Q&A with Hazem Dawani, Chief Executive Officer, GigaStar

Today we share a Q&A from Hazem Dawani, Chief Executive Officer at GigaStar.

GigaStar fuels human creativity by bringing Creators and Investors together. GigaStar provides Creators with an intuitive platform to raise capital from investors who gain exposure to the Creator Economy while joining a Creator’s journey. The company also recently announced plans to launch a $1M YouTube Creator Fund to help accelerate the journey of YouTubers.

In today’s Q&A, Hazem highlights the unique marketplace his company serves and the opportunities that it empowers for the creator economy.

Q: GigaStar serves a unique marketplace, could you share more about your company’s role in helping YouTube creators as micro-entrepreneurs to gain capital?

Hazem: GigaStar brings YouTube Creators and Investors together. YouTube Creators deserve access to funding and strategic investors, just as traditional entrepreneurs do.

GigaStar Market is our SEC-registered crowdfunding platform. It’s where YouTubers can list a percentage of their channel’s future revenue in a public revenue-share offering. Creators can raise capital from a database of thousands of strategic Investors who essentially become an army of promoters with skin in the game.

On the other hand, Investors gain access to the fast-growing $250B+ Creator Economy to share YouTube revenue with Creators. During a channel drop, Investors can buy Channel Revenue Tokens (or CRTs), which digitally represent a percentage of the Creator’s future revenue.

GigaStar Market is the only investment platform that provides accredited and non-accredited investors access to the fast-growing Creator Economy through these unique revenue-sharing securities.

When the YouTube channel’s revenue grows, Creators and Investors have the potential to earn more, becoming partners in a shared journey.

Q: How did your company begin and could you share more about the leadership team guiding its growth?

Hazem: GigaStar started in 2022 and we launched our first drop in mid-2023. Today, we have raised over $2.2M for Creators, added over 14,000 investor accounts, and distributed over $150,000 of YouTube revenue to the investors. Our technology and business model have been validated, and we have enhanced our ability to scale and accelerate the onboarding of Creators.

GigaStar is at the crossroads of FinTech and the Creator Economy.  Our co-founders and leadership team members have an entrepreneurial background in both financial technology and the YouTube space.

I’ve built and successfully led VC exits for two FinTech companies in Chicago and New York; GigaStar is my third company. The GigaStar model was conceived by my co-founder, who spent 15 years in the Creator Economy and built one of the largest YouTube Partner agencies in the Middle East and North Africa. We also have several fintech veterans helping to lead our growing dream team.

As a market opportunity, we’ve identified that a new generation of entrepreneurs (YouTube Creators) need more access to capital, ways to innovate engagement, and new long-term revenue streams.

We are democratizing the Creator Economy to help YouTube Creators finance their ambitions, partner with Investors, and do what they love.

Q: How do investors become involved in supporting YouTube creators on your platform and why do many consider investing on GigaStar to differentiate their portfolio?

Hazem: When Creators list a drop (or offering) on GigaStar Market they offer a percentage (usually between 10%-40%) of their YouTube channel’s future revenue to Investors.

GigaStar alerts an existing database of investors (currently over 13K) when a Drop is live. Creators are encouraged to invite their fans to participate and join their journey.

During the drop, Investors (aged 18 or older) can buy Channel Revenue Tokens (or CRTs), which digitally represent a percentage of the revenue-sharing security.

GigaStar Market is the only investment platform that provides Investors access to the fast-growing Creator Economy through these unique revenue-sharing securities. The Creator Economy has been growing over 30% on average year-over-year for the past 10 years.

As an alternative to traditional equity investments, these securities may help Investors diversify their portfolios.

To provide value all GigaStar Market Investors have access to GigaStar Portfolio, an environment where they can track and monitor all investment performance and channels’ revenues.

Q: What challenges have you faced? How is this crowdfunding space evolving?

Hazem: Our biggest challenge early on was to simplify a complex process of listing and selling securities and make it cost-efficient to be able to scale it and offer it to the Creator, and lower the barriers of entry.

Another challenge we experienced early on was highlighting our value proposition’s Web3 and crypto aspects. Many Creators we spoke with expressed apprehension around anything Web3-related, and it immediately became clear that we needed to let the benefits take center stage and focus less on the specific blockchain mechanisms that make it possible.

GigaStar continues to collect Creator and Investor feedback to evolve GigaStar Market and GigaStar Portfolio, including adding traditional offramp capabilities to our product roadmap.

Q: How is GigaStar transforming the marketplace for investors and creators as it relates to financial opportunities?

Hazem: We’ve talked with many Creators who have been unhappy with certain funding models that have put them in positions where they could potentially lose control or rights to their channels or content. For example, if they fail to pay on a Creator loan for which their channel is the collateral.

GigaStar does not issue loans, nor does licensing of back-catalogs. Rather, GigaStar enables Creators to monetize future YouTube channel revenue while maintaining full control over their content and channels…and keeping all of their brand deals and sponsorship revenue.

When an Investor participates in a GigaStar Market offering, they are not purchasing YouTube channel rights – but rather the rights to a percentage of the YouTube channel’s future revenue. Creators never lose control. We want to keep it that way.

Additionally, GigaStar has a secondary market planned for 2024. Once live, and if active, will provide additional long-term opportunities for both Creators and Investors.

Q: How does blockchain play a role in how GigaStar operates and how has that technology differentiated GigaStar to better serve the creators and investors?

Hazem: Issuers who successfully list and close an offering on GigaStar Market automatically distribute YouTube revenue to thousands of investors monthly. GigaStar Technologies is the technology facilitator that makes this possible by setting up and managing the individual Issuers’ smart contracts on the Polygon blockchain.

We want to shape a future where investors in the Creator Economy benefit from decentralized efficiencies and reduced-cost opportunities.

We strive to have blockchain efficiencies enhance Creator-Investor relationships and lower the barriers to entry for Investors to participate in the Creator Economy.

Q: What advice do you have for creators, as the next generation of entrepreneurs, to fund their dreams and further grow the marketplace of the future?

Hazem: We encourage this new generation of Creators to think like entrepreneurs – to envision how strategic capital crowdfunded by thousands of channel investors (who may be eager to share and support their content) could support their purpose – their “why”.

Even successful YouTube channels need money. Whether they can use funds to support their longevity as a Creator, hire a team, pay off debt, buy a house, acquire other IP, plan for retirement, or just take some future risk off the table, GigaStar is here as a long-term partner to Creators.

Creators can learn more by visiting https://gigastar.io.

Investment offerings are speculative, illiquid, and involve a high degree of risk, including the risk of loss of your entire investment. There is no guarantee of the performance of any company, channel, or investment. Past performance is not a guarantee of future success.