By Riley Kaminer
“Web attribution” is at the core of Web 2.0 platforms like Facebook and Google. That is what enables advertisers to know where their traffic comes from.
The problem is that attribution often ends up being a game of he-said-she-said, with major platforms acting as the source of truth – despite potential conflicts of interest.
Compared to attribution in Web 2.0, Web3 is the Wild West. It is near impossible to trace, say, an NFT purchase back to a post on a Discord channel.
Miami-based Spindl has raised $7 million to develop a solution to this quandary. The startup, founded by Miami native and Silicon Valley veteran Antonio García Martínez, aims to build this critical backend functionality for e-commerce in the Web3 era.
“Everyone has to agree at the end of the day that x caused y to happen,” García Martínez told CoinDesk.
“Correct attribution in Web3 isn’t some horrible intrusion of skeumorphic [sic] Web 2 machinery, it’s a way to correctly credit a digital asset (and ultimately its owner) with the revenue they produced, in whatever downstream form,” he said in a blog post. “Without it, the NFT market will struggle to be more than a speculative art market mimicking the real-world one.”
Crypto venture capitalists Ani Pai of Dragonfly and Jeff Morris Jr. of Chapter One led the investment round. Additional investors include a who’s who of the crypto space, such as Polygon Ventures, Solana Ventures, Balaji Srinivasan, and Anthony ‘Pomp’ Pompliano. These funds will reportedly go toward building out a team.
Spindl works by analyzing click-through links from sources like Discord, Reddit, and ad impressions. It then compares this information with purchase behaviors, such as buying, selling, and trading.
Of course, tracking purchase behaviors is nothing new in the crypto space – in which individuals as well as companies like Chainalysis have profited handsomely from on-chain forensic accounting. But Spindl is filling a need to do this investigation for Web 2.0-style attribution purposes.
García Martínez explained that the origin of the startup’s name comes from Greek mythology, in which three Fates “spun the thread of human life into a thread, and then cut it to everyone’s apportioned time on Earth.”
Spindl will do something similar – well, something decidedly less morbid. “Much like the [Fates], an attribution system spins the chaos of Internet data into a coherent thread, and then snips off the correct bounty for whoever owns that particular length of yarn.”
Since Mayor Suarez’s “How can I help” moment, García Martínez has been a vocal advocate for the Miami tech movement. Just last week, he took the stage to extol the virtues of building in the Magic City – while also taking an opportunity for a public debate with investor David Sacks.
Previously, García Martínez was a product manager at Facebook, a quantitative analyst at Goldman Sachs, the CEO/founder of adtech startup AdGrok, and author of the autobiographical and controversial 2016 best seller Chaos Monkeys.
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