Outlier Ventures Weekly Brief Issue #24  View Online

The DApps Are Here

Surveillance capitalism and its perils have become a focal point of concern for internet power-users around the globe. Founders and investors alike have been raising alarm about the need to break up data monopolies and ensure data ownership remains protected. Brave's surge to over seven million users in the recent past is an important indicator that users are increasingly becoming sensitive to advertisements and will be open to more tools that allow them to be in ownership of their own data. Decentralised applications or DApps as they are commonly referred to, focus on enabling users to own their data by eradicating central authorities that authenticate their logins or keep records on their behavior. There is a new crop of applications that focus on providing alternatives to centralised behemoths of present-day internet. We take a look at a few of them in today's newsletter. While their growth metrics are far from beating those of traditional, centralised alternatives, they are an interesting peek at how the web is evolving. 

Image: Platform  growth data sourced from

Cent - The Income Generating Social Network
Cent's philosophy stems from the fact that social networks are not merely platforms but content generating networks. If a network's users create content, then they should be rewarded accordingly for it. Their product currently combines the native features of a social media platform (walls, messenger etc) alongside a  Web 3.0 wallet to allow users to deposit and tip users for sharing content. Individuals can also set up bounties for promoting a piece, conducting surveys or asking third parties to write on a particular topic. While the product is far from beating the likes of Instagram, or immediate peers like Mastodon, it does provide an interesting alternative to users looking to understand how the decentralised web would look like in a few years. More on the product's philosophy in this post by their CEO - Max Brody.  

3Box - The Personal Data Storage Hub
Being on multiple platforms in Web 3.0 would mean approving access to multiple parties for your data, often without being aware of it. 3Box allows individuals to create a single page with all their digital identities verified and an ethereum address linked to it. Using  IPFS, the product also allows individuals to store larger data sets such as photos and thus acts as a decentralised cloud storage unit. Their API also enables developers to onboard users without the need to find mechanisms for safe storage of their data. More on the project's use cases and why it matters in this post here. 

Graphite - What Google Docs Could Not Be
Google's suite of productivity-oriented services may have contributed substantially to the rise of remote work. They enable collaboration across teams with little friction. However, it comes with a privacy trade-off. Built on Blockstack, Graphite enables the functionality of Google documents in a decentralised application. None of the user's data is accessible by third parties or used to serve ads. The application can be used in native browsers without a browser plugin and can generate links that can be shared externally for third parties to read. More about how the product came to be in this founder interview on Cheddar.  

Note: As always, product mentions are not endorsements. 

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The Europas is the premier awards for Europe's hottest tech startups celebrating the most ambitious and innovative tech companies across 20 categories. Founded in 2009 and run by Mike Butcher MBE, The Europas concentrates on the newest companies on the scene and also brings together the mid and late stage technology startups, as well as leading investors and media in the EMEA region. Vote for us here. 
Talking to someone about satellites and ML today, I wondered if you could launch an adversarial attack on an automated commodities model by paying some freighters to cruise in a specific pattern. Or inject malware into a satellite by making a really big QR code in a corn field
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