Own Your Media With LALA

LALA founder.

For movie and television lovers, the options available to meaningfully engage with this media have historically been scarce beyond buying watchability, action figures, and merchandise. Web3 startup LALA is empowering fandoms to own royalties of their favorite movies and television shows through non-fungible tokens (NFTs). This is their origin story. 

The Rise and Fall of NFTs

The NFT market has, in the past, been lucrative for many. In fact, the most expensive NFT sold for $92 million. However, with the widespread popularity of NFTs peaking in March of 2021, followed by a 97% market collapse in September 2022, many have wondered about the viability of the market. 

LALA, a digital collectible marketplace founded in 2022 and launched in 2023, is proof that the market still holds opportunities — and lots of it. 

Founder Hiram Vazquez is a startup veteran seeking to revive not only the NFT market but the love of movies and television as well. The startup launched with a $3 million funding round led by Alexis Ohanian’s venture capital fund, Seven Seven Six, where Vazquez incubated the idea.

It Begins With Connection

Vazquez started the company out of his love for movies and the restrictions he was met with growing up in Puerto Rico, “My inspiration for LALA stems from my childhood obsession with TV shows, movies, and video games.” Vazquez says, “In addition to being geographically far away from Hollywood, most of the promotions, fan contests, or sweepstakes that I would learn about from TV commercials or the back of cereal boxes were exciting for kids in the states, but not eligible for residents of Puerto Rico. I sought out different ways to allow fans to connect with their favorite entertainment no matter where they were located.” 

This, combined with his 13-year tenure in the startup world, prompted the founder to innovate on an idea that would bring his childhood dream to life, “I have been working in the startup community for 13 years, having built innovative products for early-stage companies such as Uber, as well as at Alexis Ohanian’s venture capital firm Seven Seven Six.” The founder explains, “While at Seven Seven Six, I was part of the inaugural Operator in Residence program, where I built and managed the firm’s proprietary software Cerebro, in addition to supporting portfolio company founders in various capacities. Upon completion of the program, I became founder and CEO of LALA.”

Growing a Dream

Vazquez says the hardest part of growing his startup has been getting people to see his vision, “Making people believe in my vision is something that’s very challenging at first when all there is is an idea.” He says, “Putting your vision into paper and learning to talk about your ideas was something that is challenging at first because these ideas are so fragile.” 

This isn’t stopping the founder from working to scale his company. With $3 million in venture capital to back LALA, Vazquez is looking to the future as a leader and entrepreneur, “all the stumbling blocks, challenges, failures, experiments we go through will make me a better person and professional. At the very least, it will make me so much more resilient and adaptable, and I look forward to that.”

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