Yes and no. If you search for Slips, you will see mentions of a project that was started in 2018. Just like with most startups, we have pivoted and adapted to changing circumstances and the current Slips project is just under a year old.
Slips originally began as an idea for an eSports betting platform. We wanted to let people bet on their favorite streams and give streamers a new way to engage and make money from their viewers.
We started coding the project in July 2018 and a few months later we had a working prototype. The project was interesting enough to receive grant funding from the Expanse blockchain. We built our app on a budget of just $5,000.
Our idea and working product was enough to convince ETC Labs to invest $65,000 in Slips in February 2019.
Sadly despite an incredible response from our target audience, we had to pivot away from Esports betting because the financial and legal burdens of acquiring a business gambling license is frankly extraordinary.
In late 2019, we had run out of our funding but we still pivoted to our new idea. Everything that you see now has been bootstrapped by ourselves.
As mentioned in other areas of the documentation for this project, we decided to do things a little differently from other blockchain projects. In the gold rush of 2017, developers came cap in hand and begged for funds to build ambitious visions - which never materialized.
The result was that between 2018 and 2020, it was virtually impossible to launch a blockchain product without funding from VCs and other angel investors. What was going to be a disruptive model of financing (ICOs) for startups was halted in it's tracks by greed.
For that reason, we decided that if we were going to bootstrap this project - it would make sense to prove the project needed to exist first. We had to talk to our target market and make sure we had users ready to use Slips on day #1. Our ethos has always been to have a working product before we seek investment.
Lucky for us, DeFi projects in Summer 2020 finally bucked the depressing trend of 2018-2019 and actually gave people hope that something tangible might be produced from the promise of blockchain technology. But no sooner had Compound released their governance token, the market was flooded with copycat 'meme' projects named after fruits. Sushi, Yam and so on. Like Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin Diamond and Bitcoin Cobalt Blue (?) - these low effort clones tweaked configuration settings and made their founders millionaires over night.
Recreating the 2017 gold rush might have some folks waking up in a cold sweat remembering their brief dalliance with Dentacoin but the good news was that it proved to the rest of the world that being able to "compose" different parts of the DeFi ecosystem together could produce some very interesting experiments.
For us personally, it provided us the missing piece of the puzzle. Our tokenized players could use their earnings as collatoral for loans. Our team owners could leverage their roster and use the funds they raised to invest elsewhere in the DeFi ecosystem. Liquidity mining of the governance token and gaining preferential access to the player draft would give people a reason to provide liquidity to our uniswap pool.
Everything just fell into place. Our idea now had the engine to make it work. All we needed was to write up some code and announce the project to the world. You're seeing the fruits of that work now.