listening to this, get your shit together, get on the train. Make some shit happen. It’s time. It’s definitely a massively untapped one. Tara, this has been absolutely incredible. One last segment and then we will wrap up. We got to jump in the hot take factory, get our shit kicking boots on. You actually probably have more experience than I do as you grew up on a farm. But let’s jump in the hot take factory here. Let a couple fly. It doesn’t have to be Web3 loyalty, crypto blockchain related, can be health, wealth, happiness, some spicy stuff, politics, AI, aliens, you name it. But give me a couple Tara hot takes before you go.

Tara Fung
This is where I get cancelled, right?

Matt Zahab
No. This is a cancel free show.

Tara Fung
I mean, we touched on it a little bit before, which is I know there’s this concept within like OG crypto, if not your keys, not your coin, be your own bank. I don’t think anyone wants to be their own bank. I want my bank to be my bank, right? And the reason for that is there is so much pressure associated with being the safe guard, the vault for all of your assets. And so that’s where I really want to see us continue to evolve and mature as an industry, is reducing the pressure and the risk associated with ownership because to truly be an owner of something, you also have to protect it. And I need more help in protecting those things, which we’re trying to do some stuff on. There’s a lot of brands out there and companies and providers out there that are doing cool stuff on, but that’s the one. I don’t think people, with certain exceptions, there are places in the world where the ability to be your own bank is so important and critical that people will do it. But in a lot of stable developed countries, that’s not the case. No one wants to be their own bank.

Matt Zahab
Yeah, I’m pretty much in the same yacht as you in that regard. I’m a believer of like maybe 90, 10 rule 95, 5 where it’s like maybe keep, you know, maybe keep a couple of dineros under your bed, but like otherwise, yeah, let the big boys handle it. So incredible episode. Thank you so much for coming on. This was an absolute treat and can’t wait to have you on for round two before you go. Can you please let our listeners know where they can find you personally and Co:Create online and on socials.

Tara Fung
Yep, so I’m @nonfungibletara. My last name is Fung, so it’s a little bit cuter than normal than everyone else who’s non fungible. But so @nonfungibletara on Twitter, or X. And you can find us at usecocreate.io to learn more about the API platform. And if you’re into tattoos, definitely go check out cocreate.ink to see our new tattoo artists and to get signed up for the wait list.

Matt Zahab
Amazing. Tara, thank you so much. Appreciate the time. Had a blast and can’t wait for round two.

Tara Fung
Appreciate it, thanks so much for having me.

Matt Zahab
Folks, what an episode with Tara Fung, CEO and Co-Founder of Co:Create. We absolutely love to see it. She was dropping knowledge bombs and was on fire. Anything Web3 loyalty related onboarding brands into Web3, she discussed it and we love to see it. Listeners, love you guys. Thank you so much for everything. If you enjoyed this one, please do subscribe. It would mean the world to my team and I. Speaking of the team, love you guys. Thank you for everything. Justas, my amazing sound editor. You are the GOAT. Appreciate you as always. And back to the listeners. Love you guys. Keep on growing those bags and keep on staying healthy, wealthy and happy. Bye for now and we’ll talk soon.