Meet Aussie Colin Fabig who invented NFTs 13 years ago
Colin Fabig (picuted) is a serial B2C internet entrepreneur, who started his first “new media” company in 1991. He started and successfully exited another three start-ups in South Africa before moving to Australia in 1999. In Sydney, he founded and successfully exited another four tech start-ups, which has employed over 400 people over the past 15 years, creating revenues in the hundreds of millions and with total exit values in excess of $350m. Colin was more recently, an angel investor and director of Lendi in its formative years. Lendi recently acquired Aussie Home Loans.
Colin founded a digital collectibles/e-card website in 1999, that at its peak was the 51st most trafficked website in the world in December 2000. In 2003, he co-founded iMega – an online media network of 30 million visitors a month – and successfully exited the company to a listed marketing services company for a valuation of ~$40 million+.
Living vicariously via his alter-ego “Colin Colorful”, Colin took a year off to dabble in conceptual and digital art. In what can only be described as ‘blind faith’ and ‘futuristic belief’, Colin’s white paper describes the creation of entirely new collectible digital asset class, that uncannily predicted the emergence of the commodity known today as an NFT.
Colin had realised it was almost impossible to sell his digital and conceptual art, as all digital content is fungible i.e. indistinguishable and thus replaceable by any other version (copyable) and not worth anything to collectors. Colin set out to find a solution to make his art non-fungible. In April 2009, he wrote the world’s first white paper that outlined the creation of a non-fungible digital asset class at Digital Originals. And then he released the world’s first non-fungible digital artwork at Spam Cans. But instead of calling it an NFT, he called it the Digital Original of the artwork.
The world, however, was not yet ready to embrace this new asset class, and so Colin was forced back into the real world where he once again turned a concept into a profitable reality. In 2010, he founded Jump On It (which later became Living Social Australia). Within 24 months, this business grew to 250 staff, 2 million Australian email subscribers and achieved a run rate of ~$100 million in annual billings. This was sold to LivingSocial USA for an EV of ~$300 million.
In January 2013, Colin co-founded Spring.me, a social network for making friends through questions and answers. Spring.me was sold to IACs’ Twoo.com in early 2015. The sites merged shortly after and now have over 1 billion members and counting.
Colin was a non-executive director and mentor to the founders of www.Lendi.com.au – a leading Aussie FinTech – for 18 months. He was also a non-executive director and investor at George and King for two years before its exit to Institchu in May 2018. Colin is currently a non-executive director of the social enterprise Secret Sisterhood.
And now, Colin has come full circle. He’s back to making his predictions and passions in the Digital Collectible NFT space a reality. In May 2022, Colin will launch FANS.Inc – a mainstream platform for the world’s most iconic digital collectibles in the music, news, and entertainment space.