In the last 8-10 years, the trajectory of personal and B2B (Business-to-Business) investment has seen a sharp turn. From good old physical assets and businesses, the global investment mindset has significantly bent towards 'Digital Assets' - anything that has been born and brought up on the internet. Some of them are very familiar to the web-netizens: online courses, subscription-based software, OTT platforms, apps, cryptocurrencies, social media handles, YouTube channels and more - and all these are labelled as digital assets.
As one can assume, there are so many asset classes that already exist within the universe of digital assets; so, the investors often have to face difficulties to divide their investment across all of these classes. The question regarding the best investable digital assets is always there, and the answer to this question is debatable - however, if one considers the factors regarding security and controllability, niche publications are the most viable future of digital asset investment. According to several estimated reports, the industry valuation of digital asset management will grow from $1.2 billion in 2018 to $6.9 billion by 2024.
The industry experts have opined that there are two primary reasons behind such popularity of digital assets. Firstly, the competitiveness, saturation, and uncertainty of physical investment scopes in several sectors including real estate, offline businesses, bank deposits, and even share markets - and this applies to both tangible and intangible assets. On the other hand, the second reason is the lucrative growth opportunities, control, diversity, and consistency that digital assets are being designed to provide. As the Internet itself has no geographical limitation, one can literally invest in a promising digital asset from any corner of the world.
The industry of content-based digital assets, as previously mentioned, is not newborn. However, the growth and popularity of niche-based content publications skyrocketed during the Covid-19 pandemic. Bringing a Bangladeshi perspective into this digital asset market, the team of Rank Wizards LLC, a US-based Bangladeshi start-up, talked to Dhaka Courier about its journey and the enormous possibility in this investable global market.
Throughout its journey over the period, the company grew into a dynamic startup focusing on a number of clients all over the world, specializing in the development and management of affiliate niche blogs. Now, the 5-years old bootstrapped startup is slowly making its way into the multi-billion dollar niche-blogging industry, aiming to turn into a media giant along with creating secure investment scopes for micro-investors.
Saleh Ahmed, while studying at Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology (CUET), founded Rank Wizards back in 2016 as a service-based startup agency with a bunch of engineers at its helm, primarily focusing on SEO, content, and growth consultancy services for bloggers and businesses. "The plan was to keep ourselves floated by serving clients until we curate a bullet-proof strategy to develop our own assets", Saleh Ahmed told DC while describing the mission and vision of Rank Wizards LLC.
Just like other self-financed startups, Rank Wizards had gone through quite a rough patch. Against all odds, the brand has managed to serve over 400 clients with 92% recurrence within the first 4 years of operations. It also developed its own portfolio of niche websites, and now own 27 websites which are projected to be worth $3,00,000 USD by Q3, 2022. "We have a number of strategic advantages that yield better ROI (Return of Invest) and faster organic growth than its competitors", according to Sadman Rahi, Brand Development Executive of Rank Wizards LLC.
As the Covid-19 pandemic forced the world to reimagine the world of digital media while increasing the focus on online businesses and digital assets, Rank Wizard LLC reached new highs in growth. "In 5 years, we went from being a team of 2 to a whopping 62! Surprisingly enough, the peak of this growth was across the recent pandemic", Saleh told DC. According to him, remote work being popular in 2020 has helped them to scale up the team without bothering the team spirit. They're still sticking to this hybrid working mode of both remote and in-house employee operations.
The concept is to develop blogs with value-packed, informative content and use SEO as the primary growth channel, which is 100% organic. The revenue is generated from display ads, affiliate programs, etc while the cost lies in creating good content, optimizing them and maintaining the website. "The fun part is, 95% of our readers are from the USA, UK, Australia, and Canada. And most of us weren't even brought up in those countries!", Sadman Rahi said as per Rank Wizards LLC's analytics data.
Internationally, there are media giants like Dot Dash, Hearst Publications, etc who are funnelling down their mass exposure to conscious purchases. Also, there are holding companies like Onfolio, Domain Magnate, etc who have turned this model into investment opportunities for non-institutional investors. However, no such approach has been seen from Bangladesh, as of yet. "There are hundreds if not thousands from the country who build content-based digital assets and make a good fortune out of them. But it's beyond 'just another passive income scheme' for Rank Wizards," Abu Yousuf Shihab, Creative Director of Rank Wizards LLC, told DC.
In the next couple of years, the startup plans to harvest its first network of assets, and then re-invest into scaling up its asset territory even further. The next plan is to acquire and nurture other forms of digital assets as SaaS, Soft Products, Courses, Web Tools, etc. - and in the next 5-7 years, they see themselves as a hub of three entities: the consumers of their contents, the business that will be promoted across the platforms, and the investors who would receive equities and dividends from their investments after these assets. With 15 such assets in its hand right now, Rank Wizards is expecting to be the cornerstone of the trend among Bangladeshi personal investors. "Technically, there is no limit to how large the industry is, which is definitely a good thing for us", Saleh Ahmed told DC.
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