Empowering Brands In Web3: Meet This German PhD Revolutionizing Information Analysis

One of the core values of blockchain technology and Web3 is the democratization and transparency of data access. Data can be as difficult as explaining Bitcoin to your grandma at Thanksgiving dinner. Luckily, Dr. Anne Greul is working to make decentralized data and insights accessible to everyone.

Born and raised in Germany, Greul had a diverse educational background. She majored in fine arts in high school before moving on to business and behavioral economics in university. Her PhD research at the Technical University of Munich and her work as a guest researcher in Stanford focused on the effects of cognitive biases on innovation, technologies and decision-making, which gave her a unique perspective on the commercial adoption of new technologies.

Greul during her studies at the CDTM - an interdisciplinary study program in Munich.

Her entrepreneurial drive and passion to create things led her to leave academia and put her learnings into practice. Working at Audi and McKinsey allowed her to further explore the intersection between new technologies and established companies, helping them leverage these innovations to develop their core businesses or disrupt themselves. Later, she co-founded a venture capital fund in California that aimed to educate students about entrepreneurship and invest in tech startups. 

California Innovation Fund founding team in San Francisco: Anne, Prof. Dr. Kurt Beyer, Mark Jones

In 2022, with her two co-founders, she realized the potential and disruptive nature Web3 could bring to businesses across industries. Together with Patrick, a data scientist, whom she met during her time at McKinsey, and Sebastian, lead AI-engineer at that time, she started working on Moonblock, a Webapp that makes Web3 data and insights accessible to everyone, independent of company size, technical skills or data experience.

Greul’s diverse background and experiences undoubtedly contributed to her ability to navigate the challenges of founding a Web3 company. "I love to reach seemingly contrary perspectives," Greul said. “People are often surprised when they learn that I studied Art and years later co-founded a deep-tech center for Audi in Boston being responsible for assessing the potential of new technologies. I never wanted to be held back by stereotypes or to fit with the expectations of others.” This openness to diverse perspectives and ability to connect seemingly disparate concepts undoubtedly contributes to Greul’s success as a Web3 innovator.

Learning and building together through PretzelDAO

This DAO, with such a tasty name, is a great example of how a community-driven approach can bring people together to achieve a common goal. Greul and her co-founders’ main goal was to create awareness for Web3 and put Munich on the map. They started as a loose community and grew into a successful sandbox for ideas, where people from different backgrounds could come together and share knowledge. The umbrella provided by the DAO helped bring people together, and they were able to experiment with different concepts, learn from each other and build a network. The community was made up of builders, students, VCs and people from the industry. 

“The idea was to grow our knowledge together, build a network, create serendipity and opportunities that could grow out of it. We left it open to maybe even do something with the DAO in terms of building a product,” Greul said. But in the end, it developed into something bigger and better. “What happened was that a lot of different startups used it as a sandbox to start out. And it was fantastic.” The PretzelDAO became a brand, an umbrella and a support system for the community members.

PretzelDAO community meet-up during EthCC in Paris. 

About the challenges of running a decentralized community

The experience of building and contributing to a DAO taught Greul many things. She learned that regulation is a challenge in this space and it is not easy to decentralize power and break hierarchies. She also realized that a committed and dedicated core team is necessary to move things forward and that not everyone is self-driven. A DAO may not be the right form for every business project, but it can be perfect for some. “My mom, she works at our local community running the environmental team. She struggles just with the same pattern. It’s hard to really engage a community constantly,” Greul reflected. “There are members that want to be involved, and I think everybody wants to be heard. But not everybody is willing to really put in a lot of effort. And I think that is true if you're in Web3 or if you are in a local community.”

Bringing transparency and accessibility to Web3 data

Big companies and brands have the advantage of analyzing and learning from tons of data, but startups have no data to learn from. “You cannot learn from all these mistakes or insights that are already out there. And also you need technical skills. I mean, yes, Blockchain data is transparent, but you cannot use Dune properly if you're not a data scientist, and you cannot use Etherscan if you don't understand the base of how the blockchain works,” Greul said. “Data and business intelligence tools in general are really, really complex and often cumbersome.”

This is the problem that Greul and her co-founders were trying to solve when they founded Moonblock. This intuitive web app allows users to explore data and insights on Web3 markets, customers and competitors in a simple way. They want to provide facts to back users' decisions and bring transparency into the whole space of Web3.

Since its inception, Moonblock has gained interest from major brands across various sectors, including fashion, automotive, food, beverages and media. Agencies are also among their early adopters, as the platform provides easy access to insights around best practices, competitive studies and use cases, saving them a lot of time. They aim to bring objectivity and transparency to the discussion of Web3, ultimately helping its adoption by looking at the facts.

Moonblock.io founding Team in New York: Anne Greul, Sebastian Wagner and Patrick Tu.

The potential of Web3’s underlying technologies for business use cases

Moonblock released a very promising report on the institutional NFT adoption in 2022 highlighting the rising number of global brands launching NFT campaigns throughout 2022, despite the bear market. The hype and speculation that accompanied us in 2021 and the beginning of 2022 is over, and now we have data that backs this affirmation up.

What's exciting for Greul is the data about real behavior and interest from a behavioral economics, marketing and consumer perspective. Customer segments can be targeted, and product development can be based on their needs. Demographic data or social media data provides only one perspective, and they are bad proxies to base decisions on. “When you look at Web3 data and wallet analytics, for example, it's basically less biased because it's what people decided to own, to buy,” Greul said. ”It's super unique because you see not just what they bought from your company, but you also see what they got from other companies. And that just has never been possible.” This opens up huge opportunities for smaller and big brands to see which partnerships they can do and what different customer segments value, bringing transparency to all sides.

What to look forward to in the future of Web3 and brands entering the space

Web3 is still a new technology, and as such, the only way to move it towards mainstream adoption is to try it out, sometimes fail and learn from it. Greul thinks early adopters deserve credit for being brave enough to try it out, and that more people should have a data-driven approach moving forward. Her vision of a transparent data pool that allows all players to derive insights and create new ideas is a powerful one that can truly level the playing field and democratize access to valuable information. 

“What drives me the most and has me excited is that this is a huge opportunity to allow people to really test and create new ideas, to contribute and also take ownership,” Greul said. “That's part of what Web3 allows, to really participate as an equal player in the value creation that takes place on the internet.”

This is not financial advice. If you don't want to spend money investing in crypto or Web3 — you don’t have to. The intent of this article is to help others educate themselves and learn.

Sabrina Bonini is the Founder of Cripto Es Cultura, a community and creative agency that helps brands and creators adapt to the Web3 and NFT space. She pays special attention to the education and empowerment of Spanish-speaking artists, women and underrepresented groups and is fully committed to helping make the blockchain ecosystem more diverse and inclusive. Connect with her on Twitter @criptoescultura

More Articles

Shop NFTs

Browse the official collections on OpenSea:
BFF Friendship Bracelet
BFF Friendship Bracelets
The BFF 'You' Collection. Artwork by Jade Purple Brown.
You PFP Collection