Web3 Hardware and Infrastructure Company Spatial Labs Closes $10M Funding Round TechCrunch

Web3 Hardware and Infrastructure Company Spatial Labs Closes $10M Funding Round TechCrunch

Web3 Hardware and Infrastructure Company Spatial Labs Closes $10M Funding Round TechCrunch

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Spatial Labs, a web3 hardware and infrastructure company, today announced the closing of a $10 million funding round led by Blockchain Capital with participation from Marcy Venture Partners, the company co-founded by Jay-Z . Iddris Sandu founded Spatial Labs in 2020, seeking to create products and shopping experiences using augmented reality.


“For us, the metaverse is not a virtual space that people go to hang out in. It’s a world where we can add more context to your real world and make your real world more enjoyable,” said Sandu at TechCrunch. “We are going to be responsible for catalyzing a whole new generation to be more aware of their surroundings; more aware of how they spend and buy.

“It’s always crypto winter to be a black founder.” Iddris Sandu, Founder, Spatial Labs

Spatial Labs caused a stir in the industry two years ago by selling Sandu-designed clothing that was embedded in a chip called LNQ (pronounced link) that provided consumers with the provenance and ownership history of the item. article, seen, naturally, on the blockchain.

Almost like a QR code, tapping the LNQ chip with an unlocked phone online and in-person experiences, such as virtual concerts. Last year, Spatial Labs launched a marketplace for buying and selling items. It also sold microchips to those who wanted to sell their own in-app products and upload their own exclusive offers for potential buyers. The chip, for example, allows brands to add loyalty programs directly into their products rather than, say, signing someone up to an email list. To access loyalty benefits, consumers simply hold their phone up to the chip embedded in the item they bought from the brand.

“There was a time when nutritional information was not available on products, so people just ate anything,” Sandu said. “We want to give and create a new ecosystem of nutritional facts for the products you put to your body, as well as the objects you put in your house.

The round makes Sandu, now 25, one of the youngest black men to raise a double-digit round — and a solo founder. He is already part of a somewhat rarefied club. According to Crunchbase data, just 1% of all venture capital funds went to black founders last year; of the $21.5 billion raised by web3 startups globally last year, $60 million went to US-based black web3 founders, including Sandu.

He said it took about six months to complete his round. Asked what it was like to raise during what was also a crypto winter, he replied that for black founders there was little difference between a bear market and a bull market due to continued discrimination in matter of financing. “It’s always crypto winter to be a black founder,” he said. “It’s hard, but it’s worth it.”

With the new capital, Spatial Labs plans to continue to evolve its blockchain-based technology and expand into other sectors, such as media and entertainment. Later this year, it also plans to launch a device called Node to simplify the time it takes to develop and deploy augmented reality experiences. “We are also thinking of lowering the barrier of entry into web3 and augmented reality by using our chip technology,” Sandu continued.

Sandu has come a long way from where he started. Born in Accra, Ghana, he moved with his family to Los Angeles when he was three years old. Inspired by the launch of the iPhone, he spent time at his local libraries, first in Compton, then later in Harbor City after his family moved, to teach himself computer programming in hopes of to one day become an entrepreneur.

In high school, he worked for Google and created his own apps. He was recognized by then-President Barack Obama for his work in STEM, gave up attending MIT to focus on building technology, consulted Twitter, Snapchat and Rihanna, created software for Uber and helped create the first smart retail store with the late Nipsey. To fight.

At the same time, he realized there was a lack of information affecting young black people like himself, where even his schoolbooks in Compton were outdated.

“If you want to keep people out of space, the easiest way to do that is to create separatism when it comes to information,” Sandu said. He considers himself lucky in that, at a young age, he was able to find his way by pushing the boundaries, but notes that this shouldn’t be the case. Next year, he hopes to launch a personal fund to support people of color and will focus on technology and material innovation.

Until then, however, he is building Spatial Labs. He wants it to become one of the fastest growing unicorns and overall wants to inspire the next generation of technologists; naturally, of course, he also wants to create products that, well, change the world.

“For me, legacy is all about how many lives we can have, more than how many products we can sell,” he said.

“That’s the purpose I feel I was called here for,” Sandu continued. “Opening doors and holding them for as long as possible and eventually making sure those doors just don’t exist. No one can guard the door if there is no door there.


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